by Rick Winterson
South Boston Online’s headline above is the time-honored saying that explains our celebration of, and indeed our reverence for, each New Year. The interminable 15-hour nights and the brief 9-hour days of dead winter have just begun to reverse their courses – by only 10 minutes or so – toward the brilliant sunrises and sunsets of the Summer Solstice in June. Eventually, spring will arrive with 12-hour days and the beginning of bountiful harvests all around the northern hemisphere.
That message of newness is also contained in urban events, even in something like the fast-moving, highly energized development of the South Boston Waterfront, which is perhaps as much as ten years ahead of its originally planned schedule. Specifically, we refer to the demolition last month of the original, 65-year-old, Our Lady of Good Voyage Chapel, to make way for WS Development’s Seaport Square project. Even its name had a faintly old-fashioned whiff of the 1800s and sailing ships. What long-term resident of South Boston didn’t feel a twinge of sadness at the Chapel’s demise?
Yet there are tidings of good news, in place, visible, and in operation. Our Lady of Good Voyage has re-arisen, under the same name, at a new site on the Waterfront at Sleeper Street and Seaport Boulevard. Its opening and dedication took place last April 22. And it has been elevated to the status of a Shrine. Our Lady of Good Voyage Shrine is the first new Catholic Church built in Boston since 1952. It’s worth a visit just to view the use of artistic elements from other closed churches in the Archdiocese
“In with the NEW!” can indeed mean good news.