Thursday, November 15, 2007

Blessed Sacrament Church






Boston Daily Globe December 19, 1915

New Church Of The Blessed Sacrament In Jamaica Plain Completed By Easter


Parishioners of the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Jamaia Plain look forward with great interest to the new ediface, which within a few months they will be able to gather in for services. Workmen are engaged with the interior, but it is probable that at least three months more will elapse before the undertaking can be completed, so that the likelihood is that Easter Sunday will see the first services in the new church.

The thousands of people who pass the new church of the Blessed Sacrament daily have admired the basilica appearing like edifice, and the most commendable praises have been spoken of the efforts of the pastor, Rev Fr Arthur T. Connolly, through whose efforts the church is being erected.

For fully a year the work has been in progress and now for a month or more the parishoners have been enabled to realize the extent of the undertaking. The exterior, aside from the main steps, has been finished and the huge dome that surmounts the church can be seen for some distance in all directions. With the addition of the main entrance steps, completing the exterior, the outward appearance of the new ediface will be one of the finest in the diocese.

However, what one gleans from the outside is but an insight of the interior, which is to be finished in a most artistic manner. The work will be carried on with care so that the very best results can be secured and it is hoped that by Easter Sunday all will be in readiness for the first services and the dedication.

The parishioners will be tireless in their efforts to assist Fr Connolly henceforth, realizing that his effort in their behalf has brought about a gem in church architecture that is enjoyed by few parishes in this part of the country.

57 comments:

  1. Hello,
    I was so happy to find some information about Blessed Sacrament Church. The years that I spent there as a student (1971-1975) were the best and happiest days of my life. I was always so inspired by the beauty of the church's interior.It was so heart breaking to hear about it's ultimate end.
    I am wondering if there is a way to know more about the school and the Sister who taught there?
    The Principal, at the time was Sister Francis Paula, and then I heard that Sister Clare replaced her. Could you tell me a little about what happened to my cherished
    school? Thank you, Marcela

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    1. I went to BSS since kindergarten and the grammer scoop is gone cutes hall is gone the highschool in the Bach of the church last I heard is now the preschool to grade 6 I remember the nuns you mentioned I was wondering what year sister Marie bernadette died

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  2. Marcela

    I was just told that a school is operating in one of the buildings, although it is not Blessed Sacrament. I don't know anything about the nuns who taught there, but there is going to be a history room at the front entrance of the church when they build housing there. Maybe someone will come forward and tell the story of the sisters who worked there.

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    1. Correction: Norbert, not Cheverus, is the name of the school that COMPASS later inhabited.

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    2. My original reply either didn't post or awaits approval. As indicated in my original reply, COMPASS is a special education school that relocated within Boston. When I lived in Metro Boston, I taught there.

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  3. The sisters are the Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth, also known as the Sisters of Charity of New Jersey.

    Sister Francis Paula died (age 82) on January 9, 2009.

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  4. I heard Sister Clare died of cancer. The school along with the church closed. I was a student until 1977. Only great times with friends and teachers fill my thoughts of my years there as a student.

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    1. I graduated in 1977 - 8th grade. I have such great memories of that school and it's teachers. All these names of teachers, Jimmy the custodian (his daughter - Elizabth was a classmate), and others just makes me realize how lucky I was. John C.

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    2. I graduated in 1977 - 8th grade. I have such great memories of that school and it's teachers. All these names of teachers, Jimmy the custodian (his daughter - Elizabth was a classmate), and others just makes me realize how lucky I was. John C.

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    3. Hi Class of 77 - have you seen this? Does she look familiar?
      http://www.wcvb.com/article/why-do-airplane-windows-have-holes/8955143

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  5. I was a student at Blessed Sacrement for 7 1/2 and I can't remember anyone name :( early 90's...

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  6. Wait... I can remeber Charlie, Charity, Lisette, Keri Ann, Phillip, Raymond, Prince, Evelyn, and guess what??? I 4got their last names hmmmmm

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  7. I I grew up in Hyde Park, and attended Blessed Sacrament School from 75-80 (4th thru 8th Grades). Sr. Frances Paula and Sr. Clare were the Principals then.
    We had the last annual concert in the old high school building in '76, before it burned. We sat looking out the windows for some time, watching the wrecking ball taking down the wood structure.

    I drove by this morning, and there is much construction going on. The priest house is gone. They are making housing in the church.
    The sad part is that they have stripped all religious matter from the churches exterior. it would have been nice to renovate and still rever what the building once was.

    any more calss of 1980 out there ?
    jim park

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    1. Yes , but I moved to Florida in 78, was in that 76 centennial concert though.

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  8. Jim

    Some of the altars and windows have been moved to other churches, so the conversion isn't a total loss.

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  9. Class of 1985. Ms. McIntyre was my seventh and eighth teacher.

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  10. I was born in Boston and raised in Jamaica Plain and I attended sunday mass at the Blessed Sacrament Church and worked at The Rectory back in the day. Oh how I miss not having services at the Blessed Sacarament. THose were some of the best days of my life. I loved Sr. Anne Marie, Sr. Virginia, Fr. Gaudet, Fr. Philip and Fr. John and Fr. Walsh.. etc.... I have some awesome memories of working and attending Mass at this parish. Forever in My heart Blessed Sacrament!!

    Dee
    JP forever!!!

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  11. Let's see, I'm a 1976 8th graduate from BS. Spent 8 great years there while attending Grades 1-8. Obviously, I was born and raised in JP not too far from the Chrurch. Ok, here are some names that I remember. Mssr Kearney, Fr. Messina, Fr. McCune, Fr. Walsh (of course). Sister Margert Elenor, Sister Juliana, Sister Alphonsa, Sister Louise Margert aka Big Louie, Sister Mary, Sister Susan, Sister Claire and Sister Francis Paula.

    Mrs Lahar and Mrs Barry and let's not forget Jimmy the Janitor.. St. Geralds Hall, the annual Sing Out, and May Prossesion, just to name a few.

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    1. I lived in JP until 1973. I also lived not far from the church (Round Hill Street) I remember Sister Louise (Big Louie)wow

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    2. I lived i JP until 1964! I have very fond memories of Blessed Sacrament School and Church. My siblings and I received Baptism and First Communion there. I was in 9th grade when I left. Moved out of state. I do remember Sister Marie Bernadette, Sister Patricia Ann, Mrs. Lahar and Sister Francis Paula. How about Monsignor, Fr. Mulcahy, Fr. Maguire, Father Reir. I remember the May Processions, St. Gerald's Hall, the Bazaar, The singing of Carols and The beautiful manger scene. My dad worked for John Hancock and for years supplied the music books to the nuns. So many fond memories. It breaks my heart to see what has happened to the beautiful community!

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  12. I'm class of 1987, came from latin america and spent 1st - 8th grade in Blessed Sacrament. I loved it. I was a selected to be lead for the after school church group for kids. I learned english there and had great friends. It was my sanctuary during Boston's white flight years and post busing. You were expected to excel no matter what, and everyone was taught the same. I only wish that as the community changed in the 80s, they would have supported the church more.

    I remember Sunday mass was standing room only. We all sang choir with Sister Francis as our instructor - she was strict! But she was awsome!

    Christmas Eve just before midnight, we kids from the school were in the school play. I was Angel Gabriel and another year I narrated the play.

    In 6th grade, the school started to admit, and KEEP, some students with behavioral issues, that they would never have done so before. The would start fights, there parents accused the nuns of abuse for having to clean the blackboards for swearing, etc. By the eight grade the entire school moved to the Cheverus building to make room for the Compass school for troubled kids, who took over our building. There were two buildings by that point, behind the church. That year there were lots of fights. As a child you don't realize that these were signs that the school was in financial trouble.

    Then I left for high school and when I came back the church was stripped of all adornments, most of the pews were gone and a penticostal church was using our church for their services. I felt that the community had changed so much and abandoned the church I loved so much.

    Thank you to Sister Clare, who died, my principal, Brother Frank for gym in the Cheverus, Sister Elizabeth whose instruction helped me master english and earn a citywide writing award, and my lay teachers, Ms. McIntyre, Billy Burke, etc. If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have survived public high school and gone on to college.

    Love you

    ~M

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  13. The Rectory is still there -- it was moved around the corner to face Creighton St and the exterior has been restored. It now has condos inside that were sold to first-time homebuyers.

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  14. I am 80 years old and attened Blessed Sacament Church from 1935 until 1955. I attended classes in St. Gerald's Hall, the middle school and Cheverus School. Remember Sr. Ruth Concpeta. Best teacher I ever had. Both 7th and 8th Grades. When I see what has happened to this wonderful seat of learning I feel so sad. These were some of the most wonderful days of my life. Would love to hear from some of my classmates. Pat (Dunford) Johnson Port Richey, Fl

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    1. Did you know Kathleen or Shirley Doyle? Kathleen was my mother.

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  15. What wonderful times we had at Blessed Sacrament back in the 50's. Do you remember marching in the May procession? I was in Our Lady's Blue Army. How about the great choir with Fr. Ryer. He was the only priest who could finish Mass in under 10 minutes. My favorite nun was Sister Rita Eucharia who actually liked kids. Sr. Agnes Roberts, who taught 7th grade, sent me out of class when she taught music. Sr. Mary Gerald taught kindergarten in the convent well into her 90's.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Sr. Rita Eucharia will always have a special place in my heart. As a recent transplant to JP in fall of 1960 I went to M.E.Curley for 7th grade. I hated it. Sr, Rita was my confirmation teacher and said I could go to BS. Spent 3 wonderful years there, moving once again after my sophomore year. My memories from there are forever in my heart. Sr. Rita.Eucharia, Sr. Marion, Sr. Virginia, Sr. Agnes Genevieve, Sr, Helen Beatrice - such wonderful women, I'll always be grateful for their love.

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  16. I sang in the choir with Fr. Ryan. 1957-1958. He also used to smack the boys around while on field trips if they didn't give him cigarettes. Then he would smoke them.

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  17. I have completely different memories of Blessed Sacrament. I spent many a summer there with my aunt - Sister Francis. I used to run up and down the halls of the convent with the dogs - played and helped out in the Garden - even have helped get your classrooms ready before school started. I knew the nuns there on a more personal level than as a student and loved them all.
    Yes - both Sister Claire and Sister Francis Paula both have passed on - along with Sister Alphonsa (I always have know her as "Fonzie). I was able to attend one of Fonzie Anniversary parties back in the late 80's / early 90's when she was in the home and as usual she was making everyone laugh and smile - she even asked me when were we going to the pub for a small glass and a bit of music.

    Sister Francis Katherine just passed away earlier this week. She had been teaching in New Jersey for a few years before her health faded. -No she didn't take that Green VW Bettle Stationwagon with her-but she would have if she could! She had her anniversary just this past year and even though she was in a wheelchair, couldn't speak and you couldn't quite tell if she knew where she was or what was going on - You had to see her eyes light up and the color come into her cheeks when they started singing "Danny Boy" to her. It was such a special moment to witness and remembering the scene makes my eyes tear up just to think about it.
    Sister Elizabeth is as lively as ever and living in New Jersey. Whether you were ever able to witness it or not - she has the best sense of humor and is a wonderful friend. I can't wait to see her this weekend, even under the circumstances - I'll get to rub it in that she kept promising my grandfather she'd marry him someday.

    I has met alumni from your school over the years and have heard mixed stories about these beautiful women. Please know that they may have been hard on you in school - but they did so with the very best intentions. They bragged about "their Children" all the time and where proud of all of you.

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  18. I went there in the 60's Sister Ruth was the principal Sister Thomas,Sister Francis Paula,Sister Esther(cannonball),Sister Louise(big Louie).They were strict but fair.I went to public school after I left and was light years ahead of those kids!Greatest education a kid could get!I had 6 brothers & sisters who also attended B.S. they had a sliding tuition scale according to how many children your family had attending.Imagine that happening these days!A tough great school in a tough great neighborhood of poor kids from large families.God Bless all of us who attended B.S. from good old neighborhood during a much different era and after>

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  19. Reading all these memories warms my heart! I am not alone in my great appreciation and love of BS. I attended grades 1-8 and graduated in 1980. I remember being the only student crying her eyes out as we left the church on graduation day. This school and the nuns and lay teachers may have very well saved my life. BTW, my grandfather was "Jimmy" the maintenance man! Colleen Devlin-Class of 1980

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  20. I went to school there from 1957-1964,And remember Sister Rita Malvina 4th grade,Sister Rose 6th, Sister Paula was in her 1st or 2nd yr teaching 6th,I was in her room when JFK was shot and they wheeled in a small t.v. for us to watch.

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  21. There is an "I grew up in Jamaica Plain" group on Facebook where you can chat with other people who went to BS.

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  22. I attended BS School in the late 50's and early 60's. It was a different time, but a good time. Reading these comments brings back so many memories- Msgr.Burke, Father Maguire, Father English, Father Ryer, Sister Margaret Pierre, Sister Rose, and Sister Louise Margaret (the most memorable teacher for me- school or college); the manger in front of the church at christmas, serving mass as an alter boy, listening to Father Ryer's choir, and many more happy memories.

    The church and school may be closed, but I'm sure their memory will continue to occupy a warm place in many of our hearts.
    Jerry McAuliffe, Mobile, AL.

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    1. You forgot Sister Patricia Ann

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  23. I want to inform you that there is a movement to resurrect this beloved building. A community organization has a vision to make this a sustainable community use space during the week and potentially religious services on the weekend. The building is set to be sold off as high end condos in the next 2-3 months. We are working to prevent that from happening. The vision is for a community gathering space for all JP. Potential ideas include: Play Space/cafe/gallery during week days, event space and chamber room for local recording studios during off hours and weekends. "Free Friday Nights" would be an opportunity for the community to gather for a meal, listen to local performers and parents to get a break while the kids play in the play space. If you are interested in being part of this process, please feel free to contact me.

    Jason Hutchinson
    Neighbors for Blessed Sacrament
    857-719-6348
    JHBoston@gmail.com

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  24. what about the dogs salt and pepper that walked the hallways of B S could you imagine that happening now ?

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    1. I remember Salt and Pepper very well. They were the shadows of Sr. Francis and Sr. Clare. I remember during the winter when the boiler wasn't working we'd be sitting at those wooden desks with our mittens on our hands and our jackets. After about an hour or so we'd be let home because they couldn't get the boiler on. And I'd have to walk to the T station, passed the monument and wait for the trolley. I remember getting one of the giant pickles at the Portuguese spa and eat it on the way home to Hyde Park on the trolley.
      I remember the elementary school building, and the middle school. And there was one building that only half of it could be utilized for class work. The other half had broken windows and couldn't be heated. I remember the wrath of Sister Susan and one time Sr. Clare was laughing so hard during math class that she asked one of the students to go get Sr. Francis so that she could see this "new math" on the black board. I remember sister Elizabeth and Fr. Walsh coming out of the backdoor of the church during morning mass screaming for his alter boys to appear. That seemed to be a daily occurrence. And so was the homeless man during mass who would try to shake every hand in the church during the exchange of offering peace to our neighbors. Fr. Walsh would skip over this part of the morning mass to keep the homeless man from disrupting the service for the students who had to go to class by 8:00.
      I remember the drive over to the school from Hyde Park and being dropped off so that I could run into the church quickly and not be too late. It was such a huge space inside that church with giant columns, stained glass windows and a gold painted alter, very lavish and impressive as Catholic churches go. I was baptized there in 1963 and my sister went there too in the 1950s. My brother went on to Boston Latin School. I was there from about 1976 to 1978. I guess the high school no longer existed at that time. I have a lot of fond memories of attending school there and it was really sad to see that the parish closed and that the church was no longer.

      Susan

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  25. I attended church at Blessed Sacrament from the age of 6, 1958 until the day we moved away,in 1966. I was a student at BS school, as well for a year or two. I had attended the Charles Bulfinch School on Parker Hill until then. I recall Father Maguire, he was awesome to us. Sisters Francis Paula, Vincent Rose, Sister Bernadette ("I smell money! Somebody's got some for the poorbox.") as we all brought change to shake in our pockets for laughs. I spent more time dusting Mother Superior's office than she spent working in it! The windows are in Sacred Heart Church in Weymouth Landing, they were donated after our horrible fire there. How I miss Blessed Sacrament and Jamaica Plain. I have reconnected with most of my old friends there on FB. What a good place, no matter how poor you were, to grow up.

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  26. I went to b.s class of 1985. Unfortunatly the thing I remember most is father walsh throwing to the ground by my hair on a class trip to washington dc for laughing with my other 7th grade classmates in the hotel room late at night. He then made us stand in his hotel room in silence as he played cards and drank moxie for over an hour until he sent us back to our room. Still bothers me to this day.......

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  27. Fr Walsh did the same thing to me and a friend on a trip to Washington only we didn't get sent back to our room if you know what I mean.

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    1. Does she look familiar? Forbes Street, lots of siblings? She disappeared when she was 15 from JP.

      http://www.wcvb.com/article/why-do-airplane-windows-have-holes/8955143

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  28. I remember Fr. Walsh with the hippie long hair. Yazmin Abejon class of 80

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  29. He wasn't a nice man at all. I've always expected to see his name on the list of abusers, but it hasn't happened yet. He was a bully and I hope some day I see him again so I can tell it to his face. Class of 85

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    1. His name does appear on a list of abusers but two accusations were not substantiated since they were "third party" accusations. He was leicized in 2011.

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  30. RIP Rita Lahar (my 6th grade teacher) who died at age 98 yesterday. Fr. Walsh used to hang wth my grandparents at our triple decker in JP, he'd have a beer and "shoot the breeze" with them. Those were the days (1970's). George Devlin (formerly Washburn) BS Class of '74.

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    1. I can't believe that she lived so long after her husband died in 1976 or so. That was a tough year for her. She was my 6th grade teacher too along with Sr. Agnita, who was so fear mongering.

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    2. Does she look familiar? Forbes Street, lots of siblings? She disappeared when she was 15 from JP.

      http://www.wcvb.com/article/why-do-airplane-windows-have-holes/8955143

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  31. I graduated in 1961 I was in the choir with Father Ryer that how they kept us out of trouble, I used to deliver milk to the classrooms, Sister Agnes Latisha, hope I spelled that right used to reward me with a peanut butter sandwich before class. I am 19years younger than My brothers and we all had the same nuns, ans they remember my brothers. I feel like it was yesterday, the memories are sharp, I thank them for the memories And God Bless them for the education and teaching us good morals

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  32. I graduated in 1984. My teachers were Mrs mac, Mrs lahar, sister francis and brother frank gym teacher. It was the greatest scholastic experience in my life. Was probably the next thing to my grandmother that I thank for being the man I am today. Sad to hear that most of these teachers have passed away. Students these days would not make it a bs. Too much discipline and respect. Thanks bs fir everything.

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    1. Does she look familiar? Forbes Street, lots of siblings? She disappeared when she was 15 from JP.

      http://www.wcvb.com/article/why-do-airplane-windows-have-holes/8955143

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  33. I attended Blessed Sacrament from '58-'62 (k - gr. 3) and lived across the street from the convent on Creighton St. Sister Esther Maureen taught kindergarten, Sister Thomas Aquinas first gr., lay teacher in 2nd. I have great memories and still appreciate the wonderful educational foundation I received. As another poster stated, I was far ahead of my new public school classmates when we moved to Florida in March ,1962. My husband and I brought my mother to Mass one last time shortly before the church was closed. Sad to see the changes.

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  34. Blessed Sacrament High School, Class of 1966, is planning their 50th reunion. Please contact Phyllis Hanbury Welby, Katherine McManus Hawkins, Linda Campbell Kelly, Ginny Gifford on Facebook. September 24, we join our long lost classmates @ One Bistro in Norwood (Sheraton Hotel). It's hard to believe 50 years has passed since we hugged & said "See you soon!" to each other. It'll be emotional but it will also be FUN! Let us know where you are! We certainly hope to "See you soon!"

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  35. FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO WENT TO THIS SCHOOL, Does she look familiar?

    http://www.wcvb.com/article/why-do-airplane-windows-have-holes/8955143

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  36. Does anyone remember when the planters were installed in front of the church? Or the last time you were at the church when you are sure the two planters had not yet been installed? Here is a close up of the planters: https://www.dropbox.com/s/hbcqc1ed30j8xon/planters.jpg?dl=0 and here is a wider view showing both planters: https://www.dropbox.com/s/57ks04hu67t5zxt/planters2.jpg?dl=0

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