Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 12 noon - 5:30 pm
8:00 am - 12 noon - 4:00 pm
8:00 am - 10:00 am - 12 noon
Holiday periods may affect these times
Confession Schedule at end of page
Anointing of the Sick
The Sacramental Anointing of the Sick will be offered next Saturday and on the first Saturday of every month at all three Masses. The Mass times are: 8 am, 12 noon and 4:00 pm.
In-House Lenten Appeal 2024
The Shrine’s annual in-house Lenten Appeal is underway. This year, our hope is to completely refurbish the interior back wall of the Shrine, to render it more fitting and allow ample space to display the names of loved ones we might wish to memorialize in this house of prayer – as people have done here for generations (the confessional lobby memorial plaques have reached capacity!).
Thank you in advance for your accustomed generosity in this annual Appeal to maintain the Shrine’s inner workings.
– Please make any checks payable to: St. Joseph the Worker Shrine (memo line: Lenten Appeal 2024).
Donation Envelopes are available in the confessional lobby at the Shrine.
Lenten Rhythms at the Shrine
Appropriately, the rhythm of religious life here at the Shrine is altered during the Lenten season – a timeof introspection when we strive to root-out penny ante practices and unhealthy patterns that have become ingrained in our dealings with ourselves and with one another.
Be on the look-out for the following aids to our spiritual growth during the coming 40 days of Lenten repentance (“re-pensare”/“re-penser”) – think again!
- Ash Wednesday: distribution of blessed Ashes to open the Lenten Seaso
- Every Wednesday: additional evening Confessions from 7:00-8:00 pm
- Every Friday: Stations of the Cross prayed after the noon Mass
- Every Saturday: meditative Stations of the Cross during morning Confessions
- Every Saturday: Adoration between the Noon Mass and the evening Vigil Mass
- Daily Mass attendance opportunities: 8:00 am, 12:00 noon; 5:30 pm
- Holy Hours as posted for: Life, Vocations, Against human trafficking
- Mite Boxes available for home alms-giving throughout the 40 days of Lent
- Shrine’s in-house Lenten Appeal for infrastructure improvements as posted
- A single, special collection to help address needs of the Archdiocese of Boston
- The somber covering of statues and images during the weeks of Passiontide
- Palm Sunday: blessing and distribution of Palms to usher in Holy Week
- Additional confession hours & confessors during Holy Week leading up to Easter
- Full Holy Week liturgical Services celebrated at convenient times
Once again, this year, the Shrine is making available Mite Boxes to take home and fill with loose change during the 40 days of Lent. It’s a method of alms-giving – a constant, at-hand reminder that alms-giving, along with fasting, constitute the age-old pillars of Lenten observance.
The very name “Mite Box” recalls the Gospel story of the widow who contributed 2 pennies (“widow’s mite”) toward helping others; Jesus accounted her sacrificial donation as having greater value than more weighty contributions from those who could afford more.
It’s amazing how quickly loose change can accumulate when set aside. Last year, the aggregate amount that was returned to the Shrine from the Mite Boxes at the end of the Lenten Season totaled over $2,000. Those alms contributions were directed to our St. Anthony Fund which is exclusively dedicated to helping the poor.
Please consider picking-up one of these Lenten Mite Boxes and installing it in your home as an almost painless way of fulfilling the Gospel mandate to contribute alms for the poor.
We almost always feel that we need to “put-in our two cents” on any topic or person under discussion – very often those contributions are less than charitable. Perhaps having a Mite Box near at hand could help to curb that tendency by refocusing your “contribution” to something more helpful …… “a penny for that thought!”
This Week's Message
from Fr. Amesse
February 25, 2024
On Good Friday, we will line up. We will approach the Cross. We will make reverence by kissing, by genuflecting, or by touching the wood. “Behold the wood of the Cross, on which hung the Savior of the world.” Sinners have been converted to Christ by contemplating the Cross.
St. Paul did not see the Cross the day he was converted. He knew, though, that Jesus was the Crucified. Christ came down from heaven. He shed His Blood on the Cross. He returned to the Father in heaven. Now He came down to let Paul, the Jew, know what the Jewish day of Atonement was about.
The Day of Atonement, once a year, usually in the Fall, comes to remind the Jews that God washes away sin, by the blood of a lamb. On the road to Damascus, St. Paul knew, then and there, who the lamb represented. Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
We are still at the beginning of Lent. Do we know who Christ is? Do we acknowledge Him as Savior? All the sins we have committed have been washed clean by the Blood He shed on Calvary’s Cross. St. Paul saw Jesus. Ask Paul to show to us, the Christ. Close your eyes. See HIM on the Cross.
Every Wednesday, from 7-8pm, an Oblate will sit in the confessional, waiting for people to come. After the Missionary gives the penitent absolution, a ton of weight falls from the sinner’s shoulders. God’s image is minted on the entire person. For to those who love God…everything works out for the good.
I remember you at Mass.
The Soulmate Cross of Sedona
Now on display in the Oblate Historical Museum throughout Lent is the Soulmate Cross of Sedona, Arizona pictured here. It uses Native American (Hopi) spiritual teachings to emphasize the three Principles of Lent: Conversion, Confession and Communion.
The wood represents the freeing of the soul from sin by the death of Christ on the Cross. The crossed leather straps are a symbol of Christ’s humanity and divinity. The three nails at the apex symbolize the Holy Trinity. The five colored ribbons on the crossbeam represent what indigenous refer to as “balance” in the universe - black (power over evil), silver (healing of memories) and red (love). The eight rings at the top represent the Eight Beatitudes that echo Jesus’ teaching on spirituality and compassion. The seven rings at the base represent the Seven Sacraments through which the soul is mated to God. The stones in order: 1 - Hematite symbolizes Conversion, improving self-esteem; 2 - Tiger Eye symbolizes Confession, purifying of the soul and healing of wounded hearts through the ministry of the Church; 3 -Bloodstone symbolizes return to harmony and balance in one’s life, and 4 - Rose Quartz a symbol of Communion, mating the soul with the Creator and with the community.
Pope Francis’ February
is for the terminally ill
Let us pray that the sick who are in the final stages of life and their families, may receive the necessary medical care and accompaniment.
Behind the Scenes
James Wade volunteers as our Chief Videographer, managing the weekly livestreaming of our 10:00 AM Sunday Mass on Facebook; co-responsible for this effort is Bob Stowell.
From his perch in Manchester, NH, for several years now, Jim Savarese has attended to our Facebook page, posting news, pictures and items of interest on the latest Shrine happenings. On site, David Lazu also occasionally contributes to these on-line postings.
St. Polycarp of Smyrna
As a disciple of St. John the Evangelist, St. Polycarp was able to hear about Jesus’ life, death and resurrection directly from those who witnessed it. Because Polycarp was ordained as Bishop of Smyrna by St. John, he is one of three chief Apostolic Fathers, along with Clement of Rome and Ignatius of Antioch.
During his life, Polycarp defended the Church against heresies. His important writing, a Letter to the Philippians, quoted the Gospels and Acts of the Apostles, stressing Paul’s authority in the Church and setting out clear arguments against the gnostic heresy that denied Christ’s divinity.
The early period of the Church was a dangerous time to be a Christian and like many, St. Polycarp was martyred. He was captured by Romans and sentenced to burn at the stake. However, the fire did not touch him, instead rose up like sails around him. Seeing that the flames would not injure Polycarp, the Romans stabbed him instead. The martyrdom of Polycarp is perhaps the earliest fully preserved account of a Christian martyr.
Legion of Mary
at the Shrine
Meetings are held in the downstairs Conference Hall each week after the Sunday 12:00 noon Mass.
The Legion of Mary is a Marian movement founded in Ireland in the 1920’s. It is currently the largest apostolic organization of lay people in the Catholic Church.
Pure in Heart
Pure in Heart (young adults ages 18-35) meets at 7pm in the Shrine Conference Room on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month. The next session will be February 27. Learn more
- 5:30 - Mass at the Shrine
- 6:15 - Social
- 7:00 - Meeting
February Hidden Apostle
Brother Ovide Levasseur, O.M.I.
Fr. Richard Santerre, OMI, Ph.D., in his historic work, “Saint Jean Baptiste Parish and the Franco-Americans of Lowell, Massachusetts 1868-1968” (available in the Shrine Gift Shop) writes, “The presence of the Oblate Brothers at the heart of the parish, which was often as humble and hidden as their work, did not always leave a trace in the archives. Yet, on July 13, 1948, one of the brothers who died had left a deep impression in hearts of all those who had known him.
The one everyone called le petit Frère (the little Brother), Brother Ovide Levasseur OMI, was a model of a Brother and Oblate religious. He had served in the parish since 1900, and had founded the small print shop in which he spent his free time. His goodness of heart, in addition to his gentle and welcoming humility, touched everyone with whom he lived. The Fathers could not help but be moved at seeing him each night when, old as he was, he would kneel at the feet of the superior to receive his blessing before retiring. He had spent his entire religious life at St. Joseph’s and his death, at the age of 72, left a deep void at the rectory, as it did within the parish family.”
Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Brazil
Four young Oblates from the Eastern U.S. arrived in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1945, after difficult travel in the immediate post-war period. The Superior was Lowell native, Father Walter Mooney, OMI. Beginning with ministry to the English-speaking colony of the area, they and succeeding U.S. Oblates were assigned to outlying priest-less districts and the desperately poor urban favela slums of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Recife, and Belen in the Amazonian north.
Several Oblates were targeted by the authoritarian regime for imprisonment and even torture because of their championing the interest of the indigenous people and the poor of the city of Recife whom they served.
Joined the 1960’s and 1970’s by Oblate missionaries from the Central U.S., Canada, France, Belgium and Ireland and an increasing number of Brazilian Oblates, the Brazilian Province now numbers 65 priests, Brothers and seminarians in four districts. They work to extend the Word and Work of the Gospel through pastoral ministry, social services, and the formation and support of Basic Christian communities throughout the vast country.
The vast favela slums of the cities where Oblates have lived and served.
In Naples you experienced the joyless existence of poverty, boredom and lack of hope for the future. The Savior formed you through this so that you could feel with others who suffered in the same situation.
St. Eugene, guide us to the Savior in our time of need!
Minister of Salvation
Pray for us!
-Litany of St. Joseph
Downes Parking Garage Ticket Validation
- Available in the Gift Shop /Bookstore on Monday through Saturday from 9 am - 5 pm.
- Sunday street parking is always free
- Those attending the Saturday 4 pm Vigil Mass who park in the Downes Garage can still validate their ticket in the Gift Shop before Mass.
Ring the Bells of the Shrine
Everyday of the year, the “Bells of St. Joseph” ring-out God’s praise for all to hear!
Our Carillon can play Special Hymns of your choice any day of the year. At your request, our chimes will ring in honor of loved ones for the entire community to hear and prayerfully remember.Your offering of $20.00 will be greatly appreciated and will assist us in maintaining the Shrine and its ministries. Thank You!
Bell-ringing selections may be reserved for specific days & times throughout the year(s) in the Shrine Gift Shop/Bookstore.
St. Eugene de Mazenod’s Prayer to the Sorrowful Mother
O Lord, Almighty God, you endowed the Blessed Virgin Mary with the fullness of every gift and grace. By allowing her heart to be pierced with the deepest sorrow, you crowned her merit and placed her at the head of countless legions of martyrs who, for love of your Son Jesus Christ, have shed their blood. Through the painful martyrdom endured by this gentle Mother seeing her beloved Son dying as a Victim because of his love for us, grant us the grace to bear with fortitude the disappointments and setbacks in our life, and not to fear torment or death itself, when we are called to confess our faith in Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
Shrine Memorial Plaques
Since 1868, this holy place - dedicated to the honor of St. Joseph - has been a treasured oasis of prayer and serenity in the heart of the city of Lowell. For generations, many have found great solace and experienced healing and reconciliation for themselves and their families within this holy sanctuary.
In gratitude many have chosen to memorialize their loved ones by inscribing their names on the very walls of this grace-filled place. To inscribe the names of loved ones on our newly expanded Remembrance Wall, please make arrangements in the Gift Shop/Bookstore – at the same desk where Masses are registered.
Light Up Shrine Candles Online
Please choose your donation amount. $5.00 is the standard donation per candle online
Archdiocesan COVID protocols lifted
Learn more here
Confession and Adoration
Mon - Friday
10:00 am - noon
4:30 pm - 5:15 pm
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
First Wednesday of the month
Every Wednesday during Lent
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed for adoration on -
Saturday after the noon Mass until the 4:00 pm Mass
First Fridays after the noon Mass until the 5:30 pm Mass
Say NO to Physician Assisted Suicide in Massachusetts
Gift Shop, Office and Museum Hours
Monday - Friday
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Ed Wilk, Bulletin Editor
Jessica Rauseo, Business Office Manager
Gift Shop & Bookstore
Aurea Torres, Gift Shop Manager
Monday - Saturday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
First Sunday of each month 8:30 am - 1:30 pm
If for any reason you're still unable to visit the Shrine or Gift Shop and you'd like to book a Mass Intention request please call the Gift Shop Manager at 978-459-9522 x213 or email [email protected]
Oblate Historical Museum
Brother Richard Cote, Museum Curator
Saturdays 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Sundays 8:30 am -1:15 pm
During Lent - Wednesday 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm