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Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is here again.
You can see it every where,
In flower shops and candy stores,
Love is in the air.”
By Barbara Trentone

Each Sunday, I sit with the newspaper ads and write down the items that we need. I was shocked at all the different types of candy that were on sale for Feb. 14. I try not to look at them because they are so tempting. I do like to look at all the beautiful flower arrangements for Valentine’s Day. We did have an electric double-heart sign to put up on our rose trellis but the weather has been so cold that Hubby cannot stay outside long enough to change our electric snowflake for our Valentine hearts. We will put up our electric green shamrock for St. Patrick’s Day on the next warmer day.

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On Sat., Jan. 18, Hubby, daughter Sue, and I were at Phillips Old Colony House to attend Dan Hunt’s announcement for Mayor Marty Walsh’s former seat in the House of Representatives. The upstairs room was already well filled. We were welcomed to the event by Steve and Carla Tankle. We sat with our pal, Eileen, who came in a little later with her son Jim Jr., and all our friends from Keystone: Eileen, Marilyn, Norma, Peggy, Bridie, Eleanor, and Peggy. I had a chance to chat with Connie Sullivan, whom I don’t see often enough. It was so good to see Dan’s parents, Jim and Jean Hunt, speaking with all the people. Our neighbors Jim and Joan Pierce were there. So were their sons, Sean and Jimmy. Sean spoke about his great job working for Sen. Linda Forry. Our neighbor, Paul Neimann, was having a great time speaking with his neighbors. Sue, Hubby, and I were delighted to speak for a while with the O’Leary sisters, Maura Collins and Teresa Pugliese. We listened to the people who were scheduled to speak and we gave Dan a big round of applause when he came to the podium. We dined on regular and decaf coffee and sweets as we waited for the program to begin. It was wonderful seeing all our neighbors at the announcement.

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For those of you who graduated from Mount St. Joseph Academy in Brighton, you may be interested to learn that Sister Valentina Murray passed away on Feb. 2. She had been a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph for 73 years and was the Administrator of St. Joseph’s Motherhouse for years. Her siblings, Walter and Albert and Lavina Duffy, predeceased her. She leaves a sister-in-law, Anna Maria Murray, who is almost related to my family. My daughters Sue and Jeanne are alumnae of MSJA. Sue just happened to see Sister’s death notice on the MSJA website. Sister Valentina was waked in the Holy Spirit Chapel at the Bethany Health Care Center in Framingham. Her funeral Mass was celebrated on Feb. 7.

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Mea culpa: I am sorry that I omitted Claire Leary’s sisters from her obituary last week. I do send my sympathy to Marie McGann and Ann Shea, in addition to the rest of Claire’s family. In another follow-up to last week, I must mention that the Ashes found their bill from their honeymoon hotel 50 years ago. The bill for the Hotel Victoria was $14! All of us at their 50th anniversary party laughed at the hotel cost back in 1964.

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On Sat., Feb. 1, Hubby, daughter Sue, pal Eileen Burke, and I were in Fr. Lane Hall at St. Brendan’s for the annual celebration for St. Brigid of the patron saints of Ireland. We were very early so we watched as the crew got the hall ready. Hubby even helped set out chairs for the event. Ronnie and Barbara, our friends from the monthly Irish luncheon, joined us. So did our good friends Gregory and Sarah Ashe. Gregory was sitting next to me and so we spoke about their wonderful 50th anniversary party, given for them by their children, daughter Karen Doherty and son Jim. (We are still talking about it.) Gregory even showed me how his name was written in Gaelic. I think I will stick to English; too many accent marks in Gaelic.

We saw our Irish Pastoral Centre’s chaplain, Fr. John McCarthy, going around speaking with the people as they came into the hall. The children were getting ready to put on a pageant to explain the life of St. Brigid. They were even making St. Brigid’s crosses. Fr. John began Mass at 5 p.m. During the service, a nice young girl related the story of St. Brigid while other children acted out the story. Brigid, who had refused to marry a suitor, wanted to help the poor. She went to the King of Leinster and asked if he would give her enough land to build a convent. The land was in a particularly beautiful part of Kildare, with a lake for water, trees for firewood, and fertile land to plant crops. He refused to give her the land. Brigid asked the king once again, only this time she asked him for the amount of land that her cloak could cover. The king laughed because Brigid’s cloak was so small. He said, “Yes.” Brigid gave the cloak to her four companions and asked them to hold one of the four corners. One friend walked to the south, a second, to the west, the third, to the east. and the fourth, to the north. By the time the cloak stopped growing, there was plenty of land for the convent. Fr. John told us that the Irish consider Feb. 1 to be the first day of spring. He also said that snowdrops, the little bulbs with the white flower that are among the earliest flowers to arrive in peoples’ gardens, are called the “footsteps of St. Brigid.” He asked if there were any Eucharistic Ministers in the audience. I was delighted to see that our friend Mary Shea stood up to help him. We all recited a Prayer for Peace to St. Brigid.

After Mass was over, Fr. McCarthy was joined by Rev. Jason Makos. the new pastor/administrator of St. Ann/St. Brendan, and both blessed the throats of those attending the celebration. Then it was time for the food, which was catered by the Westbury Catering Service. There were so many items: chicken pot pie, shepherds’ pie, meat lasagna, vegetable lasagna, bread and butter, chocolate pudding pie, strawberries on waffles, cheesecake, lemon meringue pie, cookies, and apple pie. St. Brigid’s Celebration is such a nice way to spend a winter afternoon.

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Hubby and I always enjoy receiving our Castle Island Association’s bimonthly membership letter. There is such wonderful information in it. Here are a couple of items from the most recent edition: Did you know that Sully’s at Castle Island will reopen for the season on Sat., March 1, just two weeks from this Saturday. Also if you want to know what time the Easter Sunrise Mass is at Castle Island, it will be celebrated at 5:56 a.m. Easter is Sun., Apr. 20. By the way, if you would like to join the Castle Island Association, you may send a $10 pp check to The Castle Island Association, Box 342, South Boston, 02127.

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After looking at all the flowers for Valentine’s Day, this Chinese proverb seems very appropriate: “Flowers leave some of their fragrance on the hand that bestows them.”