The Rev. Marc Bishop addresses parishioners outside St. Agnes. / Scott Morin photoThe Rev. Marc Bishop addresses peace walkers. / Scott Morin photo

Following the May reopening for public worship, the Catholic Parishes of Arlington, a collaborative of St. Agnes and St. Camillus parishes, organized peace walks on each Sunday in June.

In his invitation to members of the parish communities, the Rev. Marc Bishop, pastor of the collaborative, said participants would “intentionally walk to bring God’s blessings upon our community. We do this so that all persons who walk on this holy ground will know they are valued and respected. We also pray for our own continued conversion.”

A group of parishioners met at the doors of St. Agnes Church on Medford Street at 5 p.m. Sunday, May 31, for the first peace walk. Father Marc, along with parochial vicars, the Revs. Robert Sahayaraj and Michael Sheehan, greeted the gathering. “We walk to extend the grace of God, that we experience in our churches, by our footsteps into our town and community,” explained Father Marc, who led those assembled in the “family prayers” (“The Lord’s Prayer,” “Hail Mary” and “Glory Be”).

The group then walked to Town Hall, where they spread out on the steps in front of the building. After a few moments of silent prayer, the walkers returned to St. Agnes Church. Here, following a repetition of the family prayers, the assembly received a blessing and then dispersed.

The pastor’s reflections were amplified by Cardinal Sean O’Malley, archbishop of Boston, in a June 5, letter addressed to the archdiocese. “Racism can be explicit, but it also can be unrecognized and unacknowledged,” he wrote. “Yet, all of its manifestations are deadly and corrosive to civil society” Read the full statement here >> 

The peace walks continued through June, with the final walk talking place June 28.

“They were a wonderful way to safely spend time outdoors with fellow parishioners,” observed Kristen Bauer, cochair of the town Human Rights Commission. “And each prayerful step was a reminder of how far we have come, and how far we still have to go, to become a truly welcoming community. Together, I think we brought a bit of God’s grace into the streets of Arlington.”

Carol Greeley, who walked with her son, Patrick, added: “It was another way for our faith family to show our prayerful support of all in our community who have been affected by the events of the past few months.”

On the day of the final walk, those assembled prayed in silence for a total of almost nine minutes.

St. Agnes-St. Camillus logoThe Catholic Parishes of Arlington reopened for Sunday worship on May 30.

Weekend Masses are now celebrated at St. Camillus Church on Saturday at 4 p.m., and on Sunday at 8 and 10 a.m.

Masses are celebrated at St. Agnes Church on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. and Sunday at 9 and noon.

The current schedule remains in effect through the summer.

Masses are also celebrated daily, Monday through Saturday, at St. Agnes at 7 a.m. and at St. Camillus at 9 a.m.

Reflecting on the reopening, one regular attendee at St. Agnes said:“It was so wonderful to be able to receive the Eucharist daily again.”

The live-streaming of Masses and other liturgical events, which were introduced during the pandemic shutdown, will continue to be offered on the collaborative website,

Nov. 2, 2019: 170 collaborate as 2 parishes aim to come together

This news summary was published Saturday, July 11, 2020.