St. Catherine’s Pastor Is Given New Automobile By Parishioners

PASTOR WELCOMED HOME — This photo, taken from a window of St. Catherine’s Rectory, shows only a part of the crowd estimated by police at about 3000 who turned out Saturday night to give a rousing “Welcome Home” to Monsignor Minihan, The beloved pastor is in the front centre with back to camera addressing the gathering The crowd was so thick “Scoop” McLean was unable to get through to get a closeup picture.

One of the most enthusiastic welcomes ever accorded a Norwood citizen took place on Saturday night when a crowd of more than 3000 turned out to welcome home the Rt. Rev Jeremiah F. Minihan, D. D. LL. D., beloved pastor of St. Catherine’s Church, after his pilgrimage to Rome and Eire. The huge crowd, the largest ever to congregate in Norwood on a Saturday night, overflowed onto Washington Street from in front of the church rectory causing police to reroute all traffic except buses.

The reception which was planned for several weeks, came as a complete surprise to the Monsignor and he was visibly impressed at the welcome accorded him by his parishioners, town officials and citizens of all faiths.

Monsignor Minihan arrived back in this country last Thursday, landing in New York. He entrained for Norwood Saturday noon and left the train at the Providence depot where a car was waiting to drive him to Norwood. Arrangements were made with the State Police for an escort to pick up his car at the Massachusetts-Rhode Island boundary. The car was driven by Thomas Costello, a Norwood boy.

Several units of St. Catherine’s fife and drum corps were on hand to parade from the armory on Nahatan Street to the rectory where the welcome home ceremonies took place with Edmund Murphy as master of ceremonies. When the car of Msgr Minihan turned the corner of Washington Street from Nahatan Street to the rectory where the crowd and the shouts of the children yelling “Here he comes” added to the din. A piece of Norwood fire apparatus equipped with floodlights was placed opposite the rectory and its lights lit up the scene as hundreds swarmed over the rectory lawn to catch a glimpse of the return of Father Minihan.

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A microphone was set up and with deep emotion in his voice the priest thanked the gathering for their welcome home. He brought a laugh from the throng when he told them that when he was in Washington there was a crowd waiting at the depot for President Truman to arrive and that it was much smaller than the one he faced Irish airs, played by the bands and the younger members of the fife and drum corps carrying flashlights added to the color of the homecoming. On the lawn near the front entrance to the rectory, a shiny new Buick sedan was waiting for Msgr Minihan, a welcome home gift from his people.

The most touching scene of the evening took place inside the rectory when “Major,” Fr. Minihan’s’ prized Boxer dog, fairly jumped for joy when his master greeted him. The pair spent several minutes together renewing their affection for one another as town officials waited in an ante-room to extend their personal welcome home greetings. At the conclusion of the ceremony, both Fr. Minihan and Fr. Griffin were given new hats by a Boston bat dealer.

(All articles originally published in the Norwood Messenger)

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