Remembering a Victory at Harvard: Satan Defeated, the Eucharist Enthroned

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By Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture, April 21, 2023

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at


Next weekend, April 28-30, the Satanic Temple is hosting a convention at a hotel in downtown Boston. The Boston archdiocese has responded with a call for “intense prayer,” while discouraging public demonstrations—which would only feed the Satanists’ appetite for publicity.

But there is one form of public demonstration that could effectively counteract the Satanists’ plans. In fact, it did succeed in thwarting a similar initiative by the Satanic Temple in Boston nearly a decade ago. In 2014, when that group announced plans for a Black Mass on the Harvard campus, a group of students organized a Eucharistic procession down the main street of Cambridge. The result was a stunning success: a massive turnout, an inspiring spiritual experience, and a thorough defeat of the Satanists’ plans.

I was privileged to participate in that Eucharistic procession in 2014, and wrote about in the next day. I post that report here again, as an outstanding example of effective Catholic witness.

(2014) Against all odds, last night became a great victory for the Catholic faith in the Archdiocese of Boston. Rather than a desecration of the Eucharist, the most noteworthy public event in Cambridge was a Eucharistic procession that stretched for several blocks. At Harvard, St. Paul’s church was packed, with many people standing outside the doors, for an hour of adoration ending in Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

The black mass that had been scheduled for the Harvard campus did not take place there. Although Harvard’s President Drew Faust refused to intervene, the extension-school students who were sponsoring the event (and who, tellingly, had never identified themselves) backed out at the 11th hour. After issuing a series of conflicting messages, the Satanic Temple members who had planned the outrage announced that the black mass had finally taken place later Monday night, in an upstairs room at a nondescript Chinese restaurant. …  with an impotent fit of anger but with a confident show of faith. Satan overplayed his hand, and got burned again.

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