Shrines Miles Apart Dazzle With Christmas Lights, But Holy Men Say It's Not a Contest

If you're looking for a dazzling display of lights this Christmas season in Massachusetts, you have some choices.

Father Ted Brown at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attleboro says they have half a million lights on display during this Christmas season, sparkling and shimmering across the evening sky.

"You can see the little kids' faces light up," he said. "That's my favorite."

Add to the lights a nativity scene, merry-go-round and long lines.

Twenty-five miles away in Holliston, there's another dazzling showcase. Enter Our Lady of Fatima Shrine. It's slightly smaller, quieter, and there's no merry-go-round.

"It's not very, very crowded, so you can take your time," said Father Joseph Matteucig.

Yet all of this is still a sight to behold.

Some are calling this a "holy war of lights" — shrine vs. shrine — a Christmas display arms race. But these men of God insist it's not a competition.

"Nope, nope," said Father Ted.

"We would lose if this was a competition, you know," said Father Joe.

Instead, they say these holy light shows are opportunities to take a break from the consumerism that's part of Christmas, and focus on the reason for the season.

Both shrines are open seven days a week and free to the public until the end of the month.

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