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If all priests were blessed with the Rev. Edwin D. Johnson’s smile, churches wouldn’t need lights.

Incandescent is the only word to describe what happens when the 34-year-old pastor of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Dorchester speaks about putting his faith and his church on the front lines of a Trumpian universe.

Earlier this week, St. Mary’s proudly declared itself to be a sanctuary church. That means the 170-year-old house of worship overlooking Uphams Corner will offer refuge to any undocumented or refugee family seeking shelter.

“We have this space,” the Rev. Johnson told me, “and we are making this decision from a place in the heart. It’s a very emotional one for us because our congregation is either immigrants themselves, or the children of immigrants.”

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