Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston

The Archdiocese of Boston (Latin: Archidiœcesis Bostoniensis) is a Latin Church ecclesiastical territory or archdiocese of the Catholic Church in the New England region of the United States. Its present territory spans the whole of Essex County, Middlesex County, Norfolk County, and Suffolk County, and also all of Plymouth except the towns of Marion, Mattapoisett, and Wareham in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is led by a prelate archbishop who serves as pastor of the mother church, Cathedral of the Holy Cross in the South End of Boston. The Archdiocese of Boston is a metropolitan see with six suffragan diocese: the Dioceses of Burlington, Fall River, Manchester, Portland in Maine, Springfield in Massachusetts, and Worcester.[2]

Archdiocese of Boston

Archidiœcesis Bostoniensis
CCHolyCross.JPG
Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston, 2007
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.svg
Coat of arms
Location
Country United States
TerritoryEssex County, Middlesex County, Norfolk County, Suffolk County, and also Plymouth County except the towns of Marion, Mattapoisett, and Wareham[1]
Ecclesiastical provinceBoston
Statistics
Area2,465 sq mi (6,380 km2)
Population
- Total
- Catholics (including non-members)
(as of 2018[2])
4,156,703
1,932,653 (46.5%)
Parishes284
Information
DenominationCatholic
Sui iuris churchLatin Church
RiteRoman Rite
EstablishedApril 8, 1808
CathedralCathedral of the Holy Cross
Patron saintSaint Patrick
Current leadership
PopeFrancis
ArchbishopSeán Patrick O'Malley, OFM Cap
Auxiliary Bishops
Vicar GeneralPeter J. Uglietto
Bishops emeritus
Map
Archdiocese of Boston map 1.jpg
Website
www.bostoncatholic.org

As of 2018, there are 284 parishes in the archdiocese, 617 diocesan priests, and 275 deacons. In 2018, the archdiocese estimated that more than 1.9 million Catholics were in its territory.[2]

HistoryEdit

Early historyEdit

New England's first settlers were Congregationalists and, in Rhode Island, Baptists who were disappointed that Protestant reforms in the Church of England did not go far enough. These dissenters followed Luther and Calvin in rejecting the selling of indulgences, the celebration of Mass in Latin, the doctrine of transubstantiation, and papal authority. Several of the colonies thus enacted anti-Catholic statutes, banning Catholic worship and Massachusetts even made it a crime, with a potential sentence of imprisonment for life, for a Catholic priest to reside the colony.[3]

The political necessity of the Revolutionary War drove a change in popular attitudes. The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, written by John Adams and ratified in 1780, established religious freedom in the new state[3]—and, being the first state constitution, its framework of government became a model for the constitutions of other states and, eventually, for the federal constitution.

On November 2, 1788, the Abbé de la Poterie, a former French naval chaplain serving Boston, celebrated the city's first public Mass in a converted Huguenot chapel located at 24 School Street in Boston, which he named Holy Cross Church. Two refugees from the French Revolution ministering to Boston's Catholic population at the turn of the century, Fr. Francis Anthony Matignon and Fr. Jean Louis Lefebvre, raised the funds to build a larger building, the Church of the Holy Cross. These buildings no longer exist, but they were the foundation of the Catholic Church in Massachusetts.[4]

FormationEdit

Pope Pius VII erected the Diocese of Boston April 8, 1808, taking the territory of the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts (the territory of which included the present state of Maine at that time), New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont from the Diocese of Baltimore. He simultaneously erected the Diocese of New York, the Diocese of Philadelphia, and the Diocese of Bardstown (Kentucky), also taking their territory from the Diocese of Baltimore, and elevated the Diocese of Baltimore to a metropolitan archdiocese, designating all four new dioceses as its suffragans.[5]

Exponential growth of the Catholic Church in New England through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries led to gradual reconfiguration of the ecclesiastical structure of the original territory of the Diocese of Boston.

  • On 20 November 1843, Pope Gregory XVI erected the Diocese of Hartford, taking the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island and Barnstable County, Bristol County, Dukes County, Nantucket County and the towns of Marion, Mattapoisett, and Wareham along the south coast of Plymouth County of Massachusetts from the Diocese of Boston and making it a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.[6]
  • On 19 July 1850, Pope Pius IX elevated the Diocese of New York to a metropolitan archdiocese, assigning the Diocese of Boston, the Diocese of Hartford, the Diocese of Albany, and the Diocese of Buffalo as its initial suffragan sees.[7]
  • On 29 July 1853, Pope Pius IX erected the Diocese of Burlington, taking the State of Vermont from the Diocese of Boston, and the Diocese of Portland, taking the states of Maine and New Hampshire from the Diocese of Boston. He designated both new dioceses as suffragans of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of New York.[6] (The title of the Diocese of Portland formally became Diocese of Portland in Maine when Pope Pius XI transferred the see of the Archdiocese of Oregon City to Portland, Oregon, thus changing the title of the latter to Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon, on 26 September 1928.[8])
  • On 14 June 1870, Pope Pius IX erected the Diocese of Springfield, taking Berkshire County, Franklin County, Hampden County, Hampshire County, and Worcester County from the Diocese of Boston and making it a suffragan of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of New York.[9] This action reduced the territory of the Diocese of Boston to that of the present metropolitan archdiocese. (The title of the Diocese of Springfield formally became Diocese of Springfield in Massachusetts when Pope Pius XI moved the see of the Diocese of Alton to Springfield, Illinois, thus changing the title of the latter to Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, on 26 October 1923.[10])
  • On 16 February 1872, Pope Pius IX erected the Diocese of Providence, taking the State of Rhode Island and the region of southeastern Massachusetts had been part of the Diocese of Hartford from the latter and making it a suffragan of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of New York.[11]
  • On 12 February 1875, Pope Pius IX elevated the Diocese of Boston to a metropolitan archdiocese,[6] designating the Diocese of Burlington, the Diocese of Hartford, the Diocese of Portland, the Diocese of Providence, and the Diocese of Springfield as the initial suffragans of the new metropolitan see.[12] The new metropolitan province thus encompassed the original territory of the Diocese of Boston.
  • On 15 April 1884, Pope Leo XIII erected the Diocese of Manchester, taking the State of New Hampshire from the Diocese of Portland and making it a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Boston.[13]
  • On 12 March 1904, Pope Pius X erected the Diocese of Fall River, taking the region of southeastern Massachusetts that were then part of the Diocese of Providence from that diocese and making it a suffragan of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Boston.[14]
  • On 14 January 1950, Pope Pius XII erected the Diocese of Worcester, taking Worcester County from the Diocese of Springfield in Massachusetts and making it a suffragan of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Boston.[15]
  • On 6 August 1953, Pope Pius XII erected the Diocese of Bridgeport and the Diocese of Norwich, taking the respective territory thereof from the Diocese of Hartford. He simultaneously elevated the Diocese of Hartford to a metropolitan archdiocese, designating the Diocese of Bridgeport, the Diocese of Norwich, and the Diocese of Providence as its suffragans. This action established the present territory and configuration of both the Metropolitan Province of Boston, spanning the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts, and the Metropolitan Province of Hartford, spanning the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Diocesan officesEdit

In the 1920s, Cardinal William O'Connell moved the chancery from offices near Holy Cross Cathedral in the South End to 127 Lake Street in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston.[16] "Lake Street" was a metonym for the Bishop and the office of the Archdiocese.[16]

In June 2004, the archdiocese sold the archbishop's residence and the chancery and surrounding lands in Brighton to Boston College, in part to defray costs associated with numerous cases of sexual abuse by clergy of the Archdiocese (see below).[17][18][19] The offices of the Archdiocese moved to an office building that previously housed the Internet-only stock brokerage E*Trade in Braintree, Massachusetts. The archdiocesan seminary, Saint John's Seminary, remains on the property in Brighton.

Clergy sexual abuse scandal and settlementsEdit

At the beginning of the 21st century the archdiocese was shaken by accusations of sexual abuse by clergy that culminated in the resignation of its archbishop, Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, on December 13, 2002. In September 2003, the archdiocese settled over 500 abuse-related claims for $85 million.[20] Victims received an average of $92,000 each and the perpetrators included 140 priests and two others.[21]

Coat of armsEdit

The coat of arms of the Archdiocese, shown in the information box to the right at the top of this article, has a blue shield with a gold cross and a gold "trimount" over a silver and blue "Barry-wavy" at the base of the shield. The "trimount" of three coupreaux represents the City of Boston, the original name of which was Trimountaine in reference to the three hills on which the city's original settlement stood. The cross, fleurettée, honors the Cathedral of the Holy Cross while also serving as a reminder that the first bishop of Boston and other early ecclesiastics were natives of France. The "Barry-wavy" is a symbol of the sea, alluding to Boston's role as a major seaport whose first non-indigenous settlers came from across the sea.[22]

Communications mediaEdit

The diocesan newspaper The Pilot has been published in Boston since 1829.

The Archdiocese's Catholic Television Center, founded in 1955, produces programs and operates the cable television network CatholicTV. From 1964 to 1966, it owned and operated a broadcast television station under the call letters WIHS-TV.

Ecclesiastical provinceEdit

The Archdiocese of Boston is also metropolitan see for the Ecclesiastical province of Boston. This means that the archbishop of Boston is the metropolitan for the province. The suffragan dioceses in the province are the Diocese of Burlington, Diocese of Fall River, Diocese of Manchester, Diocese of Portland, Diocese of Springfield in Massachusetts, and the Diocese of Worcester.

Pastoral regionsEdit

The Archdiocese of Boston is divided into five pastoral regions, each headed by an episcopal vicar.

Pastoral region Episcopal vicar Location Parishes Notable parishes Catholic institutions of higher education High schools Elementary schools Cemeteries
Central Very Rev. Brian McHugh Boston (all neighborhoods), Brookline, Cambridge, Somerville, Winthrop 64 Cathedral, the Mission Church Boston College
Emmanuel College
St. John's Seminary
6 29 8
Merrimack Robert F. Hennessey Northern Essex County and northern Middlesex County 49 Merrimack College 3 (TBD) 4
North Mark W. O'Connell[23] Southern Essex County and eastern Middlesex County 64 none 4 6 (?) 11
South Very Rev. Robert Connors (Temporary) Plymouth County and eastern Norfolk County 59 Labouré College 3 (TBD) 3
West Robert P. Reed Southern Middlesex County and western Norfolk County 67 Regis College 3 11 7

BishopsEdit

 
Cardinal Seán O'Malley, OFM Cap, Archbishop of Boston

The following are lists of the Bishops and Archbishops of Boston, Coadjutors and Auxiliaries of Boston, and their years of service. Also included are other priests of this diocese who served elsewhere as bishop.

Bishops of BostonEdit

  1. Jean-Louis Lefebvre de Cheverus (1808–1823) appointed Bishop of Montauban and later Archbishop of Bordeaux (elevated to Cardinal in 1836)
  2. Benedict Joseph Fenwick, S.J. (1825–1846)
  3. John Bernard Fitzpatrick (1846–1866; coadjutor bishop 1843–1846)
  4. John Joseph Williams (1866–1875; coadjutor bishop 1866); elevated to Archbishop

Archbishops of BostonEdit

  1. John Joseph Williams (1875–1907)
  2. Cardinal William Henry O'Connell (1907–1944)
  3. Cardinal Richard James Cushing (1944–1970)
  4. Cardinal Humberto Sousa Medeiros (1970–1983)
  5. Cardinal Bernard Francis Law (1984–2002), resigned; later appointed Archpriest of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore
  6. Cardinal Seán Patrick O'Malley, O.F.M.Cap. (2003–present)

Current Auxiliary Bishops of BostonEdit

Former Auxiliary Bishops of BostonEdit

Other priests of this diocese who became bishopsEdit

ChurchesEdit

SeminariesEdit

EducationEdit

As of 2018, the archdiocese had 112 schools with about 34,000 students in pre-kindergarten through high school.[26][27]

In 1993 the archdiocese had 53,569 students in 195 archdiocesan parochial schools. Boston had the largest number of parochial schools: 48 schools with a combined total of about 16,000 students.[28]

SuperintendentsEdit

  • Msgr. Albert W. Low (1961–1972)[29]
  • Br. Bartholomew Varden, CFX (1972–1975)[29][30]
  • Eugene F. Sullivan (1978–1984)[31][32]
  • Sr. Kathleen Carr, CSJ (1990–2006)[33]
  • Mary Grassa O'Neill (2008–2014)[34]
  • Mary E. Moran (2013–2014)[34]
  • Kathleen Powers Mears (2014–2019)[27][34]
  • Thomas W. Carroll (2019–present)[35]

Colleges and universitiesEdit

Primary and secondary schoolsEdit

School Location Religious order Founded
Academy of Notre Dame Tyngsboro Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur 1854
Archbishop Williams High School Braintree Sisters of Charity of Nazareth 1949
Arlington Catholic High School Arlington Sisters of St. Joseph 1960
Austin Preparatory School Reading Order of Saint Augustine 1961
Bishop Fenwick High School Peabody Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur 1958
Boston College High School Dorchester Society of Jesus 1863
Cardinal Spellman High School Brockton Sisters of St. Joseph 1958
Cathedral High School Boston Sisters of St. Joseph 1926
Catholic Memorial School West Roxbury Congregation of Christian Brothers 1957
Central Catholic High School Lawrence Marist Brothers 1935
Cristo Rey Boston High School Dorchester 2010
Fontbonne Academy Milton Sisters of St. Joseph 1954
Lowell Catholic High School Lowell Xaverian Brothers 1989
Malden Catholic High School Malden Xaverian Brothers 1968
Matignon High School Cambridge 1945
Mount Alvernia High School Newton Missionary Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception 1935
Newton Country Day School Newton Society of the Sacred Heart 1880
Notre Dame Academy Hingham Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur 1853
Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School Lawrence Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur 2004
Sacred Heart High School Kingston Congregation of Divine Providence 1947
Saint Joseph Preparatory High School Brighton Sisters of St. Joseph 2012
Saint Sebastian's School Needham 1941
St. John's Preparatory School Danvers Xaverian Brothers 1907
St. Mary's High School Lynn 1881
Ursuline Academy Dedham Ursuline Sisters 1819
Xaverian Brothers High School Westwood Xaverian Brothers 1963
Former high schools
School Location Religious order Opened Closed
Academy of the Assumption Wellesley
Academy of Notre Dame Boston
Blessed Sacrament High School Jamaica Plain
Boys' Catholic High School Malden Xaverian Brothers 1936 1968
Cardinal Cushing High School South Boston
Cheverus High School Malden
Christopher Columbus High School Boston Franciscan Friars 1945
Don Bosco Technical High School Boston Salesians of Don Bosco 1998 1998
Elizabeth Seton Academy Boston 2003
Girls' Catholic High School Malden 1992
Holy Trinity High School Roxbury 1966
Hudson Catholic High School Hudson 1959 2009
Keith Academy Lowell 1989
Keith Hall Lowell 1989
Marian High School Framingham Sisters of St. Joseph 1956 2018
Mission Church High School Mission Hill 1926 1992
Monsignor Ryan High School South Boston
Mount Saint Joseph Academy Boston Sisters of St. Joseph 1884 2012
Nazareth High School South Boston
North Cambridge Catholic High School Cambridge 1951 2010
Notre Dame Academy Roxbury Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur 1854 1954
Pope John XXIII High School Everett 1965 2019
Presentation of Mary Academy Methuen Sisters of the Presentation of Mary 1958 2020
St. Anne's School Arlington
St. Augustine High School South Boston
St. Bernard High School Newton
St. Clare High School Roslindale
St. Clement High School Medford Sisters of St. Joseph 1925 2017
St. Columbkille High School Brighton
St. John the Evangelist High School Cambridge 1921 1951
St. Joseph Academy Roxbury
St. Joseph's High School for Girls Lowell 1989
St. Louis Academy Lowell 1989
St. Patrick High School Lowell 1989
St. Patrick High School Roxbury
St. Peter's High School Cambridge
St. Thomas Aquinas High School Jamaica Plain
Savio Preparatory High School East Boston Salesians of Don Bosco 1958 2007
Trinity Catholic High School Newton 1894 2012
Our Lady of Nazareth Academy Wakefield Sisters of Charity of Nazareth 1947 2009

Other facilitiesEdit

The archdiocese previously used a headquarters facility in Brighton but sold it to Boston College in 2004 for $107,400,000.[36]

Steward Health Care System operates the former archdiocesan hospitals of Caritas Christi Health Care.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Archdiocese of Boston". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. David M. Cheney. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Metropolitan Archdiocese of Boston". GCatholic. Retrieved July 9, 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Freedom of Religion comes to Boston" on Web Site of Archdiocese of Boston.
  4. ^ "Building the Church in Boston" page on web site of the Archdiocese of Boston.
  5. ^ Page on Archdiocese of Baltimore on Catholic Hierarchy web site.
  6. ^ a b c Page on Archdiocese of Boston on Catholic Hierarchy web site.
  7. ^ Page on Archdiocese of New York on Catholic Hierarchy web site.
  8. ^ Page on Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon on Catholic Hierarchy web site.
  9. ^ Page on Diocese of Springfield in Massachusetts on Catholic Hierarchy web site.
  10. ^ Page on Diocese of Springfield in Illinois on Catholic Hierarchy web site.
  11. ^ Page on Diocese of Providence on Catholic Hierarchy web site.
  12. ^ Page on Diocese of Springfield on Catholic Hierarchy web site.
  13. ^ Page on Diocese of Manchester on Catholic Hierarchy web site.
  14. ^ Page on Diocese of Fall River on Catholic Hierarchy web site.
  15. ^ Page on Diocese of Worcester on Catholic Hierarchy web site.
  16. ^ a b Changes come to Lake Street. The Boston Globe, May 24, 2007
  17. ^ Diocesan headquarters sold to BC The Boston Globe, April 21, 2004.
  18. ^ Statement of the Archdiocese of Boston and Boston College on sale of part of Brighton campus The Boston Globe, April 20, 2004.]
  19. ^ Oslin, Reid, "Campus Construction Update: Stokes, Brighton Campus Projects Begin", The Boston College Chronicle, September 9, 2010
  20. ^ Kevin Cullen and Stephen Kurkjian (September 10, 2003). "Church in an $85 million accord". Boston Globe.
  21. ^ "Largest sexual abuse settlements by Roman Catholic institutions in the U.S."
  22. ^ Description of coat of arms on the web site of the Archdiocese of Boston.
  23. ^ "Most Reverend Mark O'Connell". Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  24. ^ "Bishop Richard J. Malone | Diocese of Buffalo". www.buffalodiocese.org. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  25. ^ See: List of Catholic bishops of the United States#American bishops serving outside the United States.
  26. ^ http://catholicschoolsboston.org
  27. ^ a b "Members of superintendent search committee named". www.thebostonpilot.com. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  28. ^ Nealon, Patricia. "Parochial pupils add X factor to city school-choice equation." Boston Globe. April 28, 1993. Retrieved on September 28, 2013.
  29. ^ a b "Xaverian brother named school head". The Lowell Sun. March 4, 1972.
  30. ^ O'Connor, Thomas H. (January 1, 2004). Boston's Histories: Essays in Honor of Thomas H. O'Connor. UPNE. ISBN 9781555535827.
  31. ^ "Lakeland Ledger - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  32. ^ "Gainesville Sun - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  33. ^ "Sister Kathleen Carr to step down as school superintendent". www.thebostonpilot.com. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  34. ^ a b c "Boston Archdiocese appoints career educator as superintendent of Catholic schools - The Boston Globe". BostonGlobe.com. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  35. ^ "Carroll appointed Superintendent of Catholic Schools". www.thebostonpilot.com. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  36. ^ Paulson, Michael (April 21, 2004). "Diocesan headquarters sold to BC". Boston Globe. Retrieved June 27, 2020.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 42°12′47″N 71°02′29″W / 42.21306°N 71.04139°W / 42.21306; -71.04139