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Closing parishes

Part II - The Plan of Reconfiguration

(Excerpted from the Archdiocese of Boston's Reconfiguration Report)

There are presently 357 parishes in the Archdiocese of Boston that are divided into 5 Regions. The Regions themselves are broken down into vicariates of which there are 22 in total. Finally the vicariates are finally broken into 82 clusters. There will be changes in every one of the 82 clusters. The range of those changes is as follows:

  • Parishes that will remain open and will be receiving new parishioners.

  • Suppressed Parishes: These are parishes that will be closed within a specific time period in which the parish church will be closed as a worship space.

  • Suppressed Parishes in which the church will remain open: These are parishes that will be closed within a specific time period in which the church will be kept open and maintained by the receiving parish.

  • Parishes within a cluster that will be kept open for the time being but are required to develop a plan for future consolidation or ministry.

    Regional reports

    Central Region

    The Central Region of the Archdiocese of Boston is presently made up of 77 parishes in 5 cities and towns. From 1985 -2003, 15 parishes were closed in the Central Region. In the reconfiguration, 20 parishes will be closing, one parish will be closed but the church will remain open, and 2 new parishes will be established for a total of 58 parishes in the Central Region.

    Parish closings (16):

    Brighton, Our Lady of the Presentation

    Boston, Holy Trinity (closing on 6/30/05)

    Boston, St. Ann University Parish

    Brookline, Infant Jesus – St. Lawrence

    Cambridge, Blessed Sacrament

    Cambridge, Immaculate Conception, Lithuanian (closing at the end of the present pastorate)

    Cambridge, Somerville – Immaculate Conception

    Charlestown – St. Catherine of Siena

    Dorchester, Roxbury – St. Mary of the Angels

    East Boston – Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

    East Boston – St. Mary Star of the Sea

    Hyde Park – St. Adalbert, Lithuanian (closing at the end of the present pastorate)

    Hyde Park – St. Joseph

    Jamaica Plain – Blessed Sacrament

    South Boston – St. Augustine

    South Boston – St. Peter

    Parish closing, church to stay open as a worship space (1):

    Boston, Sacred Heart in the North End

    Parish closings (4) with creation of 2 new parishes:

    Dorchester -- St. Williams

    Dorchester -- St. Margaret -- both to close and form a new parish

    Roxbury -- St. Francis-St. Philip

    Roxbury -- St. John-St. Hugh -- both to close and form a new parish

    West Region

    The West Region of the Archdiocese of Boston is presently made up of 53 parishes in 23 cities and towns. From 1985-2003, 4 parishes were closed in the West Region. In the reconfiguration, 11 parishes will be closing and one parish will be closed but the church will remain open for a total of 42 parishes.

    Parish closings (11):

    Bellingham, Assumption

    Belmont, Our Lady of Mercy

    Framingham, St. Jeremiah

    Marlborough, St. Mary

    Natick, Sacred Heart

    Newton, St. Bernard

    Newton, Mary Immaculate of Lourdes

    Sudbury, St. Anselm

    Waltham, St. Joseph

    Watertown, Sacred Heart

    Wellesley, St. James the Great

    Parish closing, church to stay open as a worship space:

    Marlborough, St. Ann

    Merrimack Region

    The Merrimack Region of the Archdiocese of Boston is presently made up of 68 parishes in 37 cities and towns. From 1985-2003, 17 parishes were closed and 2 parishes created in the Merrimack Region. In the present reconfiguration, 5 parishes will be closing, one parish will be closed but the church will remain open, and 1 new parish will be established for a total of 64 parishes in the Merrimack Region. n.b. These figures do not include the 10-11 parishes that are slated to be closed in Lowell and Lawrence in the next few months.

    Parish Closing:

    Lexington, Sacred Heart

    Parish closing, church to stay open as a worship space (2):

    Lincoln, St. Joseph

    Stow, St. Isidore

    Parish closings (2) with creation of a new parish:

    Concord, St. Bernard

    Concord, Our Lady Help of Christians

    North Region

    The North Region of the Archdiocese of Boston is presently made up of 79 parishes in 31 cities and towns. From 1985 -- 2003, 8 parishes were closed in the North Region. In the reconfiguration, 18 parishes will be closing for a total of 57 parishes in the North Region.

    Parish closings (18):

    Arlington, St. James

    Arlington, St. Jerome

    Beverly, St. Alphonsus

    Beverly, St. Margaret

    Everett. St. Therese

    Gloucester, Sacred Heart

    Gloucester, St. Peter

    Lynn, St. Michael (effective 2006)

    Malden, St. Peter

    Medford, Sacred Heart

    Medford, St. James

    Revere, Our Lady of Lourdes

    Rockport, St. Joachim (may stay open as a worship space)

    Salem, St. Joseph

    Salem-Peabody, St. Thomas the Apostle

    Wakefield, St. Florence

    Winchester, Immaculate Conception

    Woburn, St. Joseph

    South Region

    The South Region of the Archdiocese of Boston is presently made up of 80 parishes in 41 cities and towns. From 1985 -- 2003, 4 parishes were closed and 1 parish created in the South Region. In the reconfiguration, 13 parishes will be closing, one parish will be closed but the church will remain open, two parishes will be merged into one, and 1 new parish will be established for a total of 68 parishes in the South Region.

    Parish closings (13):

    Brockton, St. Margaret

    Dedham, St. Susanna

    Milton, St. Pius X

    Norwood, St. George

    Plymouth, Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha

    Quincy, Star of the Sea

    Scituate, St. Francis Xavier Cabrini

    Stoughton, St. James

    Weymouth, St. Albert the Great

    Parish closing, church to stay open as a worship space (1):

    Rochester, St. Rose of Lima

    Parish closings (2) with creation of a new parishes:

    Quincy – Most Blessed Sacrament

    Quincy -- St. Elizabeth -- both to close to form a new parish

    Parishes (2) to merge and form a new parish:

    Brockton, Sacred Heart

    Brockton, St. Colman of Cloyne

    Reconfiguration and Particular Communities

    Deaf Apostolate

    There are currently two Deaf Worshipping Communities in the Archdiocese: the A.S.L. Chaplaincy (temporarily located at Saint John’s Seminary) and the Deaf Community Center located at Saint Anselm Parish, Sudbury. In a recently submitted pastoral plan for the continuation of Deaf Ministry in the Archdiocese, they proposed their merging into a single worshipping community for the deaf. A new parish location, as central as possible to the entire Archdiocese, will be secured for this community and the Archbishop will assign the community to that parish. Also, a regular Sunday parish Mass is signed weekly, bi-weekly or monthly in seven other parishes around the Archdiocese; none of these parishes have been affected by the reconfiguration

    Ethnic Apostolates / Hispanic Apostolate From among the 357 parishes of the Archdiocese, there are 126 Ethnic/Hispanic Worshipping Communities. These consist of 41 “personal parishes” (parishes that were established to serve the needs of a particular group of people) and 85 “ethnic communities” (recognized communities of various ethnic backgrounds that worship [usually in their own language] within a territorial parish or a personal parish that was established for a different group.

    Thirteen personal parishes are being affected at the present time by this reconfiguration process; in only 2 of those parishes is the language of the ethnic community still used for worship. These 2 communities will need to be welcomed into a “receiving parish,” while the future needs of the other affected parishes will be discussed and those needs responded to by a neighboring parish community.

    Another 18 “ethnic communities” are being affected due to the closure of the parishes in which these communities worship and carry on their pastoral life. In 9 of these cases, the local clusters made specific recommendations for the continued ministry of these communities: in one case the “combining” of 3 neighboring Hispanic communities, in another the “combining” of 2 neighboring Vietnamese communities. They feel that bringing these communities together will serve to strengthen their worship life as well as their pastoral programs and outreach. In the other instances, the clusters recommended a new parish community eager to extend hospitality and to welcome the ethnic community as a part of their parish community.

    For the remaining “ethnic communities” further consultation will take place among the lay leadership of the local community, the neighboring pastors, area vicar and regional bishop. This consultation will be facilitated by the staffs of the Offices of Ethnic Apostolates and Hispanic Apostolate, under the direction of the Secretary for Pastoral Services.

    In all of the above cases for both personal parishes and ethnic communities, at the conclusion of the consultation, recommendations will be brought to the Archbishop who will make pastoral decisions concerning the future care of these faithful of the Archdiocese.

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