Archdiocese to meet with Boston’s Indult parish

Archdiocese to meet with Boston’s Indult parish

The fight over the fate of Boston’s Indult parish may be coming to a head. The Archdiocese has scheduled a meeting with parishioners for this coming Sunday, March 25.

The Rev. Mark O’Connell, an Archdiocesan Canon lawyer appointed to consult Holy Trinity parishioners about the closing of the church who will run the meeting, told the South End News in an email, “The purpose of the meeting is to report on the feedback I have received and to present the next step of the process.” O’Connell declined by email to comment further, but he did say that no closing date for the church has been set.

Holy Trinity was among the 67 parishes that the archdiocese announced would be closing during reconfiguration. The parish is historically German, but also includes the Tridentine Mass community, which has folks who travel from all over the region every Sunday, as well as several charitable agencies that serve the needy in downtown Boston. A closing date was put off in 2005.

O’Connell first met with the parish last November when he told them that the Indult community would be moved to a parish previously slated for closure in Newton, which is more centrally located in the archdiocese. The German parishioners would get a chaplain and were expected to be moved to the nearby cathedral and the charities would also receive relocation assistance as necessary.

The folks at Holy Trinity didn’t like the plan, mainly because it assumed that the different elements of parish life—the culturally German parishioners and the Tridentine Mass community—were essentially separable and could be split up with no problem. However, the parishioners have maintained from the beginning that though their liturgical lives may be separate, they are one parish community. Would that more parishes had the same unity. That is admirable.

I’ll be curious to see what further solutions the archdiocese has come up with to accommodate them.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
  • One of the great tragedies of re-configuration has been the seeming lack of understanding of what it means to be a community. Genuine communities cannot be carved apart and then reassembled in configurations determined by a puppetmaster, no matter how well-intentioned, behind or above the scene.

  • Another great tragedy of the reconfiguration process has been the disobedience of many people to their bishop and the inescapable conclusion that countless people in this Archdiocese have a severely deficient understanding of the Church that can’t see beyond the parish and the personalities of their preferred priests.

  • Thomas,
    Have you followed what has been going on at Holy Trinity over the last three years? It has to do with simple fairness and charity all too sparing in our one way communication with Cardinal O’Malley. This situation has less to do with the letter of Canon law and more to do with its spirit? To date His Eminence has show little or know interest in the importance of our physical patrimony. Ignorance of the Domus Dei continues to trumped as “worship space” in this diocese. It is this ignorance that facilitates placid acceptance of reconfiguration propaganda. Any criticism or discussion however valid or respectful is dismissed as tribal parochialism.

    As Catholics we respect the office of Archbishop lest we create a scandal against Unity ; however, the respect of the person who sits in such an office is certainly fallable and can equally create scandal to the Body of Christ. I don’t buy into the Ultramontanist argument. We need to look at the whole picture and its context.

  • Rob, my post was in response to the Deacon’s general comment about reconfiguration, not your personal situation.

  • I attended the meeting with Fr.O’Connell
      this afternoon. He said that the last
      Traditional Mass at Holy Trinity will be
      on April 15. The first Traditional Mass at
      Mary Immaculate of Lourdes will be on April
      22(which happens to be the 17th anniversary
      of the first Indult Mass at Holy Trinity).
      No closing date for Holy Trinity has been
      announced. Father stated that Cardinal O’Malley
      wants the German community to come to the

  • Is this the church on Beacon Hill?

    If it is, I have a personal reason for being very upset that it is moving.  My oldest son lives on Beacon Hill.  He does not practice the faith and says he is an unbeliever.  Yet I found out that he has attended the Latin Mass at that church more than once.  (I am not sure, not knowing Boston, if this is the same Latin mass parish the article is about or not.) He still denies believing, but he said he like to see people who clearly did and acted as if they really did.  I can’t help feeling that it is his baptism drawing him into that church.  He said he had no interest in the “silly modern stuff”  like the churches I brought him to. (Didn’t know I had any choice, mostly didn’t; limited transportation, had to go to the nearest church, etc.)  If the Latin mass draws him to go to it, then I would like there to be one there for him, no matter how he explains why he likes to go.  I don’t think he would drive to another place; he has to be able to tell himself that he is just stopping in on his morning walk to see what these folks are doing….even if he is just stopping in to see for the 5th time… 

    When you close a church, you never know who you are losing, to whom it might have mattered that that church was there.

    Susan Peterson

  • Holy Trinity is not on Beacon Hill. It is in the South End of Boston. As far as I know the only Traditional Latin Mass in communion with Rome celebrated in Boston is at Holy Trinity. Perhaps your son is attending a Novus Ordo celebrated in Latin or a Mass celebrated by a group out of communion with Rome.