Big changes coming to Boston?

Big changes coming to Boston?

I have heard from various sources that big changes are in store for the Archdiocese of Boston, but that they may be held up pending the appointment of a new archbishop.

I have been told that up to a third of all parishes in the archdiocese (there are about 390 right now) may be closed and consolidated. Some pastors who have plans to renovate their churches are being told to put them off and that unless the roof is about to cave in, no construction work will be approved.

I’ve also been told that Bishop Lennon was prepared to make the big announcement himself, but only if a new permanent archbishop was not going to be appointed by the Pope in the next year. And after consulting Rome, he has decided to put off the announcement, leading me to believe that the appointment of a new archbishop is planned, perhaps this summer.

This is all rumor right now (although I’m working on getting more corroboration), but it has the air of truth to it. Seriously, this archdiocese could stand to close some parishes. In Salem alone we still have six parishes (one just closed last month) and we could get by with three. Perhaps even two. Stay tuned.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
3 comments
  • True, but these would be parish closings on an unprecedented scale. We’ve had parish closings here too, but one or two at a time. For a major archdiocese to announce that it is closing up to a third of its parishes would be a remarkable moment in the history of the Catholic Church in the US.

  • JMJ

    The thing about Boston (the actual city, I mean) is that we’ve got tons o’ churches, albeit not necessarily parish churches. There are at least 4 shrines within walking distance for me: Saint Francis Chapel in the Pru (my choice for daily Mass), Saint Anthony’s Shrine (aka, and probably irreverently, “the prayer factory), Our Lady of Victories (aka “the French Church” and no, I’m not calling for a boycott here) and, The Jesuit Urban Center (aka—never mind.)

    My only point here is that, for me anyway, even an unprecedented closing of parishes wouldn’t effect me or any daily communicant much in Boston.

    I hate to say it, but I wouldn’t shed any tears if the Jesuit Urban Center was closed…I hate to say this because it really draws a huge South End crowd on Sundays. And as for my neighbors to the West…would it really be a grave tragedy if the “Newton Cathedral”—Father Cuenin’s parish—was either closed or merged?

    Sure hope Dom will keep us posted on anything he hears about the successor to Cardinal Law…all I’m getting are rumors.

    Alleluia,

    Kelly <—-really wiped out from applauding all the 6:00 PM Marathon finishers today wink

  • Six dioceses is really a lot (and there are only four regional bishops.) There is no real need or benefit to splitting it up that much. Then you’d have six diocesan bureaucracies instead of one—I don’t see that as an improvement.

    There was some talk in late 2001 about a plan to split off a diocese from Boston to the north and west of the city based in Lowell. What we were hearing was that it would only happen after Cardinal Law was transferred to Rome for a curial post and then a new archbishop of Boston and bishop of Lowell would come in.

    Obviously that didn’t happen, probably because the Geoghan case broke wide open right then and they were too busy with that and shelved any radical ideas.

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