Catholic schools in a changing archdiocese

Catholic schools in a changing archdiocese

In the context of talking about the initiative to save Catholic schools, the Boston Herald looks at the movement of Catholics from cities to suburbs. As much as anything else, the urban Catholic flight was a major factor in how the Church in the US, especially in the Northeast, has changed.

Why did Catholics leave the city? So-called urban renewal, i.e. tearing down old neighborhoods like the West End of Boston, is one reason. Rising expenses, the decline of the quality of life in neighborhoods, rising crime in the 60s and 70s must also be counted as well.

That movement spread out Catholics much more, letting them assimilate among their non-Catholic neighbors and among Catholics of different nationalities. In the city, you had Italian, Irish, French, and Polish parishes within blocks of each other and God forbid if you went to the wrong parish for Mass on Sunday. But with succcessive generations of intermarrying among Catholics, that’s just silly today. And so many of those parishes built to accommodate the ethnically divided hordes of Catholics are being closed.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli