The first Boston parish closings dates have been handed out. Twelve of the smallest parishes or those in the worst physical shape have been told they must pick a closing date that comes before September 1. It’s good that the archdiocese is giving some flexibility. After that the rest will occur between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31 and then between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31.
The setting of dates is leglally significant because once a date has been set then the appeals timeclock starts. But as the archdiocese has made clear, it’s very unlikely that any appeal will be successful.
In Boston, the parishes that will close first are Sacred Heart in the North End, St. Ann in the Fenway, St. Mary Star of the Sea in East Boston, Our Lady of the Presentation in Brighton, St. Joseph in Hyde Park, and Blessed Sacrament in Jamaica Plain. Outside of Boston, the parishes that will close over the summer are Assumption in Bellingham, St. Alphonsus in Beverly, St. Margaret in Brockton, St. Joseph in Lincoln, Sacred Heart in Medford, and St. Anselm in Sudbury.
Interesting on a personal level: I was baptized in Blessed Sacrament in Jamaica Plain. We moved from the neighborhood in 1972 so I don’t remember the place at all and it has since become, shall we say, “blighted.” I’m sure that there isn’t a single Catholic in the archdiocese who isn’t touched in some way by the closings.