boston.com News your connection to The Boston Globe
Closing parishes
Left: Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley spoke to reporters. Right: The Rev. Bob Bowers, of St. Catherine of Siena Church in Charlestown, and parishioners reacted to news the church will close.
Left: Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley spoke to reporters. Right: The Rev. Bob Bowers, of St. Catherine of Siena Church in Charlestown, and parishioners reacted to news the church will close. (Globe Staff Photos / David L. Ryan)
  Closings at a glance
Globe staff graphic
  Photo galleries
Boston Archdiocese announces parish closings
Views from the faithful
  Message board
Boston.com readers react to news of 65 parish closings in the archdiocese. Message Board Read messages
  MAP
Maps
Parishes in the Archdiocese of Boston, ranked by sacramental activity.   Map
  Video: O'Malley's speech
O'Malley's speech
On Feb. 4, Archbishop Sean O'Malley outlined the archdiocese's financial crisis in a television address on BCTV.
Video (31 mins.)   Speech text   Story
Video courtesy of Boston Catholic Televison. Video requires RealPlayer.
  By the numbers
Among Boston's 357 parishes...
MOSTLEAST
Average attendance at weekend Mass
Most Holy Redeemer,
East Boston
Immaculate Conception,
Cambridge
3,475114
Baptisms
Most Holy Redeemer,
East Boston
Saint Michael,
Lynn
4363
First communions
Saint Mary,
Franklin
Thirteen parishes had
350Zero
Confirmations
Saint Michael,
Hudson
Thirteen parishes had
190Zero
Marriages
Saint Michael
North Andover
Thirteen parishes had
92Zero
Funerals
Saint John the Baptist,
Quincy
Our Lady of Victories,
Boston
191Zero

Source: Archdiocese of Boston
  Parish information
Statistics on individual parishes (Boston Archdiocese)
Directory of parishes (Boston Archdiocese)
List of parish closings since 1985 (Boston Archdiocese)
List of archdiocesan vicars (Boston Archdiocese)
  Other resources
Boston archdiocese's page on parish reconfiguration
Guide to parish closings distributed by archdiocese (PDF file)
Text of Archbishop O'Malley's speech announcing parish closings (May 25, 2004)
Text of Archbishop O'Malley's speech on church finances (Feb. 5, 2004)
Text of Archbishop O'Malley's speech on reconfiguration (Dec. 16, 2003)
Letter from Archbishop O'Malley on reconfiguration (Jan. 9, 2004)
Letter from Bishop Lennon on reconfiguration (Jan. 10, 2004)
  Related websites
Archdiocese of Boston
Voice of the Faithful
Georgetown University, Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate
National Congregations Study
  Reaction
How do you think the Archdiocese of Boston is doing as it goes about deciding which parishes to close? Are you participating in the process? Is it working out well or not? Share your thoughts; they may be used in an upcoming issue of the Globe.
RELATED COVERAGE
Scandal in the church
Coverage of the clergy sexual abuse crisis.
John Geoghan: Abuser, inmate,victim
Geoghan: Abuser, inmate, victim
In death, John Geoghan became a kind of victim.

Parents, students make case on schools

(By Suzanne Sataline, Globe Correspondent, 6/2/04)
Parents and pupils at two Catholic schools took to the streets and the courtroom yesterday to fight the Archdiocese of Boston's attempts to close schools and to keep control of money raised for school programs.

Closings cloud area services

(By Brian MacQuarrie and Kathy McCabe, Globe Staff and Globe Correspondent, 5/31/04)
Anger, uncertainty, and sorrow mingled with the prayers offered yesterday at Catholic parishes scheduled to be closed under the consolidation plan announced last week by Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley.

For Lithuanians, identity threatened

(By Monica Rhor, Globe Staff, 5/31/04)
For more than a century, St. Peter Lithuanian Church, a red-brick building tucked between a patchwork of housing projects and an array of alphabetic South Boston streets, has been the core of the city's Lithuanian community. This is where Lithuanian newcomers, fleeing economic hardship, the turmoil of two world wars, and the communist rule that seemed to swallow their country ...

2 parishes say they'll fight to stay open

(By Joanna Massey, Globe Staff, 5/30/04)
Catholic parishes in Dedham and Weymouth plan to fight the decision by the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston that they close.

At St. Mark's, relief came in FedEx package

(By Kellyanne Mahoney, Globe Correspondent, 5/30/04)
At 9:40 Tuesday morning, the church bells at St. Mark's in Dorchester were ringing the hymn "Mother Dear Oh Pray for Me" and a handful of puffy-eyed parishioners were on the front porch of the rectory chain smoking.

Sadness grips closed churches, but some gear for appeals

(By Kathy McCabe, Globe Staff, 5/30/04)
With a heavy heart, Nick Giacobbe, a devout parishioner at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Revere, signed for the FedEx letter, announcing the parish closing, which arrived at a crucial time during 9 a.m. Mass.

Closings spur O'Malley, Menino to vow joint effort

(Boston Globe, 5/29/04)
Fearing that the closing of more than a dozen Catholic parishes in Boston will terminate essential social services that have operated for years in those churches, Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley have pledged to find new homes for the programs, the mayor said yesterday.

Church offers guidance on closings

(By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff, 5/28/04)
In a somber five-hour meeting with priests who work at parishes he has ordered closed, Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley yesterday said he did not retaliate against outspoken mavericks or single out churches with high real estate values and appealed to priests to help the archdiocese close churches with minimal division.

Galvin urges disclosure on church deals

(Boston Globe, 5/28/04)
Angered by what he called the lack of public disclosure by the Boston Archdiocese on its plan to close 65 churches and sell property for what could be hundreds of millions of dollars, Secretary of State William F. Galvin said yesterday that he will file legislation that would require religious organizations to report to the state details of large-scale financial ...

Parishes react to school closings

(By Suzanne Sataline, Globe Correspondent, 5/28/04)
In Dorchester, they're relieved. In Brighton, they're pleading for time. And in South Boston, they're talking about independence.

Parish properties seen worth $400m

(By Stephen Kurkjian, Globe Staff, 5/27/04)
The dozens of parishes closing in the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston could sell for more than $400 million on the open market, developers said yesterday, an amount that could help bolster the archdiocese's strained finances.

Amidst prayers, vows to appeal parish closures

(By Mac Daniel, Globe Staff, 5/27/04)
One day after the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston announced that St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Salem would close, the Rev. Lawrence Rondeau stood before a dozen people attending yesterday's morning Mass and wept, vowing at the same time to appeal the church's planned demise.

Clergy, employees ponder next steps

(By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff, 5/27/04)
The news struck the Rev. Paul E. Kilroy like the lightning bolt that, at the very same time, had knocked out telephone service at archdiocesan headquarters: The parish he heads, St. Bernard in West Newton, will close this year.

65 parishes to be closed

(By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff, 5/26/04)
Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley announced yesterday that he is closing more than one-sixth of the parishes of the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, engineering what he called "a radical reconfiguration" of the nation's fourth-largest Catholic diocese.

The waiting ends with a letter

(By Marcella Bombardieri and Erica Noonan, Globe Staff, 5/26/04)
At Sacred Heart Church, there was first a collective gasp, then shaking heads, then grimaces and tears. By the time he finished reading the letter from Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley announcing that the parish here must close, the Rev. Robert Doherty was crying, too.

In cuts, archdiocese is seen as sharing burden

(By Bill Dedman, Globe Correspondent, 5/26/04)
Rich and poor parishes alike are being closed by Boston's Roman Catholic Archdiocese, according to a Boston Globe analysis of the decisions announced yesterday. Still, the heaviest cuts are in minority and immigrant communities.

Text of Archbishop O'Malley's remarks

(Boston Globe, 5/26/04)
Today is not an easy day for the people of the Archdiocese of Boston. This morning all of our pastors and parishes were notified of the results of the reconfiguration process. Many parishes received the news that they would be remaining ...

Globe editorial: Disappearing parishes

(Boston Globe, 5/26/04)
PARISHIONERS are responding with understandable anger and sadness to Archbishop Sean O'Malley's announcement yesterday that 65 of the 357 parishes in the Boston Archdiocese will close. Although O'Malley tried to put the closures in a spiritual perspective, he sounded at times like a chief executive officer trying to reposition an ailing company.

O'Malley defends need for closings

(By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff, 5/24/04)
Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley said yesterday that this week will be "challenging" for area Catholics, but that the multiple parish closings he plans to announce tomorrow are necessary for the health of the Archdiocese of Boston.

Diocese reviews property sales

(By Stephen Kurkjian, Globe Staff, 5/23/04)
Anxious about its public image as it prepares for the largest volume of parish property sales in the history of the Roman Catholic Church in America, the Boston Archdiocese has hired an outside law firm to review its handling of real-estate transactions from recent years.

A devotion to tradition

(By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff, 5/23/04)
Visitors to the noon Sunday Mass at Holy Trinity Church in Boston's South End might be forgiven for thinking time travel is possible. Women and girls wear mantillas -- a lightweight lace -- to cover their heads. Only men are allowed in the sanctuary, the area hard by the altar. The priest faces east, just as the worshipers do, so ...

A family institution

(By Sarah Schweitzer, Globe Staff, 5/22/04)
On a recent evening, a man stood in the aisle of Sacred Heart Church, eyes ablaze and feet planted firmly apart as he dressed down the priest who would marry his son in a month.

Rezoning push eyed in church closings

(By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff, 5/22/04)
Reflecting rising concern among local officials about the impact of Catholic church closings, the five members of the Dedham Board of Selectmen have notified the Archdiocese of Boston that they are considering rezoning an area around an at-risk church to restrict its redevelopment potential.

Parish praying to be spared

(By Erica Noonan, Globe Staff, 5/20/04)
WALTHAM -- When 65-year-old Mary Mingace was a girl in the 1950s, she volunteered in the Sacred Heart rectory, cooking pasta and meatball dinners for the elderly Italian priests while they played boccie on warm evenings.

As church goes, so may mission

(By Kathy McCabe, Globe Staff, 5/16/04)
SALEM -- As she stood amid racks stacked with macaroni, cereal, and canned vegetables at St. Joseph's Food Pantry , Veann Campbell praised a devout army of volunteers that spreads the faith of an old French Catholic parish across the North Shore.

At St. Ambrose, will the beat go on?

(By Kellyanne Mahoney, Globe Correspondent, 5/16/04)
On Adams Street, tucked away from the bustle of Fields Corner, St. Ambrose Church gives off a quiet vibration, says the Rev. Vincent Von Euw, its pastor.

United by hope

(By Kathy McCabe, Globe Staff, 5/16/04)
St. Joseph's Catholic churches in Salem and Lynn share more than daily devotions to the patron saint of workers. The old urban parishes are home to growing numbers of Hispanics, many of them immigrants from the Dominican Republic and Central America.

Church aide puts closures at 80-85

(By Stephen Kurkjian and Michael Paulson, Globe Staff, 5/14/04)
A top aide in the Archdiocese of Boston has been privately telling audiences she meets with that she expects 80 to 85 of the 357 parishes to close this year.

An argument against closing a church in Weymouth

(Boston Globe, 5/13/04)
I write in response to the possible church closings in the town of Weymouth. When I began to examine the facts and circumstances concerning the strength of our parishes in Weymouth, I did so objectively open to the possibility that there may be no other option but to close a local parish. However, after careful analysis and review, I humbly ...

Catholics envision a changed landscape

(By Christine McConville, Globe Staff, 5/13/04)
It was at 10:30 a.m. Mass two Sundays ago that the Rev. Patrick Hollywood addressed a harsh reality.

Lowell prepares to close 7 churches

(By Christine McConville, Globe Staff, 5/13/04)
LOWELL --It was at 10:30 a.m. Mass two Sundays ago that the Rev. Patrick Hollywood addressed a harsh reality.

St. Mary joins new list of threatened parishes

(By Joanna Massey, Globe Staff, 5/13/04)
Some members of St. Mary Parish in Plymouth were surprised when a regional cluster of parishes did not recommend that it be closed as part of an archdiocesan reorganization. The 89-year-old Catholic church is near two larger, thriving parishes, St. Peter in Plymouth and St. Joseph in Kingston, making it appear vulnerable.

Church closures hit immigrants

(By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff, 5/8/04)
One by one, they stepped to the microphone, the children in white shirts with red ribbons and blue vests, and they recited, with nervous smiles and in halting Polish, brief poems of tribute to a Polish constitution written long before they were born.
Sponsored Links