Archdiocese of Boston
|Territory||Essex County, Middlesex County, Norfolk County, Suffolk County, and also Plymouth County except the towns of Marion, Mattapoisett, and Wareham|
|Area||2,465 sq mi (6,380 km2)|
- Catholics (including non-members)
|(as of 2018 )|
|Sui iuris church||Latin Church|
|Established||April 8, 1808|
|Cathedral||Cathedral of the Holy Cross|
|Patron saint||Saint Patrick|
|Archbishop||Seán Patrick O'Malley, OFM Cap|
|Vicar General||Peter J. Uglietto|
The Archdiocese of Boston (Latin : Archidiœcesis Bostoniensis) is a Latin Church ecclesiastical territory or archdiocese of the Catholic Church located in the New England region of the United States. Its territorial remit encompasses the whole of Essex County, Middlesex County, Norfolk County, and Suffolk County, and also all of Plymouth County except the towns of Marion, Mattapoisett, and Wareham in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is led by a prelate archbishop who serves as pastor of the mother church, Cathedral of the Holy Cross in the South End of Boston. The Archdiocese of Boston is a metropolitan see with six suffragan dioceses: the Dioceses of Burlington, Fall River, Manchester, Portland in Maine, Springfield in Massachusetts, and Worcester.
As of 2018, there are 284 parishes in the archdiocese, 617 diocesan priests, and 275 deacons. In 2018, the archdiocese estimated that more than 1.9 million Catholics were in its territory.
New England's first settlers were Congregationalists and, in Rhode Island, Baptists who were disappointed that Protestant reforms in the Church of England did not go far enough. These dissenters followed Luther and Calvin in rejecting the selling of indulgences, the celebration of Mass in Latin, the doctrine of transubstantiation, and papal authority. Several of the colonies thus enacted anti-Catholic statutes, banning Catholic worship and Massachusetts even made it a crime, with a potential sentence of imprisonment for life, for a Catholic priest to reside the colony.
The political necessity of the Revolutionary War drove a change in popular attitudes. The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, written by John Adams and ratified in 1780, established religious freedom in the new state—and, being the first state constitution, its framework of government became a model for the constitutions of other states and, eventually, for the federal constitution.
On November 2, 1788, the Abbé de la Poterie, a former French naval chaplain serving Boston, celebrated the city's first public Mass in a converted Huguenot chapel located at 24 School Street in Boston, which he named Holy Cross Church. Two refugees from the French Revolution ministering to Boston's Catholic population at the turn of the century, Fr. Francis Anthony Matignon and Fr. Jean Louis Lefebvre, raised the funds to build a larger building, the Church of the Holy Cross. These buildings no longer exist, but they were the foundation of the Catholic Church in Massachusetts.
Pope Pius VII erected the Diocese of Boston April 8, 1808, taking the territory of the states of Connecticut, Massachusetts (the territory of which included the present state of Maine at that time), New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont from the Diocese of Baltimore. He simultaneously erected the Diocese of New York, the Diocese of Philadelphia, and the Diocese of Bardstown (Kentucky), also taking their territory from the Diocese of Baltimore, and elevated the Diocese of Baltimore to a metropolitan archdiocese, designating all four new dioceses as its suffragans.
Exponential growth of the Catholic Church in New England through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries led to gradual reconfiguration of the ecclesiastical structure of the original territory of the Diocese of Boston.
In the 1920s, Cardinal William O'Connell moved the chancery from offices near Holy Cross Cathedral in the South End to 127 Lake Street in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston."Lake Street" was a metonym for the Bishop and the office of the Archdiocese.
In June 2004, the archdiocese sold the archbishop's residence and the chancery and surrounding lands in Brighton to Boston College, in part to defray costs associated with numerous cases of sexual abuse by clergy of the Archdiocese (see below).The offices of the Archdiocese moved to an office building that previously housed the Internet-only stock brokerage E*Trade in Braintree, Massachusetts. The archdiocesan seminary, Saint John's Seminary, remains on the property in Brighton.
At the beginning of the 21st century the archdiocese was shaken by accusations of sexual abuse by clergy that culminated in the resignation of its archbishop, Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, on December 13, 2002. In September 2003, the archdiocese settled over 500 abuse-related claims for $85 million.Victims received an average of $92,000 each and the perpetrators included 140 priests and two others.
The coat of arms of the Archdiocese, shown in the information box to the right at the top of this article, has a blue shield with a gold cross and a gold "trimount" over a silver and blue "Barry-wavy" at the base of the shield. The "trimount" of three coupreaux represents the City of Boston, the original name of which was Trimountaine in reference to the three hills on which the city's original settlement stood. The cross, fleurettée, honors the Cathedral of the Holy Cross while also serving as a reminder that the first bishop of Boston and other early ecclesiastics were natives of France. The "Barry-wavy" is a symbol of the sea, alluding to Boston's role as a major seaport whose first non-indigenous settlers came from across the sea.
The diocesan newspaper The Pilot has been published in Boston since 1829.
The Archdiocese's Catholic Television Center, founded in 1955, produces programs and operates the cable television network CatholicTV. From 1964 to 1966, it owned and operated a broadcast television station under the call letters WIHS-TV.
The Archdiocese of Boston is also metropolitan see for the Ecclesiastical province of Boston. This means that the archbishop of Boston is the metropolitan for the province. The suffragan dioceses in the province are the Diocese of Burlington, Diocese of Fall River, Diocese of Manchester, Diocese of Portland, Diocese of Springfield in Massachusetts, and the Diocese of Worcester.
The Archdiocese of Boston is divided into five pastoral regions, each headed by an episcopal vicar.
|Pastoral region||Episcopal vicar||Location||Parishes||Notable parishes||Catholic institutions of higher education||High schools||Elementary schools||Cemeteries|
|Central||Very Rev. Brian McHugh||Boston (all neighborhoods), Brookline, Cambridge, Somerville, Winthrop||64||Cathedral, the Mission Church|| Boston College |
St. John's Seminary
|Merrimack||Robert F. Hennessey||Northern Essex County and northern Middlesex County||49||Merrimack College||3||(TBD)||4|
|North||Mark W. O'Connell||Southern Essex County and eastern Middlesex County||64||none||4||6 (?)||11|
|South||Very Rev. Robert Connors (Temporary)||Plymouth County and eastern Norfolk County||59||Labouré College||3||(TBD)||3|
|West||Robert P. Reed||Southern Middlesex County and western Norfolk County||67||Regis College||3||11||7|
The following are lists of the Bishops and Archbishops of Boston, Coadjutors and Auxiliaries of Boston, and their years of service. Also included are other priests of this diocese who served elsewhere as bishop.
As of 2018, the archdiocese had 112 schools with about 34,000 students in pre-kindergarten through high school.
In 1993 the archdiocese had 53,569 students in 195 archdiocesan parochial schools. Boston had the largest number of parochial schools: 48 schools with a combined total of about 16,000 students.
|Academy of Notre Dame||Tyngsboro||Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur||1854|
|Archbishop Williams High School||Braintree||Sisters of Charity of Nazareth||1949|
|Arlington Catholic High School||Arlington||Sisters of St. Joseph||1960|
|Austin Preparatory School||Reading||Order of Saint Augustine||1961|
|Bishop Fenwick High School||Peabody||Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur||1958|
|Boston College High School||Dorchester||Society of Jesus||1863|
|Cardinal Spellman High School||Brockton||Sisters of St. Joseph||1958|
|Cathedral High School||Boston||Sisters of St. Joseph||1926|
|Catholic Memorial School||West Roxbury||Congregation of Christian Brothers||1957|
|Central Catholic High School||Lawrence||Marist Brothers||1935|
|Cristo Rey Boston High School||Dorchester||2010|
|Fontbonne Academy||Milton||Sisters of St. Joseph||1954|
|Lowell Catholic High School||Lowell||Xaverian Brothers||1989|
|Malden Catholic High School||Malden||Xaverian Brothers||1968|
|Matignon High School||Cambridge||1945|
|Mount Alvernia High School||Newton||Missionary Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception||1935|
|Newton Country Day School||Newton||Society of the Sacred Heart||1880|
|Notre Dame Academy||Hingham||Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur||1853|
|Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School||Lawrence||Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur||2004|
|Sacred Heart High School||Kingston||Congregation of Divine Providence||1947|
|Saint Joseph Preparatory High School||Brighton||Sisters of St. Joseph||2012|
|Saint Sebastian's School||Needham||1941|
|St. John's Preparatory School||Danvers||Xaverian Brothers||1907|
|St. Mary's High School||Lynn||1881|
|Ursuline Academy||Dedham||Ursuline Sisters||1819|
|Xaverian Brothers High School||Westwood||Xaverian Brothers||1963|
|Academy of the Assumption||Wellesley|
|Academy of Notre Dame||Boston|
|Blessed Sacrament High School||Jamaica Plain|
|Boys' Catholic High School||Malden||Xaverian Brothers||1936||1968|
|Cardinal Cushing High School||South Boston|
|Cheverus High School||Malden|
|Christopher Columbus High School||Boston||Franciscan Friars||1945|
|Don Bosco Technical High School||Boston||Salesians of Don Bosco||1998||1998|
|Elizabeth Seton Academy||Boston||2003|
|Girls' Catholic High School||Malden||1992|
|Holy Trinity High School||Roxbury||1966|
|Hudson Catholic High School||Hudson||1959||2009|
|Marian High School||Framingham||Sisters of St. Joseph||1956||2018|
|Mission Church High School||Mission Hill||1926||1992|
|Monsignor Ryan High School||South Boston|
|Mount Saint Joseph Academy||Boston||Sisters of St. Joseph||1884||2012|
|Nazareth High School||South Boston|
|North Cambridge Catholic High School||Cambridge||1951||2010|
|Notre Dame Academy||Roxbury||Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur||1854||1954|
|Pope John XXIII High School||Everett||1965||2019|
|Presentation of Mary Academy||Methuen||Sisters of the Presentation of Mary||1958||2020|
|St. Anne's School||Arlington|
|St. Augustine High School||South Boston|
|St. Bernard High School||Newton|
|St. Clare High School||Roslindale|
|St. Clement High School||Medford||Sisters of St. Joseph||1925||2017|
|St. Columbkille High School||Brighton|
|St. John the Evangelist High School||Cambridge||1921||1951|
|St. Joseph Academy||Roxbury|
|St. Joseph's High School for Girls||Lowell||1989|
|St. Louis Academy||Lowell||1989|
|St. Patrick High School||Lowell||1989|
|St. Patrick High School||Roxbury|
|St. Peter's High School||Cambridge|
|St. Thomas Aquinas High School||Jamaica Plain|
|Savio Preparatory High School||East Boston||Salesians of Don Bosco||1958||2007|
|Trinity Catholic High School||Newton||1894||2012|
|Our Lady of Nazareth Academy||Wakefield||Sisters of Charity of Nazareth||1947||2009|
The archdiocese previously used a headquarters facility in Brighton but sold it to Boston College in 2004 for $107,400,000.
Steward Health Care System operates the former archdiocesan hospitals of Caritas Christi Health Care.
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