Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston
Archdiocese of Boston
Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston
Coat of Arms of the Archdiocese of Boston
|Territory||Counties of Essex, Middlesex, Suffolk, Norfolk, and Plymouth (the towns of Mattapoisett, Marion, and Wareham excepted)|
|Area||2,465 sq mi (6,380 km2)|
- Catholics (including non-members)
|(as of 2015)|
|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 Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston (Latin: Archidioecesis Bostoniensis) is an ecclesiastical territory or Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church in the New England region of the United States. It comprises several counties of 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.
As of 2017, there are 288 parishes in the archdiocese. In 2007, the archdiocese estimated that more than 1.8 million Catholics were in the territory, of whom about 315,000 regularly attended Mass.
The original Diocese of Boston was canonically erected on April 8, 1808 by Pope Pius VII. It took its territories from the larger historic Diocese of Baltimore and consisted of the states of Connecticut, (future) Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
In the nineteenth century, as Catholicism grew exponentially in New England, the Diocese of Boston was carved into smaller new dioceses: on November 28, 1843, Pope Gregory XVI erected the Diocese of Hartford; Pope Pius IX erected the Diocese of Burlington and the Diocese of Portland on July 29, 1853, the Diocese of Springfield on June 14, 1870, and the Diocese of Providence on February 16, 1872. On February 12, 1875, Pope Pius IX elevated the diocese to the rank of an archdiocese.
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 Brighton. "Lake Street" was a metonym for the Bishop and the office of the Archdiocese.
Clergy sexual abuse scandal and settlements
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.
In June 2004, the archbishop's residence and the chancery in Brighton and surrounding lands were sold to Boston College, in part to defray costs associated with abuse cases. The offices of the Archdiocese were moved to Braintree, Massachusetts. The diocesan seminary, Saint John's Seminary, remains on the property in Brighton.
Coat of arms
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 is was built. 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 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.
Bishops of Boston
- Jean-Louis Lefebvre de Cheverus (1808–1823) appointed Bishop of Montauban and later Archbishop of Bordeaux (elevated to Cardinal in 1836)
- Benedict Joseph Fenwick, S.J. (1825–1846)
- John Bernard Fitzpatrick (1846–1866; coadjutor bishop 1843–1846)
- John Joseph Williams (1866–1875; coadjutor bishop 1866); elevated to Archbishop
Archbishops of Boston
- John Joseph Williams (1875–1907)
- Cardinal William Henry O'Connell (1907–1944)
- Cardinal Richard James Cushing (1944–1970)
- Cardinal Humberto Sousa Medeiros (1970–1983)
- Cardinal Bernard Francis Law (1984–2002), resigned; later appointed Archpriest of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore
- Cardinal Seán Patrick O'Malley, O.F.M.Cap. (2003–present)
Current Auxiliary Bishops of Boston
- Robert Francis Hennessey (2006–present)
- Peter John Uglietto (2010–present)
- Mark William O'Connell (2016–present)
- Robert P. Reed (2016–present)
Former Auxiliary Bishops of Boston
- John Brady (1891–1910)
- Joseph Gaudentius Anderson (1909–1927)
- John Bertram Peterson (1927–1932), appointed Bishop of Manchester
- Francis Spellman (1932–1939), appointed Archbishop of New York (Cardinal in 1946)
- Richard J. Cushing (1939–1944), appointed Archbishop here (Cardinal in 1958)
- Louis Francis Kelleher (1945–1946)
- John Wright (1947–1950), appointed Bishop of Worcester, then Bishop of Pittsburgh, then Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy (elevated to Cardinal in 1969)
- Thomas Francis Markham (1950–1952)
- Eric Francis MacKenzie (1950–1969)
- Jeremiah Francis Minihan (1954–1973)
- Thomas Joseph Riley (1959–1976)
- Daniel A. Cronin (1968–1970), appointed Bishop of Fall River and later Archbishop of Hartford
- Joseph Francis Maguire (1971–1976), appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Springfield in Massachusetts and subsequently succeeded to that see
- Lawrence Joseph Riley (1971–1990)
- Joseph John Ruocco (1974–1980)
- Thomas Vose Daily (1974–1984), appointed Bishop of Palm Beach and later Bishop of Brooklyn
- John Joseph Mulcahy (1974–1992)
- John Michael D'Arcy (1975–1985), appointed Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend
- Daniel Anthony Hart (1976–1995), appointed Bishop of Norwich
- Alfred C. Hughes (1981–1993), appointed Bishop of Baton Rouge and later Archbishop of New Orleans
- Robert J. Banks (1985–1990), appointed Bishop of Green Bay
- Roberto Octavio González Nieves, O.F.M. (1988–1995), appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Corpus Christi and subsequently succeeded to that see, and later Archbishop of San Juan in Puerto Rico
- John R. McNamara (1992–1999)
- John P. Boles (1992–2006)
- John Brendan McCormack (1995–1998), appointed Bishop of Manchester
- William F. Murphy (1995–2001), appointed Bishop of Rockville Centre
- Francis Xavier Irwin (1996–2009)
- Emilio S. Allué, S.D.B. (1996–2010)
- Richard Joseph Malone (2000–2004), appointed Bishop of Portland and later Bishop of Buffalo
- Richard Lennon (2001–2006), appointed Bishop of Cleveland
- Walter James Edyvean (2001–2014)
- John Anthony Dooher (2006–2018)
- Arthur L. Kennedy (2010–2017)
- Robert P. Deeley (2012–2013), appointed Bishop of Portland
Other priests of this diocese who became bishops
- William Barber Tyler, appointed Bishop of Hartford in 1843
- Patrick Thomas O'Reilly, appointed Bishop of Springfield in Massachusetts in 1870
- James Augustine Healy, appointed Bishop of Portland in 1875
- Lawrence Stephen McMahon (priest here, 1860–1872), appointed Bishop of Hartford in 1879
- Matthew Harkins, appointed Bishop of Providence in 1887
- Edward Patrick Allen, appointed Bishop of Mobile in 1897
- Louis Sebastian Walsh, appointed Bishop of Portland in 1906
- John Joseph Nilan, appointed Bishop of Hartford in 1910
- James Anthony Walsh, elected Superior General of Maryknoll and consecrated Titular Bishop in 1933
- Edward Francis Ryan, appointed Bishop of Burlington in 1944
- John Joseph Glynn, appointed Auxiliary Bishop for the Military Services, USA in 1991
- Richard Joseph Malone, appointed Bishop of Portland in 2002 and later Bishop of Buffalo in 2012
- Christopher J. Coyne, appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Indianapolis in 2011 and later Bishop of Burlington
- Paul Fitzpatrick Russell, appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Turkey and Turkmenistan and Titular Archbishop in 2016
- Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary, Weston
- St. John's Seminary, Brighton
- Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary, Brookline
- Msgr. Albert W. Low (1961–1972)
- Br. Bartholomew Varden, CFX (1972–1975)
- Eugene F. Sullivan (1978–1984)
- Sr. Kathleen Carr, CSJ (1990–2006)
- Mary Grassa O'Neill (2008–2014)
- Mary E. Moran (2013–2014)
- Kathleen Powers Mears (2014–2019)
- Thomas W. Carroll (2019–present)
Colleges and universities
- Boston College, Chestnut Hill
- Emmanuel College, Boston
- Marian Court College, Swampscott
- Merrimack College, North Andover
- Regis College, Weston
Primary and secondary schools
- Former high schools
- Steward Health Care System, a company operating the former archdiocesan hospitals of Caritas Christi Health Care
- "Archdiocese of Boston". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. David M. Cheney. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
- Kerber, Ross (January 29, 2007). "Bless you, we take Visa". The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 29, 2007.
- Changes come to Lake Street. The Boston Globe, May 24, 2007
- Kevin Cullen and Stephen Kurkjian (September 10, 2003). "Church in an $85 million accord". Boston Globe.
- "Largest sexual abuse settlements by Roman Catholic institutions in the U.S."
- Diocesan headquarters sold to BC The Boston Globe, April 21, 2004.
- Statement of the Archdiocese of Boston and Boston College on sale of part of Brighton campus The Boston Globe, April 20, 2004.]
- Oslin, Reid, "Campus Construction Update: Stokes, Brighton Campus Projects Begin", The Boston College Chronicle, September 9, 2010
- Description of coat of arms on the web site of the Archdiocese of Boston.
- "Most Reverend Mark O'Connell". Retrieved May 3, 2017.
- "Bishop Richard J. Malone | Diocese of Buffalo". www.buffalodiocese.org. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
- See: List of Catholic bishops of the United States#American bishops serving outside the United States.
- "Members of superintendent search committee named". www.thebostonpilot.com. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
- Nealon, Patricia. "Parochial pupils add X factor to city school-choice equation." Boston Globe. April 28, 1993. Retrieved on September 28, 2013.
- "Xaverian brother named school head". The Lowell Sun. March 4, 1972.
- O'Connor, Thomas H. (January 1, 2004). Boston's Histories: Essays in Honor of Thomas H. O'Connor. UPNE. ISBN 9781555535827.
- "Lakeland Ledger - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
- "Gainesville Sun - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
- "Sister Kathleen Carr to step down as school superintendent". www.thebostonpilot.com. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
- "Boston Archdiocese appoints career educator as superintendent of Catholic schools - The Boston Globe". BostonGlobe.com. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
- "Carroll appointed Superintendent of Catholic Schools". www.thebostonpilot.com. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
- Paulson, Michael (April 21, 2004). "Diocesan headquarters sold to BC". Boston Globe. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
- Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Official Site
- Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston Official Site (rcab.org) at the Wayback Machine (archive index)
- Catholic Hierarchy Profile of the Archdiocese of Boston
- Boston Globe / Spotlight / Abuse in the Catholic Church
- Boston Catholic Insider (critical blog)
- Boston Catholic Schools