Discover the Archdiocese of Boston

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston (LatinArchidioecesis Bostoniensis) is an ecclesiastical territory or diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in the New England region of the United States. It comprises several counties of the state of Massachusetts. It is led by a prelate archbishop who serves as pastor of the mother churchCathedral of the Holy Cross in the South End of Boston.
As of 2009, there are 292 parishes in the archdiocese. In 2007, the archdiocese estimated that 1.8 million Catholics were in the territory, of whom about 315,000 regularly attended Mass.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston (LatinArchidioecesis Bostoniensis) is an ecclesiastical territory or diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in the New England region of the United States. It comprises several counties of the state of Massachusetts. It is led by a prelate archbishop who serves as pastor of the mother churchCathedral of the Holy Cross in the South End of Boston.
As of 2009, there are 292 parishes in the archdiocese. In 2007, the archdiocese estimated that 1.8 million Catholics were in the territory, of whom about 315,000 regularly attended Mass.

History

The original Diocese of Boston was canonically erected on April 8, 1808 by Pope Pius VII. It took its territories from the larger historicDiocese of Baltimore and consisted of the states of ConnecticutMaineMassachusettsNew HampshireRhode 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 HartfordPope Pius IX erected the Diocese of Burlingtonand 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.
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.
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, MassachusettsSaint John's Seminary remains on that property.

Ecclesiastical province

Further information: List of the Catholic bishops of the United States #Province of Boston
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 BurlingtonDiocese of Fall River,Diocese of ManchesterDiocese of PortlandDiocese of Springfield in Massachusetts, and the Diocese of Worcester.

Communications media

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 networkCatholicTV. From 1964 to 1966, it owned and operated a broadcast television station under the call letters WIHS-TV.

Seminaries

Schools

As of 2012, the diocese's web site stated that the district has 124 schools with about 43,000 students in pre-kindergarten through high school.
In 1993 the archdiocese had 53,569 students in 195 archdiocesean parochial schools. Boston had the largest number of parochial schools: 48 schools with a combined total of about 16,000 students.

High schools

Former high schools

About the Archdiocese of Boston

The Archdiocese of Boston is the fourth largest archdiocese in the United States and is the spiritual home for more than 1.8 million Catholics. Since July 2003, Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley, OFM Cap., has led the Archdiocese through unprecedented events with a focus on healing and rebuilding the local Church.

Centered in of one of the world’s great cities – Boston – and spread across 144 communities in eastern Massachusetts, the Archdiocese of Boston is an ethnically diverse and spiritually enriching faith community consisting of vibrant parishes, well performing Catholic schools that are educating more than 46,000 students annually and a social service outreach that is helping to assist more than 200,000 individuals each year. Mass is celebrated in more than twenty different languages each week.

“We pray for our Archdiocese, our bishops, priests and deacons, the religious women and men who devote their lives to service in the name of Jesus, and for all the faithful, that together we will experience the Kingdom of God here and now.”  -- Cardinal Seán

About Cardinal Seán

Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, O.F.M. Cap., was born June 29, 1944 in Lakewood, Ohio, and was raised in Western Pennsylvania, where he entered a Franciscan seminary.  At 21, he was professed into the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin and at 26 he was ordained a Catholic priest.  After earning a master’s degree in religious education and a Ph.D. in Spanish and Portuguese literature from the Catholic University of America, he taught at Catholic University and founded Centro Católico Hispano (Hispanic Catholic Center) in Washington, DC, an organization which provided educational, medical and legal help to immigrants.
Since his ordination to the episcopacy on August 2, 1984, he has served as the Bishop of the dioceses of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands; Fall River, Massachusetts; and Palm Beach, Florida.  Pope John Paul II appointed him Archbishop of Boston in July 2003.  Pope Benedict XVI named him a Cardinal in 2006.

Pastoral Center Mission, Vision and Operating Principles

MISSION
To continue the saving ministry of Jesus Christ, the Pastoral Center serves and guides the Catholic parishes, schools, hospitals and agencies within the 144 cities and towns of the Archdiocese of Boston.
VISION
In carrying out our mission, we seek to be compassionate professionals who are valued for our faith, service, and integrity.
Am I giving Glory and Honor to God?
Am I serving Christ and His Church?
Am I honoring and respecting those whom I serve and those with whom I serve?

These three questions are ultimately about mission and vision.   The mission of the Archdiocese of Boston is to carry on the ministry of Jesus Christ.  These three questions present a vision where we are ministering with glory, honor, service and respect.
OPERATING PRINCIPLES
We seek to give glory and honor to God and rebuild trust in Christ's Church, following the guidance of the Holy Father and Archbishop of Boston.
We challenge each other to make the most of the gifts God has given us and strive to recognize and reward excellent performance.
We treat each other and those whom we serve fairly, with dignity and with honor, holding ourselves accountable for our commitment to service.
We are dedicated to a culture of collaboration, innovation, and inspiration.

Historical Sketch of The Archdiocese of Boston

By Robert Johnson Lally
Archdiocesan Archivist and Records Manager
During the seventeenth and much of the eighteenth centuries Catholicism was illegal in Massachusetts.  Not until the Revolutionary period when America needed the support of Catholic France did attitudes soften noticeably.  The Massachusetts constitution, written in 1780 finally permitted Catholics to practice their religion. Even at that things moved slowly. Not until 1788, was the first public mass celebrated in Boston.  In the next twenty years, however, the Catholic presence became significant enough to warrant the creation of the Diocese of Boston in 1808. Named as first bishop was Father Jean Cheverus, a refugee from the French Revolution.
New England had few priests and suspicions toward Catholicism still ran high. Bishop Cheverus spent most of his episcopate in missionary work and in building good will. By the time Cheverus was recalled to France in 1823, many prominent Protestant Bostonians joined Catholics in petitioning the King of France to retain him as Bishop of Boston, alas to no avail. Cheverus returned to France and was sorely missed by Bostonians regardless of faith.
 
The remainder of the nineteenth century brought with it heightened anti – Catholicism and suspicion toward foreigners. It fell to the Bishops of Boston to reconcile Catholicism with this often antagonistic environment.  Bishop Benedict Fenwick expended great energy in missions, but also in communicating Catholicism to potentially hostile neighbors. Not ceding anything, but by debating with Protestant leaders and, ultimately, establishing a Catholic newspaper – now known as the Pilot, he explained Catholicism to outsiders. Notwithstanding acts such as the burning of the Ursuline Convent in 1834, Catholicism was in Boston to stay.
By the time the nineteenth century ended, a huge influx of immigration swelled the ranks of Catholics in Boston. The Irish famine in mid-century followed by immigration from Southern Europe brought thousands of new Catholics to the Boston area. Bishops John Fitzpatrick and John Williams (later archbishop as Boston became an archdiocese in 1875), adopted strategies of conciliation and assimilation to smooth the way for Catholics.  By century’s end Catholics made important advances in the social order, including the election of the first Catholic as Mayor of Boston.
Archbishop (Cardinal 1911) O’Connell took a radically different tack on assuming leadership of the Archdiocese. Abandoning conciliation and assimilation, O’Connell insisted on confidently asserting Catholic identity. He worked assiduously to claim for Catholics their rightful place in both the religious and social milieu. O’Connell also began the work of expansion of the Archdiocese, a work carried to an even higher level by Archbishop, later Cardinal Cushing, bringing the number of parishes to the highest level it would reach, over 400 in the mid – 1960s.
Expansion did not come without a price, however; Cushing’s successors inherited a debt that would stem some of the growth.
In the late twentieth century Cardinals Medeiros and Law had to deal with a host of issues which disrupted Catholic life. It was a time of upheaval in most aspects of American life, and the Archdiocese was not spared. Social unrest and civil rights concerns sparked controversy within the Archdiocese. Schools and parishes were reduced in number as a result of indebtedness and falling attendance. After a period of stabilization lasting several years, Boston became, in the early twenty first century, the focus of abuse scandals which occurred across the United States. This left the Archdiocese arguably in its most difficult position since the anti - Catholic agitation of the nineteenth century.
Throughout its history Catholicism in what is now the Archdiocese of Boston has encountered adversity, but it has always met challenges with strong faith and the dedication of its clergy, laity, and its leaders. Since 2003, the Archdiocese has been under the leadership of Cardinal Séan O’Malley. The ensuing years have become a time of healing, consolidation, and progress. In its two hundred years the Archdiocese of Boston has undergone much, but it has continued to flourish and today stands ready to meet its future.

 

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