About the Archdiocese

 
 
 
 

Archdiocese of Boston

 
 

66 Brooks Drive, Braintree, MA 02184-3839
Telephone: 617-254-0100
Snow Phone Line – (617) 746-5991

Pastoral Center Information: 

Office/Staff Directory
Directions  
Bethany Chapel
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
Pastoral Center Gift Shop  

It is the goal of the Pastoral Center to remain open during inclement weather unless travel conditions make it hazardous to get to work. In the event the offices are closed or there is a delay in opening, an announcement will be sent out via the IRIS system. In addition, notice will be recorded on the Snow Phone Line –  (617) 746‐5991 – no later than 5:45 a.m.

 
 
 
 
 
 

A New Diocese, the First Bishop

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By Robert Johnson Lally
Archdiocesan Archivist and Records Manager


In 1808, Boston was made a diocese, and Fr. Jean Louis Lefebvre de Cheverus, a refugee from the French Revolution who had been serving the area since 1796, was named Bishop. He was the right person at the right time to lead the new diocese. In spite of the tension between Catholics and Protestants, Bishop Cheverus was well liked by both groups. He had earned respect with the work he did to care for people of all faiths during the 1798 yellow fever epidemic. He was at ease socially and seems to have been a natural diplomat.

Over the next 15 years, Bishop Cheverus laid the groundwork for the future of the Diocese of Boston. He traveled extensively throughout the diocese, which at that time included all of New England. Through his missionary work he continued to build respect for the Catholic Church. He defended Catholicism and tried to break down the prejudice of the day.

Under his leadership began the early institutional development of the diocese. He built St. Augustine Cemetery in South Boston. Up until that time, Catholics were buried alongside Protestants. On the cemetery grounds he built the second Catholic place of worship, the Seminary Chapel, in 1819.

Bishop Cheverus was so well liked that, when he was recalled to France, Protestants joined with Catholics to petition King Louis XVIII to allow him to stay. But the king brought Cheverus back to France, where he was eventually elevated to cardinal.