St. Mary’s Women and Children’s Center, the Planning Office for Urban Affairs and Holy Family Parish Partner in Dorchester Redevelopment
Dorchester, MA – The Archdiocese of Boston today announced its decision to convey the former St. Kevin’s Parish property to a partnership among three Catholic ministries: St. Mary’s Women and Children’s Center (SMWCC); the Planning Office for Urban Affairs (POUA); and Holy Family Parish. The Planning Office plans to redevelop the property, in partnership with SMWCC and Holy Family Parish, into permanent housing for families that currently receive services from SMWCC and members of the wider community.
“The Archdiocese is blessed to be able to develop the site of the former St. Kevin’s Parish for housing that will provide stability and new opportunities for the individuals and families who will live there” said Cardinal Sean O’Malley. “This collaboration in the Uphams Corner section of Dorchester is a sign of the Church’s commitment to the community and our intention to maintain a long-term presence there.”
A social justice ministry of the archdiocese, SMWCC currently provides emergency and transitional shelter, support services, job training, and educational opportunities to vulnerable women and children. “We look forward to this development as an opportunity to extend our ability to provide critical support services to the families of St. Mary’s Women and Children’s Center and enable them to live in a setting where they can access services including transportation, educational opportunities and social contacts,” said Judy Beckler, President of St. Mary’s Women and Children’s Center. “We look forward to meeting with the local community very soon to begin to share the vision for our investment in Dorchester.”
“This development is so important because it provides a rare opportunity for the Church to support the joint work of Holy Family Parish, St. Mary’s Women and Children’s Center and the Planning Office and, more importantly, the people we all strive to serve,” said Lisa Alberghini, President of the Planning Office for Urban Affairs. A non-profit real estate developer and social justice ministry of the Archdiocese of Boston, POUA develops high quality affordable and mixed-income housing.
Holy Family Parish is well known throughout Dorchester for providing shelter and care for those in need. “I am thrilled that the partners are working together to pursue such an important initiative in the local community,” said Fr. Jack Ahern, Pastor of Holy Family Parish. “We look forward to honoring the legacy of St. Kevin’s Parish by providing housing and opportunity in our community.”
In the coming months, POUA, SMWCC and Holy Family will be working closely with the Dorchester community to receive input and ideas on how this development can best serve the community.
About the Archdiocese of Boston: The Diocese of Boston was founded on April 8, 1808 and was elevated to Archdiocese in 1875. Currently serving the needs of nearly 2 million Catholics, the Archdiocese of Boston is an ethnically diverse and spiritually enriching faith community consisting of 291 parishes, across 144 communities, educating approximately 46,000 students in its Catholic schools and 156,000 in religious education classes each year, ministering to the needs of 200,000 individuals through its pastoral and social service outreach and in support of a health care ministry that meets the needs of some 1 million patients each year. Mass is celebrated in nearly twenty different languages each week. For more information, please visit
St. Mary’s Women and Children’s Center: Established in 1993, St. Mary's provides safe haven and support services to children, teen mothers, expectant mothers, and homeless families confronting some of the most debilitating conditions of our times — child abuse, parental neglect, early-teen pregnancy, poor and inadequate housing, insufficient education, inadequate job skills, and persistent domestic and neighborhood violence. St. Mary's also delivers transformational services and training through six programs serving 400 women and children annually.
About the Planning Office for Urban Affairs: Established in 1969 by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, the Planning Office for Urban Affairs is a social justice ministry that strives to create vibrant communities through the development of high quality affordable and mixed income housing, where people of modest means can live with dignity and respect. As a foremost non-profit developer in the Northeast and a leading diocesan housing ministry for the Catholic Church in America, POUA has created over 2,400 units of affordable and mixed- income housing, providing homes for more than 10,000 people in 26 residential developments. For more information please visit