News & Press

February 17, 2011 - Archdiocese To Provide For Public Comment During Consultation Phase On Future Use Of Seven Closed Churches

February 17, 2011

Braintree, MA –   The Archdiocese of Boston is conducting a consultation of the Catholic faithful who were parishioners at seven church buildings that were closed as part of a process that was initiated in 2004. The churches are St. James the Great, Wellesley; St. Therese, Everett; St. Jeanne D’Arc, Lowell; Star of the Sea, Quincy; Our Lady of Lourdes, Revere; St. Francis X. Cabrini, Scituate and Our Lady of Mount Carmel, East Boston.

Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley has requested this consultation about the future use of the buildings and the related properties.  Specifically, the Cardinal is asking for comments on a possible “relegation to profane use” of these properties.  This term is used in Church law for when a Church building is converted from sacred uses and will no longer be used for Catholic liturgical worship.  Once a property has been relegated, any remaining sacred items are removed and the building can be sold and used in an appropriate and dignified manner.

This consultation gives an opportunity to the former parishioners of the seven Churches to give their input prior to any decision that the Cardinal may make. The consultation will last from February 18, 2011 to March 18, 2011.

The Catholic faithful who wish to participate are encouraged to do so online at www.2011Consultation.org. This online format has been chosen to ensure that the responses can be collated for the Cardinal in the best manner possible.

Those who prefer to send written input can use, instead, the “2011 Consultation Form” that is available for download at www.BostonCatholic.org/2011consultation or they can call 617-746-5669 and we will mail the consultation form to them.

For a response to be considered in the consultation, it must be submitted either through www.2011Consultation.org or on the “2011 Consultation Form” and be received by March 18, 2011 at 5pm. 

Very Reverend Richard M. Erikson, Vicar General & Moderator of the Curia, said, “The Cardinal has instituted a culture of transparency that has resulted in greater consultation, collaboration and coordination.  Through this process we seek to provide an opportunity for the local Catholic community to comment in advance of a decision by Cardinal Seán.  It is our hope that the feedback gathered during the consultation period will be informative and provide additional insight.”

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 42,000 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   www.BostonCatholic.org .

Letter of the Cardinal

February 17, 2011

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
 
Following consultation with the Presbyteral Council, we begin today a consideration of the future use of seven church buildings that were closed during the process initiated in our Archdiocese in 2004.  Prior to my making any decisions, and in accord with Canon Law, I have asked that the former parishioners at St. James the Great, Wellesley; St. Therese, Everett; St. Jeanne D’Arc, Lowell; Star of the Sea, Quincy; Our Lady of Lourdes, Revere; St. Francis X. Cabrini, Scituate; and Our Lady of Mount Carmel, East Boston be provided the opportunity to share their thoughts with me.
 
The questions in the consultation are related to the possible "relegation to profane use" of the church buildings. This term refers to when a Church building is converted from sacred uses and will no longer be used for Catholic liturgical worship. Once a property has been relegated, any sacred items are removed and the building can be sold for use in an appropriate and dignified manner.

Please know of my appreciation for your participation. When our Lord commissioned His disciples, he assured them that “I will be with you always” (Mt. 28:20).  Let us go forward together, confident that the Lord Jesus is indeed with us and leading our way.

Sincerely yours in Christ
+Cardinal Seán O'Malley, OFM Cap.