Braintree, MA – On Friday, September 30, 2011, the Archdiocese of Boston completed a transaction that will transfer ownership of the Church properties from the closed parish of St. Jeremiah’s in Framingham, MA to the Syro Malabar Eparchy (Eparchy is the Eastern word for diocese). The properties include the Church, rectory, land and parking lot.
The Most Reverend Walter J. Edyvean, Auxiliary Bishop for the West region, said, “The completion of this transaction provides the Syro Malabar community a much needed location for their parishioners. Cardinal Seán is pleased that we have been able to reach agreement and that we can assist the Syro Malabar Church in its ministry here in greater Boston, which is part of the more than 3 million member Eastern Catholic Church worldwide. Furthermore, the Cardinal maintained his commitment not to make any decisions on the property until such time as the parish closing appeals were completed. With sincere pastoral concern for the former parishioners of St. Jeremiah’s, the Cardinal encourages all to join us in the work of healing and rebuilding the Archdiocese of Boston.”
Boston St-Thomas Syro-Malabar parish mission director Fr. Varghese Naikomparambil issued the following statement:
“We offer our heartfelt appreciation to Cardinal Seán O’Malley and the Archdiocese of Boston for making St. Jeremiah church available to the Saint Thomas Syro-Malabar Diocese of Chicago. As one of the largest Eastern Catholic Churches, it has been a tremendous blessing to continue the mission in New England with a centrally located and beautiful facility. We sincerely hope and pray that, with the opportunity presented through this transaction, the Holy Spirit will guide us to support key pastoral themes and vital ministries of the Archdiocese.” particularly Catholics Come Home, Catholic social justice, and revitalizing Catholic education, leading to The Church.”
Since June 2008 the Syro-Malabar community has had a full pastoral and liturgical presence at St. Jeremiah Church. At that time the Cardinal permitted a priest of the Syro-Malabar Church to provide a Mass of the Roman Rite in English on Sundays at St. Jeremiah, much in the same way he granted it to the Latin-rite priests who have celebrated Mass there since the parish closed in 2004.
In completing this transaction, the Syro-Malabar community will establish a parish at St. Jeremiah’s. This parish will not be a parish of the Archdiocese but of the Syro-Malabar eparchy in the United States, with its headquarters in Chicago. It will be a similar situation to that which exists at Our Lady of the Cedars of Lebanon in Jamaica Plain. Although Our Lady of the Cedars is located in the Archdiocese of Boston, it is a parish of the Maronite eparchy in the United States with its seat in Brooklyn.
The sale price for the St. Jeremiah church property is $2 million. The funds will be used for parish support.
To learn more about the Syro-Malabar community in Boston please visit www.malayalamchurchboston.com.