Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the Archdiocese located?
The heart of the Archdiocese is the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in the South End of Boston. This is also where the Cardinal Archbishop resides and maintains an office. The Pastoral Center, which houses central administration, is located in Braintree, MA thanks to the generosity of the late Tom Flatley who helped make possible a 140,000 square foot office building just off of Route 128. This has allowed the Archdiocese to bring various departments and ministries stretched across five locations into one building to better serve parishes, schools, and our social service ministries.
What makes up the Archdiocese of Boston?
Our parishes, schools, and social service ministries are all important and vital elements of the Archdiocese of Boston. Besides those ministries and departments that directly support the good works of the Church, there are nearly 40 related Catholic entities, which also serve the local Catholic community. But it is our people, our clergy, religious, deacons, and lay members, working together in a shared commitment to follow Jesus Christ that defines who and what we are as a Catholic community.
What offices are located in The Pastoral Center in Braintree?
The Pastoral Center provides a central location for approximately 225 employees and a number of offices that includes the Cardinal, Vicar General, Chancellor, Education, Development, Parish Life and Leadership, Finance, Legal, Real Estate, Parish Services, Metropolitan Tribunal, The Pilot, and Communications among others. The heart of the Pastoral Center is the Bethany Chapel, which is located on the first floor. The Cardinal chose to name the chapel after Bethany, a village less than two miles from Jerusalem. In reflecting on the naming of the Bethany Chapel, Cardinal Seán notes that, “It was in Bethany that the Lord chose to spend time with his closest friends, most notably Martha and Mary, and their brother, Lazarus. Martha invites her sister, Mary, to sit and listen to the Lord, saying, “The teacher is here, and He is calling you.” This phrase, in Latin, is inscribed over the Altar of our new chapel, inviting us all to sit and listen to the words of the Teacher. We hear Him speak through the Scriptures, and we are strengthened by the Eucharist to live His commands, obedient to His teaching.”
Where can I learn more about the Archdiocese of Boston?
Visiting our homepage ( www.bostoncatholic.org ) is a great way to learn more about the Archdiocese, its parishes and its people. We also offer Catholics an opportunity to discover their faith through CatholicTV and its exciting and wide-ranging programming featuring most prominently the Daily Mass. Please visit www.catholictv.com to learn more. The Archdiocese also publishes the oldest Catholic newspaper in the country, The Pilot, in a new and easier to read format as well as online at www.thebostonpilot.com. Cardinal Seán publishes a weekly blog recapping his week serving the Catholic community as Archbishop (www.cardinalseansblog.org). In addition, people are encouraged to sign up for delivery of the Cardinal’s weekly email in an effort to increase communication and connection among Catholics across the Archdiocese (you can sign up by visiting www.bostoncatholic.org ).
Who makes up the leadership of the Archdiocese?
The Cardinal Archbishop leads the Archdiocese of Boston. The Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia, the Chancellor, and the Cabinet all assist the Cardinal Archbishop in implementing his vision for the Archdiocese. This group, working in cooperation with clergy, religious, deacons, laity, parishes and schools all contribute to advancing the good works of the Church.
What is the difference between a Diocese and an Archdiocese?
Roman Catholic dioceses are grouped together in ecclesiastical provinces, usually according to geographical proximity, and the bishop of one of the older or larger dioceses in that group is named the metropolitan archbishop. He has some, but limited, authority over the Suffragan dioceses of his province. The main reason for this arrangement is a better coordination of pastoral efforts and services in contiguous areas. The Province of Boston consists of the archdiocese itself, three Sufragan sees in Massachusetts: Springfield, Fall River and Worcester; and Portland, Maine; Burlington, Vermont; and Manchester, New Hampshire.
How can I learn what parish is in my neighborhood?
Information regarding parishes is available by clicking here. Choose the city or town and click on the parish closest to you to get contact and website information.
I’m going to be in the Boston area on business or vacation. Where can I go to Mass?
Most hotels in the city will be able to provide you with the name and Mass information for a nearby parish. You also can visit our parish directory online for contact information for the parishes closest to your hotel. In addition, MassTimes USA has a link to check on parish Mass schedules at www.masstimes.org.
How can I watch the Daily Mass?
The Daily Mass airs live at 9:30 a.m. on CatholicTV and is rebroadcast each evening. CatholicTV is the television station for the Archdiocese of Boston, which is seen across Massachusetts, as well in seven other U.S. states and in parts of Canada. Please visit www.catholictv.com to learn what channel is available to you in the city or town you live or are visiting.
Where can I find my baptismal or marriage records?
Sacramental records are maintained at individual parishes where the sacraments were administered. Please click here for an A-Z lising of the Parish directory pages for parish contact information. Older records (older than 75 years usually) are kept in the Archdiocesan Archives.
Please visit the Archives page or call 617-746-5795 for more information. If the parish you were baptized/confirmed/married in was closed during the recent reconfiguration process, see our list of where the records are now kept by clicking here.
Does the Archdiocese publish an official directory?
Yes, we publish the Boston Catholic Directory annually, with parish, school, staff and organization information. A new directory is being produced and should be ready in early 2009. For more information, please contact The Boston Catholic Directory by calling 617-746-5873, via email at [email protected] or by writing to: The Boston Catholic Directory, 66 Brooks Drive, Braintree, MA 02184-3839.
Where can I find statistics about the Catholic Church in the USA?
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops offers a wealth of information about the Catholic Church. Please visit www.usccb.org for more information.
How do I get a copy of my high school transcript?
Contact the Catholic School's Office at 617-779-3604 or visit their webpage for more information.
I am interested in being confirmed or being baptized into the Catholic Church.
The Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA) is administered at the parish level. Please contact your local parish for the details of how they do it. The process may vary considerably based on the specifics of your situation and that of the parish. For more information on what RCIA is, visit the Being Catholic.
How do I arrange for a Mass to be said for someone who has died or is sick.
This is done through your local parish or a particular shrine. Call the parish office to get the details on how to arrange for a Mass to be celebrated for your intention. To view the parishes of the Archdiocese of Boston, visit the Parishes and People section and search alphabetically.
Is there a schedule of Marriage Preparation (Pre-cana) programs available?
The Archdiocesan wide schedule can be found on the Marriage Ministry pages in the Offices and Services section of this website.
How do I go about getting an annulment?
We strongly recommend that you contact your local parish staff for help through the process. See the introductory article on declaration of nullity. The contact information for the Metropolitan Tribunal may be found in the Offices and Services section of this website by clicking here.