December 19, 2014 - Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy Lower Mills Campus Gets Ready for Renovations

AtchisonBob and Mickey Atchinson visiting with the students at  Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy

On Monday, December 22nd, volunteers from the business and non-profit community will roll up their sleeves to help prepare for renovations being made to the Lower Mills campus of Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy (SJPIICA), a 1915 school that’s being restored to its former glory. The team will be packing up one hundred years of history to ready the school for renovations to begin in January.
The largest Catholic elementary school in New England, SJPIICA is a four campus academy educating 1,200 PreK through grade eight students of all faiths and backgrounds. Of those students, 300 attend school at the Lower Mills campus, which will undergo massive renovations after Christmas. As co-chair of the Lower Mills committee for the Campaign for Catholic Schools, Bob Atchinson, Managing Director of Adage Capital Management, brought together over 125 Boston business leaders and philanthropists to raise $8.4 million, exceeding their original goal of $7.8 million.
On the project, Mr. Atchinson said, “This dream is coming true today because my wife, Mickey, saw the beauty and potential of this school when she began volunteering as a tutor in 2010. With her commitment, and the leadership of co-chair Jack Sebastian, Managing Director of Goldman Sachs, and some truly exceptional volunteers and contributors, we are rebuilding this school and helping to ensure that Dorchester’s children will continue to have access to an excellent education for generations to come.”
This will be the fifth school renovated by the Campaign for Catholic Schools in seven years.
Campaign for Catholic Schools (CCS):  CCS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charged with raising the philanthropic funds required to implement major systemic changes to strengthen urban Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Boston. CCS’s work takes root in the recommendations of a two-year strategic planning effort called the 2010 Initiative for Catholic Education (2005-07) and encompasses significant reforms in: school consolidation, governance and management; academic and faith formation curricula; technology; enrollment marketing and fundraising; and facilities and infrastructure. CCS is focused first where the needs are greatest: inner city Catholic elementary schools. Since 2007, CCS has raised $70 million for school systems in Brockton, Dorchester/Mattapan, and South Boston. For more information, please visit
Pope John Paul II Catholic Academy (PJPIICA):PJPIICA is the largest elementary school (private or public) in Boston, educating 30% of all Catholic elementary school students in the city. The Academy serves over 1,300 students in Grades PreK-8 on four campuses in Dorchester and Mattapan and welcomes students of all faiths and backgrounds. In part because of its size and complexity, it is considered to be the flagship school in turnaround efforts in urban Catholic education set in motion by Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley through the 2010 Initiative in Catholic Education (2005-07) and chaired by Boston business and civic leader Jack Connors, Jr. The Academy’s goal is to provide its ethnically and culturally diverse students with a high quality, effective, values-based educational foundation that will prepare them to be accepted to and matriculate at the best high schools, and later colleges, putting them on the path to better futures. For more information, please visit
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 1.8 million Catholics, the Archdiocese of Boston is an ethnically diverse and spiritually enriching faith community consisting of 289 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.   Mass is celebrated in nearly twenty different languages each week. For more information, please visit