After Vatican approval, archdiocese to sell St. James to the town of Wellesley

BRAINTREE -- The Archdiocese of Boston and the Town of Wellesley have entered into a provisional agreement regarding the transfer of ownership of the closed St. James the Great Parish property. The transaction would include the church and the rectory parking lot totaling 8 acres of land. St. James the Great Parish closed on Oct. 31, 2004. The last Mass occurred on Oct. 31, 2004.

Recently, the Vatican upheld the archdiocese's decision to relegate the property for profane use. The agreement respects the canon law process including any further appeals.

The term "relegation" is used in Church law for the conversion of a church building from sacred uses. Once a church is relegated to profane use, it can no longer be used for Catholic liturgical worship, any remaining sacred items are removed, and the building can be sold for use in an appropriate and dignified manner. Funds derived from any potential sale would be used for direct support of parishes of the archdiocese.

"We are pleased to have reached agreement with the Town of Wellesley," said John E. Straub, interim chancellor of the Archdiocese of Boston. "The town has been very transparent and professional in its approach regarding its desire to purchase the property and its potential future use. This is good for the community and the Church. We also appreciate the Vatican's very thorough review of the archdiocese's decision and thoughtful response to the request of the petitioners."