Archdiocese announces plan to sell St. Christopher, Dorchester

(The Archdiocese of Boston released the following statement on July 17 regarding the possible sale of St. Christopher Church in Dorchester, a worship site of St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish.)

On behalf of the parish of St. Teresa of Calcutta in Dorchester, the Archdiocese of Boston has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the potential sale of St. Christopher Church, 265 Mt. Vernon Street, Dorchester, MA. The expectation is that any sale will include proposals for mixed-use redevelopment.

The parishes of St. Christopher's and St. Teresa of Calcutta were merged in 2021 as part of the Archdiocese of Boston Pastoral Planning initiative, Disciples in Mission. The newly formed parish was named St. Teresa of Calcutta and has consisted of two worship sites: St. Teresa of Calcutta (800 Columbia Rd, Boston) and St. Christopher's Churches.

The solicitation of proposals for the sale of St. Christopher's Church is the result of an extensive consultation process at the parish level, in collaboration with the Archdiocese of Boston. The parish concluded that it would not require the use of St. Christopher Church.

A sale of the property will provide additional capital reserves for St. Teresa's Parish, which are necessary to maintain a stable and financially secure parish. A sale will also require the buyer to provide the parish with use of 6,000 square feet of space in the newly developed property for parish use as a possible worship and/or multi-purpose space.

The parish also intends to provide a portion of the total sale proceeds for investment in St. John's Seminary in Brighton. St. John's Seminary is one of two seminaries in the Archdiocese that train seminarians to become ordained priests. This is an investment in the future, where generations of priests will continue to be ordained for ministry in the parishes of the Archdiocese.

Rev. John Ronaghan, Pastor of St. Teresa of Calcutta, said, "Many factors were considered during this consultation process, most notably the opportunity to grow the parish pastoral presence in the community. This is also a sound financial decision where we can invest in expanding our evangelization efforts while using a vastly under-utilized building for the greater good of the parish. It will also allow the parish to invest in a great need for the Archdiocese in terms of vocations to the priesthood. Thanks to the leadership of Cardinal Seán, we have seen our seminaries gradually increase the number of seminarians enrolling. The generosity of our parishioners to provide a portion of the proceeds for St. John's Seminary to improve its brick and mortar is an opportunity to invest in the future of St. Teresa's and parishes across the Archdiocese for generations to come."

Disciples in Mission was approved by Cardinal O'Malley in November of 2012. It has been implemented to address trends that have resulted in fewer priests, lower Mass attendance and financial pressures with a focus on evangelization. By establishing collaboratives, Disciples in Mission calls every parish of the Archdiocese of Boston to become a strong, stable, intentional, and effective parish community. A collaborative is a grouping of one, two, or three parishes that work together for the goal of evangelization. A collaborative has one pastor, one set of assigned priests and deacons, and one Pastoral Team (including pastoral associates, religious education and faith formation leaders, finance and operations specialists, and administrative and facilities personnel). All of these work together for all of the parishes of the collaborative. The collaborative has one pastoral council, and one Local Pastoral Plan for evangelization.