Archdiocese announces plan to sell Dorchester church
The Archdiocese of Boston announced July 17 that it is seeking bids for the potential sale of St. Christopher Church in Dorchester's Columbia Point section.
The parishes of St. Christopher and St. Teresa of Calcutta were merged in 2021 as part of the archdiocese's Pastoral Planning initiative, Disciples in Mission. The newly formed parish was named St. Teresa of Calcutta and has consisted of two worship sites: St. Margaret of Scotland Church (located at 800 Columbia Road) and St. Christopher Church.
The solicitation of proposals for the sale of St. Christopher Church is the result of an extensive consultation process at the parish level, in collaboration with the archdiocese. The parish concluded that it would not require the use of St. Christopher Church.
"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 Mount Vernon Street, Dorchester, MA. The expectation is that any sale will include proposals for mixed-use redevelopment," the archdiocese said in its announcement. "Interested parties in this listing please contact Rob Griffin or Tom Greeley at Newmark 617-863-8621."
The archdiocese said a sale of the property would provide additional capital reserves for St. Teresa Parish that are necessary to maintain a stable and financially secure parish. A sale would 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 said it intends to provide a portion of the total sale proceeds for investment in St. John Seminary in Brighton. St. John Seminary is one of two seminaries in the archdiocese that train seminarians to become 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.
Father 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 Seminary to improve its brick and mortar is an opportunity to invest in the future of St. Teresa and parishes across the Archdiocese for generations to come," Father Ronaghan added.
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 organizing parishes into what is known as a collaborative.
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.
By establishing collaboratives, Disciples in Mission calls every parish of the Archdiocese of Boston to become a strong, stable, intentional, and effective parish community.