Although the Archdiocese considers St. John's to be part of Roxbury, the church building is situated technically in Dorchester. Rev. Hugh P. Smyth of St. Joseph's in Roxbury purchased land on Blue Hill Avenue, Dacia and Dalmatia (now Woodcliff) Streets in 1888. Here he erected a school/chapel. The chapel, on the upper floor, was dedicated as St. John's on April 2, 1892, and the school was opened in the following September. By 1894 construction had begun on the permanent church on the front of the lot, but the upper church was not dedicated until November 24, 1907. Father Smyth resigned St. Joseph's in 1901 to become the pastor of the new St. John's parish.
The second pastor Patrick J. Supple, 1908-1932, finished off and put into use the upper church by 1917, which had hitherto been left bare and usually unoccupied. He also reconstructed the mission church, St. Hugh's, so extensively that it was rededicated by the Cardinal on November 16, 1913.
Lord, Robert H., John E. Sexton and Edward T. Harrington. History of the Archdiocese of Boston. New York: Sheed & Ward, 1944. 3 vols.
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Created: September 28, 2003 Modified: September 28, 2003