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St. William
St. William's Church
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 St. William's became a Parish set off from St. Peter's in 1909, consisting of territory south of St. Margaret's nearly to Glover's Corner, and including the Savin Hill district. The Reverend James J. Baxter was the first pastor and was succeeded by James McCarthy. Baxter bought the Worthington estate at the corner of Dorchester Avenue and Belfort Street. The old mansion was adapted as a rectory. St. William's first building at 1048 Dorchester Avenue was in the Spanish Mission style designed by Edward Sheehan, a Dorchester resident. The Pastor in 1930 was David J. Murphy.

The building was burned in September 1980 and was replaced with a church of modern design.

From the 1990s through 2004 the Archdiocese of Boston endured the consequences of allegations and lawsuits involving misconduct by priests with the result that the Archdiocese paid out large monetary settlements. The Archdiocese studied its parishes and determined that low attendance and large expenses warranted the closing of some. St. William and St. Margaret were the only two parishes, out of 11 Catholic parishes in Dorchester, that felt a direct impact of the Archdiocese' reconfiguration process of early 2004. On August 31, 2004, these two parishes will merge under the name of Blessed Mother Teresa parish, and the new parish will be located at 800 Columbia Road in the building that is now St. Margaret's Church.


For more information, consult:

Emery, S.L. A Catholic Stronghold and Its Making. A History of St. Peter's Parish, Dorchester, Massachusetts, and of Its First Rector the Rev. Peter Ronan, P.R. Boston, 1910.

Lord, Robert H., John E. Sexton and Edward T. Harrington. History of the Archdiocese of Boston. New York: Sheed & Ward, 1944. 3 vols.

Shand Tucci, Douglass. The Gothic Churches of Dorchester. Issued by the Dorchester Savings Bank. Boston: Tribune Publishing Company, 1972.

Related Images: showing 8 of 8 (more results)
Here are some images from the Atheneum archive related to this topic. Click on any of these images to open a slideshow of all 8 images.
St. William's Church, DorchesterSt. William's ChurchSt. Williams Church fire Sept. 1980St. Williams Church fire Sept. 1980
St. Williams Church fire Sept. 1980Photograph of St. Williams Church fire Sept. 1980St. Williams Church Mar. 2002St. Williams Church interior
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Created: September 28, 2003   Modified: August 14, 2004