No. 275 Postcard. St. Margaret’s Church, postmarked August 13, 1910.
In 1893, St. Margaret’s Parish was set off as the first large offshoot from St. Peter’s. St. Margaret’s was composed of the north-eastern limits of St. Peter’s Parish, including the portions lying south of Washington Village and along the line of Dorchester Bay nearly to Savin Hill, and on the west to the burial-ground at Upham’s Corner. The first pastor was the Rev. William J. Ryan. The present St. Margaret’s building was built in 1904 to the designs of Keely and Houghton in the Romanesque Revival style. [Note that Dorchester Old and New says the building was built in 1899].
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.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta was canonized on Sunday, September 4, 2016, and Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta parish in Dorchester changed its name to St. Teresa of Calcutta Church. Cardinal Sean O’Malley presided over Mass in the church celebrating the canonization announced by Pope Francis earlier in the morning.
For more information, consult:
Dorchester Old and New, 1630-1930. (Dorchester: Chapple Pulishing Company for the Dorchester, Massachusetts, Tercentary Committee, 1930)
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)
Shand Tucci, Douglass. The Gothic Churches of Dorchester. (Issued by the Dorchester Savings Bank. Boston: Tribune Publishing Company, 1972)