Welcome changes are in store for the community of St. Vincent de Paul parish. Plans for a new worship site on the parish grounds are close to being finalized. This will no doubt be a welcome surprise to parishioners of St. Vincent de Paul who have been temporarily worshipping—for nearly two years—at St. Peter Lithuanian parish.
In October 2015, disaster struck St. Vincent’s parish when debris began to fall from the church’s ceiling. Following the installation of safety nets hanging from the beams to catch crumbling pieces of plaster, structural engineers determined the building was unsafe. The church was ultimately declared to be condemned and a team of structural engineers and risk management analysts determined the structural repairs to the church would cost in excess of $10 million.
The past two years have been heartbreaking for members of the St. Vincent’s community. The Vincent de Paul community worships at St. Peter’s parish every Saturday at 5 pm, and Sunday at 9 am. While Sunday Mass is the focus of nourishment and meaning in our lives, it will certainly mean a great deal to the people of St. Vincent’s to have a worship space of their own again.
The Archdiocese of Boston and the South Boston Seaport Catholic Collaborative have been working to make this a reality. We believe we have a bright future and the promise that all things will be made anew in Christ. But we knew from the engineering studies that rebuilding the original structure of St. Vincent’s parish was not an option. However, by entering into an innovative 99-year ground lease, St. Vincent de Paul can ensure that it’s worship community will be a viable presence in Southie for another 100 years.
It is important to allay some of the rumors and fears. St. Vincent’s church is not being sold. We had asked a developer for a plan that would (a) preserve the historically significant and beautiful church building, and (b) give us a new worship space, including a hall, office space, and places for religious education and all our ministerial needs.
The pastoral staff of the South Boston Seaport Catholic Collaborative is very excited that as we just recalled the annual feast day of St. Vincent de Paul, we finally are close to having some great news to share with the St. Vincent’s community. Please continue to pray that this undertaking will be a great success for our parish community. St. Vincent de Paul, pray for us!