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Request: Let St. Kevin’s alums say a proper ‘goodbye’

To the Editor:

This is a formal request to the City of Boston Planning Office for Urban Affairs and St. Mary’s Center for Women & Children. I am a former parishioner of St. Kevin’s Church and a former graduate of St. Kevin’s School. I represent a group of former students and residents of St. Kevin’s parish who share a history and respect for St. Kevin’s that goes far beyond the here and now.

St. Kevin’s, which was founded in 1946 was responsible for the education, entertainment, and spiritual guidance of thousands of families in the Upham’s Corner section of Boston. Our Beloved Father Joseph J. Kierce, along with many other clergy, helped us to prepare for our lives beyond the small world of St. Kevin’s and Uphams Corner.

As a victim of the Archdiocese of Boston’s consolidation plan, St. Kevin’s was closed to its congregation and community in 2008. Since that time, the buildings have remained unoccupied and abandoned - a grim testament to the many generations that benefitted from the hope, peace and faith they found there.

In December 2013, it was announced that both the church and school buildings would soon be demolished and replaced by new housing for Uphams Corner residents. At that time, our small group began our quest for the chance to walk through and photograph these halls one last time. Requests have been sent to the City of Boston’s Office of Urban Planning, St. Mary’s Center for Women & Children, City Counselors and the Archdiocese of Boston to no avail. We offered to sign a Release of Liability, wear safety equipment and work with officials to keep it safe and simple. We have not be given the respect of a proper answer from anyone. Construction has now begun and time is of the essence! We have come together as a group to remember and preserve the memory of this institution that was more than just a name, an address, a brick building. St. Kevin’s was where we received our Sacraments... where we married and said goodbye to our family members who died...where we learned a multitude of life’s lessons.... where the spirits of all those who taught us remain for all time. The interior of these buildings contain a million memories, the ghosts of innocence and hope, and a chronicle of our childhood. We need to say goodbye.

We respectfully ask that we be given the opportunity to say a proper goodbye to St. Kevin’s and preserve this important part of Dorchester history in photographs before it is lost forever. I eagerly await your response and appreciate your kind consideration of our request.