On June 19, 1922, St. Agatha Parish was officially established
and Fr. Carney was appointed the first pastor,
a position he was to hold for the next twenty- five years.
In his tenure he completed the upper church as well as establishing
St. Agatha School.
Fr. Dolan, of St. Gregory Parish, Dorchester
had served the people of East Milton from 1916 to 1918, in
Ellsworth Hall, and later, when the church was built and the
basement completed, offering Mass in what was then considered
the mission chapel of St. Gregory.
In 1922, Fr. Dolan named the church for St. Agatha, since
this virgin martyr was canonized during the reign of Pope
Gregory, and he felt that there was definite bond between
the two saints, as there was a bond between the two parishes.
In 1935, the upper church was completed, and it was dedicated
in 1936, much to the joy of the parishioners.
Fr. John Starr succeeded Fr. Dolan as pastor
in June of 1947. He took the initial steps in seeing that
one day there would be a school built on parish grounds. In
1950, Monsignor Daniel Donovan succeeded
Fr. Starr as pastor. He oversaw the building of the present
school. His death came in March of 1955. Monsignor
Ralph Gallagher was appointed pastor in March of
1955. The parish through the years had incurred a large debt.
With his expertise the debt was cleared through profits realized
from the sale of parish land, which was not being used.
In 1941, the Bowditch estate, at 336 Adams Street was purchased
to serve as a school and convent. St. Agatha School, staffed
by the Sisters of St. Joseph, opened at the location (now
Fr. Carney Drive) on September 22,1941. The construction of
the present school building was overseen by Monsignor Donovan
and was completed in 1951. The convent at 462 Adams Street
was purchased by the parish in 1984.
Msg. Francis X. Turke was appointed pastor
of the parish in 1981 and served the parish until his death
in 1997. With his guidance, in late 1987 and early 1988, the
upper church was renovated. Over the years, the inner structure,
i.e., heating, lighting systems, had become insufficient.
The renovations included the refurbishing of the beautiful
stained glass windows, an award-winning lighting system as
well as a new look for the sanctuary, a new pipe organ, and
a place for the choirs, thereby improving the quality of worship.
The gothic architecture is still the same, breathtaking in
its simplicity and beauty of design. St. Agatha church is
a holy place and the center of life within St. Agatha parish.
Fr. Peter J. Casey was appointed pastor in
January of 1998, and under his leadership, St. Agatha has
continued its tradition of meeting the spiritual and educational
needs of the people of Milton and Quincy. St. Agatha parish
is also fortunate to have members from three religious communities
serving here: The Sisters of St. Joseph, (CSJ), The Sisters
of Charity of Halifax, (SCH), and the Sisters of Notre Dame
The parish is also fortunate in having faithful parishioners
who continually give of their time, talent and treasure. The
many programs and ministries of the parish continue to be
strengthened by their dedication.
St. Agatha Parish is located at the corner of Brook Road and
Adams Street, close to East Milton Square. It is located on
a main thoroughfare and is convenient by car, by bus or on
There were 9069 registered parishioners and 2913 registered
families as of January 1, 2000. 2189 families lived in Milton,
652 lived in Quincy and the remaining 72 families were from
Dorchester, Hyde Park, Randolph and Braintree. In 1990, there
were 6958 registered parishioners and 2340 registered families.
There has been an increase of 2111 parishioners and 573 families
since the last Parish Visitation.
There is an average weekly Mass Attendance of 3152 parishioners.
There has been a significant change in the parish population
in recent years. The largest population change has been in
the number of parishioners in the 30 59 age group. There has
also been a significant increase in the number of children
between the ages of 5 and 19. The majority of families in
the parish consist of husband and wife and two children. If
the present trend continues in the next ten years, many more
young families will be moving into St. Agatha Parish.
St. Agatha Parish has a large elderly population too. As of
2000, there were 264 registered parishioners age 80 and over,
and approximately 970 registered parishioners between the
ages of 65 and 79. A number of our senior citizens have moved
into senior housing and have chosen to remain as parishioners
of St. Agatha Parish.
The last official Parish Census was taken in 1991. It was
conducted by parishioners who volunteered to take the census
in their area or on their street. Most parishioners were willing
to fill out part or the entire census card that was hand delivered
by volunteer street captains. Since the last Parish Census,
there has been an increase in the diversity of the parish.
27 parishioners speak Spanish as well as English, 9 speak
Vietnamese and 10 list French Haitian Creole as their second
Who was Saint Agatha?
Her feast day is February 5th.
here to go to Saint of the Day to read about her.
Feast of St. Agatha
Return to top of page