Upham's Corner Online

Homeless at St. Kevin's Church - Shame on You!

Posted: July 11, 2012     Nancy J Conrad

An "anonymous" reader of Uphams Corner News with fond memories of St. Kevin's and the supreme contributions made by Fr. Kierce over his 50 + years at the school read the UC News article on the homeless at St. Kevin's and was deeply offended. 

Written with a bit of outrageous humor - presenting the makeshift cardboard beds set up by the homeless, surrounded by trash and litter - almost as if they were alternate "vacation" sites, the article's intention was NOT to make fun of the homeless.  Quite the opposite.  It was to call attention to the absurdities of a religious organization treating the St. Kevin's site in such a callous manner.

The resulting exchange between UC News and the Letter to the Editor author led to a new path of understanding and insight.  She had written to Fr. Ahern and asked if there was anything they could do to help and was turned down. The Improvement Association had made a similar suggestion to Fr. Ahern and was also turned down.  [For details on her comments, see Letter to Editor below.]

Meanwhile she has started a Facebook page for St. Kevin's and it's WONDERFUL!  Dialogue follows.

Front Panorama of St. Kevin's

Jul 11, 2012

SubjectHomeless at St. Kevin's Church

Comments: I think its disgusting the way the Archdiocese has let this property go. Shame on them after all of Fr. Kierce's hard work for 50 years to care less about it. Shame on them.

I think the writer of this article put too much effort into trying to be funny. Homelessness is not a joke. Shame on all of you.


Dear Anonymous

The St. Kevin's issue is near and dear to UC News.  We worked for 6 weeks straight to do investigative research (180 pages) on St. Kevin's and the Planning Office of Urban Affairs (POUA) and turned our findings in to the Commonwealth of MA.  In that time period, no issues of UC News were published because of the effort involved.

We WERE in contact with the homeless living inside St. Kevin's and DID NOT turn them into the police.  On the other hand, we did not know the extent of their "lodging" which included beds, heaters, etc.

How, as a writer, do you motivate someone who IS NOT listening?  You can't just hit them over the head again and again.  A different approach is needed.  Homelessness is a SERIOUS issue.  But at St. Kevin's?  It's a joke!  Not because "we" want it that way, but because the archdiocese does not care.

If UC News shows (with some humor) that the homeless are TRYING to create shelter for themselves, will that make a difference to someone - to a reader, to the Planning Office, to the Archdioces?  Maybe.  Maybe by describing the shabby beds in an upbeat and humorous way, someone will begin to pay attention.  Ranting and raving, lecturing ... gets tired after a while.  The number of articles published in UC News about the Planning Office was a bit overwhelming - tedious and depressing.  The A/D of Boston is a large bureaucracy and they do what they want (to make $).

Please excuse us, pardon me, and I apologize for upsetting you.  It's the upset and frustration at public meetings with POUA and their henchmen that has already disturbed me and others enormously.

... Until the local parish (Fr. Jack) authorized professional boarding of the school, it was in EXCELLENT condition (I went inside multiple times because the doors were wide open) and could have been used for 1000 different things immediately here in the community that Fr. Kierce would have been proud of.  The A/D was waiting (hoping) for the state to approve funding, and they were convinced that funding would occur.  It did not; they were turned down and FINALLY, the local parish had the grass cut.  Yet, vagrants continue to gather there and trash abounds.

In the meantime, don't you think GOD would like that property put to good use for the community?  I think s/He would. 

How about an education center or a food pantry or a daycare.  How about satellite theaters to support the development of the arts in Uphams Corner . . . I made these suggestions to Fr. Jack (deaf ears).

Take care and God willing ...

P.S. Do you want to join the Improvement Association in rallying for a better use for StK that Fr. Kierce would have liked?

3:46 pm
I totally understand your point of view now. I was a former student and commicant of st. kevin school/church. It is so upsetting for the people that loved and cherished that church and school to see it in such disrepair.

I wrote to Fr. Ahern and asked if there was anything we could do to help and was turned down. I told him that I thought people would like to get a tour of the inside of our old school and perhaps they would make a donation in the meantime, but was turned down.

I no longer live in the area. I did however start a facebook page called St. Kevin Parish & School/Uphams corner. http://www.facebook.com/groups/102007230342/

I started out with 8 members and now have over 200, I would love you to join, you would get some real insight into the old parish and see how people share such fond memories.
Thanks for keeping on top of the A/D who I certainly have a bad taste in my mouth for the way Fr. Kierce was treated while servicing our parish for over 50 yrs.

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