After 72 years of educating priests and hosting religious retreats, the Marist house at Framingham USA is closing.
Fr Ted Keating, the Marist Provincial of the United States called the decision “very painful”.
With deferred maintenance in excess of US$1m, house director, Marist Father Paul Freschette identified the main reason for Framingham’s closure as “financial”.
“The more we looked at it, the more impossible it became with our limited resources,” Fr Keating said.
The house has been of considerable significance for the USA province, as it had been used for more than 40 years as the seminary, until it became a retreat and conference centre in 1980. It is now also used as a home for elderly and retired confreres of the province.
The house features 31 bedrooms, conference rooms, an auditorium, two chapels, a large kitchen, dining hall and gift shop
While not easy to leave, the retired priests and leadership team at the Marist House can see the reasons for closing the house.
“It’s not been easy,” Paul Freschette said, especially for the older priests who don’t want to leave a property that’s so rooted in history, he said. “They planted the trees out front,” and have lived to see them mature.
Fr Raymond Fournier who first lived at Marist House in 1939 said, “I used to mow the whole lawn. It used to take two days!”
The province will move to Waltham and “rent a floor in a more modest house”, Paul Freschette said.
Chairman of the local Residents’ Association, Dennis Giombetti said the Marists have been very good neighbours.
St. Bridget’s Parish on Wheeler Avenue plans to farewell the Marists with a Mass and reception.