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St. Augustine Chapel and Cemetery

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1818–1819. 181 Dorchester St.
  • St. Augustine Chapel and Cemetery (Peter Vanderwarker or Antonina Smith)

Located in the first Catholic burial ground in Boston, St. Augustine Chapel remains the oldest surviving Roman Catholic church in Massachusetts. The Right Reverend John Cheverus, first Catholic bishop of Massachusetts, founded the cemetery in 1818 as a burial site for his friend and helpmate the Rev. Dr. Francis Matignon. One year later, Bishop Cheverus added the brick mortuary chapel to mark the site of Matignon's grave. Cheverus's successor, Bishop Benedict Fenwick, expanded the chapel in 1831. The original building is the earliest surviving example of Gothic Revival architecture in Boston. Charles Bulfinch may have designed the chapel; his Federal Street Church (1809) also incorporated Gothic ornament. The cemetery and chapel are maintained by the nearby St. Augustine Church (1888, Patrick C. Keely) at 225 Dorchester Street.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "St. Augustine Chapel and Cemetery", [Boston, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Massachusetts

Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston, Keith N. Morgan, with Richard M. Candee, Naomi Miller, Roger G. Reed, and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009, 226-227.

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