St. Ambrose Parish
In the Field Corner section of Dorchester, in 1914, St. Ambrose was opened. It was December 7th, the feast day of St. Ambrose, Cardinal O’Connell established this new parish, named by the founding pastor in honor of the saint on his feast day.
The new parish was carved out of the southeastern portion of St. Peter’s Parish. Envisioning future growth, Msgr. Peter Ronan, founding pastor of St. Peter’s, had already secured a lot of 36,000 feet at the junction of Adams and Dickens Street in the Field Corner section. Originally known as Dalrymple Junction, Fields Corner was named after Isaac and Enos Field in the 1820s. The two brothers kept a general store on Dorchester Ave, now the site of a Store 24.
The founding pastor, Rev. John P. Harrigan, was born in Charlestown on December 3, 1867, the son of Timothy and Catherine Harrigan. He attended local schools and after high school, Bryant and Stratton’s Business College. Upon graduating from Boston College in1889, he entered St. John Seminary. He was ordained on December 22, 1893 by Archbishop Williams. He celebrated his first Mass on Christmas Day at St. Mary Church in Charlestown.
His first assignment was to St. Francis de Sales Parish in the Dudley Square section of Roxbury (1894-1908) and his second to St. Patrick Parish in Stoneham (1908-1913). On September 22, 1913, he was appointed pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Hanover. His appointment at St. Ambrose took effect on Monday, December 14, 1914.