About Matthew 25
How We Got Started
Founded in 1988 by Rev. Frederick M. Enman, S.J., Matthew 25 began with a three-unit property and has since expanded to eleven properties in Worcester and Boston, MA. With the support of volunteers and our generous donors, Matthew 25 acquires run-down or abandoned properties, renovates existing structures or builds new construction on those properties, and rents the finished homes to low-income families at a percentage of their income.
Matthew 25’s eleven properties provide twenty safe and comfortable apartments to families that are under-served in the housing market. Our properties are at 100% occupancy. We have maintained a modest price structure by strategically partnering with other non-profit institutions such as Worcester Community Housing Resources for rent collection and other services; Worcester Technical High School, Worcester YouthBuild and the Grafton Job Corps for construction services; volunteers from faith communities like St. Mary’s Parish of Holden and First Congregational Church of Holden, from academic communities like the College of the Holy Cross, Assumption University, Bridgewater State University and St. John’s High School; and businesses in the community like Saint-Gobain.
The decades-long partnership between Matthew 25 and Worcester Technical High School has made construction and renovation of many of our properties possible. Under the direction of their teachers, the Worcester Technical High School students have completed carpentry, plumbing, electrical, and other work in many Matthew 25 properties, making affordable housing possible for our tenants.
REV. FRED M. ENMAN, S.J.
Matthew 25 becomes concrete when people give food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, welcome to the stranger, clothes to the naked, comfort to the sick and visits to those in prison. It struck me very deeply.
Frederick Enman was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1952 and lived in the city for many years, attending St. Joseph School in Worcester and St. John’s High School in Shrewsbury. He entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1978 and was ordained a Catholic priest in the Society of Jesus in 1988. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wesleyan University (Middletown, Connecticut) in 1975 and in 1978 earned a Juris Doctor from Boston College Law School. Fr. Fred also holds a Master of Arts degree in Philosophy from Boston College, a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology and a Diploma of Legal Studies from Oxford University.
In 1988, Fr. Fred founded Matthew 25 with two classmates from Boston College, Tim Healy and Jim MacGillivray. “When I think back to Matthew 25’s beginnings,” reflects Fr. Fred, “I recall my days in theology studies reading The True Church and the Poor, by Fr. Jon Sobrino, S.J., who wrote about the need to make the values of the gospels concrete. Matthew 25 becomes concrete when people give food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, welcome to the stranger, clothes to the naked, comfort to the sick and visits to those in prison. It struck me very deeply. All I can say is, be careful what you read. It can change your life forever!”
Fr. Fred has taught at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, and now divides his time as Executive Director of Matthew 25 and as Assistant Dean and Chaplain of Boston College Law School. In 1994, Fr. Fred received the Isaac Hecker Award for Social Justice for his work with Matthew 25. The Knights of Columbus, Crusader Council 2706, honored Fr. Fred with the first John W. Spillane Award for Distinguished Christian Leadership in 2008.
Fr. Fred believes there will always be a need for organizations like Matthew 25 and welcomes the challenge: “When I was making a retreat in 1996, I remember praying to God, giving thanks for the many wonderful people who had been sent to me through the work of Matthew 25. I heard this voice inside of me say, ‘And I am going to send you many more.’ I felt very much that this was God talking and providing me encouragement for the work to come.”