Welcome to the Roche Center for Catholic Education


The Barbara and Patrick Roche Center for Catholic Education (The Roche Center) strengthens Catholic education through the promotion of research-based educational innovations and the generation of research to lead the transformation of Catholic schools to serve with a preferential option for the poor and marginalized.


We advocate for continuous Catholic school improvement that builds out excellent Catholic schools to justly serve all students.
We conduct, use, and produce research.
We train educators to become agents of change to systematically transform their schools.
We form educators for ministry in Catholic education.

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Established by the Boston College Board of Trustees in 2007, The Barbara and Patrick Roche Center for Catholic Education of the Lynch School of Education, builds on more than a half-century of research, teaching, and outreach related to Catholic schools at Boston College and brings under one banner strategic and successful initiatives to develop vibrant and revitalized models for the future of Catholic education as an apostolate of hope.

The Roche Family

In March of 2010 long-time friends of Boston College Barbara and Patrick Roche ’51, H ’01, donated $20 million endowment to the Center for Catholic Education which was later named in their honor.

Patrick E. Roche, co-founder of Roche Brothers supermarkets, passed away on May 27, 2012 at the age 83.

The couple said they made the transformative gift because Catholic education had such a profound effect on their lives, and Mr. Roche was a graduate of the college.

The Roche Family

"Catholic education was a great gift in my life,” said the late Patrick Roche. “When Barbara and I saw the number of Catholic schools that were closing, we wanted to do something--BC gave us an opportunity to do so through this Center."

Headquartered in Wellesley, Roche Bros. has 18 Massachusetts locations from Burlington to Cape Cod. Barbara and Patrick Roche are natives of Boston and ardent supporters of Catholic Education.

The Roches are noted philanthropists to worthy causes, including Catholic and public education, the Annual Appeal of the Archdiocese of Boston, the American Ireland Fund, the Parkway Boys and Girls Club, food pantries, elder assistance programs, and more. At BC, they established the Patrick E. and Barbara A. Roche Scholarship Fund for talented students with financial need, and the Barbara A. and Patrick E. Roche Chair in Economics, an endowed professorship currently held by Professor Arthur Lewbel.