Archdiocese of Boston
Fr. O'Brien's address at the parish Masses - 28/29 January 2012
The Archdiocesan Pastoral Planning Commission began a series of consultations around the Archdiocese to discuss a proposal to strengthen our parishes.
The proposal is not a proposal to close parishes or churches. It is a proposal to reorganize the way we serve parishes
Part of the proposal would be to develop a new structure of parish servicing. That is, we are not proposing to close parishes, but to serve them in a new way.
Today, parishes are organized largely to maintain what is. But, “what is” is not working well enough and cannot work effectively into the future. The reality is that less than 16% of Catholics go to Church. Therefore, the Cardinal wants parishes to be organized around a new mission of evangelization and outreach.
The part of the proposal is around organizing our priests and staffs differently. Every parish is to develop a pastoral plan of action with one or two other parishes in the area. The majority of our parishes will be linked and served by one pastor and staff.
This is a proposal. The Archdiocesan Pastoral Planning Commission is seeking the wisdom and insight of parish staff members and parish/finance council members and parishioners over the next several months to see if there is support for this approach. And, if this approach is not acceptable, what approach would people recommend, given the realities and challenges we face.
Information will continue to be in our Bulletin and on the parish and archdiocesan web sites.
Change is difficult, but is often a sign of new life.