It appears that the Archdiocese of Boston is ready to implement the first phase of its plan to organize 288 parishes into 135 “parish collaboratives” with one pastor and a “pastoral team” to serve each collaborative.
I recommend faithfully following the instructions Jesus gave us directly. “Shake the dust from your feet, and move on.”
If Boston cannot generate priests, then it will “die on the vine.”
This sounds somewhat similar to practices already in place in areas without enough priests. Boston has been through so much already, I hope this program goes smoothly until enough new priests can be ordained to allow each parish to have its own priest again. This is another reminder to pray for faithful Catholic families which can foster vocations among their children.
I hope that they are simultaneously starting a major vocations program/campaign so that this can be a medium-term temporary measure (less than 25 years, I hope).
On the occasion of their ad limina visit, the Holy Father addressed the French Bishops (referring to parish ‘reorganization’):
“Yet the solution of the pastoral problems that arise in the diocese must not be limited to organizational matters, however important these may be. There is a risk of putting the accent on the quest for efficiency, with a sort of “bureaucracy of pastoral work”, focusing on structures, organization and programmes. These can become “self-referential” for the exclusive use of the members of these structures and will then have little impact on the life of Christians who have drifted away from regular practice.”
Boston would do well to heed the Holy Father’s wise words.
His complete address may be found at: