BCI has been asked by readers to cover several topics, and we would like to ask readers to share their perspectives on two of them.
1. Pastoral Planning Plan and Process: If you are a priest or parish employee, how do you feel about the proposed plan and process so far? By means of an example, one reader posted the following comment yesterday:
“I hope BCI will soon get into the recent week of meetings held in Braintree with various groups of parish employees who serve as business managers, principals, religious education directors, pastoral assistants, etc. regarding Pastoral Planning. They were a nightmare almost as much of a nightmare as the new payroll company that was imposed on all parishes.”
This is a strong statement from one individual, which may or may not necessarily represent the feelings of everyone. BCI is hearing very mixed feedback. We are definitely hearing that the level of angst and anxiety out there is increasing. Some pastors are in a “wait and see” mode and are eager to provide input towards the planning process. Many pastors are justifiably concerned that pastors will have to resign from their roles as part of this plan. Many of those who are currently pastors will not be pastors in the new plan going forward. What role the pastors will play in the overall decision-making process is unclear, because there has not been any communication to them about what their role will be. Some pastors feel the plan is a bad one.
If you are a parish employee, priest or pastor, you can share your thoughts anonymously either via comments on this post or via the Contact Us form. (The Contact Us form asks for a name and email address, but you can write without using your real name or real email address–we still get the message, but just cannot respond). There is reason to believe the Archdiocese does want input to make this process better, so if you feel something is wrong or broken in the process or plan, please also suggest what you think should be done better or differently.
2. Dogs in the Sanctuary
In follow-up of this USA Today article, “Pooches Take the Pulpit,” we have heard of two parishes in the Boston Archdiocese where the pastors apparently allow the parish dogs in the sanctuary during the offering of Mass or other sacraments–St. Mary in Charlestown and St. Bridget in Maynard.
BCI likes dogs and has no complaint about there being a “parish dog” who lives in the rectory and performs his or her “business” outside of the rectory or on exterior parish grounds. But BCI does not see where it is at all appropriate to have a dog in the sanctuary at any time, let alone during the offering of Mass or sacraments.
If you are familiar with either of these situations or any other in the Boston Archdiocese where a dog (or other parish pet) is routinely allowed in the sanctuary during the offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass or during other sacraments, please feel free to comment or drop us an email.