Outlook for Boston Pastoral Plan, DIM

The more we see and hear of the implementation of the Boston pastoral plan, Disciples in Mission, the more we conclude the acronym for the plan, DIM, is a good way to describe the outlook for the plan.  One example of the problems are expressed in a guest column in a local paper, “Catholic church ‘collaborative’ plan shrouded in hypocrisy” written by a parish volunteer at St. Mary’s of the Assumption in East Walpole. Here are excerpts:

Guest column: Catholic church ‘collaborative’ plan shrouded in hypocrisy
WALPOLE —Christ’s message of love, respect and service to others seems to be missing from the Boston Archdiocese’s pastoral plan called “Disciples in Mission.” The ouster of the parish priests from their current assignments as part of this plan is the latest in a string of deceptive acts created by the hierarchy and imposed on the parish priests and their congregations. The plan is designed to keep churches “open” so that the money continues to flow in, but fails to address the priest shortage in any meaningful way, while inflicting pain on the parish priests and parishioners.

In gratitude for years of service, parish priests were asked to tender their “resignations” earlier this month. In the work world, requesting a resignation means the termination of employment. Requesting the resignation of priests who have taken a vow of obedience and know they can be reassigned at any time shows a complete lack of respect for these men.

At St. Mary’s of the Assumption parish in East Walpole on Oct. 20, when questioned about the need for resignations and the pain inflicted on the parish priests by this plan, Fr. Paul Soper’s response was that he went to the chapel and cried. How similar to Peter’s weeping after he denied Christ three times in the garden.

After the clergy sex abuse scandal festered for years in the Archdiocese of Boston, and across the globe, under legal pressure, the hierarchy finally admitted its wrongdoing.

In 2004, the Archdiocese under Cardinal Sean O’Malley made decisions with limited, if any, input from the congregations to shutter parishes. People left the Catholic Church.

Now we are looking at “collaboratives” instead of “closings” designed to avoid a negative response from parishioners and a huge drop off in contributions that occurred when parishes where shuttered. Will people leave the Catholic Church?

Handing down edicts has and will continue to alienate people. More egregious, however, is the failure to deal honestly and directly with the people. Were there no lessons learned from the sex abuse scandal and the 2004 closings? And where is Christ in this plan?

At St. Mary’s, Fr. Soper danced around the issues of whether parish could be removed from its assigned cluster and whether Fr. Delay could remain the pastor. After two hours of discussion and multiple inquiries, the answer was still unclear until a parishioner pressed for a “yes” or “no” answer. Fr. Soper’s response was “no.” The “flexibility” of the plan that Fr. Soper spoke about in The Pilot in November 2012 appears to be only for the hierarchy, not the parishes.

Even more upsetting than the lack of a forthright answer, however, was Fr. Soper’s outright refusal to bring to Cardinal O’Malley the concerns of the parishioners, including a request to allow Fr. Delay to stay at St. Mary’s until he retires. Removing St. Mary’s from Phase II and putting it in a later phase would accomplish this. But the hierarchy has spoken – the “collaboratives” are a done deal.

In response to queries about how decisions were made in the creation of the clusters, Fr. Soper, a Harvard educated man, selected for this task for his ability to “quantify and analyze data,” explained the laughable “sacramental index.” The formula was based on the number of Baptisms, First Communions and Confirmations, weddings and funerals, and the total offertory. Fr. Soper’s academic calculations fail to recognize that many registered Catholics come to Church only for the sacraments, using the Church as a backdrop for the photo opportunities provided at these “events,” with the occasional Easter and Christmas visits. There was little to no regard for the vitality of the faith community, the same people who are charged with evangelizing under this plan.

Week in and week out, Fr. Delay draws standing room only crowds at Mass. Father understands that the young people are the future Church. He involves the youth in the parish as altar servers, lectors, religious education teachers and through the summer Bible camp and countless other activities.

At the parish center meeting, parishioners recounted stories of Fr. Delay’s outreach to those in need – cooking and delivering a full Thanksgiving dinner for a woman with cancer so she could celebrate with her family, helping a family left homeless by a fire, comforting people in their time of sorrow and need and welcoming all, including members from two parishes in Norwood that were shuttered.

Just this past week, Fr. Delay held a prayer service for the teenagers of the parish grieving the tragic loss of a 14-year old classmate and friend. Through his words, and more importantly his actions, Fr. Delay serves as a role model and inspires the people of St. Mary’s to love and serve others and treat all with dignity and respect. It is painful to watch him be treated so poorly by the Archdiocese, yet he remains a humble servant.

There is no question that the Church needs to address the shortage of priests and the Archdiocese needs to consolidate the parishes. The hypocritical plan of the “Disciples in Mission” and the disgraceful treatment of beloved parish priests like Fr. Delay serve only to further alienate the very people who are expected to be evangelists. The Archdiocese needs to start dealing openly and honestly rather than developing duplicitous plans and obscuring the facts. The hierarchy needs to focus on Christ’s message of love, respect and service to others.

Mary Garrity is a volunteer at St. Mary’s Church in East Walpole.

BCI does not know much about Fr. Delay or about St. Mary’s in East Walpole, and we do not necessarily agree with all of the views expressed by Ms. Garrity. Still, we do agree there is are problems with hypocrisy and inconsistency in the plan. Some priests are made to retire at 75-years-old and some can stay on. Some priests can stay in their existing parish community as pastor of the new collaborative and many must leave.  Those issues will be the subject of a future post as we talk about the dim outlook for “DIM.”

44 Responses to Outlook for Boston Pastoral Plan, DIM

  1. A.D. says:

    This is very interesting, because our deacons were also asked to retire from all but barely active service this past month. They seemed to be broadsided by the request, and never saw it coming. We had no idea that this came anywhere from our own parish…but it is evident a calculated scheme was in place to put a red line through our most senior servants of God.

  2. Andrew Genovese says:

    I think this plan Disciples in Mission has a lot of problems. But what is perfect on this earth? I think since we have no control over it is to pray. We need to pray for our priests, and for the RCAB. We need to lift up to the Lord our prayers and concerns…. And we must never become so outraged that we stop going to Holy Mass. The Mass is the time when we pray together and encounter the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. We must never forget to go to Mass. Even if we have to switch where we worship just do it for the glory of God and for your own soul. We need to focus on our souls not on this nonsense.

    • Michael says:

      required to go to Holy Mass … but not required to put a penny in the basket. Send your hard earned money to Catholic organizations focused on enhancing the faith and encouraging the faithful.

  3. Disco says:

    The church in the USA has a long and storied history of making it up as they go along, even in the glory days. The heresy of Americanism is alive and well, though a topic for another day.

    The whole idea of parish priests having term limits is antithetical to the nature of the church and priesthood. How can a man be a father when he can serve in that capacity for no more than 12 years? Parish churches are not turn-key operations and they never have been. They take on the character and faith of their parishioners and clergy over time and either thrive or whither and die as a result of it.

  4. D Paul says:

    Very nice posting. There continue to be massive problems in Boston with the implementation of “pastoral” reform. It is called restructuring. One of the primary targets is the Latin Mass and any priest associated with its tinges of believing in the “sacrifice of the Mass”. It is all about the “people of God” and no sin and a link between Church and State. Geoghan and Shanley are only “tips of the iceberg” to the true intentions of the liberals in the American Church. Because BCI takes out the flashlight, the rest of the U.S. can look for like actions in their diocese. Unfortunately, there is now a pope to lead them on his donkey into Jerusalem.

    • j says:

      I don’t know what you mean by “targeting” the Latin Mass, unless you are referring to the transfer of Bishop Deeley, who Celebrates the Extraordinary form (all Roman Masses are technically “Latin Masses”), to Portland

  5. Chris Whittle says:

    I have been an opponent of this plan from day one. All it is doing is eliminating half of the existing parishes. This is a dis-service to the elderly who cannot find rides to Mass. This is a dis-service to priests who are over 75 and are forced into retirement although some can serve well beyond that age. And most importantly, this is a dis-service to the adherents of 2000 years of Sacred Tradition. Pretty soon Faithful Catholics will worshipping in catacombs if no change in episcopacy in Boston is made.

  6. F. Nowak says:

    I’ve never had respect for the Boston Diocese. If one has a question of any sort, no one at their offices is willing to respond. That is, if you can even get anyone to answer the phone. Letters sent to their offices are never answered. Given the mood in the parishes when Cardinal O’Malley first came on board, I expected him to hold open, parishioner-wide meetings in every parish and help “thrash out” the decisions, issues and policies that were causing considerable parisioner concern. He did nothing of the sort however and even if he decided to do so now, it’s far too late. Just as on the national level, the very people affected are the last ones to be consulted when decisions affecting them are made.

  7. Rondre says:

    If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem Boston catholic Outsider.

  8. Concerned Parent says:

    Things are certainly looking “DIM” since our local parish was rolled into a phase I collaborative. Is reverence no longer in fashion? During her apparition at LaSalette, the Blessed Mother warned priests about “irreverence and impiety in the celebration of the Holy Mysteries”. Here we’ve got a pastor who arrives twenty minutes late for Mass, loudly yells, “Let’s do this!” and strides with arms swinging up to the altar, to the accompaniment of laughter and applause. Seems like a different religion is on display than the one this church hosted just last year. “Selfie” sermons replete with ear-splitting shouting and jokes are the new norm. Blaring music completes the auditory assault. Reverence is out the window. Some people seem to enjoy it, but others look uncomfortable and grim-faced. Is this the type of “experience” that is supposed to draw “the people, the “lost” that are coming to Mass but just not staying”, the prospective converts that Fr. Soper is concerned with? Unfortunately there may be even more “lost” as a result of this “evangelization” approach. How about a reverent Mass instead of “religi-tainment”? And why reduce the time scheduled for confessions and change holy day Mass times to slots during work and school hours when it’s impossible for people to attend, while at the same time adding new social activities to the parish schedule? Hard to imagine such misplaced priorities will result in successful evangelization, but they will lead serious Catholics who care about their childrens’ spiritual formation to avoid parishes (and if necessary, the AoB) where their faith is being undermined.

    • tryingtofigureitout says:

      why would you post something like this without naming at least the parish and the priest who is acting like this specifically? if what you are alleging is not true, then you are doing something that is sinful… if what you are alleging is true, you should name the parish, name the priest and file a complaint with the bishop….just tossing this allegation out the without backing it up is just ridiculous.. why would you do that??? i have no idea what you are doing by posting such a serious allegation without providing ANY sort of information that could help end it

      • Joyful Noise says:

        Put simply, people are afraid of retribution, not to themselves but to the parish. I suspect the poster is someone who has complained about the situation to others. Not too hard for anyone then to figure it out. File a complaint with the Bishop?? We all know that depends on the Bishop and if he actually reads his mail. I really doubt the poster is creating this out of whole cloth. Too many details.

      • Concerned Parent says:

        Everything I’ve described is true. Since the Cardinal and the DIM Committee appointed this person and know his style and approach, they clearly must approve, since he was specifically selected for Phase I. I have described some of the details of what is going on in this parish because quite frankly, it shocks me. Here is why I am putting this out. I’ve had a front row seat to Phase I, and have seen how the collaborative process has played out here. Like the columnist who described what happened at St. Mary’s in E. Walpole, I think it has been very destructive on many levels (including a sharp decline in reverence). I am apprehensive that a similar effect will soon be sweeping across the rest of the archdiocese. My goal is not to embarass any particular priest, but to provide a heads up.

      • tryingtofigurethisout says:

        i am not questioning whether what you say is true… i am questioning why you won’t provide where the abominable actions are taking place. and if there is a priest who is not only condoning the actions , but also participating in them, why would you worry about ” embarrassing ” him…. it would seem that priest should be embarrassed …..it is ridiculous for you to sound the alarm about liturgical abuses but then say you don’t want to embarrass anyone….and to the person who said you yourself may not want to be identified as the person bringing to the forefront these revelations, how could anyone determine who you are with a moniker like ” concerned parent “… if you are as concerned about the issue as you claim to be, for the good of the church, name the parish and name the priest……otherwise stop with the dubious postings

    • Concerned Parent says:

      The name of the priest is not relevant. What is relevant is that this is the type of approach and atmosphere apparently favored in the new collaborative. From what I have read on BCI and what has taken place in my local parish, it does appear that orthodoxy is being replaced with “catholicism lite”. I don’t understand why you characterize my post as “dubious”. Since my local parish was part of Phase I, I am merely reporting what I see from the front lines of the “new evangelization”.

      • Michael says:

        I think your anonymity is fine. I think identifying the priest by name would be an act of Christian charity to that priest. I know it is hard for some good people to accept that naming names is necessary. But it is. And why not identify yourself … the answer is so that you can continue to name names – continue to be effective. Otherwise, they will go after you, your reputation and you (like BCI) will lose your strategic advantage. The spiritual war … requires the honest use of effective tactics.

        Name the priest and let’s call a spade a spade.

        I love Christian music. BUT the super-fun-rock-band style of priesthood communication (while appearing cool and appearing to attract attention in sort of a “new” evangelization sort of way) is superficial. It’s kind of like the amusement park arcade games that draw you in to throw endless quarters down the drain. After about age 6, you realize that all of the colorful bs is just there to hide the lack of substance.

        The Holy Mass is substance personified. One does not need to spice it up … unless one is spicing it up for people who just do not understand the truth (the substance).

        No need for a priest to act “cool” (or irreverent) at Mass. A reverent celebration of the Eucharist is about as cool as it gets … assuming one understands what is happening at the Holy Mass.

        Why would a weekly/daily miracle require a “hip” priest? Maybe, it doesn’t. Maybe it’s the priest’s failed human nature manifested in an inappropriate display of his needy ego which makes him want to become a comedian (or the guy all the young girls wish never became a priest).

        Time to focus on the weekly/daily miracle. Forget keeping CHrist in Christmas. How about keeping Christ as the purpose for attending the Holy Mass.

      • Concerned Parent says:

        “Name the priest and let’s call a spade a spade.”

        I don’t want to hurt or embarrass this priest. He strikes me as basically kind and well-meaning. The bigger problem is that he is not an outlier, but appears to be the face of the “new evangelization”. Why give out his name when he appears to be doing what the AoB wants?

        “Time to focus on the weekly/daily miracle. Forget keeping CHrist in Christmas. How about keeping Christ as the purpose for attending the Holy Mass.”

        Well said and Amen.

  9. Lazarus' Table says:

    If you follow how the archdiocese works long enough, you discover: 1)they don’t admit mistakes 2)they make further mistakes to try to fix mistakes 3)it’s all about saving face, not the good of souls. They will do whatever it takes to get their job done, regardless of collateral damage– the breaking of priests’ spirits, the disruption of parish life, alienation from the church.
    They may not ‘close’ parishes but they will alter the identity of parishes so much they may as well be closed– so long Latin Mass, so long popular devotions, so long meaningful religious education, so long enduring relationships with parish priests.
    I would guess that with some laity waking up and asking hard questions, the powers that be are now in panic mode. Maybe the process will slow down a bit to let the heat dissipate. Maybe some compromises will be made to avoid headlines and news stories.
    But bet your bottom dollar it’s your bottom dollar they want not your spiritual good. And like they treat their priests, they will use you and abuse you and then throw you away.

    • Concerned Parent says:

      “But bet your bottom dollar it’s your bottom dollar they want not your spiritual good. And like they treat their priests, they will use you and abuse you and then throw you away.”

      Regular Mass attendees are starting to wake up. Many who formerly gave generously are now withholding donations. I used to find this shocking, but in light of recent events, it’s easier to understand. The shabby treatment meted out to St. Mary’s parishioners and to the parishioners of Mary Immaculate of Lourdes will also have a ripple effect. People are also disgusted with the bloated salaries and other in- your-face expenditures (such as priest junkets, e.g.

      http://www.thegoodcatholiclife.com/2013/04/12/holy-land-renewing-baptism-vows-and-riding-camels/ ) particularly against the backdrop of this terrible economy.

      • A Priest says:

        The priests paid for that pilgrimage out of their own pockets, I know because I couldn’t afford it. I don’t think we want our priests denied the chance to go to the Holy Land. I wish I could have gone

      • Simon Girty says:

        “A Priest,” lets be clear on this. clerics don’t HAVE “their own pockets.” Does Cardinal O’Malley work a paying job? If not (and of course he does not) then “his pocket” is “our pocket.” If you mean it comes from their priestly stipends, then their stipends are entirely too large.

        Any money they spent comes from the collections, appeals, etc. With so many parishes struggling to make ends meet, it is unconscionable for His Eminence and these others to go and have a grand old time in the holy land. I doubt little old ladies pinching their pennies to drop in the basket think the money is going to fund what amounts to a vacation for the Cardinal and his favored friends.

        There shouldn’t be one red cent in the budget for clerics to go on junkets. This is especially true when one considers that the financial deficit plaguing any given average parish could be resolved for a fiscal year or more with the money spent on this trip.

      • BCI does not agree with your comment. We are opposed to junkets. But a pilgrimage to the Holy Land is not necessarily a junket–it can be a very spiritually powerful experience. To be in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre at the place where Christ died and was buried is unforgettable.

        Priests get paid very little–about $41k a year. Some parishes run a deficit of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year or more. BCI knows of several at $400k or more. The total expense of the pilgrimage would not pay much towards such a deficit.

        There are plenty of other bigger and better places for this archdiocese to save money than what priests are paid.


      • Simon Girty says:

        BostonCatholicInsider — With all due respect, that priests make so little calls into question how they could afford such a trip out of their stipend for living expenses. With the extreme financial difficulties so many parishes face, it is the very principle of the fact that the cardinal and his companions are traveling that is objectionable.

        I disagree that the price of the trip is negligible in comparison to the budgetary shortfalls of the diocese. For 31 clerics to fly to the holy land and back, for them to eat and be accommodated while in the holy land, and the transportation to the various locations they visited…No matter how you cut it, no matter how much they “roughed it” (if indeed they roughed it at all) such a trip cannot be cheap.

        No doubt it is spiritually powerful experience, and beneficial to anyone who can afford it. I don’t count the cardinal of a financially and spiritually crumbling diocese among those who can afford it. A cardinal who is a member of an order which espouses extreme austerity, no less.

      • Michael says:

        what offended me was that after the trip, the message was that Cardinal O’Malley was able to say mass in the upper room, whereas Pope Benedict XVI had previously been denied the same opportunity. Let’s say that were true. The Cardinal and his clique shouldn’t have been gloating about it. The fact that I am telling you it here, means someone was gloating.

  10. Capt Crunch says:

    Rosary Crusade for the RCAB anybody?

    • tryingtofigurethisout says:

      There IS a Rosary Crusade going on right now to preserve the best parish and the best priest in the archdiocese which, by the way, happens to be producing the most seminarians for the archdiocese year over year….Gee what a surprise.. Pray for Mary Immaculate parish and Father Higgins and the preservation of the Usus Antiquior

      • Veritas Splendor says:

        I wonder about a Rosary “to preserve the best parish and the best priest in the archdiocese.” I am sure the prayers will help–but to say, this–so boasting? It is like you make a god out of a parish or a particular priest. What will you do when he should pass away or the parish is closed. God does not want us to have inordinate loves. Sometimes I fear we in the spiritual life God calls us to let go of (even good) things because we are too much in love with the gift, rather than the Giver of the gift. I worry when people appear hysterical or talk as if they make an idol of a mere humble priest, who is human. I worry when people seem to canonize a particular priest. It all seems, unseemly–like idol worship. like clericalism or something.

  11. ltc2 says:

    Same thing at Immaculate Conception.. I can not stand to watch it.

  12. Stephens says:

    The guest column offers several misconceptions. These modernist have many techniques they use to forward their agenda of destruction. One they love to use is “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” Catholics are usually bluffed by this by their strong desire for charitable outcome. So for example: Fr. Soper can’t really want to destroy active and succeeding parishes could he? No, he must be ill informed (stupid) and not understand Parrish life, Christian community and The Church. We should have a meeting, write a letter, approach the Cardinal etc. What most fail to grasp is that we are dealing with true enemies of the Faith within.

    They want to destroy the Church Christ founded and build a new one in there own image. Modernism is the heresy. It is pure malice, for their inspiration has been a liar and a murderer from the start.

    • Michael says:

      we are dealing with true enemies of the Faith within … and so the premise that they are looking out for us is misplaced

      • Capt Crunch says:

        @ Michael and @Stephens. Clearly, no argument from me about both of your comments. What can be done about it? As somebody pointed out in a previous column time to adhere to the precepts of the church but it ways other than financially. Unfortunately it appears that the RCAB is a lost cause.

  13. Just guessing says:

    I bet that parish named above is south of Boston.

  14. Capt Crunch says:

    @Just guessing

    What’s your point?

  15. Stephen says:

    What can be done about it?
    Paradoxically the answer is: The Latin Mass.
    Benedict XVI who himself was labeled as a suspected Modernist gave us in his 2007 writing a firm and unequivocal right to the Mass of the ages. The issuing of this statement clearly was a slam dunk for his ‘hermeneutics of continuity’ and was a pleasant surprise to many of the more orthodox.

    Today it is very telling when ANYBODY is hostile to The Latin Mass. It is a sure litmus test or even a fool proof inquisition if you’d rather. This is why: Enemies of Tradition are enemies of God’s creation. The fullness of the faith to a Catholic people in a given time is God given. To be an enemy of this historical reality is to be anti-Christ. Culpability in the matter is another question.
    ( re: deception, diabolical disorientation etc.)

    Can such a fullness be reflected in a N.O. Mass? Yes! However with the innovation, creativity, ego-presence etc. etc. there is doubt planted – thus the near absent recognition of the True Presence at Mass. (which say’s nothing about the certain invalidity in some circumstances, and the conspiracy(s) that brought about the errors of V2.)

    So their you have it, the solution. The Latin Mass.

    • sarah says:

      The subject that has not been addressed in this whole New Evangelization Collarborative Plan is the parishes that are not part of a collaborative yet, but have had their priests reassigned to a new collaborative. The AOB has thrown someone in temporarily to try to fill the gap until the parish is ready for collaboration but have left behind a parish with many lost , hurt, abandonned sheep. The parishioners are not opening their wallets willingly and this matter has been brought to light by the temporary admin. There has been finger pointing at the parishioners with statements of how they are only hurting themselves and the archdiocese does not care if they don’t want to give. These statements have sent may parishioners walking out the door feeling insulted. If the archdiocese really doesn’t care then why would this statement have been made? Where are GOD’s hands in this plan? After six months of watching a lively vibrant parish suffer the damage of this plan, I am extremely concerned that things are only going to get worse. Why is AOB not listening to the flock? Why would I, as a parishioner, want to bring someone into a church where the only message you hear is” we did not make appeal or grand annual”? The sacrifices being made for the good of 26 parishes are far to great for those left abandonned or left behind.

      • Capt Crunch says:

        I live in one of those 26 parishes. I assure you life is not all rosy in all of the current phase parishes/collaberatives.

        In fact, my parish priest was transferred to a different parish and my sentiments are identical to yours.


    • Capt Crunch says:

      Again Stephen I agree with you, but how does that get accomplished with the RCAB appearing to be shrinking the Latin Mass options.

      In fact, the recent announcements to the changes in the Congregation for Bishops doesn’t bode well for tradition either.

  16. j says:

    I don’t think the focus of criticism of “Disciples in Mission” should be that one (or two) specific Pastors are not going to be Pastors in church x and may or may not become Pastors in church y. There are many great Pastors that have left Parishes that they turned around or built up over years, and most of the best left quietly. That some Parishioners are going to be upset that their present Pastor isn’t continuing on and predict the fall of the whole Catholic faith as a result isn’t going to be news to the Archdiocese, nor anyone in the Archdiocese. Similarly, some of the new Pastors of Collaboratives are great, some aren’t (at least on is really lousy).

    The plan needs to be evaluated based on what it was supposed to do, if it is working and where it is NOT working. Among the problems with the plan is that, to work, the clusters have to learn from the mistakes made, and, to be blunt, I don’t think we are hearing about the mistakes. The Archdiocese promised that if there were fewer Pastors, the Pastors would be better – is that happening??? Transparency was promised – do we know HOW Pastors were chosen, are the new Clusters doing a better job of Evangelizing, or not, and how are you measuring that? Are Mass attendances up in the various Churches of a Cluster or not, and are the Churches better off financially, or do they just now have more expensive staff?

    • Lazarus' Table says:

      To borrow a question from the political world: “Are we better off today than we were 8 years ago?” In some serious respects we are not. The credibility of the archdiocese has plummeted even more. Any kind of “program” or “process”, even worthy, is suspect. The abusive treatment of priests is more widely known. The “in-your-face” attitude of diocesan leaders continues to alienate laity.
      Some vital concepts are being redefined: what it means to be a pastor, what is a parish, the relationship between pastors and parochial vicars, the concept of canon law as protecting people;s rights, the attitude of “service” among diocesan leaders. How Catholics have traditionally understood all these is vaporizing and what seems to be taking their place is not encouraging at all.
      Pope Francis has been modelling an inspiring and moving example of service, shepherding, humility, acceptance and trust. It is these we so desperately need and which at the current time seem so unwelcome in Boston. The Boston church looks more like corporation than community, financial more than faith, power more than service, obstacle, deception and death more than way, truth and life.
      I asked an acquanited why he and his family left the church. To my shock and dismay he replied, “If you took down the crucifix from the church and replaced it with a statue of the Buddah, things would carry on pretty much the same.” He has taken his search for Christ and community elsewhere. God forbid many more join him.

      • Stephen says:

        “If you took down the crucifix from the church and replaced it with a statue of the Buddah, things would carry on pretty much the same.”

        See: Vatican 2 error of ecumenism and Assisi I, II and III

    • Concerned Parent says:

      ” The Archdiocese promised that if there were fewer Pastors, the Pastors would be better – is that happening”

      “Better” in what regard? The financial bottom line seems to be the measure. Jazzing up the “experience” in hopes of increasing the number of return customers in order to broaden the contributor base seems to be the method. If Catholic worship is reduced to the type of community activity readily available outside the church door, then naturally prospective customers will continue to shop around for more stimulating entertainment.

  17. Capt Crunch says:

    j you make an interesting point. What metrics are the AoB using to determine the success of this plan? Is this statement a clue?

    “Are Mass attendances up in the various Churches of a Cluster or not, and are the Churches better off financially, or do they just now have more expensive staff?”

    While the financials are important wouldn’t, at least on some level, one of the metrics to determine the success of this plan be the number of vocations? Especially since one of the driving motivators of the Disciples in Mission effort is the lack of priests.

    Has anybody at the AoB or responsible for the Disciples in Mission program read the following?

    The Papal Plan for Restoration: Restoring the Catholic Priesthood


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