Boston Archdiocese Details Proposed Parish Clusters

BOSTON — The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston is moving ahead with its plan to cluster 290 parishes into 125 smaller groupings in an effort to deal with fewer priests, low attendance at Mass and reduced finances.

The archdiocese has posted on its website a list of proposed parish groupings (PDFs – South, North, Central, West, Merrimack Region). For instance, the archdiocese suggests putting Saint Bridget of Maynard with Saint Anselm and Our Lady of Fatima in Sudbury. They would have a pastoral service team with fewer staff.

Monsignor William Fay, co-chair of the Archdiocesan Planning Commission, says he’s looking for feedback from local Catholics.

“Let us know what you think now,” Fay said. “We’ve done the best we could from these criteria. You look at this from your perspective and work on these, get back to us, and let us know if we have things correct here, and if we don’t, how should they be corrected?”

Some Catholics are critical of the plan because it takes away local control and may reassign priests.

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  • Charlene Carrier25

    Congratulations to the Cardinal and Fr.David Couturier for this brilliant plan to better attend to the spiritual needs of parishioners.  I personally think that more religious priest should be placed in the active ministry of the parishes. Diocesan priests are very concerned with days off..Many diocesan priests are mercenaries. I was a former parishioner of Holy Family parish Gloucester,Ma..I have moved to Maine. Fr.Gariboldi is a minister of the sick, the poor, and anyone in need,24/7…an exception . I pray daily for your success.God bless. Charlene Carrier

  • Mfcurren

    I have some familiarity with the plan and I think a few things need to be clarified. “fewer priests” is accurate, although it is heartening to see an increase in vocations, both to the priesthood and the diaconate, over the last few years. “lower Mass attendance” …in some parishes, yes. others, like mine in Reading, have had annual increases in Mass attendance every year for the last 4 years. By reduced finances, Inassume you mean lower revenue as expenses climb….alas this is true of many NGOs today. We Catholics are donating at 1965 levels in a vibrant 21st century church. What a bargain! We need to put away George Washington and take out some ” it takes away local control” ….far from it. The consolidation of staffing within parish clusters comes with it a wonderful opportunity for increased input from all parishioners. No matter how you look at it this plan is about more local input, not less. And lastly, “some Catholics are critical”…..indeed, we always will be.

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