When I was in the mountains of Constanza I received a phone call from the local Vicar Foriane, Father Bob Deehan, who was calling on behalf of Fr. Paul Soper, Director of Pastoral Planning for the Archdiocese of Boston.
I was informed that the three Marshfield parishes will be in the next phase, that is Phase 6 of the Disciples in Mission pastoral planning process that will take effect in June 2018.
That means over the next year the three parishes will get together to work toward bringing about this collaborative. I will work along with the other two pastors to bring together our Finance Councils, Pastoral Councils and Staffs to undertake the necessary steps to carry out the process. The Pastoral Process requires all pastors to submit their resignation. These pastors may apply for reappointment, but it is not guaranteed that any of the pastors will be reappointed. There is a likelihood that a new pastor will be drawn from outside these parishes. Once the three parishes enter into the collaborative they will be served by two priests, a pastor and his associate. In reading lasts week’s bulletin from Holy Family I was able to ascertain that that parish will be a stand alone and will be in Phase 7, which is slated for June 2019. I believe the list of the parishes that have yet to enter into a collaborative will be posted in this or next week’s Pilot newspaper. For information on the process visit the pastoral planning site at www.disciplesinmission.com, I have delayed this announcement pursuant to the request of the planning office, they are asking all parishes to disperse this information on the weekend of June 17 & 18th. I realize many will have questions and I trust we will have a time to meet as a parish and parishes to explore the ways we may make this a seamless transition. For several years I have been taking steps to begin this integration, which I started with changing our CCD texts and programs to mirror the larger program at St. Christine’s. I realize that folks from the three parishes already move around from CCD program to CCD program or Parish Mass to Parish Mass according to their changing schedules and many of you know other folks at these parishes. I am confident that this undertaking will make the Catholic Church in Marshfield a stronger faith community and that we will be able to draw on one another’s gifts to glorify God. This is not a time to be anxious, but to anticipate the wonderful times that are to come. I realize this is a lot to swallow and so I am going to hold off to next week to discuss my trip to Constanza and the needs we hope to address in that mission work. In closing, it has been a great privilege to be part of your family and your pastor for these past ten years. We have much to do these next 11 months, let’s do it with hope and happiness. I’ve often spoke of the importance of prayer, so let us put this in God’s hand and trust in His answer!