PASTORAL PLANNING MEETING: was held on Sunday, December 4th with Fr. Paul Soper, Director of the Office of Pastoral Planning. Thank you to all who attended!
Update: November 13
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, St. Julia Parish will be heading into active participation in the Disciples in Mission process in our archdiocese, beginning in June of 2017. The parish will be a “collaborative,” albeit a standalone one that will not share a pastor with another parish. St. Julia Parish will remain one parish with two churches. To further understanding of this process, Father Paul Soper, who has been overseeing the effort over the past many years, will be coming to explain it, and to answer any questions about it.
The meeting will be on Sunday, December 4 th , after the 11:15 AM Mass, and so at about 12:15 PM. All parishioners are most welcome to come to the Parish Center for this event. Light refreshments will be served. Come and hear of what is envisioned and has been implemented already in individualized ways over the past few years. No two collaboratives are exactly alike, and yet the guiding principles and procedures are important to know. Confusion and misperceptions can be avoided by coming to the meeting. It will be well presented, I know.
Father George Evans
Update October 30, 2016
Last weekend was a whirlwind for our parish and for me. The well-attended Generations of Faith session gave lots of good teaching and sharing. It was so gratifying to see such a fine turnout. “Faith Begins At Home” was a great theme. Our staff, especially, deserves a big Thank You for all the careful planning that went into the event. I enjoyed it very much personally, as I played “The Game of Life” from a Catholic viewpoint, there with those of you who came to the Conference Room for one of your breakout sessions. I heard lots of good things about the other sessions.
Besides that, at all the Masses I announced our parish’s assigned entry into active collaborative status this coming June – as a “stand-alone collaborative:” one not sharing a pastor with another parish. It was a relief to be able to communicate that, since many people had voiced concern that the previously envisioned tie-in with another 2-church parish would have been too complicated.
Then I related my prayerfully reached intention to ask Cardinal Sean not to consider me for the position of pastor of the new collaborative of St. Julia Parish in the spring. Many of you were so kind as to offer feedback and support to me at the end of the Masses, and I am thankful for your insights and good wishes.
A part of me would like to stay here forever! More careful reflection helps me to know that 14 years (2003-2017) will have been a long time and that change is good for you and for me. I value the chance to be moving in a planned way (preparing over 8 months or so) rather than inevitably being transferred quickly to meet some future need that would suddenly arise. As I say to people so often amid various circumstances of life, we place our lives in God’s hands and we ask God to guide us where He will. I trust that God is in charge of our parish’s future and also my own.
There will soon be an information meeting about the contours of the collaborative arrangement as it will affect St. Julia Parish. This is an exciting time of new life for the parish, as it has been for the 111 Boston-area parishes already taking part in collaboratives.
Father George Evans
Update October 23:
In a few years all Boston archdiocesan parishes will be part of Disciples In Mission, a plan for readying parishes to be more effective in spreading the message of Christ. Over 111 of the 288 parishes are already gathered into 53 collaboratives, in which most parishes share a pastor and a staff with another parish or two.
Next June, St. Julia Parish will be part of the process also, but as a 2–church parish that – like some others – will NOT be sharing a pastor with another.
A tentative plan had been envisioned whereby our parish would have shared a pastor with a neighboring one, Good Shepherd. A closer look showed that prospect to be unwieldy, with 4 churches, 4 towns and more than 50 square miles. So, our parish will be a “stand–alone collaborative,” still fully immersed in planning for mission but with its 1 pastor, parishioners, staff and its 2 church buildings.
Within a month or two, advisors to Cardinal Sean will gather with parishioners of our Pastoral and Finance Councils and our pastoral staff to get a sounding on the state of our parish and its future needs. As any parish prepares to enter this process, its pastor submits a letter of resignation, effective in June, so that Cardinal Sean can make the best decision as to its future leadership.
Father George Evans