Charlestown Parishes to Share Resources

Consolidation process will consult lay people.

Over the next couple of years, Charlestown Catholics will see a change in how their churches do business—but parishioners will have a say in the matter.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston recently released a plan that would cluster parishes in what the church calls “pastoral collaborations.”

In Charlestown, that collaboration would lead to the Saint Francis De Sales and Saint Mary—Saint Catherine of Siena sharing resources, such as business managers and priests, but would follow a planning process that Father James Ronan of the St. Mary—St. Catherine called “deliberate and organic.”

“It’s not a plan that will be decided from the top down,” Ronan said. “It will be decided from the bottom up.”

Ronan said that the plan is best understood by describing what it’s not: it’s not a plan for closing parishes, he said. It’s also not a plan driven by economics, and it’s not a plan that ignores that Catholic Church’s shortage of priests.

Also, he said, “Its not a plan that excludes broad-scale involvement in leadership and in consultation of the lay people.”

Over the next few months, Ronan said, the church will begin calling Charlestown Catholics to meetings where they will be educated and consulted on the proposed consolidation.

Discussions on the matter began this week, he said, but won’t conclude for quite some time.

Parishes are required to submit a report of their progress at the beginning of May, Ronan said, but the actual implementation process could take as many as five years.

“[It’s] too early to say what it’s going to look like,” Ronan said. “We haven’t really decided what format will be best for us… [but], whatever it looks like in Charlestown, two Parishes will continue.”

Kathleen Whelan Giordano February 03, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Who will decide which parishioners will be included in these discussions? Or will they be open meetings for who ever wishes to get involved could attend and express their opinions and ideas?
Matt M. Casey (Editor) February 03, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Father Ronan said that parishioners would be hearing about this in church. If you ask your priest, he will probably have an answer for you.
Sean Boyle February 04, 2012 at 01:31 PM
This seems too fishy to me. It seems as if history is repeating itself. A few years back at Saint Catherines, we were told we would be consolidating with Saint Marys - that it didn't mean a parish would close ... And then look what happened, Saint Catherine closed!
BostonMaggie February 08, 2012 at 12:28 AM
I'd like to add a "+1" to Sean's comment.


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