Pastoral leadership

Pastoral leadership

People react to the second list of Boston archdiocese parishes added to list of possible closures. That there are pastors who are surprised by this is sad. One says, “We made the first cut and weren’t aware that there would be another list.” Well, if your cluster didn’t provide the required two parishes for listing, then that would make sense, doesn’t it? Even then clusters weren’t supposed to limit themselves only to two, but were to consider if more may need to close. That’s why in Salem, the archdiocese added three additional names. Ideally we would only have three parishes in this town. Of course, not all the parishes added to the second list will close. Still, I would have hoped that pastors would have provided more leadership than feigning (or expressing actual) surprise, or whipping them up in an emotional frenzy with tears or shouts of defiance from the pulpit. (I’ve heard of both happening.) This is a difficult enough time without adding their personal issues to it.

  • Some of the clusters refused to name a parish as a candidate for closure, but the Archdiocese hasn’t shied from picking one.  Even some parishes in affluent liberal suburbs got named.

    I don’t know if it’s a coincidence, but the two ugliest churches in the diocese are on the new list: St. Malachy’s, Burlington, a saddle-shaped concrete cave; and the metal-roofed and hangar-like Sacred Heart, Waltham.

    St. Malachy’s is definitely the worse, as its parabolic cross-section makes the interior walls slope, giving the faithful the unnerving impression of an imminent collapse.