From maintenance to mission
The Archdiocese of Boston is in the midst of an exciting and innovative pastoral plan to strengthen the local Church and repropose the gospel. The plan ("Disciples in Mission") "seeks to revitalize the Church in Boston by positioning our parishes more solidly for the task of evangelization, the work of reaching out to our brothers and sisters and drawing them more fully to Christ Jesus." (from the Disciples in Mission proposal).
The pastoral plan (currently in phase one) strengthens local churches by establishing parish collaboratives that function under the leadership of one pastor with the support of Pastoral Teams and Parish Councils. The parishes in the collaboratives maintain their unique identities and responsibilities, while also enjoying the added benefit of a community of support from the other parishes in the collaborative, as well as a unity of vision and evangelical purpose. Parishes maintain the strengths they already have while being fortified by fellow parishes.
By empowering local churches to strengthen and unify as tools for evangelization, the Archdiocese expects that we will move from a state of simply maintaining parishes to being true disciples in mission, proactively spreading the gospel by way of the local Church.
Bishop Deeley, Vicar General for the Archdiocese of Boston, appeared on CatholicTV's This is the Day to talk about the success of the plan so far as pastors in phase one finish up their two week training. He also has some great ideas for how lay people can support the new pastoral plan. Check out his interview below: