June 2, 2019

Friends ,

The Blue Hills Catholic Collaborative became a reality on June 3, 2014 when Father Charles and I arrived. Until that time Most Precious Blood, St. Pius X and St. Anne were separate faith communities with their own pastors. Since June 2014, our 3 parishes continue to have their own identity but we share the same pastor and parochial vicar.

Collaboration is an attempt by the Archdiocese of Boston to face the issues of priest vocations, Church attendance and financial struggles. Other dioceses may come up with other alternatives. The Archdiocese of Boston, in 2004, made a previous attempt with a program called Reconfiguration. You may remember it as a disastrous approach to the same issues. They assumed parishes at that time to be grouped together and decide which one or ones would be closed in order to strengthen the others. That was a traumatic time for the Archdiocese and our parishes. Believe it or not, the actual notification to the parishes about their closure was made known by a UPS driver who delivered the official letter. There are many Catholics who have never recovered from that experience. St. Albert the Great in Weymouth refused to accept the decision that they close and hundreds of their parishioners kept vigil in their Church 24 hours a day for 9 months while their protest was heard the decision to close was overturned in May 2005. They are alive and well today serving the families of Weymouth. They now belong to a 2 parish collaborative with St. Francis Xavier in South Weymouth. There were many other parishes that also held vigils in protest (some for over 10 years) but eventually they were all closed and the property sold or is in the process of being sold.

That entire process of reconfiguration was so devastating to the Catholic people of the Archdiocese and those responsible realized they had to propose better alternatives and yet face the problems honestly. That is what lead to the idea of Collaboration.

Naturally, it is not easy for the average Catholic to transfer his/her allegiance from a parish to a Collaborative but I believe we have done it well. Our parishioners know that they can still support their own parish financially but can also take advantage of the Mass schedules throughout our Collaborative that may be more convenient for them. All 3 of our parishes are vibrant and our facilities needsare constantly being addressed . We are blessed in all of our parishes with men and women who center their lives around their faith. We thank our staff for their professional expertise and all those involved in the various initiatives that enable us to serve the spiritual, liturgical, social, emotional, and financial needs of those who call this their home.

We are privileged to be among you and thank you for making the Blue Hills Collaborative an example to the Archdiocese. Ad Multos Annos!!!

Enjoy life!
Father Coyne

 

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