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Bishop O'Connell to hold open Q and A forum


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NORTH READING -- When he was named a bishop in June, Bishop Mark O'Connell chose the motto "Invenimus Messiam" ("We have found the Messiah,") to underscore his commitment to evangelization.

Now, as pastor of St. Theresa Parish in North Reading, just one of his new roles as bishop, Bishop O'Connell is putting his motto into action by holding a special forum Dec. 13 open to all but geared especially toward "fallen away Catholics, confused Catholics, and non-Catholics."

"I want to be very involved in reaching out to these kinds of people in my time as a bishop," Bishop O'Connell told The Pilot Dec. 1.

The forum will take the shape of a simple question and answer session with the bishop.

"It's designed to be a non-judgmental forum, where I just answer the questions, whether they are hard ones or easy ones," he said.

He added that, after spending 15 years in Central Administration answering all sort of questions, he feels "uniquely qualified" to address whatever he may be asked during the forum.

While this first forum will be held at St. Theresa Parish at 7 p.m. on Dec. 13, Bishop O'Connell expressed hopes of bringing it to other parishes, as well.

"I fully intend, if it works in my parish in North Reading, to do it all over the North Region wherever a pastor will let in me," he said.

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