Lavigne added, "There are people I have had conversations with who question: Is the parish still the place for this to happen? The popes have been very clear on this, and certainly Cardinal O'Malley has been very clear on this, and I agree with them. I have been blessed to live it."
Lavigne comes to the archdiocese from the Diocese of Portland, Maine, where he served as the director for the Office of Lifelong Faith Formation for three years, before heading south to join the Archdiocese of Boston.
Lavigne spent 18 years throughout his career working in religious education, youth ministry, and continued formation for people of all ages in his experience working for the Church in Rhode Island and Maine.
"I think it is important that we help a community to form disciples of Christ who are knowledgeable, in love with their faith, and joyful. Get them in front of as many people as possible. That is the difference maker," he said.
Lavigne described potential new initiatives proposed by the new office as they began their duties in July.
The office prepares for the Year of Faith, which Lavigne said the diocese will begin with a Mass on Oct. 11 and end with a Mass on Nov. 4, 2013, with speakers, media initiatives and celebrations.
He added that if the cardinal approves the pastoral planning model proposing that pastoral teams serve multiple parishes, the new office will be intimately involved in the transition.
In pastoral planning meetings earlier in the year, training was identified as a key point to sustain parishes if the new model moves forward. Lavigne said the new office will work in that area.
"Primarily, we would focus on the new evangelization and helping pastors, parishes and teams to be prepared to live that out in their collaboratives," he said.
As part of that, the Lavigne hopes to create four new retreat experience programs so that "pastoral teams can use this as a moment of conversion and of teaching the lay people in the parishes about the new evangelization."
"We want to be as flexible as possible to help parishes," Lavigne said.
Bishop Kennedy said these kinds of programs will play an integral role in the new evangelization in Boston as lay people realize more fully their unity with the Church and the clergy.
"Everything you do is tied to something that will last forever. What it is that ties you to something that will last forever is being in love with God. Because it is being in love with God that opens up the things that you do that are related to what God calls you to do and to be, that now suddenly takes on a significance that it could never have if you just did these things on your own and for your own self-satisfaction or self-fulfillment," the bishop said.
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