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Disciples in Mission, the Pastoral Plan of the Archdiocese of Boston, is now in its second year of implementation. Although much has been written about the plan, some misunderstandings exist. Here are five points that seem to need clarification.
-- Myth: Pastors in the parishes of the collaborative must resign and cannot apply to be pastor of the collaborative.
Reality: Yes and no. Because of certain canons regarding the role of the pastor, when the parish asks to move forward as a collaborative, and the request is approved, yes, the pastor must submit his resignation. Ordinarily, he will remain in place in the parish until his resignation becomes effective, that is, on the date that the collaborative is inaugurated. During this interim period between submitting his resignation and the start of the collaborative, he may request to be appointed pastor of that collaborative. This request goes to the Clergy Personnel Board and then to Cardinal O'Malley, who makes the final decision based on his determination as to what is best for the new collaborative. Six of the 12 pastors in Phase I were pastoring a parish in their collaborative. Of the 20 pastors appointed to Phase II Collaboratives, 10 were pastors of a parish in their collaborative.
-- Myth: When a parish becomes part of a collaborative, the individual parish will lose its unique identity and exist only as a part of the collaborative.