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This past July marked one year since the Central Ministries of the archdiocese moved into its new location at the Pastoral Center, and the occasion has given me an opportunity to reflect on some of the benefits of the last year in Braintree.
It was Cardinal Seán’s vision that the Pastoral Center would be a spiritual center as well as a business center for the archdiocese, and I have watched it become just that. Mass, which is celebrated daily by the many priests who work here and attended by employees and visitors alike, has provided a prayerful center to the work that is done here, and the recent addition of statues from Brighton have transformed even the exterior of the building from an office park into a sacred space.
In addition to Mass, over 20,000 people have attended some 450 meetings on subjects ranging from cultural diversity to youth ministry, clergy formation best business practices and more. Every day, the Pastoral Center hosts groups that exemplify the wide range of ministries, activities and services present in our archdiocese.
The establishment of the Pastoral Center has been an important part of our mission to serve the parishes of the archdiocese. By moving out of seven buildings that were spread throughout Brighton, Dorchester and West Roxbury and into our Braintree location we have reduced our facilities budget from $1.7 million to $1.2 million. We have also been able to increase communication and collaboration by bringing our employees together, and that has allowed us to conserve resources, operate more efficiently and increase productivity.
This savings in operational costs has contributed to the process of restoring the financial health and viability of the archdiocese. Being better stewards of our finances will allow us to better provide services for our priests and for our parishes, and this savings is evidence of our commitment to doing just that.
The people of the Pastoral Center strive to create and foster a culture of service. The parish photos that cover the walls serve as a constant reminder that the work we do here is to support the parishes and parishioners of the archdiocese. Our Mission Statement is “to continue the saving ministry of Jesus Christ” through service and guidance, and I feel that over the past year our new home has aided us in doing just that.
James P. McDonough is Chancellor and Secretary for Financial and Administrative Services.