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Pastors announced for pastoral plan Phase Two parishes

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BRAINTREE -- Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley has announced the appointment of the pastors that will lead the parishes taking part in the second phase of the archdiocese's pastoral plan "Disciples in Mission."

As part of the Phase Two implementation of the plan, the Office of Pastoral Planning informed the 21 affected pastors Jan. 13 and pastors informed their parishes at Masses that weekend.

As the second phase of the plan moves forward, 44 parishes in the Central, South, Merrimack, North and West regions of the archdiocese will link to form 21 collaboratives. The names of the parishes to be included in the second phase of the pastoral plan were announced last September.

"We are still learning from the Phase One places, and we are going to continue to do so. We will learn from all of the phases, but Phase One felt as though it was a lot about start up. Now we start to get into some depth," said Father Paul Soper, director of the archdiocese's Office of Pastoral Planning.

With this phase, the archdiocese reached a total of 33 established collaboratives that include 72 parishes.

"When we have this phase up and running, fully a quarter of the parishes in the archdiocese will be implementing the pastoral plan, and that feels like it is a big milestone to get to," Father Soper said.

The plan calls for collaboratives to share not only common pastors, but also pastoral teams, parish staffs, parish finance councils and pastoral councils. The archdiocesan plan organizes its 288 parishes into approximately 135 parish collaboratives.

Father Soper said experience gained during first phase of the plan -- in which the collaboratives were announced in January, pastors were named in April and the collaboratives started in June -- led the office to extend the timetable for implementation.

Previously, pastors trained for two weeks just before making the transition to collaborative administration, and preparations became crunched into a tight schedule.

The Phase Two pastors "will have a longer period of time to engage in a more gentle process," Father Soper said.

The first training begins March 10 and the second May 5, just before the pastors move in to begin collaborative ministry with their new parishes June 4.

"They will still do one week of training in May because it's good to have one of the weeks sort of ... launch you into the thing," he said.

Parochial vicars, who assist the pastors in their ministry, have not yet been assigned.

Four parishes not in collaboratives and seven in collaboratives will part with their pastors in the second phase. Father Soper wanted to convey a personal message to parishioners who have to say goodbye to their pastors.

"I am always very moved by the fact that people love their priests. As hard as it is for a priest to be moved, it is good to hear that people love their priests and it hurts when their priest moves. That's not a bad thing. I want to hear that because we want to know that that's happening," he said. "At the same time, being sent is at the heart of what it means to be a priest. The priests themselves certainly understand that, and people understand that on their own level."

He also commended the priests for their participation.

"The priests have responded with extraordinary generosity, opening their hearts to go where it is that the cardinal needs them to go now in order to retain the mission of the Church," Father Soper said.

Father Chip Hines will be leaving his post as pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Medford, and said that the support of the priests assigned to Phase One and training provided by the Pastoral Planning Office will be key moving forward.

"What they are trying to create in this archdiocese, it's a new thing. Anytime you create a new thing, you need to kind of guide those who are trying to help you along. I think they are trying to do that, and I think that is a good part of the plan, the help that the diocese is providing to the new pastors," Father Hines said.

Father John P. Culloty will be leaving St. Timothy in Norwood in June, where he served as pastor for 14 years, to head a collaborative of parishes. He noted the need for pastoral support in this time of transition.

"Change is always difficult. Even though you know in your mind that something is going to occur, it doesn't become real until it actually happens. So, I think there is a mixture with that. The people are grateful for the fact that I have been here for a fairly long amount of time. In some ways, people wish that things would never change, but I think realistically they know that change is part of life," Father Culloty said.

The Phase Two pastors and the collaborative they will lead are:

-- Father James M. Mahoney, Abington/Whitman: St. Bridget and Holy Ghost

-- Father Walter J. Woods, Acton/Stow: St. Elizabeth and St. Isidore

-- Father Scott A. Euvrard, Amesbury/Salisbury: Holy Family and Star of the Sea

-- Father Paul T. Clifford, Braintree: St. Francis of Assisi and St. Clare

-- Father Jason Makos, Dorchester: St. Ann and St. Brendan

-- Father James M. Achadinha, Gloucester/Rockport: Holy Family and Our Lady of Good Voyage

-- Father Christopher J. Hickey, Hanover/Norwell: St. Mary and St. Helen

-- Father Ronald D. Coyne, Hyde Park/Milton/Readville: Most Precious Blood, St. Pius X and St. Ann

-- Father Peter F. Quinn, Littleton/Westford: St. Ann and St. Catherine

-- Father Nicholas A. Sannella, Lowell: Immaculate Conception, Holy Trinity and St. Anthony

-- Father John P. Culloty, Medfield/Norfolk: St. Edward and St. Jude

-- Father Edward F. Doughty, Medford: St. Joseph and St. Francis

-- Father Michael B. Medas, Middleton/Topsfield: St. Agnes and St. Rose of Lima

-- Father Brian R. Kiely, Milton: St. Agatha

-- Father Michael W. MacEwen, Natick: St. Linus and St. Patrick

-- Father Kevin J. Deeley, North Andover: St. Michael

-- Father Louis R. Palmieri, Quincy: Sacred Heart, St. Ann and St. Mary

-- Father Timothy J. Kelleher, Saugus: Blessed Sacrament and St. Margaret

-- Father George C. Hines, Walpole/Sharon: Blessed Sacrament, St. Mary and Our Lady of Sorrows

-- Father Joseph M. Mazzone, Stoughton: Immaculate Conception and St. James

-- Father Phillip B. Earley, Wilmington: St. Dorothy and St. Thomas.

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