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Archbishop announces additional changes to reconfiguration

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BRIGHTON — Archbishop Seán P. O’Malley announced his acceptance of seven more recommendations made by the Reconfiguration Review Committee, which will involve reopening one parish as a chapel and allowing two parishes slated for closure to remain open, according to an archdiocesan statement dated June 16.

Infant Jesus-St. Lawrence Church in Brookline, which has been in vigil since the parishes suppression on Oct. 30 of last year, will reopen as a chapel of St. Mary Parish in Brookline. Originally, the committee approved the supression, according to a statement on March 31.

St. Isidore Parish in Stow and St. Mary of the Angels Parish in Roxbury will be removed from the closure list.

Closures of four other parishes will be delayed. The archbishop rescinded closing dates for St. Pius X Parish in Milton and Sacred Heart Parish in Watertown. No closing date has been set for St. Peter Lithuanian Parish in South Boston. St. Susanna Parish in Dedham will remain open through March of 2008, and “at that time the archdiocese will evaluate the needs of the parish community,” the statement said.

“While there is still work to be done, we are nearing the point where the reconfiguration process will be essentially completed. It is my hope and prayer that the decisions announced today will be received with an open heart and understanding by all the people of the archdiocese,” the archbishop said in the statement.

Archbishop O’Malley reiterated his dedication to reviewing reconfiguration and thanked the members of the committee.

“Throughout the course of the reconfiguration process I have maintained a willingness to review earlier decisions based on the work of people who bring significant community respect and professional experience to this process. They are a blessing to the archdiocese,” he said.

The eight-person committee, headed by Peter Meade and Sister Janet Eisner, SND, began an external review of reconfiguration in January. With their advice, Archbishop O’Malley has made several changes to reconfiguration, including delaying and canceling suppressions of parishes.

On March 31, the archbishop accepted 10 recommendations of the committee that included revoking the suppression of St. Albert the Great Parish in Weymouth, which had been in vigil since late August 2004. The archbishop also agreed to reopen St. Anselm Church in Sudbury as a chapel, allow St. Florence Parish in Wakefield to remain open, and change reconfiguration plans in Lexington.

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