It is hard to believe that we began this faith journey together just over seven years ago as the “Tri-Parish Initiative.” When the concept was proposed, three parishes under one pastor, it was the first such arrangement in the Archdiocese. With the implementation Disciples in Mission, it is now to be the norm. This past week, I received word that we would be included in Phase III, which will be implemented in June of 2015. For those who attended any of our meetings regarding our collaborative, you may recall that we were considered to be included with another parish.
Cardinal O’Malley believes that four parishes in Somerville are just too many, and, therefore, our collaborative will be our Tri-Parish community. This is good news! This does not mean that things will necessarily continue as they have. With Disciples in Mission, we are to focus our energies on Evangelization and align our programs to attract those who have fallen away from regular practice of our faith, as well as for those who are looking to join the Church and for us to continue to strengthen our faith. As the year progresses, we will develop what that means for us. There is significant training that is associated with this new model.
One of the first steps which will be taken to prepare for this transition is that I will submit my resignation as pastor of the three parishes effective in June of next year; this is a requirement for all pastors of named collaboratives. A new pastor will be named sometime around January of 2015, in order to give him plenty of time to prepare for the transition. I will apply to be renamed pastor of this collaborative. In the first two phases of Disciples in Mission nearly 50% of Pastors were reappointed. The Parish Finance Councils and Pastoral Councils will also be dissolved as of June and one new Parish Council for all three parishes will be formed after that time; the Finance Councils will need to remain separate, per Canon Law. More information will be provided as we prepare over the coming months.
During this time of transition, I ask that you keep our parishes in your prayers and pray for the success of this new model.
Rev. Brian J. McHugh