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Two Newton churches to share resources in Archdiocese parish reorganization plan

Posted by Your Town  January 10, 2013 05:36 PM

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The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston on Thursday announced the names of more than two dozen parishes participating in the first phase of a major reorganization that will eventually group the archdiocese’s 288 parishes into about 135 clusters, each led by a team of clergy and lay leaders.

Sacred Heart and Our Lady Help of Christians in Newton will share resources in the parish reorganization plan. The parishes will remain open, but church officials said they hope will learn to work together to share resources.

Janet Edsall, a lifelong parishioner at Newton’s Our Lady Help of Christians, said she wants to be supportive of the collaboration with Sacred Heart, also in Newton, but has one reservation.

“I would not want to lose Father [John] Sassani,” she said. “Am I for it or against it? I’m for it as long as it doesn’t affect him.”

She said Our Lady’s is doing well now, thanks in large part to Father Sassani’s leadership.

“More people are coming back to the church,” said Edsall. “You wouldn’t believe the families that are in there today. It’s wonderful, so I hope it doesn’t change.”

About two miles away, Sacred Heart is a smaller parish but vibrant, said Peter Castellanos, a member of the Sacred Heart Parish Pastoral Council.

“I think we’re all ready to move forward with it,” he said. “It will all work itself out.”

Asked if he thinks the collaboration will help fulfill the goal of strengthening the parishes, he replied: “Ask me in two years. I’m serious about that because you just don’t know.”

Here is a list, provided by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, of the 28 parishes that will be grouped into 12 clusters, or “collaboratives,” in the first phase of the archdiocese’s reorganization plan:

1. Saint Luke and Saint Joseph, Belmont

2. Saint Mary, Saint Margaret, Saint John, Beverly

3. Saint Mary, Saint Theresa, Saint Andrew, Billerica

4. Saint Mary, Brookline (a one-parish collaborative)

5. Saint Mary of the Angels, Roxbury and Saint Thomas and Our Lady of Lourdes, Jamaica Plain

6. Saint Mary and Sacred Heart, Lynn

7. Our Lady of the Assumption and Saint Maria Goretti, Lynnfield

8. Saint Lucy and Saint Monica, Methuen

9. Sacred Heart, Middleboro and Saints Martha and Mary, Lakeville

10. Sacred Heart and Our Lady Help of Christians, Newton

11. Saint James, Saint John, Immaculate Conception, and Saint Anne, Salem

12. Saint Jerome and Immaculate Conception, Weymouth

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