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Pastoral service collaboratives unveiled at regional meetings


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BRAINTREE -- As part of a three-phase consultation process, the Archdiocesan Pastoral Planning Commission (APPC) began releasing lists of proposed groupings for parish collaboration on their website last month following meetings with priests in each of the five regions of the archdiocese.

As meetings to discuss groupings completed, the APPC posted the proposed Pastoral Service Team (PST) groupings online.

Facing declining Mass attendance and a shrinking number of priests, in December the APPC proposed a new structure for meeting the needs of parishes called a Pastoral Service Team (PST). Led by one pastor, a group of priests, deacons and lay ecclesial ministers the PST would provide pastoral services to multiple parishes. Under the plan, each parish in the collaborative group will maintain its separate identity and control of its own assets.

The APCC posted the proposed groupings for the South Region on Jan. 18, the North Region on Jan. 19, the Central Region on Jan. 20, the West Region on Jan. 23, and the Merrimack Region on Jan. 24, according to their office.

In an interview, Msgr. William Fay, APPC co-chair and pastor of St. Columbkille Parish in Brighton, stressed the importance that the plan will unfold in three consultative phases with a major focus on the APPC receiving feedback on each proposal.

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