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Ministering to the ministers


Father William Kelly, director of the archdiocese’s Office for Clergy Support and Ongoing Formation. Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy

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BRIGHTON — The Boston Archdiocese’s Office for Clergy Support and Ongoing Formation has undergone several changes in the last two years, including a new director, new name and new location, but its mission has remained consistent — ministering to those who have devoted their lives to ministering to others.

The office organizes workshops, opportunities for prayer and annual retreats and seeks to support archdiocesan clergy. It also reaches out to priests who are facing transition or difficult circumstances, supports those priests who are not on active duty and organizes events for prayer and fraternity among priests and deacons.

“That’s why the office exists — to help men become better priests and deacons,” said Father William Kelly, who became director in June 2005.

The office serves about 500 active and 200 retired priests and priests on leave. In addition, about 250 permanent deacons, who were previously supported by the permanent diaconate program are now served by Father Kelly’s office.

“Because they are clergy, they should be involved with this office. It’s worked out very well,” Father Kelly said.

The Office for Clergy Support and Ongoing Formation was first formed in 1967 in response to Vatican II documents on priestly life, which “spoke about the need for continual pastoral care of priests and their ongoing formation,” according to Father Kelly.

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