Archdiocese has a new tool for the new evangelization

Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley is pictured with Michael M. Lavigne and Episcopal Vicar for the New Evangelization Bishop Arthur Kennedy outside their new Pastoral Center offices Aug. 1. Pilot photo/courtesy CardinalSeansBlog.org

BRAINTREE -- After concluding his tenure as rector at St. John's Seminary in Brighton, Bishop Arthur L. Kennedy took up his duties as Episcopal Vicar for the New Evangelization with his new assistant Michael M. Lavigne on July 1.

The new office will follow the mandate set by Pope Benedict XVI when he appointed Archbishop Rino Fisichella to head the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization. Bishop Kennedy said the new evangelization in the archdiocese will extend programs meant to get Catholics back to Church and regular faith life such as Catholics Come Home and Why Catholic?

"Our task now is to really begin to address the questions more methodologically, that have been identified in large measure by Pope Benedict and by this new council," he said.

Bishop Kennedy said Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley spurred the creation of the office out of concern for the need for a new evangelization, a concern that extends well beyond the archdiocese.

"This concern that he has, is a concern of basically the whole Church in the West," Bishop Kennedy said.

The bishop described the difference between "the old" evangelization, undertaken as the Gospel spread through a world unfamiliar with early Christianity, and the new evangelization, called for in the face of waning support in previously established strongholds of Christianity.

He said the two evangelizations exist alongside each other as some parts of the world find the message anew and some need the message renewed.

"The old evangelization effected an enormous transformation of the Western world, and out of the Western world sent its missionaries all over the world to Africa, Asia, South America, the Pacific Islands, and so forth. The new evangelization, in some strange way, is really aimed more specifically at what had been the successful places of the old evangelization, that is to say the West," he said.

"The Church is growing in leaps and bounds in Africa and Asia, but it is becoming truncated in the West," he said.

Bishop Kennedy said his decades of experience in Catholic higher education prepared him for the new role at his office in the Pastoral Center.

"I just celebrated my 45th anniversary of ordination in December. My focus was basically evangelization that was engaged through the college university campuses. I taught theology for 32 years in Minnesota at The University of St. Thomas," the bishop said.

In that role, he said, he realized that as older people, who had been impacted by old cultural structures, began to retire from the institutions of the Church, younger people who came on as replacements were less grounded in a life of faith. In response, the bishop created programs to reinvigorate faith in the younger people as they came in without the robust understanding of the Church that older generations had.

He said the programs developed there helped younger people to bring "their faith into a coherent understanding." The bishop said after he left the position at the university, young people started attending programs there from all over the United States.

As rector of St. John's Seminary in Brighton from 2007 to June 30 of this year, Bishop Kennedy oversaw an increased number of seminarians enrolled, advanced the cardinal's goal of expanding the seminary to a regional presence, enhanced the seminary's national prominence in its academic and faith formation programs, and established new programs that prepare seminarians and lay leaders for the future.

His new role requires continued collaboration with the seminary, particularly where the programs to educate laity are concerned.

In March, collaboration between the cardinal and Bishop Kennedy culminated in the establishment of a new institute of faith formation at St. John's Seminary, called the Theological Institute for the New Evangelization, known as TINE. The TINE program includes Master of Arts in Ministry; certificates in catechesis, Scripture, and apologetics; and a degree program called the Master of Theological Studies for the New Evangelization.

"We have had some very good success already with the TINE program. In our TINE program in catechesis we have trained almost 300 people," the bishop said.

Lay people with such training can form a backbone for the new office's plan of putting parish life at the center of the new evangelization, a stated goal of the bishop and his assistant Michael Lavigne.

"I think we are very fortunate having Michael with us as we begin this project, because he has got a lot of worth specifically in what the cardinal wants. Namely, his vision is that the new evangelization comes to life within each individual parish, so that is the key," the bishop said.

Lavigne added, "There are people I have had conversations with who question: Is the parish still the place for this to happen? The popes have been very clear on this, and certainly Cardinal O'Malley has been very clear on this, and I agree with them. I have been blessed to live it."

Lavigne comes to the archdiocese from the Diocese of Portland, Maine, where he served as the director for the Office of Lifelong Faith Formation for three years, before heading south to join the Archdiocese of Boston.

Lavigne spent 18 years throughout his career working in religious education, youth ministry, and continued formation for people of all ages in his experience working for the Church in Rhode Island and Maine.

"I think it is important that we help a community to form disciples of Christ who are knowledgeable, in love with their faith, and joyful. Get them in front of as many people as possible. That is the difference maker," he said.

Lavigne described potential new initiatives proposed by the new office as they began their duties in July.

The office prepares for the Year of Faith, which Lavigne said the diocese will begin with a Mass on Oct. 11 and end with a Mass on Nov. 4, 2013, with speakers, media initiatives and celebrations.

He added that if the cardinal approves the pastoral planning model proposing that pastoral teams serve multiple parishes, the new office will be intimately involved in the transition.

In pastoral planning meetings earlier in the year, training was identified as a key point to sustain parishes if the new model moves forward. Lavigne said the new office will work in that area.

"Primarily, we would focus on the new evangelization and helping pastors, parishes and teams to be prepared to live that out in their collaboratives," he said.

As part of that, the Lavigne hopes to create four new retreat experience programs so that "pastoral teams can use this as a moment of conversion and of teaching the lay people in the parishes about the new evangelization."

"We want to be as flexible as possible to help parishes," Lavigne said.

Bishop Kennedy said these kinds of programs will play an integral role in the new evangelization in Boston as lay people realize more fully their unity with the Church and the clergy.

"Everything you do is tied to something that will last forever. What it is that ties you to something that will last forever is being in love with God. Because it is being in love with God that opens up the things that you do that are related to what God calls you to do and to be, that now suddenly takes on a significance that it could never have if you just did these things on your own and for your own self-satisfaction or self-fulfillment," the bishop said.

World
Listening church: Pope gives new vision for Synod of Bishops

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Synod of Bishops increasingly should be a structure for listening to the Catholic faithful, demonstrating a local bishop's concern ...

Nation
Director of Courage releases letter on Penn. abuse report

Washington D.C., Sep 17, 2018 CNA.- Courage International, an apostolate to support people with same sex-attraction in leading chaste lives, has issued ...

Nation
Richmond bishop apologizes to victims; commits to opening, reviewing files

RICHMOND, Va. (CNS) -- In celebrating the Diocese of Richmond's first Mass of Atonement for victims of abuse Sept. 14, Bishop Barry C. Knestout apologized ...

Nation
Stanford University to remove saint's name from some properties

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- California's Stanford University will strip the name of 18th-century Franciscan friar, St. Junipero Serra, from some of its properties ...

Nation
Catholic Charities distributes disaster relief to areas hit by Florence

RALEIGH, N.C. (CNS) -- The Carolinas were hard hit with record rainfall and flooding rivers from tropical storm Florence since it made landfall Sept. ...

Nation
Archbishop Lori assures diocese he's with them in journey toward healing

WHEELING, W.Va. (CNS) -- In his celebration of Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling Sept. 15, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore said ...

World
Bishop takes a (sky) dive to get pilgrims to Lourdes

HOVE, England (CNS) -- "The Moth has landed," tweeted the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton. The tweet Sept. 14 and a similar post on the diocesan Facebook ...

World
Words, promises are not enough to prevent abuse, archbishop says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Inviting presidents of the world's bishops' conference to the Vatican to discuss abuse prevention reflects an understanding that ...

World
Pope praises Capuchin order's charism of authenticity, simplicity

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Capuchins are called to be men of peace, reconciliation and prayer and to be close to all people, Pope Francis told members of the ...

Nation
Path to healing starts with seeking forgiveness, Cardinal Wuerl says

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A "Season of Healing" for sexual abuse survivors began in the Archdiocese of Washington with a Sept. 14 Mass at the Cathedral of St. ...

World
Archbishop McCarrick's unofficial role in Vatican-China relations

Vatican City, Sep 17, 2018 CNA.- Following reports that the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China could be about to sign an agreement ...

Nation
Archbishop Chaput: When we forget faith, we forget our humanity

Spokane, Wash., Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- When man tries to cling to reason and separate himself from faith, he forgets who he is and loses his source of hope, ...

World
Pope Francis warns priests against living a double life

Palermo, Italy, Sep 15, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- During a day trip to Sicily Saturday, Pope Francis told priests and religious to fight their vices and strive ...

World
What is the pontifical secret?

Vatican City, Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- Following the allegations made by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò about the case of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, ...

World
Vatican publishes list of synod participants, including papal nominees

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- To the list of members of the Synod of Bishops elected by national bishops' conferences, Pope Francis added cardinals from 14 countries, ...

Nation
Addicts and their loved ones talk about life with opioid addiction

ARLINGTON, Va. (CNS) -- It was a Saturday night, and Billy was eating pizza and watching a sporting event in the basement bedroom of his residence, a ...

Nation
Signers of letter hope Vatican meeting will bring needed steps on crisis

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Signers of an open letter from Catholic women to Pope Francis urging "truth" and "transparency" on the growing sex abuse crisis expressed ...

Local
Community 'overwhelmed and shell-shocked' after gas explosions, says pastor

LAWRENCE -- Volunteers at St. Patrick Church's Cor Unum Meal Center were serving dinner when multiple natural gas explosions and fires broke out in homes ...

World
Down to earth: Vatican brings together world's meteorite curators

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS) -- Rocks, mineral debris and even dust from space are kept in special collections, museums and laboratories all over the ...

World
Algerian martyrs to be beatified in Algeria Dec. 8

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The beatification of 19 martyrs of Algeria, including the seven Trappist monks of Tibhirine, will be celebrated Dec. 8 in Oran, ...

Nation
'Anything but a picnic' - Cardinal Dolan on the Church's summer of scandal

New York City, N.Y., Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- Cardinal Timothy Dolan has spoken about how the extended sexual abuse scandals facing the Church have taken a ...

Local
Restoring and reimagining: Transformation at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross

BOSTON -- Considered by many to be the heart of the Archdiocese of Boston, the Cathedral of the Holy Cross is the largest Catholic church in New England, ...

Local
Archdiocese says Cardinal O'Malley will personally review all abuse letters

BRAINTREE (CAN) -- The Archdiocese of Boston has announced changes to the way it will process and respond to letters addressed to Cardinal Séan P. ...

Local
CM receives $2.5M grant from Yawkey Foundations

West Roxbury -- Catholic Memorial, a college-preparatory school for boys in grades 7 to 12, announced Sept. 5 that they have received a $2.5 million grant ...

Local
Father Christian Ohazulume removed from ministry

BRAINTREE -- The Archdiocese announced on Sept. 11 that it had removed a priest from ministry after receiving an allegation that he sexually abused a ...

Local
From Cardinal Seán's blog

This week I am in transit to Rome in anticipation of the next meeting of the C9 Council of Cardinals. So, I have asked Vivian Soper to share some reflections ...

Nation
Kavanaugh's birth control comments spur controversy -- What did he say?

Washington D.C. (CNA) -- Opponents of Judge Brett Kavanaugh have suggested that a reference to birth control pills as "abortion-inducing drugs" during ...

Nation
Missouri to enforce abortion regulations in wake of appeals court ruling

Jefferson City, Mo. (CNA) -- Missouri's health department announced Monday that it will immediately being enforcing state laws regulating abortion clinics ...

Nation
Book tells about behind-the-scenes search for St. Peter's bones

HOUSTON (CNS) -- Two Houston men shared a journey through centuries of history and a decades-long archaeological dig under the Vatican to unveil a story ...

World
Update way priests are chosen, accompanied, pope tells new bishops

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The best way to help the Catholic Church, Pope Francis told new bishops, is not by pointing fingers and creating scapegoats, but ...

World
Vatican confirms ongoing Sistine Chapel Choir finance inquiry

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican confirmed an ongoing investigation into financial irregularities involving the directors of the Sistine Chapel Choir. ...

World
After meeting pope, cardinal says he's hopeful about addressing crisis

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston struck a determinedly hopeful tone after his long-awaited meeting with Pope Francis ...

Nation
DA clears Indiana bishop of misconduct, says claim has harmed prelate

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (CNS) -- The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend welcomed findings by a Pennsylvania district attorney that cleared Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades ...

World
Cardinal DiNardo calls meeting with pope lengthy, fruitful

Vatican City, Sep 13, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Cardinal Daniel DiNardo has called a Sept. 13 meeting between Pope Francis and leaders from the Church in United ...

Nation
What do Church abuse policies mean by 'vulnerable adult?'

Denver, Colo., Sep 12, 2018 CNA.- A Vatican summit this February will gather the presidents of bishops’ conferences from around the world. While ...

World
'Elitist, clericalist' church allows abuse to thrive, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Sexual and physical abuse by priests and religious and the scandal of its cover-up by church authorities thrive in countries where ...

World
Cardinal Wuerl to ask pope to accept his resignation

Washington D.C., Sep 12, 2018 CNA.- An archdiocesan spokesman has confirmed that Cardinal Donald Wuerl will soon ask Pope Francis to accept his resignation ...

Nation
Pope accepts resignation of West Virginia bishop as inquiry into abuse claims launched

Vatican City, Sep 13, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Pope Francis Thursday accepted the resignation of Bishop Michael J. Bransfield from the pastoral government ...

World
Leaked German report shows 3,700 cases of abuse of minors in 68 years

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A 350-page document leaked to German media and published Sept. 12 documents nearly 3,700 cases of alleged sexual abuse of minors by ...

World
Pope accepts resignation of Brazilian bishop arrested for embezzlement

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis accepted the resignation of a Brazilian bishop who was arrested and charged with embezzling thousands of dollars in ...

World
Love breaks chains of slavery to sin, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Only true love for God and neighbor can destroy the chains of greed, lust, anger and envy that enslave humankind, Pope Francis said. ...

Nation
Washington cardinal to meet with pope to discuss resignation

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington has told the priests of the archdiocese that he will meet soon with Pope Francis to request ...

World
Pope to convene world meeting on abuse prevention with bishops' leaders

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis is calling the presidents of every Catholic bishops' conference in the world to Rome Feb. 21-24 to discuss the prevention ...

Nation
Supreme Court petition next step in effort to stop natural gas pipeline

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A Pennsylvania religious congregation planned to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to consider whether their religious freedom rights ...