Landry reflects on new position, long-time work with archdiocese

BRAINTREE -- It was announced Aug. 29 that Scot Landry will be leaving his position as Cabinet Secretary for Catholic Media of the Archdiocese of Boston to become head of the organization Catholic Voices USA.

Following is an edited version of Landry's written responses to questions about his decision to accept his new position as well as his reflections on his seven years of service at the archdiocese's Central Ministries.

You are leaving your current duties to lead the national apostolate, Catholic Voices USA. What attracted you to that new role?

Catholic Voices USA was founded in 2012 and I've been a strong supporter since I first heard mention of it from my brother, Father Roger Landry, who was asked to serve as its national chaplain. I attended their first training in Washington D.C. and then worked with Catholic Voices USA to offer a training weekend to Boston-area Catholics this past April.

I think Catholic Voices meets a huge need in the Church for lay people to become articulate, well-catechized and media-ready communicators, particularly on hot-button issues. Often, when non-Catholic media organizations seek out representative or average Catholics to comment on an issue, they often find media-trained individuals who sometimes have an agenda that isn't always faithful to Church teaching. That leads people astray. That problem has always bothered me and I have always felt the desire to do something about it.

The good news is that we have many well-catechized lay Catholics who love the Church and have the authority of direct lived experience. They simply need some media training to be comfortable and effective sharing, explaining and defending the Catholic faith particularly in the media. Training these individuals is the main purpose of Catholic Voices.

Was it a difficult decision to leave full-time service at the archdiocese's central ministries?

Certainly. It has been a joyful privilege to serve the Church in the Archdiocese and to assist Cardinal Seán as the Secretary for Institutional Advancement and then the first Secretary for Catholic Media. My colleagues here at the Pastoral Center are inspirational to me and I'm honored to call them my friends and to pray alongside them at Mass. That is the toughest part about this decision -- knowing that I won't be in the company on a daily basis with the people I have been working with over the past seven years at the Pastoral Center as well as the many priests, parish staff leaders, and agency directors with whom I have had to work closely.

I'm glad that I will have the opportunity to see people occasionally as I continue as a part-time consultant to Cardinal Seán, write columns for the Pilot and continue to serve as one of the hosts of The Good Catholic Life whenever my schedule allows it.

What have been the personal highlights of your seven years here in Central Ministries?

It will probably sound corny, but the main highlights are all the friendships I've been blessed to build with thousands of people who are working for the Church as priests, religious, and lay staff members here in Braintree, in our parishes, schools and ministries and who serve on our boards and other important committees. The Catholic Church is a family and it has been great to work together with so many individuals to advance our family's mission to transform the world, one soul at a time, and to build a civilization of love.

Secondly, it's been a true honor to assist Cardinal Seán directly on so many initiatives close to his heart. He has a heart for evangelization and to reach all people who are lost, forgotten and on the fringes of society. He is very much like Pope Francis in that regard as they both model their leadership on the great St. Francis.

Work highlights as the Secretary for Institutional Advancement are that together with our great team, our pastors advisory committee, our lay committees and with parish staff leaders, we were able to increase the Catholic Appeal proceeds each year and collectively achieve our annual goals. We were also able to meet Cardinal Seán's objective to help parishes increase their own fundraising and to help parishioners support the Church through new solutions like online giving. It was an honor to help form the Improved Financial Relationship Committee and see the Improved Financial Relationship Model implemented and observe how it is providing more financial resources for the majority of the parishes enrolled in it. The best part of my time in development, however, was clearly being able to have a front-row seat to the tremendous generosity of so many Catholics who love the Church. Generosity and selflessness in action are so very inspirational.

In terms of Catholic Media, Cardinal Seán asked me in 2010 to help continue the positive trajectories of The Pilot and CatholicTV, add a bulletin company to improve weekly parish communications, launch a Catholic radio presence in the Archdiocese of Boston, and to enhance both archdiocesan and parish websites and social media. I'm happy to report that all of these objectives were accomplished and that the great team in Catholic Media will ensure they continue.

Finally, people who know me well are aware that I love to work on initiatives and new projects. We've had so many ones in the archdiocese over my seven years -- everything from organizing thousands to go to Yankee Stadium for the Mass with Pope Benedict, to working on the team that moved the archdiocese from Brighton to Braintree, to the IFRM, to the victory on Question 2 last year, to the launch of Catholics Come Home and The Light Is On For You, to the introduction of Catholic radio 1060AM and The Good Catholic Life program, to the new ministries of parish bulletins and Church printing. Cardinal Seán has been a bold leader so we've had plenty of great projects on which to work!

Are there any things you hoped to do that you haven't, or any regrets?

Yes. I had hoped by now that we would have a second major Catholic radio station in the Boston area, one that would focus on Spanish-language and Portuguese-language programming. We need one desperately to connect many recent immigrants to the life of the Church and to provide great catechesis. I hope we as a Catholic community can achieve this goal in the near future.

Another regret is that we needed to suspend the Boston Catholic Men's and Women's Conferences after the 2010 conferences and we haven't been able to bring them back yet. It was a struggle to balance my day job in central ministries with the apostolate of Boston Catholic Conferences. I'm hoping that in 2014 we are able to bring back the conferences. We need apostolates, such as Boston Catholic Conferences -- as well as Catholic Voices -- to complement the work of our central ministries and our parishes to have a fully vibrant local Church.

What will you be doing in your part-time role as a consultant to Cardinal Seán?

I think the majority of the projects will involve evangelization in some way. Cardinal Seán has a heart for evangelization and many great ideas for new approaches to reach those who are currently not connected with the Church or whose connection could be deepened.

He's also requested my help over the past seven years with research on issues or questions, so I think there will likely also be research projects. He may also want my help in some way as we try to reach the goal of a radio station for Spanish-speakers and Portuguese-speakers. We'll see.

You played a role in launching The Good Catholic Life radio program. Do you anticipate having any future role with it?

First of all, it was Cardinal Seán's idea originally to work with WQOM to launch this daily local program that has become an important part of the archdiocese's evangelization and communication platforms. Being one of the cohosts has been a huge blessing to me. Beyond getting to build friendships with our guests and all those involved with the program, it has helped me learn so much more about our faith as I prepare for each show.

I've let Cardinal Seán know that I'm happy to continue as a volunteer cohost of the show whenever I am available and not traveling in my new role at Catholic Voices. For those times when I'm not available, one of our fantastic cohosts or our great producer Dom Bettinelli will step into the moderator's role. We have a deep bench of people already involved in the program and several others who have expressed interest in helping out.

Any other reflections?

I look forward to connecting regularly with Pilot readers through my columns and radio listeners through The Good Catholic Life.

Canadian cardinal: Women should help screen, train priest applicants

Poznan, Poland, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- Increasing the role of women in screening and training priests is among the steps that should be taken to prevent future ...

Vatican delegation will travel to China this month to finalize agreement, Chinese newspaper reports

Beijing, China, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- A newspaper tied to the Chinese Communist Party reported Tuesday that a delegation of Vatican officials will head to ...

Cardinal Marx says mistakes were made, calls for change in German church

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, head of the German bishops' conference, admitted that mistakes were made in the German church's handling of sex abuse of minors ...

Church crisis response: Healing Masses, listening sessions, fasting

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In response to the sexual abuse crisis in the church, Catholics are praying for victims, talking about their frustration and anger, ...

Pope names Minnesota priest as auxiliary bishop of Hartford

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pope Francis has appointed Father Juan M. Betancourt, a priest in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, as auxiliary bishop ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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. ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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. ...

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 ...

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, ...

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 ...

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, ...

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, ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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, ...

'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 ...

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, ...

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. ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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. ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

'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 ...

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 ...

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 ...