What a beautiful weekend to be starting out as a collaborative! One thing we can be sure of is that in the 13 parishes of the nine Phase V collaboratives, the Holy Spirit is bound to do something new in their midst.
The Phase V collaboratives and pastors are:
St. Mary Parish, Ayer and St. Anthony Parish, Shirley -- Father Edward Desrosier;
St. Julia Parish, Weston -- Father Mark Mahoney;
St. Catherine Parish, Norwood -- Father Stephen Donohoe;
St. Timothy Parish, Norwood -- Father Gerard Petringa;
Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, Sharon -- Father Frank Daly;
St. Pius V Parish and Holy Family Parish, Lynn -- Father Robert Poitras;
Holy Trinity Parish, Quincy -- Father Martin Dzengeleski;
St. Joseph Parish, Hanson and Our Lady of the Lake Parish, Halifax -- Father Michael Hobson;
St. Patrick Parish, Roxbury -- Father Jack Ahern.
St. Paul gives us a hint of what lies before these collaboratives when he writes in the letter to the Corinthians, "There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit." (1Cor. 12:4-7) Such an encouraging promise and description of the different ways the Spirit of God will be active in these new collaboratives.
There are a variety of images that the scriptures present as we consider this feast of Pentecost. Each one describes the activity of the Spirit and gives us a sense of energy, life and light. Tongues of fire descending upon the heads of the disciples; Jesus breathing the Holy Spirit upon the disciples; the Holy Spirit pouring out the seven-fold gifts upon each one of us -- and each of us being sent out as Christ was sent by the Father. What happened at the first Pentecost makes it believable to us that the Church can grow and be relevant today. This is the work of Disciples in Mission, bringing the Good News of Christ to those in our parishes and communities. What is required for this work of making disciples is great patience. God works in different ways with each one of us yet producing the same faith is all. Disciples need to possess a willingness to assist others as they grow in trust and in a deeper relationship with Christ.
This task of making disciples will look different in each collaborative because they are so different from one another. This will be especially true for the nine Phase V collaboratives as they set off on this journey. One thing we can be confident of is that the Holy Spirit will pour out the gifts needed to accomplish this important ministry. Whether you are in a collaborative or are awaiting the time when you are in a collaborative, pray for the grace to utilize the gifts of the Spirit you have received. Pray very intentionally for the staffs and parishioners of these Phase V collaboratives. Wouldn't it be a wonderful support to these new collaboratives to know that throughout the Archdiocese of Boston, they are being remembered in prayer on this Pentecost weekend? Perhaps your prayer could simply be: "Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love."
SISTER PAT BOYLE IS ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF BOSTON'S OFFICE OF PASTORAL PLANNING.