A move: from Chancery to Pastoral Center

Image: Cardinal Sean's Blog

This week's E-mail from The Pilot and Cardinal Sean includes a story on the move from the Brighton campus Chancery offices to the new archdiocesan Pastoral Center in Braintree. A final liturgy was celebrated in Brighton and the Crucifix from the Chancery chapel was formally removed to be placed in a temporary chapel to be built in the new Pastoral Center. Follow the link to more news from the The Pilot and the cardinal's blog where Bishop John Dooher guest-posts on the coming ARISE! program in the archdiocese.



  1. Question:

    When saying the creed at Mass today, it dawned on me that the words "and He will judge the living and the dead" made no sense. Haven't the dead already been "judged"? After 50 years of saying this prayer, it was only today that those words jumped out at me. Just wondering so thought I would ask
    Thank you.

  2. Since this is off topic, I'm going to give you a little homework assignment, Anonymous.

    Click on Cathechism of the Catholic Church on the sidebar and then type
    "judge the living and the dead" in the search box. You should find your answer there! You'll find just a couple of lines of response from the Catechism but you can click to "enter the Catechism at this point" to find more information.

  3. When I studied business in colllege, we were taught that selling property and fixed assets to pay current debts was a warning sign of impending financial disaster. Does this concern anyone else out there?

  4. Michael, business is not my expertise, but in answer to your question, I am not worried. I think the RCAB and BC have both benefited in these transactions. BC now has room to grow. The RCAB has lessened its debt load and through the generosity of Mr. Flatley has new headquarters which will accommodate several of its offices and ministries under the same roof. I like the new name and focus - Pastoral Center. I hadn't thought of it until just now, but moving from the Chancery is in its way akin to the closing of parishes: it brings with it a sadness, but the promise of a brighter future.

  5. I’m trying to understand where all the debt is coming from. Everyone says this is a result of the sexual abuse scandal, but it has to be more than that. From January 2002 through June 2005, the sexual abuse settlements totaled $150M (cash out). Some of that was paid by insurance companies.

    The shortfall in the priests’ pension fund is about $70M which still needs to be replenished. The Christmas and Easter collections were supposed to support this pension fund. But for 16 years, Cardinal Law did NOT use those collections for the pension fund. The RCAB still has not explained where that money went.

    They used $13M (cash out) from the sale of assets from closed parishes to repay bad loans that they made to parishes for construction projects. In 2006 they paid Ropes & Gray (their attorneys) $1.4M (cash out). They got $172M (cash in) from BC over three years for their property. I think I saw an estimate for the sale of closed parish property of about $30M (cash in). Most of the RCAB assets are in real estate. So expect to see the sale of more churches to raise additional cash.

    The RCAB ran a deficit (expenses greater than revenue) for the last three fiscal years that they have released publicly, 2004 = $2.5M, 2005 = $8.3M, 2006 = $6.2M

    Tom Flatley sold them a building valued at $14M for $100K. Good for the diocese, but that’s a once in a lifetime gift.

    Less than 20% of Catholics in the RCAB attend Sunday Mass and collections are down. Since Cardinal Sean took over, he’s closed about 25% of the parishes in the diocese, as well as many Catholic schools, two in Dorchester in the past month. St. Kevin's and St. Peter's, sit in two of the poorest sections of the neighborhood. These Catholic schools are the feeder system for the future of our church. In Worcester, five more parishes will close in the next month.

    Make no mistake, parishes will continue to close for the forseeable future, as the number of available priests continues to plumet.

    Referring to the move to Braintree, Kevin Kiley, archdiocesan director of planning and projects commented, “We are making history. It’s a very exciting time,”

    HUH? It is an exciting time, we are making history, but where is the plan, Kevin?
    A brighter future? I just don’t see it. Please, please show me the bright side.

  6. Michael, reading your comment above makes me realize that it is a bit difficult to see the bright side. I think we have to come to grips with the fact that the Catholic Church as we have known it is changing and changing rapidly. This is a time when the laity has to come to the forefront to work on pastoral planning for the future...the near future. There are a variety of new parish models, many of which are in place in parishes across the country. Some are even in place fairly recently in the RCAB. My parish is beginning to plan for 10 years out. The reality is that we will probably have a pastor that will have sacramental responsibilities for at least two parishes. We need to have the infrastructure (paid and volunteer) in place that will allow for that. As you are well aware, currently, married priests, women priests, former priests who have left to be married
    are not allowed to be part of the picture. Until Rome has a change of heart, it really is up to the laity to become a key part of the future of parish life. In a way you could say this is exciting. Not for the faint of heart!

  7. Anonymous above,
    Concord Pastor very explicitly explained why women cannot be ordained in the Roman Catholic Church in the com box of "Turnabout is Fair Play" entry for June! There will be no "change of heart" now or in the future, for the reasons Concord Pastor details.

  8. Anonymous above, I just read Concord Pastor's explanation in combox to Turn Around Is Fair Play. Nonetheless, I reserve the hope that Rome eventually will change its mind. It did so on Galileo, although that took 500 years! The apostles for the most part were married men. They were Jews. We do not require candidates for the seminary to be married Jewish men, so in my mind's eye the logic for excluding women leaves a bit to be desired. Mark my words the day will come when women will be ordained in the Roman Catholic Church. I may not be around, but I'll be applauding from my cloud!

  9. As Daniel Patrick Moynihan used to say, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not to their own set of facts.

    Perhaps a trip to the Catechism website will make things clearer.

    May we all attain our clouds! (While avoiding the sin of presumption.)

  10. I don't think I have the sin of presumption, but the virtue of hope. If it makes you happier Anonymous 10:44 PM, maybe my cloud will be surrounded by a ring of fire! I continue to adhere to my opinion that the Catholic Church has changed its position on any number of issues and women's ordination is one that I think it will eventually change its mind on.

  11. Anon above,
    It is possible to contest a point and not a person. Lawyers, for example, are paid to disagree. Let your cloud be wherever you want!

    Meanwhile, while you may hope that the Church changes its position on women's ordination, I contend that that is not an expression of the virtue of hope, since you desire something that has expressly been ruled out by the Vicar of Christ. (Virtuous behaviors/desires are by definition in unity with Christ, not in opposition.)


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