February 2, 2011- Cardinal Appoints Archdiocesan Pastoral Planning Commission*

A Message from Very Reverend Richard M. Erikson:

For the better part of three years, the Archdiocese of Boston has undertaken an extensive review that is essential to developing a pastoral plan that will guide and shape the future direction of the local Church for the foreseeable future.  The intent of this process is to formulate a pastoral plan that is mission driven and which supports the great work of our priests, laity and parishioners across the 144 cities and towns of the Archdiocese.  To that end the Office of Pastoral Planning, under the direction of Father David Couturier, OFM. Cap., has conducted extensive research and analysis laying the groundwork for mission based planning for the Archdiocese. 

Building on this important work, Cardinal Seán has formed an Archdiocesan Pastoral Planning Commission.  This eighteen member commission will review pastoral planning efforts to date, design a broad consultation with parishes and make recommendations to the Cardinal on a pastoral plan for the Archdiocese.  The commission is being chaired by Monsignor William Fay, pastor of St. Columbkille Parish in Brighton, and Deacon Charles Clough of Holy Family Parish in Concord, President and Chief Executive Officer of Clough Capital Partners LP.  

We are grateful to Msgr. Fay, Deacon Clough, the members of the commission and Fr. Couturier for their leadership and contributions to this work.  Our desire is to advance pastoral planning in a manner that reflects the input of priests, religious and laity who are serving Christ in parishes and ministries across the Archdiocese.  We seek to engage our faithful as partners in this process understanding that when the Cardinal accepts a pastoral plan it will be one that has been developed with vital contributions from our Catholic community.

In the weeks and months ahead we will be communicating with you on the progress of the work of the planning commission.  Following is the official announcement naming the commission.  Please join the Cardinal in extending your full support and prayers for the work of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Planning Commission and its work on behalf of the Archdiocese of Boston.


Very Reverend Richard M. Erikson, Ph.D., V.G.
Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia

Press Release-Cardinal Appoints Archdiocesan Pastoral Planning Commission 

Braintree, MA -- Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley today announced that he has formed an Archdiocesan Pastoral Planning Commission.   The work of the eighteen member commission is to present a final recommendation to the Cardinal for a pastoral plan for the Archdiocese of Boston that identifies the resources available for the foreseeable future and allocates these in a manner that will allow the mission of Christ and his Church to grow stronger in our Catholic community.  Cardinal Seán has asked that the recommendation presented to him be based upon consultations with the clergy, religious and laity, to reflect the depth and breadth of the Archdiocese.
The Cardinal has appointed Monsignor William Fay, pastor of St. Columbkille Parish in Brighton, and Deacon Charles Clough of Holy Family Parish in Concord, President and Chief Executive Officer of Clough Capital Partners LP, to co-chair this new commission.  Father David Couturier, OFM. Cap., Director of the Office of Pastoral Planning, and his staff will work closely with the commission.
Cardinal Seán said, “I am pleased that we were able to call on such a gifted group of faithful Catholics to assist us in the pastoral planning process.  This is an important endeavor that will help guide and shape the future of the Archdiocese in meeting the pastoral needs of our parishes and ministries, and in advancing the mission of the Church.  I am grateful to Msgr. Fay and Deacon Clough for their willingness to co-chair the commission and to the members for their generosity in sharing their energy and expertise for the benefit of our local Church.  I am especially grateful to Fr. David Couturier, OFM Cap, Director of our Office of Pastoral Planning, for the solid work that has brought the planning process to this point.”  
Msgr. Fay said, “We approach our work cognizant of the challenges and opportunities facing the Archdiocese of Boston and inspired by the grace of God’s presence throughout.  The Cardinal has authorized us to shape a plan that will provide the local Church with a roadmap for the future; a plan that supports the good work of our priests and which invigorates parish life.  I am blessed to have the opportunity to serve the Cardinal and Church in this endeavor.  I look forward to working with Deacon Clough, the commission members and Fr. Couturier in the months ahead.”
Deacon Clough said, “I am grateful to the Cardinal for the opportunity to assist the Archdiocese of Boston at this time.  I am honored to join Msgr. Fay and the commission members in developing a plan that builds on the many positive steps undertaken by the Cardinal in recent years.  We owe it to the faithful of the Archdiocese to embrace a comprehensive and forward looking pastoral plan that supports the entire Church community, especially our priests, who are the shepherds of Christ at the parish level.”  
As Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Seán has made pastoral planning for mission a top priority.  In January 2006, he formed a Pastoral Planning Committee to help him assess the future needs of the Archdiocese.  As a result of that committee’s work, he reconstituted the Office for Pastoral Planning in May 2009 and, with the assistance of that office, conducted a series of consultations with priests and laity throughout 2010 on a set of strategic priorities for the mission and work of the Archdiocese.  It was during these consultations that the essential elements for a comprehensive pastoral plan were identified and recommended.  These will be reviewed by the commission and brought back to the laity, religious and clergy of the Archdiocese for their consideration.

Commission Members

  1. Msgr. William Fay (Co-Chair), ’74, Pastor, St. Columbkille (Brighton
  2. Deacon Charles Clough, Jr. (Co-Chair), ’86, Holy Family (Concord) Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Clough Capital Partners
  3. Most Rev. Peter Uglietto, ’77, Auxiliary Bishop of Boston, North Region
  4. Deacon Andrew Acampora, ’00, St. John the Evangelist (Swampsott)
  5. Rt. Rev. John Ahern, ’80, Pastor, Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta / Holy Family /St. Peter (Dorchester)
  6. Rev. Darin Colarusso, ’06, Pastor, St. Athanasius (Reading)
  7. Ms. Linda DeCristoforo, Pastoral Associate, Our Lady of Grace (Chelsea/Everett)
  8. Ms. Jane B. Eiselein, St. Ignatius (Newton) Director of Professional Development at Ropes & Gray
  9. Rev. George Evans, ’77, Pastor, St. Julia (Weston)
  10. Mr. Neal Finnegan, St. Mary’s (Dedham) Former Chairman, Citizens Bank
  11. Mr. Craig Gibson, St. Mary’s (Winchester), President, Parish Growth Partners
  12. Sr. Mary Johnson, SND, Emmanuel College (Boston), Professor of Sociology
  13. Ms. Liliana Lucas, St. John the Evangelist (Chelmsford), Parish Business Manager
  14. Rev. Paul B. O’Brien, ’91, Pastor, St. Patrick (Lawrence)
  15. Mrs. Suzanne Robotham, St. Joseph (Belmont), Archdiocesan Pastoral Council
  16. Mr. Rick Roche, St. Catherine of Siena (Norwood) CEO of Roche Bros.
  17. Rev. Paul Soper, ’90, Pastor, St. Albert the Great (Weymouth)
  18. Ms. Maria Sousa, St. Anthony (Cambridge) Religious Education Director

Staff Support

  1. Rev. David Couturier, OFM. Cap., Director of Pastoral Planning 
  2. Mr. Joshua Phelps, Associate Director, Office of Pastoral Planning
  3. Rev. Robert Oliver, Assistant to the Moderator of the Curia for Canonical Affair
  4. Very Rev. Bryan Parrish, Assistant Vicar for Administration, Special Assistant to the Vicar General 

About the Archdiocese of Boston: The Diocese of Boston was founded on April 8, 1808 and was elevated to Archdiocese in 1875. Currently serving the needs of nearly 2 million Catholics, the Archdiocese of Boston is an ethnically diverse and spiritually enriching faith community consisting of 291 parishes, across 144 communities, educating approximately 42,000 students in its Catholic schools and 156,000 in religious education classes each year, ministering to the needs of 200,000 individuals through its pastoral and social service outreach and in support of a health care ministry that meets the needs of some 1 million patients each year.   Mass is celebrated in nearly twenty different languages each week. For more information, please visit  www.BostonCatholic.org.