So this is big news.
In the coming weeks – we’re working on the exact timing– I will be leaving my position with the Archdiocese of Boston as Creative Director of New Media and Producer of The Good Catholic Life radio program. In the near future I will be taking a new position as Communications Director in the new Walpole/Sharon parish collaborative, comprising St. Mary Parish in Walpole, Blessed Sacrament Parish and School in Walpole, and Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Sharon. This is an exciting new role in parishes as part of the Disciples in Mission pastoral plan for the Archdiocese and I think it shows a great commitment to and realization of the importance of good communications as part of evangelization. Fr. Chip Hines, who I have known for several years and with whom I co-host The Good Catholic Life on Fridays, will be the new pastor of the collaborative when it stands up on June 3.
At this point, I do not know what the effect will be on the Archdiocese’s efforts in new media. I hope that they will continue to innovate and lead in this area as we have done for several years now.
As for the radio program that I produce, engineer, and sometimes co-host, The Good Catholic Life, I expect we’ll have an announcement about its future very soon and will post that when we do.
I know that I and my colleagues built something special over the past four years. We strove to make the Archdiocese of Boston a leader in Catholic new media and I am gratified by the many people who have acknowledged that we did. My hope had always been that we would enable the Church to tell her story in this new medium, to engage with people on the digital continent, and to help others to do the same. I’ve had a chance to meet and work with some amazing and dedicated people over the years and I’ve formed some relationships that I hope continue for many years to come. I have a heavy heart announcing this change, even as I look forward to a new opportunity, continuing to serve the Church.
This new role in Sharon and Walpole is very exciting because I hope that with the good people of those towns we can create a new model for how Catholic parishes and schools can best communicate the Good News using all available media to current parishioners, inactive Catholics, and those who do not know Jesus Christ.
The role of communications director, as I envision it, is not just an administrative function. I will have responsibility for how the parishes and school communicate both to parishioners and those outside the parish through all forms of media: web, social media, bulletin, mailings, email, perhaps even podcasts, video, and apps. And this communication is not just informational, but primarily evangelical. What is the Church, if not a giant communication entity? “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15) The New Evangelization is about preaching the Gospel in new forms and new ways both to those in the pews and those not in them. As the first (so I’ve been told) parish pastoral collaborative communications director in the archdiocese, I have the exciting task of formulating just what this means and to create new models for how best to accomplish it.
Anyway, since Walpole and Sharon are not far from our current home, Melanie and I won’t have to move and we can continue to put down roots where we are. While my commute will be a little longer than it is now (it could hardly be shorter unless I worked from home), it won’t be very much longer. It will certainly still be shorter than my epic commute between Peabody and Braintree before we moved five years ago.
As I said, I can’t tell you my exact date of departure yet, but I would appreciate any prayers you can offer for me and my family and the Archdiocese during this transition.