It may not be on the front page of the newspapers anymore but the Boston parish closing story hasn’t gone away. In Newton, Mass., (why is there so much dissent in Newton?), the people at St. Bernard’s parish are still protesting, this time against their pastor. This parish was one of those on the first list of closings. It was eventually given a temporary reprieve, but only so that a merger plan could be worked out with the neighboring parish of Corpus Christi. I’m fairly certain that plan is supposed to be in place by the end of this year.
A new parish administrator was brought in for both parishes and he’s telling these people to stop with their protests and get on with helping the moving on process. Some of them think that they’re going to “save” their parish; that everything’s going to go back to the way it was. It isn’t. This is the future. The administrator is telling them that all their protests and sign-waving is wasted energy and ultimately counterproductive. And here’s another group using the Mass a form of protest.
Acerra said the Friends had passed around petitions in the middle of February asking for Archbishop, now Cardinal, Sean O’Malley to visit the church to see why it should be saved. The group has also sold 300 buttons saying “Save St. Bernard’s,” Acerra said, which are being used as a form of silent protest. “Parishioners wear their buttons when they go up to the altar to show disdain for what [Mahoney] said,” Acerra said.
The Mass is a time to offer sacrifice and worship to God, not to flack your pet cause, whatever it is.
I do think it’s a shame that all of the parish’s ministries appear to be going dormant, but is that because of a decision by the pastor or because of uncertainty about the parish’s future? If the latter, then the continued protests are only exacerbating the problem.
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