The new Boston parish reconfiguration review committee continues to have its effect. In Charlestown, instead of one parish closing and two remaining open, all three parishes will now be merged. One of those parishes, St. Catherine of Siena, has Fr. Bob Bowers as its pastor. Bowers is of the troika that includes Fr. Ron Coyne and Fr. Stephen Josoma who are the most well-known dissenters serving as closed or closing parishes. Thus they have been the most vocal opponents and inciters of parishioners. Before the closing was announced, Fr. Bowers even threatened to leave the priesthood if his parish was slated for closing.
I’m not sure whether this will work to forestall the protests, but my guess is that it will not do so by itself. I don’t expect Fr. Bowers to go quietly into the night nor will the parishioners who so dutifully follow behind.
Also, other parishes are receiving notices that their closings have been delayed. St. James Church in Stoughton was supposed to close on Sunday, but was told it would stay open indefinitely. No reason has been given and it doesn’t look like any protests or sit-ins were planned there. Very odd.