Dear Friends -
My name is Father Paul Soper. This past week Cardinal Seán appointed me to be the temporary administrator of Saint Ann and Saint Brendan Parishes, while Father Makos addressing his health issues. It is a real joy for me to be here.
Father Makos will remain the Pastor of the Parishes, and Father Macdonald will remain the Parochial Vicar. I will be living at Saint Ann's. I will continue in my role as Director of Pastoral Planning for the Archdiocese of Boston, so part of the time I'll be in Dorchester, and part of the time I'll be in Braintree and in the other places my work takes me. The Archdiocese, not the Parishes, will be paying my expenses.
We will talk in many forums as the weeks continue about our common vision for the Parishes of this Collaborative. Let me just say this, though. It's time for us to grow. It's time for every decision that we make to be oriented toward growth. We are not irrelevant to and in this culture. We possess the most precious thing possible - the Person of Jesus Christ. We are speakers of the most important words ever spoken - that He loves us, and came to save us. This isn't a time for us to be quiet or for us to disappear. We will explore together "best practices" in Evangelization.
Father Tom and I will speak about these from the
pulpit. We'll speak about them in open meetings, at Pastoral Council and Finance Council meetings, in faith formation, in small groups, at rallies, in the schools. Together we will begin to form a strategy for the growth of the Church here, and then we will put all of our resources, all of our energies, and all of our prayers into that growth. But, of course, in the end, the work belongs to Jesus, so we end up with the classic Christian paradox - we will strive to plan wisely and to work really hard, but all in a spirit of abandonment to His will, and to the movement of His Spirit in the Church and through our lives.
God bless you, and I look forward to working along side you to make disciples here at Saint Ann and Saint Brendan Parishes.