An updated pastoral plan has been posted to the Diocese of Rochester website for the Monroe-Clinton planning group (comprising St. Mary downtown, St. Boniface, and Blessed Sacrament). It was previously believed that all three of these churches would be clustering in June under a single pastoral leader, most likely being a lay administrator. However according to this revised plan, the configuration of the planning group may be a little different than anticipated.
Here is what the pastoral plan is calling for:
“When this pastoral plan is implemented, Blessed Sacrament and Saint Boniface will become a two parish cluster and Saint Mary will remain a single parish. All three worship and ministry sites will remain open and functioning. The three parishes will share the services of two priests.”
This is the first time I have heard about St. Mary not being included in the cluster. One can only speculate as to the reasons, though it could be at least somewhat about St. Mary being the major progressive haven in the diocese.
Here are some more interesting details from the pastoral plan:
“There will be two pastoral leaders (one for Blessed Sacrament/Saint Boniface and one for Saint Mary’s). Anne-Marie Brogan is already serving as pastoral administrator of Saint Mary’s. It is the strong desire of Saint Boniface and Blessed Sacrament that both priests as well as pastoral administrators be considered for the leadership of Blessed Sacrament/Saint Boniface [Methinks this is more the desire of Blessed Sacrament than St. Boniface given that St. Bonficace is home to a number of St. Anne exiles who have fled because of the lay administrator assigned to that parish]. We ask diocesan leadership to reach out to the most qualified candidates who could serve our unique communities at this important time in our history. We look forward to a leader who will bring our parishes together and will work with St. Mary’s to create a strong Catholic community in the southeast part of the City of Rochester. St. Mary’s supports the desire of Blessed Sacrament and Saint Boniface that the most qualified candidate be appointed by Bishop Clark. They also affirm that, once the two priests are appointed, Saint Mary’s needs to receive a sufficient portion of the priests’ services to meet the liturgical and sacramental needs of the people of Saint Mary’s, estimated to be approximately two thirds of the time of a full-time equivalent priest.”
Finally, here is the proposed Mass schedule. Keep in mind that the bishop has created his own rule that priests may offer no more than three Sunday obligation Masses per weekend.
4:00 Saint Mary’s
5:00 Saint Boniface
9:00 Saint Boniface
10:00 Blessed Sacrament
10:30 Saint Mary’s
12:15 Blessed Sacrament
Though the weekend Mass schedule appears even for each parish, the special treatment that the bishop’s favorite parish could soon receive is something to keep a close eye on.