The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston on Thursday announced the names of more than two dozen parishes participating in the first phase of a major reorganization that will eventually group the archdiocese’s 288 parishes into about 135 clusters, each led by a team of clergy and lay leaders.
Saint Mary, Saint Margaret, and Saint John in Beverly are named in the Archdiocese plan to share resources by forming clusters of individual parishes. The parishes will remain open, but church officials said they hope will learn to work together.
Sharon Obelsky, a member of Saint Mary Star of the Sea Church in Beverly, predicted that the new collaborative would be difficult for long-time parishioners.
“When they put the three churches together there will be less time at your own parish. If you feel more connected at your own parish, you make not go to another church on a regular basis.”
She also said the new collaborative would put a lot of pressure on the new Beverly pastor, who will oversee three churches. “It will be triple the amount work for the poor guy, and less masses for the people.”
Mary Ann Holak, director of the Beverly Council on Aging, attends St. John the Evangelist, one of three churches that will become part of a collaborative in Beverly. She also said elderly parishioners would new time to understand the new church configuration.
“I believe special attention should be paid to older Catholics so that they can be comfortable with the change, because change is hard,” Holak said.
Here is a list, provided by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, of the 28 parishes that will be grouped into 12 clusters, or “collaboratives,” in the first phase of the archdiocese’s reorganization plan:
1. Saint Luke and Saint Joseph, Belmont
2. Saint Mary, Saint Margaret, Saint John, Beverly
3. Saint Mary, Saint Theresa, Saint Andrew, Billerica
4. Saint Mary, Brookline (a one-parish collaborative)
5. Saint Mary of the Angels, Roxbury and Saint Thomas and Our Lady of Lourdes, Jamaica Plain
6. Saint Mary and Sacred Heart, Lynn
7. Our Lady of the Assumption and Saint Maria Goretti, Lynnfield
8. Saint Lucy and Saint Monica, Methuen
9. Sacred Heart, Middleboro and Saints Martha and Mary, Lakeville
10. Sacred Heart and Our Lady Help of Christians, Newton
11. Saint James, Saint John, Immaculate Conception, and Saint Anne, Salem
12. Saint Jerome and Immaculate Conception, Weymouth