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Pastoral Planning - St. Isidore - Archdiocesan website for the implementation of the Disciples In Mission Pastoral Plan.

Fr. Walter's Update - January 20, 2013

Earlier this month, the Archdiocese of Boston announced the twelve parish groupings (aka collaboratives) that would be in Phase One of the new pastoral planning initiative.  Upon learning that our collaborative (St. Elizabeth and St. Isidore parishes) was not among them, many parishioners have wondered what that means and where it leaves us. Here are some reflections.

  1. There was nothing personal in the decision not to include us.  There were only 12 slots available in Phase One, and the archdiocese rightly needed to assure that they were filled with a very mixed a group of parishes and situations. Details are available at
  2. Our not being included brings us important blessings. We will benefit from the experience and learning gained as Phase One parishes do their training and planning.  In the meantime, our two parishes remain free to develop our own relationship and find additional ways to cooperate and support each other. All of this is good.
  3. Parishioners have also noted that not being in Phase One requires us to deal with a longer period of uncertainty and even vulnerability.  Since that is the case, our responsibility is to deal well with this situation. Accordingly, let’s acknowledge and then set aside that uncertainty and make the best of all the gifts and opportunities that come before us.  That’s what I’ve decided to do.  We never know what tomorrow brings.  But we do know that we’re called to thank God “always and everywhere,” work together as good Christian brothers and sisters, and meet our responsibilities for justice and charity each day.  We are to be faithful in the moment, taking each day as the most important one that we have, make the best of it, and leave tomorrow in God’s hands.


Fr. Walter's Update - December 23, 2012

Dear Parishioners of St. Elizabeth of Hungary and St. Isidore parishes,

Bp.-Elect Robert Deeley, Vicar General, recently announced a procedure for appointing pastors to the collaboratives or
parish groupings that are to be set up. The Cardinal is asking that pastors of parishes to be placed in a collaborative submit
their resignations. A priest who wishes to be considered for those newly-open positions would apply to the personnel board
according to its normal procedures. After due deliberation, the Cardinal will appoint the same priest as pastor of each
parish comprising the new collaborative. In the meantime, new parish leadership appointments will be to the office of

This approach gives the Cardinal a freer hand in deciding who will be responsible for each collaborative and establishes one
procedure for all cases. Although there are pros and cons to any policy, I do understand the reasons for this procedure and
will abide by it. We don’t yet know whether St. Isidore and St. Elizabeth parishes will be in the first group of collaboratives.
But whenever our parishes are slated to enter the new dispensation, I will submit my resignation and apply to be the pastor of both parishes when, as expected, they become part of the same collaborative.

Some background might help as you think about all this. My position as administrator of St. Isidore Parish entails no tenure or right to become its pastor. My term as pastor of St. Elizabeth Parish expired nine years ago, and my continuance in that office has been at the pleasure of the archbishop. Since I’ve been literally one telephone call away from a transfer for some time now, submitting a resignation doesn’t really change these “facts on the ground.” In addition, official actions toward our two parishes and me all seem to have envisioned the long term. So, while I could still be transferred and someone else made pastor of the new SIP/SEOH collaborative, I don’t think that scenario is very likely. We shall see.

This news will elicit many responses and feelings. Neither parish needs the insecurity or uncertainty that this procedure
brings, nor do I. But I hope that we can all take the bigger picture into account and look forward to a time—may it come
quickly—when our parishes know where they stand and pastoral leadership is once again settled and stable. Then we can
more easily get on with our mission of building community and working together to serve, worship, and give our witness.

Finally, the Cardinal and his advisors recognize that input from parishioners must have a place in their deliberations on so
important a matter. Although there are no details as of this writing, I have been told that specific means will soon be set
forth to let you know how to make your voices heard. That is as it should be.

As always, let us walk together in faith, hope, charity, and in the peace of Christ,
Fr. Walter

Planning for one priest serving St. Elizabeth of Hungary and St. Isidore parishes (12/23/2012)

As all are aware, the number of priests available for service in our parishes continues to decline. As a result, there is likely to come a time when the archdiocese is able to assign only one priest to serve both St. Elizabeth of Hungary and St. Isidore parishes. Although we don't know when that day will arrive, prudence suggests that we prepare now for that unwelcome but probably inevitable development. I have brought this matter to joint meetings of both parish pastoral councils. After a thorough discussion and with their support, I have assembled a committee of parishioners to examine the challenges that we face and make recommendations. The members are: Charlie Corley, Tom Moroney, Patricia Noone, Joyce Pinney, and Ed Reverdy from St. Isidore's and Melinda Donovan, Diahne Goodwin, Owen Neville, Cathy Rudolph, and Steve Ryan from St. Elizabeth's. The committee and I will have our first meeting early in the new year. At that time I will set forth my own outlook and some expectations. Above all, I will ask the members to do their work prayerfully and with the generosity, wisdom, and charity that distinguish brothers and sisters in Christ.

(See the first report - June 2013)

Fr. Walter

Polling Results from April 25, 2012 Parish Open Meeting (PDF)

Parish Open Meeting: April 25, 2012 - 7-9PM in the Church Hall

Our parish open meeting will be held in the Church Hall on Wednesday evening, April 25th. We will start by outlining the history and main points of the proposal for strengthening the Church's mission in Boston.

This proposal was developed for the whole Archdiocese by the Archdiocesan Pastoral Planning Commission (APPC) under the direction of Fr. David Couturier, OFM who heads the Office of Pastoral Planning for the Archdiocese of Boston.

We will poll all present on these main points. We will then present the proposed collaboration of St. Isidore with St. Elizabeth of Hungary and poll all present on a few aspects of that proposal. Then there will be a time for open questions and comments.

To prepare yourself for the meeting you can see the one page outline of the proposal here.

If you have specific questions about St. Isidore's with regard to the APPC plan, please email us at

January 28, 2012

As was mentioned at the end of the masses this weekend, what is being reported on in the media starting back in December and most recently this past week is a proposal that is in the process of being reviewed and commented on by a wide circle of Catholics in the Archdiocese.

First of all here is what this is NOT:

  1. It is not a finished plan.
  2. It is not an implementation plan. (It speaks of what, not how).
  3. It is not a proposal to impose something from the top down but a framework to help parishes determine what works best for them.
  4. It is not a disguised way to close parishes. A clearly stated parameter of this proposal (which will not be modified by the consultation process) is that the final plan will not close any of the existing parishes.

It IS a proposal that came from a process that started in this form back in 2006. At that time, the Cardinal commissioned a group to study how to strengthen the Archdiocese. They produced a report in May 2007 that identified 10 or so models and recommended that these be studied and a proposal crafted. In 2009 the Cardinal hired Fr. David Couturier to head up this effort in the office of Pastoral Planning. After much research and study by the Pastoral Planning Office, the Cardinal convened the Archdiocesan Pastoral Planning Commission (APPC) to propose a plan for review at all levels of the Archdiocese.

What is being reviewed at the current time (and what papers are reporting on) is this proposed plan.

  • This consultation started with the priests December 5 and will continue through April.
  • It is being reviewed at more the 30 meetings of which only 1/3 have happened.
  • Feedback is being sought at these meetings which will encompass priests, deacons, religious, pastoral associates, religious ed people, schools, youth ministers and parish finance and pastoral council members.
  • Later in the spring feedback will be taken from in parish meetings and an online form that any Catholic is invited to fill out
  • Once that feedback has been gathered, the Archdiocesan Pastoral Planning Commission will modify the proposed plan and present it to the Cardinal.
  • If the Cardinal accepts that plan then we will move into an implementation planning phase.

If you have questions or comments, please email the parish at

If you are interested in the progress of the process, please keep checking periodically. You should especially check it when you read something or someone tells you something about the process to make sure you are getting the correct story.