Category Archives: From the Pastor

A Collaborative Update from Fr. Jim: Where Are We Going?

March 2018

My dear friends in Christ,

Tempus fugit, so the saying goes. It is hard for me to believe that it has been nearly two years since I became pastor of the two wonderful parishes of St. Paul and St. John the Evangelist.  I am so grateful for the warm reception I have received and continue to be inspired by your faith and commitment to living out your vocations as disciples of Jesus Christ.

I’d like to take a moment to reflect on where we have been in the last year and a half and where we are going as a collaborative. A “collaborative” is a unique entity.  Our parishes remain distinct, with their own cultures, histories and traditions. The parishes also remain independent of each other financially. What do we share? Our collaborative has a shared leadership team, led by me as pastor along with Fr. Robert Blaney, our parochial vicar and a talented and dedicated group of professionals serving us in pastoral care, religious education, youth ministry, music and  administration. We are currently exploring how we can leverage the strengths of each parish to pursue ministries together.

The Collaborative Pastoral Council (CPC) is made up of five members each from our two parishes. The CPC is developing a vision of what our collaborative will look like in the coming years.  I know well from my experience in my parishes in Wayland that these things cannot be rushed.  So in this initial stage, we have sought opportunities for the people of our parishes simply to get to know each other. To that end, we have hosted two Collaborative Forums, one last June on the topic of Adult Faith Enrichment and the second last November on the subject of Christian Service. These topics were chosen because they represent natural areas for collaboration. On both occasions, we gathered close to one hundred parishioners with nearly equal representation from each parish. The excitement in the room was palpable as parishioners engaged on subjects central to the practice of our faith. They came to realize how much they have in common in their desire to live more fully their Catholic faith. Following from these experiences, we have seen a naturally evolving inter-parish participation. The Women’s Nights at St. John’s have attracted many women from St. Paul’s and is growing into a collaborative ministry. This year’s spectacular Christmas Concert at St. Paul’s boasted the highest attendance in recent memory with a large representation of St. John’s parishioners. There have been truly inspirational liturgies with  the combined musical talents of high school students from both parishes. As a result, the religious education and youth ministry staff have been exploring how we can work together in a collaborative effort to engage our young people more fully in the life of the Church.   We envision more collaborative social events and are planning a Mass followed by a barbecue at an outdoor venue this coming fall. Exciting things are happening.  The Holy Spirit is at work among us.

Beginning in September, the CPC, in consultation with staff and volunteer leadership, will engage in a formal process of developing a pastoral plan for the collaborative for the next several years. The parish forums have given parishioners an opportunity to give input on what is important  to them in areas essential to the practice of our faith. The data collected from the parish forums will provide some of the foundational material for the development of a pastoral plan. We want and need your input as the plan is developed and will continue to find ways to solicit that input. In the meantime, you can always feel free to speak to any CPC member to share your ideas or concerns. While the planning process is being undertaken, the many wonderful ministries within our parishes will continue to thrive. I am grateful to all those who serve our parishes with such dedication.

Where are we going as a collaborative? As we ask this question, let’s keep in mind the dialogue between Jesus and the apostle Thomas.

Thomas said to him, “Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (Jn 14: 5-6)

As we explore paths of collaboration, may we never lose sight of our ultimate objective: to follow more closely the One who is the way and the truth and the life.

Yours in Christ Jesus,

Reverend James J. Laughlin
Pastor
St. John-St. Paul Catholic Collaborative

To save or print this letter, please click HERE.

A Lenten Message from Fr. Jim

At once the Spirit drove him out into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him. (Mark 1:12)

Which voices do we listen to?  The world is a noisy place and we are bombarded by voices telling us what to wear, what to buy, what to believe, what is beautiful.  During this holy season of Lent, we are invited to enter the desert with Jesus.  Here we will learn, like Jesus, to discern the voice of our loving God against the din of competing voices.  As we allow God’s voice to speak deep in our hearts, we discover ourselves as loved unconditionally, as beloved.  As we come to know ourselves as God’s beloved, we are more able to see the face of God in the needy around us and to become instruments of God’s love and mercy to those we encounter.

Pope Francis encourages us “to lose ourselves decisively on the path of Jesus, the path which leads to life…Let us enter into the desert without fear, because we are not alone; we are with Jesus, with the Father and with the Holy Spirit.  In fact, as it was for Jesus, it is the Holy Spirit who guides us on the Lenten journey; that same Spirit descended upon Jesus and has been given to us in Baptism.  As we cross the Lenten ‘desert’, we fix our gaze toward Easter, which is Jesus’ definitive victory against evil, against sin and against death.”

We invite you to enter fully into this Lenten journey into the desert.  Take  advantage of the offerings of our collaborative for prayer and reflection, for service and for reconciliation.  Let’s listen together to the voice of God.

Fr. Jim

 

Thank You to Fr. MacKay and Welcome to Fr. Blaney

Fr. MacKayIt is with a mix of sadness and gratitude that we announce that our parochial vicar, Fr. Arthur MacKay, will be leaving us to take a new assignment beginning on June 1.  Cardinal Sean has asked Fr. Arthur to begin a new assignment as a hospital chaplain serving Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in Burlington and MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham.  With his gentle pastoral presence, deep faith and extensive medical background, Fr. Arthur will bring unique gifts to his new ministry.  For the past five years, Fr. Arthur has served the parishes of our collaborative with dedication, sensitivity and pastoral zeal.  We will miss him very much.  Our prayers and love go with him as he begins this new chapter in his priestly ministry.  A farewell event is being planned and will be announced soon.

Fr_Robert_BlaneyAlso on June 1, Fr. Robert Blaney will be beginning his ministry with us as the new parochial vicar for our collaborative.  Ordained in 2007, Fr. Blaney currently serves as parochial vicar of the Sacred Heart-Our Lady Help of Christians Collaborative in Newton.  Fr. Blaney is a very talented priest who is much beloved in his current parishes.  We welcome him with open arms and trust that you will give him the same loving support and encouragement that you so generously give to all of the priests who serve you.

New Collaborative Bulletin Format Begins February 11-12

Fr_JimBeginning next week (February 11-12), at the recommendation of the Collaborative Pastoral Council, the St. John-St. Paul Collaborative will issue one common bulletin. Each week, parishioners from both parishes will now see both collaborative news and news from each parish.  Please click HERE to read Fr. Jim’s letter about our new Collaborative Bulletin format.

A Message from Fr. Sepe

Fr. Kevin SepeMany parishioners have exclaimed “We hardly had the time to get to know each other!” Although our time was short together it has truly been an enriching experience for me. I consider myself blessed to have known and served each one of you.

I would like to offer my gratitude to each member of our collaborative staff. All have worked with a clear focus toward achieving the goals of Disciples in Mission over this past year. I would like to highlight Mr. Michael Dibbert Principal of Saint John School, a proven leader, fully committed to Catholic education.

We are blessed with our collaborative pastoral council, a diverse group of vibrant, dedicated and visionary members who are eager to begin work on our Collaborative Pastoral Plan. I am indebted to our parish finance councils, composed of multitalented professionals, for their candid and insightful guidance. In a particular way I would like to acknowledge the support and generous ministry of Fr. MacKay, Deacon Mott, Msgr. Lind, Fr. Connelly and Fr. Hehir. Their liturgical contribution to the collaborative allows us to continue to offer a robust Mass schedule.

I offer my best wishes to Sr. Evelyn as she transitions from more than 20 fruitful years of parish ministry to campus ministry at Emmanuel College. Sister’s last official day in the office will be May 18, after which she will enjoy a much deserved period of retreat and renewal on the coast of Maine.

Please keep Fr. MacKay, Fr. Laughlin and me in your prayers as we transition together as disciples in mission.

An Important Announcement from Fr. Sepe

Fr. Kevin SepeAs diocesan priests we serve at the discretion of our Bishop. The Cardinal has asked me to take on a new collaborative. Effective June 1, I will be the pastor of the newly formed Watertown Collaborative.

His eminence has named Fr. James Laughlin pastor of the St. John-St. Paul Collaborative. Fr. Laughlin currently serves as the pastor of Good Shepherd parish Wayland. Fr. Laughlin’s assignment will be effective July 1. Fr. Arthur MacKay will serve as administrator of our collaborative during this transition.

I ask you to keep me, and Fr. Laughlin and Fr. MacKay in your prayers as we transition in our assignments.

Thank you and God bless you.

Fr. Sepe

A Note of Thanks from Fr. Sepe

Fr. Kevin SepeOn behalf of the priests, deacon & pastoral associates of both parishes we are grateful to everyone who contributed to the coordinated efforts that allowed for the prayerful celebration of the Sacred Paschal Triduum, including, our music directors, cantors, choirs, musicians, lectors, servers, ushers and sacristans, along with pastoral, administrative, and facilities staff. Liturgical decorations at St. John led by Sr. Evelyn as well as the Liturgical decorating committee at St. Paul made our sacred space appropriately prayerful as well as beautiful for the season leading up to Easter.

Easter attendance was extraordinary at both parishes. This year in each parish we utilized recently installed technology which allowed us to simulcast the Easter Mass to Powers Hall at St. John, and the Parish Hall at St. Paul.

Attendance at the additional times for the sacrament of Confession during Lent and Holy Week was so encouraging. Many commented on the convenience of the Sunday afternoon penance service.

May the Peace of the Resurrected Lord fill your hearts with His new life of Easter Joy.

From the Pastor: St. Vincent de Paul Society

St_Vincent_de_PaulIn light of the Year of Mercy I am hoping to establish a St. Vincent de Paul Society for our Collaborative. Parishioners (men, women and married couples) who  might feel called to this important outreach ministry to the less fortunate are invited to contact either parish office with your name and contact information.

St. John Office: 781-235-0045 or email stjohnwellesley@stjohnwellesley.org
St. Paul Office: 781-235-1060 or email office@stpaulwellesley.com

From the Pastor: St. Vincent de Paul Society

SVDPIn light of the Year of Mercy I am hoping to establish a St. Vincent de Paul Society for our Collaborative. Parishioners (men, women and married couples) who  might feel called to this important outreach ministry to the less fortunate are invited to contact either parish office with your name and contact information.

St. John Office: 781-235-0045 or email stjohnwellesley@stjohnwellesley.org
St. Paul Office: 781-235-1060 or email office@stpaulwellesley.com

6:45am Weekday Mass at St. Paul

St_PaulThe daily Mass survey has been conducted at both St. Paul and St. John and the results are in. Clearly those attending the 6:45 at St. Paul are unable to travel to St. John for the 7:00 a.m. due to traffic, and an earlier Mass at St. John would not alleviate this issue. Unfortunately the 6:45 daily Mass currently celebrated at St. Paul parish will end Friday, October 2. I know this is not only an inconvenience but a painful loss for many. I ask for your understanding and prayerful support as I, Fr. Arthur and our pastoral staff continue to work hard to address the pastoral needs of the St. John / St. Paul Collaborative.
– Fr. Sepe