Leadership is almost never easy, one need only look at our presidents to see how the heavy mantle of leading the free world changes their appearance from young candidates to grey-haired lame ducks. Of course leading the collaborative isn’t like leading the free world, but sometimes decisions are made that weigh heavily. This past week I had to make one of those decisions when I had to, strictly for budgetary reasons, eliminate the job of Director of Communications.

This elimination has a very human side in that it means we will no longer have the talents of Dom Bettinelli at our disposal and for me it means I will no longer have a friend and fellow believer by my side at the work of the New Evangelization. I think some people thought Dom just did the bulletin or something, but I assure you it was far more than that. His work included all our web sites, our social media presence, our print design work, and more importantly it included the leadership of our pastoral writing team– which was working on the pastoral plan for our collaborative and which will now be put on hold– amongst a myriad of other things too numerous to mention.

Dom has a vision of the New Evangelization, a vision in line with the teachings of the Church and aligned with my vision for parish life in the 21st century. He is a faith-filled intentional disciple of Jesus Christ and it shows in his work and in his family life. I will miss our daily talks, our strategy sessions and his unwavering support of me in what can certainly be called an interesting collaborative assignment.

This unfortunate decision will have ramifications all the way down the road, ramifications that we have not even thought of yet and by this move we are weaker as a parish staff. While I wish we could find a million dollars and make this all go away, that seems unlikely. Dom is a talented guy and I have every reason to believe he will find a good job, but this was more than a job for him; it was a calling. To stop this good work we’ve been doing all these months before we’ve reached fruition is heartbreaking for me. If you can drop him an email of thanks for all his hard work on your and my behalf at, it’s only a token of what we owe him, but it is something we can do to show him how much we care. Many blessings, my friend, and while I know we’ll see each other often, these 19 months of collaboration have been a true joy of my life.

Peace be with you!

About Fr. Chip Hines

Fr. George "Chip" Hines is the Pastor of the Matthew 13 Catholic Collaborative, including Blessed Sacrament Parish and St. Mary Parish in Walpole, Mass. Ordained in 2004, he has been a pastor in the towns of Wrentham and Medford and a parochial vicar in Malden prior to his present assignment. Fr. Chip is also the host of CatholicTV's Searchlight, a show about movies and cinema.