BOSTON – A plan to revive the Boston Archdiocese by organizing its 288 parishes into 135 clusters that share staffing and resources has reached Cardinal Sean O’Malley for final approval.

The Boston Archdiocese devised the plan over nearly two years as it faces potentially crippling problems, including a priest shortage, and worsening financial and attendance numbers. The proposal aims to keep parishes intact while a push to draw back lapsed Catholics reinvigorates the archdiocese and fills up churches again.

Two key archdiocesan groups, the Presbyteral Council and Cardinal’s Cabinet, approved the proposal earlier this month.