About Us - Parish Pastoral Council

Saint Mary’s Parish Pastoral Council is the primary forum for the Pastor to seek wisdom and counsel from the parish community.  It is a consultative body that provides the Pastor a means of finding consensus on ideas and issues that face the parish. 

The Parish Pastoral Council is the coordinating and unifying structure of the parish community.  It strives to be the means of attaining full participation by the whole parish in achieving the Parish Mission by giving all a voice in encouraging, guiding and directing various aspects of parish life.

Our Parish Pastoral Council is very different from a parliamentary culture with votes taken and decisions made.  We are the Church…the Body of Christ…and this Truth shapes how we work together.  We believe all of us have been given gifts by God for the sake of the whole.  We seek a model of Shared Wisdom decision-making.

Planning for the future is one of the primary activities of the Parish Pastoral Council.  In this capacity, its members

  •  Gather the thoughts and ideas of the community
  •  Form those ideas into consensus
  •  Translate this consensus into parish goals
  •  Helps the parish community act upon these goals.

The Parish Pastoral Council convenes on a monthly basis – ordinarily the 2nd Tuesday of the month (August thru June).  Additionally, the Council gathers for an annual weekend retreat in January.

Our present Parish Pastoral Council membership consists of twelve individuals.  The collective wisdom of our Council is that the interests of Saint Mary’s will be best served with three ex-officio members:  Pastor, Pastoral Associate and Business Manager.  Nine members are appointed by the Pastor for a three-year term.  Candidates for appointment are discerned according to their demonstrated behaviors as leaders in ministry at Saint Mary’s.   This model is inspired by a vision described Father Patrick Brennan in his book  The Mission Driven Parish (Orbis Books, 2007). 


Covenant

The operating norms embraced by our Pastoral Council are contained in our COVENANT:

  • We consider our Pastoral Council to be an expression of Church that demonstrates Christian community through the quality of our common life.  We will use prayer and study to help us learn and grow as an expression of the Church.
  • We covenant ourselves to mutual discipleship, faithfully pledging our time, our prayers, our skills and our resources to support and strengthen each other in supporting God's Mission at Saint Mary's Church.
  • We will pray for one another each day.
  • We will pray together each time we meet…ordinarily the second Tuesday of each month.
  • We will be accountable to one another for our presence at all Pastoral Council gatherings.
  • We will take responsibility for our own actions and our own learning.
  • We will practice a spirit of patience, graciousness and hospitality in our meetings, encouraging others to speak and express themselves.
  • We will listen and talk attentively with one another as we plan and work together, practicing our best listening skills and striving to be concise and clear in our statements. 
  • We will be analytical rather than judgmental.
  • We will lovingly encourage one another and tolerantly accept one another’s failures.
  • We will always try to focus on the issues without neglecting active concern for the quality of our relationships.
  • We will resist being pressured by special interest groups concerned about only one part of parish life and work.  It is not OK to become involved in operational management or micromanagement.
  • Proposals for decision will include alternative solutions and a recommendation -- with a clear rationale for that recommendation.
  • It is OK to disagree with positions expressed and with other Pastoral Council members and to offer divergent points of view.
  • We will discuss issues and move toward consensus in making decisions whenever that is possible.
  • We will strive to maintain a “win/win” environment rather than a “win/lose” dynamic.  It is not OK to enter win/lose conflicts.
  • We regard our discussions as privileged communication with one another and agree to treat all information as confidential.
  • We will faithfully and responsibly carry out the duties and assignments given to us.

WE HEREBY MAKE THIS COVENANT, TRUSTING IN THE LOVE AND POWER OF GOD TO GIVE US THE WILL AND THE STRENGTH TO KEEP THIS COVENANT.


Members

Our present Parish Pastoral Council membership consists of twelve individuals. 

The collective wisdom of our Council is that the interests of Saint Mary’s will be best served with three ex-officio members: Pastor, Pastoral Associate and Business Manager. 

Nine members are appointed by the Pastor for a three-year term. Candidates for appointment are discerned according to their demonstrated behaviors as leaders in ministry at Saint Mary’s.  

This model is inspired by a vision described Father Patrick Brennan in his book
The Mission Driven Parish, (Orbis Books, 2007).

Class of 2019: Penny Pappas, Deborah Stelter, David Willy
Class of 2020: Kathy Jaworsky, Rose Krueger, Deacon Dan Lowery
Class of 2021: Larry Gallas, Jen Healy, Mary Eileen McCormack
Ex-officio: Father Pat, Sister Joanne Marie Schutz, SSCM, Jan Mucha