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Pastoral Council



The purpose of Pastoral Council is to help meet the pastoral needs of the parish.  Pastoral Council is primarily a consultative group representing the wisdom of the parish community at large and dealing with broad directions and goals. This is in contrast to the various missions, activities and associations which represent a specific service function and deal mainly with specific means and strategies. These various commission, activities and associations report to the Pastoral Council, thereby maintaining proper direction and leadership. Pastoral Council consists of nine members elected at large.

If you have an issue you would like to present to Pastoral Council, please contact the Chairman or other member of Pastoral Council to be placed on the agenda.



In September 2015, Father Reutter and the nine members of Parish Council elected by you to be your representatives, established “Areas of Focus” for this year that all Commissions are using as a basis for their activities. These areas are: Increase Mass Attendance; Increase Parish Census; Increase Parish Revenue; Increase School Enrollment; Increase Involvement or Participation; Build the Faith Community; Increase School & Parish Awareness and Publicity; and Increase Commission Communication. These areas were developed by keeping our overall focus on the Parish Mission which instructs us to use our talents and gifts to bring the Word of the Lord to the world (full statement on website).

We have two unusual circumstances that have been driving much of our activity to support the Areas of Focus. The first is the reality of declining number of priests available to support our Mass schedule. Although this is not a problem for next Sunday, nor next month, there is a real possibility that we could feel this shortage in the next 6 months, year or two years. For instance, other parishes are also dealing with this, as evidenced by O.L.Visitation and O.L.Lourdes recently reducing Mass schedules. With that inevitability, we have decided to make a concrete plan for the day when only one priest will be available for Sunday Masses. In keeping with the guidelines of the Archdiocese, this will result in a Mass schedule of one on Saturday and two on Sunday. Our approach is to do our homework and have this new Mass schedule ready to go when the situation occurs. At this point it is not our intention to change to a new Mass schedule until the situation dictates it. We realize this is an important and sensitive issue to the entire Parish and we are going to give it the thorough investigation it deserves.

The second unusual opportunity is the occasion of the 175th anniversary of our Parish (the 3rd oldest in the Archdiocese and the FIRST on the Westside!). This upcoming monumental event triggered us to ask: 1) How can we celebrate the fantastic impact this Parish has made on our families and our community; and 2) Can we look at ourselves and determine what changes we can make to give ourselves a great start on our next 175 years and achieve our Areas of Focus? This process led to a list of potential projects/initiatives originated by Parish Council and our many Commissions.

Even though our Parish Council and Commission members have extensive knowledge of the Parish, Father Reutter and Parish Council wanted feedback on direction on Mass scheduling and projects associated with the 175thanniversary and Areas of Focus from all in the Parish. To do this, we conducted the parish-wide survey last November. This survey was designed to provide general sentiment on Mass times and projects using “Importance” scale rankings and written comments. We were pleased with the over 300 surveys completed.

Regarding Mass times, no single schedule of times was strongly preferred. The preference seemed to coalesce around an early Mass around 8:30 or 9:00, and a later Mass around 11:00. Many other factors need to be considered in establishing a new schedule, but this input along with written comments will be factored into the recommendation.

The part of the survey dealing with perceived importance of various projects generally confirmed the perception of those on Parish Council. The ratio of “Important” to “Not Important” feedback was:

Issue “Important" “Not Important”
Establish Preschool   7 1
Replace Church Carpet                                                      6 1
Build Marian Grotto 6 1
New Natural Playground 6 1
More Handicapped Pews 5 1
Improve Sound System                              2.5 1
Outdoor Classroom    2.5 1
Rosary Walk                                                 2 1
Center Aisle                                                 1.7 1
Refinish Pews                                             1.5 1
Natural Garden                                           1.4 1
Expand Choir Area                                     1 1
New Baptismal Font Area                         .8 1

Along with written comments, this input has been used to create a plan to proceed to the next steps on these projects.

  • A preschool study is in process and a decision to implement for the Fall 2017 school year will be made in the next few months.
  • The church interior renovations are being planned and bid as a result of synergies and exceptional cost effectiveness of completion as a total package. We have the funds in hand to complete this work and no debt will be incurred as a result of this work. A Capital Funds reserve will be continued with the rebate from the Archdiocese’ One Faith Capital campaign.
  • The “Legacy” projects consisting of the Grotto, Playground, Outdoor Classroom, Rosary Walk and Garden are being designed and fundraising plans are being developed.  All funds will be raised independent of the Capital program. The plan is to complete these during the 175th Anniversary period.

Again, we thank you for the great input and look forward to the exciting times ahead!

R1 2/11/16