From the Pastoral Council
At a recent parish pastoral council meeting, council members thought that as the New Year begins, an update for St. Ignatius parishioners on the function, responsibilities and activities of their parish council would be timely. Additionally, they felt it would be good to communicate to parishioners how best to get information on agenda items discussed at the monthly parish council meetings; how to contact the members; and how to join the parish council. Parish (or pastoral) council is a consultative body made up of parishioners, staff, and the pastor that serves to be the “eyes and ears” of the parish community at large, advising the pastor on various pastoral issues, ranging from liturgical, educational and financial issues to long range planning and the future direction of the parish. Relevant topics are openly discussed among the members, and decisions are made to vote on actions or get additional information for future meetings.
Responsibilities of parish council members include a monthly meeting, lasting about 90 minutes, beginning and concluding with a prayer led by a member. Currently, meetings are held the first Tuesday of each month. Members need to be active in the life of the parish (Sunday Mass, volunteer, other), engaging fellow parishioners and bringing their ideas and concerns to the pastoral council for discussion. Members are asked to review the minutes from the previous month, to approve or make changes, and to review the agenda for the current month in preparation for the meeting. Members serve a three year term, with three members rotating off each June. While currently the council has ten members, it may have up to twelve members. Meetings are held on site in the Behler Room, Loyola Hall or Ignatius Center.
What skills or qualifications does a person need to be on parish council? Each person has a “talent” that is not only valued by Jesus Christ, but can also be valuable in the service of the parish. The most important qualification is to have the passion to contribute to the growth of St. Ignatius parish by being active in parish life, living a solid life of faith, participating in the sacraments and being good stewards of God’s gifts. The diversity of council in regards to gender, age, experiences and time as parish members helps to form a well rounded council.
Why would I want to serve as a member of pastoral council? Many reasons come to mind but a few that resonate for most people are the direct interaction with other parishioners of diverse ages and backgrounds and the pastor. Through these encounters one discovers the “pulse” of the parish and can be attentive to its true needs, offering insight and experience to build a better future for the parish. Exercising one’s baptismal call in the guidance of St. Ignatius Parish, council members try not only to preserve the vibrancy of the community, but to help the Church and the parish grow, fulfilling Christ’s mandate to spread the Good News. By offering expertise from one’s life and faith and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, council members help make a difference in our parish life.
How do I contact parish council, express an interest in becoming a member, or just increase my knowledge of matters before the parish council? There are several ways to reach out to parish council:
• All current pastoral council members and their phone numbers are in the Sunday bulletin (1st column).
• Go to www.sainti.org. After clicking on the “Church” site, proceed to the following tabs: “About”, “Pastoral Council” members also listed on the website along with meeting minutes, job description, including duties and responsibilities, and a member interest form that can be filled out or simply call a member. As the parish celebrates its Jubilee Years, pastoral council members hope to be active in engaging the community, and we look forward to hearing from you.
-Jason Lesko (Chair) and Kirk Fischesser (Vice Chair)