Pastoral Council Minutes – April 2017

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St. Stephen the Martyr Pastoral Council


April 25, 2017


The regularly scheduled meeting of the Pastoral Council of Saint Stephen the Martyr  (“Council”) was held on April 25, 2017, at 7:00 PM, Central Daylight Time, in the Gonderinger Parish Center.


I.                    Call to Order

President Aaron Keller called the meeting to order.  Greg Weiss, Secretary, recorded minutes of the meeting.


II.                 Roll Call

The following members of the Council were present:

  • Deacon Ernie Abbott
  • Deacon Marty Warwick
  • Hope DeLuca
  • Aaron Keller
  • Michael Macholan
  • Corey Osborn
  • Deb Saraka-Rubin
  • Steve Simonsen
  • Greg Weiss



  • Father Jim Tiegs
  • Katie Corrigan
  • Kathy Wiese


III.              Opening Prayer

Hope DeLuca led the Council in a prayer to open the meeting.


IV.               Approval of Minutes

Mr. Keller presented to the Council the minutes of the March 28, 2017 meeting of the Council, whereupon motion duly made, seconded and unanimously adopted.  The minutes were approved as presented.


V.                 Pastor’s Report

  • Deacon Ernie and Deacon Marty provided the Pastor’s report in Fr. Jim’s absence.
    • Father Declan Gibson from the Missionaries of the Most Holy Eucharist will be speaking during the homily at each Mass this weekend. He will be delivering the mission on Monday (5/1) and Tuesday (5/2) evening starting at 6:30 each night.
    • A discussion regarding the Masses that Father Declan would cover took place. Father Declan is scheduled to cover Saturday evening Mass as well as 2 Masses on Sunday and the 6:30 am Masses on Monday and Tuesday.


VI.               Stewardship & Development Report

Deacon Ernie provided the Stewardship and Development Report to the Council.  He reported on the following:

  • Tim Francis talks on Eucharistic Miracles
    • Great attendance – many non-parishioners
    • Feedback forms will be scanned and analyzed
    • Will contact everyone that expressed interest in starting a small discussion group
    • Deacon Marty reported that he received feedback from Parishioners not able to make Saturday and Monday events at St. Stephen’s who indicated that they were going to go to St. Gerald’s to hear Mr. Francis due to the positive feedback they had heard.


  • Divine Mercy Sunday
    • Light attendance – we didn’t get it in the bulletin or on the website
    • Next year we should use a sign up genius to all ministry heads to distribute their folks throughout the event and something should be happening all the way up to Benediction. I had 6 people for Benediction.


  • Declan Gibson – Adoration Commitment Mission
    • Presiding at 5pm Sat, 10:30 am, and 6pm Sun masses
    • Speaking at the homily for all weekend masses
    • Exposition and Benediction during his talks on Monday and Tuesday.


  • Disciple Maker Index
    • Receiving data at all day meeting at St. Pat’s in Gretna on 5/2


  • Fatima Statue Visit
    • May 28th
      • 2:00 – 5:30pm Exposition
      • 2:15 – Prayer of Consecration
      • 2:25 – Scapular Enrollment
      • 3:00 – Rosary
      • 3:00 – 5:45 pm Confession
      • 5:30 – Benediction
      • 5:40pm – Closing remarks by statue custodian
    • Custodian speaking at all masses on 5/28


  • Rummage Sale planning begun
    • Opening an account with Costco to purchase tables
    • Organizational meeting set for 5/2 at 7pm in the GPC (July 13-15)
    • Knights of Columbus have stepped up to coordinate “Furniture / Supplies Pick Ups”


  • Parish Festival planning begun
    • Organizational meeting set for 5/16 at 7pm in the GPC (Aug 25-26)


  • Update on Stewardship Renewal – “Serving Christ in Serving You”
    • The test has begun:
      • OSV has sent their letter to their test group
      • I have sent my letter to my test group
      • I will begin monitoring results in May with the final determination in early July
      • So far received two corrections on stewardship
        • Parishioner forgot they made a pledge.
        • Parishioner filled out weekly amount and meant to do monthly amount.


  • Archbishop’s Annual Appeal
    • 535 Family Commitments (511 last year at the end of Campaign)
    • 7% of goal (101.2% last year at the end of Campaign)
    • $162,333.00 so far ($151,319 last year at the end of Campaign)


  • Other Efforts in the works
    • Martyr Madness still no final no. Expected to be $100k net income
    • Omaha Gives event 5/24
    • Planning has begun for Christ Renews His Parish in Spring 2018
    • Parish Census Update – still holding

VII.            New Business

A.                  SSM website- Events calendar, Parish Ministry contacts

  • Keller opened the discussion explaining a conversation that he had with an individual who had just finished the RCIA program. This individual explained that our events calendar on the Parish website is blank.
  • Deacon Ernie explained that the calendar that we utilize is in an Access database.
  • An effort would need to be made to redo the database to get the website calendar up and running. This effort was to be done this summer.
  • There have been efforts in the past to update/replace the website, but there are some challenges (funding, IT, etc.).
  • Council agreed that a more forward looking website is imperative.
  • Council again reiterated that a new website is needed and requested that this be a priority put before Father Belt when he arrives.
  • Deacon Marty indicated that the Archdiocese is going to be putting more emphasis on technology in the context of their new evangelization efforts.
  • Deacon Marty reported to the Council that he expects that Father Belt will likely not be able to spend a lot of time with committees at the beginning of his tenure with St. Stephen’s due to a retreat and vacation that he has on his calendar.


B.                  SSM Ministry “coverage” or “type”

  • Keller distributed a handout that contained his proposed categorization of our St. Stephen’s ministries.
  • Deacon Marty suggested that the ministry fair should be pushed to correspond with when school starts to maximize its effectiveness.
  • An idea was put forth to highlight some ministries each week.
    • In addition to the bulletin, Mr. Osborn suggested that a video interview with a member of the ministry be included as well.
  • Deacon Marty reminded the group that if we do 4 inserts in the bulletin, there is no charge to St. Stephen’s. We are able to do this 22-23 times per year.
  • A discussion regarding the Knights of Columbus and their active search for ways to elevate the spiritual involvement of the members in the Parish took place. Osborn suggested that the Catholic Watchmen concept be introduced to them.  This is a group in Minnesota that calls men to be protectors in their Parishes…particularly of the Eucharist.


C.                  New Members

  • Keller indicated that we have received 2 bios thus far for new members on the Council. He encouraged the Council to continue to extend invites to potential candidates.


VIII.         For the Good of the Council

A.                  Commitment Weekend

  • Weiss reported that Father Declan would be giving the homily at each Mass. At the conclusion of his homily, the ushers will distribute commitment cards.  The commitment cards will be collected at the conclusion of Mass.
  • Keller reminded the Council of the upcoming Father Jim thank you dinner that will be hosted by the Macholan’s on May 12th at 6 pm. Mr. Keller further thanked the Macholan’s for hosting the event.


IX.               Topics for Future Discussion

  • Keller indicated that the Vice President and Secretary would be elected at the May meeting of the Council. Mr. Keller asked that Council members consider these positions and email him prior to the next Council meeting with any interest that they have in either of these positions.
  • Keller also requested that the Council think about the ministry groupings and provide feedback to him.
  • Keller explained that his vision with the groupings would be to have the leaders of the ministries that are grouped together meet periodically.
  • Keller conveyed that he’d like to build out this idea/approach for ministry communication.
  • DeLuca volunteered to design the handout template that was being discussed to highlight the various ministries.


X.                 Closing

Being no other business, the Council closed the meeting with the Prayer for Vocations.  The meeting was adjourned at 8:32 pm.

Author: tmarble