St James Parish Pastoral Council Minutes – May 8, 2014

Parish Pastoral Council Meeting May 8, 2014

Attendees – Fr. Yarek, Dave Wilson (Chairman, Strengthening our Parish, and Knights of Columbus), Stephanie Krueger (Mom’s Group and Parish Liturgy Committee), Barb Zimmer (Pastoral Care and St. Michael’s Parish), Julius Strachan (Christian Life Program and Member-at-Large), and Ron Schreiber (Secretary and Christ the Redeemer Catholic Schools)

Meeting called to order at 7:35 pm.

Julius Strachan led the group in opening prayer. A discussion about Psalm 91 regarding God’s call and care for us followed.

The minutes of the minutes from the March 27 meeting were approved; moved by Barb Zimmer and seconded by Stephanie Krueger.

There were no additions to new business.


Stephanie Krueger reported on activities with the Mom’s Group. Next week on Wednesday, May 14 they will be joined by guest speaker Jocelyne Lajoie who will speak on “The 5 Languages of Love for Children”. Stephanie also reported that the Mom’s Group would like representation at the RCIA volunteer discussions to help increase awareness of their presence in the parish. Stephanie’s report regarding the liturgy committee was moved to the unfinished business portion of the agenda.

Barb Zimmer provided a report on Pastoral Care in St. Michael’s and St. James. The numbers of visitations in each community do vary over time. Presently there are 2 visitations being undertaken in Black Diamond and about 30 in Okotoks. Discussion followed regarding the ways that the Parish is able to find out about the need for these visitations. Fr. Yarek suggested that a meeting of the Pastoral Ministry be held in September or October to develop a process to more effectively track those in need of visitations. He also reiterated the importance of providing the Sacrament of the Sick to these people. Following this, discussion regarding the provisioning of training in the Pastoral Care Ministry occurred. It was suggested that a course be held locally if sufficient numbers of attendees can be garnered and that it be held in the fall after the volunteer lists are developed at the Parish. It was also suggested that St. James Parish work with St. Francis de Sales Parish in High River to help ensure that sufficient numbers of attendees can be found.

Barb then reported on St. Michael’s Parish in Black Diamond. She will rotate with Keith Hartman as the liaison to the St. James Parish Pastoral Council. She also reported on spiritual activities at St. Michael’s including a Marian tribute in May (“Crowning of Mary”) and monthly celebrations of the Devotion to Divine Mercy. She also spoke about some maintenance issues at the St. Michael’s church. Fr. Yarek suggested that the maintenance man from St. James Parish could perhaps help with some of the maintenance issues at St. Michael’s.

Mary McGinness, the CWL representative, was unable to attend due to illness but she provided a report which Dave Wilson relayed to the group. The Annual Diocesan Convention for the CWL was recently held in High River with 205 registrants. Two resolutions of note were passed – the first was a resolution to revoke the passports for life for convicted Canadian pedophiles (so that they may not travel outside Canada and continue to harm children); the second was to promote the setting up of an income qualification system for single seniors to improve their access to dental and optical care. The CWL will also be selling floral baskets at the church this coming weekend.

Dave Wilson then reported on activities involving the Knight of Columbus. At the meeting of State Council in Edmonton in April, a resolution to rescind the prohibition against casino fundraising was defeated. Dave also reported that the Llama Classic fundraising golf tournament was to be held on Saturday, September 22. As well, on June 27 the Knights will provide a breakfast to the parish after morning mass.

Sr. Lucille, the youth and adult education coordinator, was unable to be at this meeting as she was at a retreat. However she emailed in a report. She reported on the following items:   first, the  RCIA social will be held on May 14 and it will include invitations to the new Church members to join various ministries; second, the Boys and Dads Group windup will be May 9 and will include finishing their shop project which is building a jewelry box as a Mother’s  Day gift; third, the Girls T&T Group windup will be a bowling/pizza party held on May 23; fourth, the SJY Group windup will be held on May 30 and will also be a bowling/pizza party; as well, 2 leaders from the group will be graduating so a parent will also be bringing a cake to celebrate this milestone; fifth, First Communion will be held at morning masses on June 15 and 22; there are 104 registrants thus far; sixth, the Scriptural Rosary sessions will be ending May 28 and the intention at that time will be for all mothers; and seventh, the Mom’s Group will have a special speaker at their May 14 meeting; please see Stephanie Krueger’s Mom’s Group report for details.

Ron Schreiber then reported on behalf of Christ the Redeemer Catholic Schools touching on the SPICE Retreat (from which he will send out his notes once he has compiled them), the May 13th parent consultation regarding boundary changes due to the addition of a new school at Davisburg, and a number of upcoming awards and student graduation ceremonies around the Division.  Ron Schreiber also expressed thanks on behalf of the Board to Fr. Yarek for the permission to hold their various graduation ceremonies at St. James Parish.

Julius Strachan spoke about the Christian Life Program focusing on Couples For Christ. The recent sessions were held at St. Francis de Sales in High River to help start this initiative in that parish. Shortly sessions will transfer back to St. James in Okotoks. Discussion followed regarding increasing awareness of this program in the parish via the use of pamphlets and website awareness.

Chairman Dave Wilson reported on operational aspects of the Parish touching on the new hall construction and parish finances. Initially he reported on his attendance, along with Fr. Yarek and Sr. Lucille, at the Ward I meeting of Christ the Redeemer Catholic Schools at the Board Office in Okotoks. Some very positive outcomes regarding the future hiring of a Parish Youth Minister should be arising out of this discussion. Dave Wilson then spoke about the approval of the development permit for the new hall, costs realized so far for architecture and consultancy, an upcoming meeting dealing with interior work, issues involved with setting up a commercial kitchen as part of the hall, and the names of the people involved in these processes. He also reported that next week the lights in the church will repaired. Dave also provided a short report regarding the state of finances in the Parish. He then spoke about the status of the Liturgy Committee and discussion ensued regarding the best ways that this committee could function. It was decided that a meeting of all ministries with the Liturgy Committee will be held in June to try to build relationship between these groups and help the Parish grow. Consensus developed, as well, around the idea of having a “sign-up Sunday” in September where the various ministries at the Parish could set up booths with representatives from these ministries to try to increase awareness in the Parish of these ministries and the work that they do.

Unfinished Business

Dave Wilson stressed the importance of reviewing the “Parish Council Member Position Description”. Discussion followed regarding the handling of confidential issues by the Parish Pastoral Council. Dave asked the group to be ready to approve the document with any required changes in September.

Regarding the status of the Parish Office Admin help recruitment, Dave Wilson reported that some candidates have already applied for this position with a deadline of the end of May. It is hoped that by September, this position will be filled.

Regarding the status of the Youth Minister recruitment, it is expected that the advertisement for this position should be ready after May 30.

The status of the Liturgical Sub Committee issue was dealt with earlier as part of Dave Wilson’s report.

New Business

The results of the 2014 Parish Lenten Mission were discussed. Following this, discussion occurred regarding the next Lenten Mission. Ideas regarding speakers and topics and logistics were brought forward. Suggestions included beginning each night with the celebration of mass, having Parish Council host the guest speaker for meals, having Parish Council host evening discussions for participants until about 9pm each evening after the mission session, bringing in a local doctor to discuss “end of life” issues, bringing in an expert to discuss funeral preparations, and bringing in a renowned Catholic speaker such as Matthew Kelly.

The issue of “Volunteer Sign Up Ideas For September” was dealt with earlier as part of Chairman Dave Wilson’s report.

Next Meeting – Thursday, September 11 at 7:30pm

Closing Prayer – Fr. Yarek closed the meeting with a prayer at 9:40pm.