St. James Parish Council Minutes – Sep. 11, 2014

Attendees: Father Yarek, Father Denis Bashkar, Chairman Dave Wilson ( Parish Representative for Strengthening Our Parish Initiative, Representative of Finance Committee, and Knights of Columbus’ Representative), Sister Lucille (Youth and Adult Education Coordinator), Stephanie Krueger (Liturgy Committee and Mom’s Group Representative), Barb Zimmer (Pastoral Care and St. Michael’s Church Representative), Tara Epp (Catholic Women’s League and St. Vincent de Paul Society Representative), Julius Strachan (Parish-at-Large and Couples For Christ Representative), and Ron Schreiber (Secretary and Christ The Redeemer Catholic Schools’ Representative).

Absent with regrets: Niki Doyle (Christ The Redeemer Catholic Schools’ Representative), Kevin Crawford (Knights of Columbus’ Representative), Keith Hartman (Alternate Representative for St. Michael’s Church), and Marlene Peterson (Alternate Representative for Pastoral Care).

The meeting was called to order at 7:35 pm. Father Yarek led the group in an opening prayer. Following this, introductions were made around the table. Our new Associate Pastor (as of mid-October), Father Denis, was introduced by Father Yarek and welcomed by the group.

There were 2 additions to the New Business portion of the agenda – Sister Lucille added an item pertaining to a potential workshop for Pastoral Care workers and Father Yarek added an item regarding some requests from parishioners for a Saturday night mass.

Father Yarek then provided a short update on the parish and he expressed thanks for the forthcoming arrival of Father Denis as Associate Pastor. Given the size of our parish and the amount of work that this entails, it will be a wonderful asset to have Father Denis’ assistance.


Stephanie Krueger reported on the Mom’s Group. Bishop Henry will be speaking to the group on October 1. Babysitting for attendees will be provided and a large turnout is expected.

Stephanie Krueger then spoke about the Liturgy Committee. Through September, awareness of volunteer opportunities will be a focus with the supplying of information handouts before mass on September 14 to parishioners upon entry to the church, a focus on the idea of self-sacrifice in the homily for the September 14 mass which celebrates The Exaltation Of The Cross, a presentation by representatives from 4 ministries following the homily on September 21, and a sign-up event at Coffee Sunday on September 21. Various parish ministries will provide displays and identified representatives will speak to those showing interest. It is important to note that all parishioners wanting to take part in any ministry, whether they are presently active or brand new, will need to register with the parish. Notice was also given regarding workshops for Eucharistic Ministers to be held in October. As well, there have been a number of changes to the masses beginning September 14. First, the choirs will partake of Communion first at the west side of the church and then begin the Communion song. Second, the choir will cease singing as soon as the last parishioner has taken Communion and 3 to 5 minutes of sacred silence will take place as the vessels are cleaned and a time for meditation after Communion is provided.

Third, the announcements will be said after the Closing Prayer. Following that, the Final Blessing and Dismissal will take place. Fourth, the Extraordinary Ministers of Communion will individually, after Communion, return the ciborium and chalice to the altar, wash their hands in water at the credence table, and return to sit with the congregation.

Barb Zimmer reported on the status of the Pastoral Care Ministry at St. James in Okotoks and St. Michael’s in Black Diamond. They are very busy. The hope of the Ministry is to be able to make more visits to shut-ins and do bereavement followup visits in addition to the hospital and care facility visits already being undertaken. This will require more parish volunteers participating in the Pastoral Care Ministry.

Barb Zimmer then spoke about the status of St. Michael’s Church in Black Diamond. Efforts to add stained glass decals to some windows to create a better atmosphere are taking place in addition to a number of initiatives addressing maintenance issues.

Tara Epp, the newly elected president of the Catholic Women’s League, reported on activities pertaining to the CWL. Of special note are the annual fall pie sale to be held October 5, the Christmas bake sale to be held November 23, and the presentation of the movie “Triumph” to the parish on November 20. This movie is about the events occurring at Medjugorje and free for anybody interested to see it.

Tara Epp then reported on the status and activities of the St. Vincent de Paul Society in the St. James Parish. Discussion pertaining to the awareness of their work by most parishioners occurred and it seems that many are unaware of what they do. They are very busy as there is great need locally for theirservice and they are given enormous support from other local charities that helps them carry our their duties immensely.

Dave Wilson spoke about the status of the Knights of Columbus. They have a new Grand Knight, Kevin Crawford, and their numbers are fairly healthy although a dedicated core of volunteers does most of the work. They are presently preparing for the Llama Classic Golf Tournament, are providing Coffee Sunday at the parish every third Sunday, are providing scholarships for Holy Trinity Academy and St. Luke’s Outreach School, and are providing funds to the elementary schools for religious artifacts to be used in the school. On October 20 they will have a membership drive in the parish.

Sister Lucille spoke to the attached report on youth and adult education in the parish. Please see attached.

Ron Schreiber spoke about the startup of the new year in Christ The Redeemer Catholic Schools. He highlighted the enrolment increases and the inclusion of 2 new schools in the Division. He also spoke about the Davisburg School Project, the new 3-year faith plan “The Joyful Journey” which focuses on “the new evangelization”, the next Ward I Committee meeting to be held on Tuesday, October 14, the Bishop’s blessing of the new Brooks middle school, Christ the King, the upcoming Priests and Bishop’s meeting with the Board of CRCS on October 2, the Board retreat on October 3 and 4 with the topic of “the new evangelization”, and the visit of Steve Angrisano to our schools in early October.

Julian Strachan reported on the status of the “Couple For Christ” program in the parish. Discussion about the value of this program in providing many volunteers to various ministries occurred as well.

Dave Wilson then reported on the “Strengthening Our Parish Community” initiative. He focused on an on-line training program available for parishioners. There are about 150 volunteers presently in our parish and about one third of these are in areas considered to be high risk where training regarding “duty of care” is very important although, training for all volunteers is the goal.

Dave Wilson then spoke about maintenance and construction issues within St. James. The construction project is aiming for a completion of September of 2015 or earlier. When completed, the church and hall and offices will be a 14 million dollar project! An interesting aside here is that there will be an opportunity for parishioners to donate broken religious artifacts for burial under the floor of the hall as part of the construction process. Progress on the expansion is going well.


The Parish Council Member Position Description was circulated and approved by Parish Council members. Please see attached.

The Parish Office Administrative Assistant position has been filled. Christina Springkhuysen was the successful candidate.

The Youth Minister position has also been filled. Maria Van Kampen was the successful applicant for this position.

The Liturgical Sub-Committee chaired by Stephanie Krueger is very active, meeting approximately quarterly. Since May, the group has met twice. Of recent note, the group, with Father’s assistance, issued a number of directives, cited earlier, making some small changes to the mass.


The Parish Lenten Mission for 2015 was discussed. Dave Wilson suggested that Parish Council should take a more active role both on the makeup of the upcoming mission and on the hospitality provided to the visiting speaker.

There will be a retirement celebration for Father Steve after September 28 morning mass. The mass will be concelebrated by Father Yarek, Father Steve, and hopefully, Father Jack. Parish Council will be hosting the event and so will coordinate the supplying of coffee and cake. As well, a Parish Supper will be held October 17 where attendees can tell stories about Father Steve and express their thanks for the work that he has done in the parish.

Sister Lucille spoke about the opportunity for a workshop for Pastoral Care workers, caregivers, and those who have lost a loved one, to be held possibly in November. The focus of the workshop is the “burnout” afflicting many of these people and the importance of maintaining personal health so one can continue to be able to help others. Parish Council expressed support for this initiative so Sister Lucille will continue with the development of it.

Father Yarek raised the idea of a Saturday evening mass since he has been approached by a number of parishioners who are asking for this. He asked Parish Council to think about this for discussion at a future meeting.


The next meeting will be held on Thursday, November 13 at 7:30 pm. The meeting was adjourned at 9:35 pm.

God bless you all.