Minutes of Parish Pastoral Council Meeting – January 29, 2015

Attendees: Father Yarek, Dave Wilson, Sister Lucille, Stephanie Krueger, Tara Epp, Julius Strachan, Ron Nelson, Keith Hartman, Ron Schreiber

Meeting called to order at 7:32pm. Keith Hartman led the group in an opening prayer.

The November minutes were approved as amended with the addition of “Pastoral Care Meeting” under Unfinished Business. Moved by Tara Epp and seconded by Julius Strachan. Carried.

There were no additions to the New Business portion of the agenda.

Father Yarek provided an update on the state of the parish. He will be our Parish Priest for another year. The biggest issue in the parish at this time is the building addition and we are all anxiously waiting for its completion scheduled for this September. A second item raised was the “busy-ness” of the various groups within the parish and the fear of “spreading the parishioners too thin”; there is some duplication of efforts and aims within these groups and it would be good if some consolidation occurred to allow “strength in numbers”. Father Yarek also expressed appreciation for the work that Father Dennis has been doing; the list of tasks that Father Dennis is taking on, is growing larger allowing more to be accomplished in the parish.

Stephanie Krueger then highlighted a few items in the attached Mom’s Group Report and the attached Liturgy Committee Report. There was some discussion regarding the appropriate use of the crying room during mass. The Mom’s group will look into this further and provide a recommendation to Parish Council.

Ron Nelson provided highlights regarding the report from Pastoral Care. He pointed out that the present number of Pastoral Care Workers is adequate for the provisioning of Holy Eucharist to shut-ins and residents at assisted living locations in both Okotoks and Black Diamond/Turner Valley. However, if they want to carry out more visitations, there will be a need for more Pastoral Care Workers.

Keith Hartman gave a report on the status of issues at St. Michael’s in Black Diamond. A monthly interdenominational Christian breakfast meeting is being well-attended. The St. Michael’s Mission Council has met regarding a number of maintenance projects for the Church and they are preparing a fund-raising proposal to gather the funds required to carry these out. Their Spiritual Committee is busy, as well, planning a Lenten initiative for this upcoming Lent.

Tara Epp highlighted some items from the attached CWL report. Of special note, is the election of the new president Pam McLean and a thank you to the principal of Holy Trinity Academy, Carmen Ostafichuk, for volunteering students from the high school on an ongoing basis to set up and take down tables and chairs when funerals are held. She then provided a report on the activities of the St. James chapter of the St. Vincent de Paul Society both from an annual and monthly perspective. An urgent need for more men to be involved in the work of the Society has been answered as well.

Dave Wilson then supplied a verbal report on the activities of the local Knights of Columbus group which is operating quite well with a number of newer, very active members. He spoke about some upcoming events including a Family Golf Tournament Fundraiser, Padre Night February 12, and the hosting of Coffee Sunday every third Sunday morning monthly.

Sister Lucille then presented her attached Youth and Sacramental Preparation Report where she highlighted the great work being done by the Youth Minister Maria Van Kampen and a new initiative for the senior Youth consisting of regular visits to Tudor Manor to do activities with the senior residents there. She also reported on the numbers of people participating in the various Sacraments and noted that confirmation in our parish occurs in grade 8 but, in Calgary, it takes place in grade 6. This may account for some drop off in numbers seen when comparing the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Confirmation as students newly moved into our community from Calgary, may have already taken the Sacrament of Confirmation in Calgary. Some discussion followed regarding the numbers of Sacramental participants. Of special note is the baptizing of over 100 children and adults (but mainly children) in our Parish over the last year.

Ron Schreiber then gave a few highlights from the attached CTR Catholic Report including the upcoming Faith Days celebration in Okotoks involving over 600 staff members and special speakers Steve Angrisano and Roy Petitfils speaking on the topic of joy in our faith lives which is aligned with the Board’s new three year faith plan, The Joyful Journey.

Dave Wilson highlighted the attached Strengthening Our Parish Community and Operational Report. It is important to note that the construction of the addition is going very well and is a little ahead of schedule! As well, pertaining to Strengthening Our Parish Community, all volunteers in the parish will be expected to complete an on-line renewal of training regarding abuse prevention.

Julius Strachan then presented a report on the activities of “Couples For Christ”, an eleven week Christian life program aimed at families, couples, and singles as well. They presently have about 56 members which includes 22 couples. Attendance at mass is considered part of their weekly meeting and attendees are encouraged to participate in various ministries at the mass. On February 10, they will be hosting a Eucharist-centered healing mass with the accompanying theme of “Our Lady Of Lourdes”.

Under the topic of Unfinished Business, Sister Lucille reported on the Lenten Mission which will be centered on “The Divine Mercy Message” from a devotional and practical perspective and will be presented by two Sister from the order “Sisters of Merciful Jesus” from Calgary. Each session to be held March 23/24/25, will begin with mass followed by the presentation. Sister Lucille also presented a schedule for ”Meatless Soup Supper” followed by “Stations of the Cross” to be led by various Parish groups throughout the season of Lent.

Under the heading of New Business, the topic of “Encouraging New Parishioners Involvement in Parish Activities” was previously dealt with in Father Yarek’s update. The topics “Together in Action Fund Raising for 2015” and “Taking Action Against Abuse of Older Adults – training schedule” were both part of the Strengthening Our Parish Community and Operational Report presented earlier by Dave Wilson.

The next meeting will be held April 23 at 7:30pm at St. James. Discussion occurred at this point regarding altering the meeting agenda and process to more efficiently deal with regular reports and allow greater time for unfinished and new business. The upcoming April 23 meeting will reflect some of these changes.

Father Yarek provided a closing prayer for the group and the meeting was adjourned at 9:05pm.