Pastoral Council Update – July 26, 2021
Mark Leopold, Pastoral Council Chair
About the Pastoral Council
The purpose of the Pastoral Council is a consultative body to the pastor (Fr. Straz) and follows specific guidelines as set forth by the “Many Gifts, One Spirit” directive on consultative leadership published by the Archdiocese of Seattle. We meet monthly, providing a sounding board for the pastor as well as implementing and reporting on the status of the Priority Plan. Involvement in the various committee meetings, as well as serving as apostolate liaisons, represent some of the ways in which the Pastoral Council members do their work on behalf of Fr. Straz in service to St. Mary Parish and our community.
Pastoral Council members serve three-year terms with an option for serving two terms. Current members include:
- Mark Leopold, Chair
- Gina Van Hess, Secretary
- Shirley Vacanti
- Michelle Thebault
- Gabby Freier
- Tom Shafer
- Paul Hammer
5-Year Priority Plan
A major initiative of the St. Mary Pastoral Council over the past few years had been the development and implementation of the 5-year Priority Plan for 2018-2023. You can see all the details of the Priority Plan here:
Based upon the Foundational Ministries identified in the Priority Plan, the Pastoral Council established four committees of parishioner volunteers. These committees include:
- Faith Formation Committee
- Stewardship Committee
- Welcoming Team
- Facilities Planning Committee
Pastoral Council members are assigned to each of the committees as a representative of the Pastoral Council, to report back to the council and to Fr. Straz the ongoing work of the committees.
Additionally, the Pastoral Council identified 37 distinct “Apostolate” or programs, run by St. Mary volunteers servicing our parish and community. As we move past COVID, much of the work by the Pastoral Council will be to again serve as apostolate “liaisons” to reach out to the leaders of these 37 different programs to provide a conduit for Fr. Straz, who simply cannot maintain contact with so many groups by himself with the demands of administrating both St. Mary’s and St. Paul’s. The role of the Pastoral Council, as apostolate liaisons, is to establish ongoing contact and dialogue to ensure that the apostolates work is appreciated, supported, and guided by the values and vision of the Priority Plan.
Note regarding the four committees: other than the Facilities Planning Committee, the others have been disrupted by COVID this past year and are currently needing volunteers to start up again.
Also, here is a link for Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Priority Plan:
Feel free to contact any of the Pastoral Council members with any questions, comments, or recommendations. And of course, we are always looking for those willing to serve, so if you feel a calling, Fr. Straz or any council member would be delighted to talk with you.