St. Mary Pastoral Council's Communication to the Parish

Pastoral Council members serve three-year terms. 

Current members include:

Mark Leopold, Chair

Gina Van Hess, Secretary

Lourdes Briones

Jane Boza

Tom Shafer

Amy Pope

Paul Necco

Frequently Asked Questions:

Pastoral Council Update - November 24, 2019

Mark Leopold, Pastoral Council Chair

A major initiative of the St. Mary Pastoral Council over the past few years has been the development and implementation of the 5-year Priority Plan for 2018-2023. You can see all the details of the Priority Plan posted on a link on the St. Mary website:

Following guidelines set forth by the Catholic Leadership Institute, and incorporating numerous initiatives to solicit input and feedback from parishioners over several years, the Pastoral Council created a written document that articulated the following:


Our purpose at St. Mary Parish is to live our devotion to Christ in the Eucharist and our compassion for Christ in one another, to build a welcoming community that will love and serve God and neighbor, and share the Good News of Jesus Christ

Additionally, we identified the following:

Three Priorities:

1. Welcoming: Building our Community

2. Formation: Growing Spiritually

3. Stewardship: Living as Passionate Disciples

Values: Community, Prayer, Evangelism, Commitment

Foundational Ministries:

1. Sacraments & Worship

2. Education & Formation

3. Governance & Finance

4. Social Services & Outreach

5. Vocation & Evangelization

Based upon these Foundational Ministries, key work of the Pastoral Council was establishing seven committees of parishioner volunteers to do the work of ensuring that that we realize our goals and ambitions set forth in the Priority Plan. These committees include:

  • · Faith Formation Committee
    • Adult Faith Formation as sub-committee
  • · Stewardship Committee
    • Service & Outreach Team as sub-committee
  • · Welcoming Team
  • · Facilities Planning Committee
    • Master Planning Team as sub-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.

Further, the Pastoral Council has identified 37 distinct “Apostolate” or programs, run by St. Mary volunteers servicing our parish and community. Yes, we are a very busy parish! Ongoing, much of the work by the Pastoral Council is to 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 make contact with all of these disparate 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.

About the Pastoral Council

The purpose of the Pastoral Council is a consultative body to the pastor (Fr. Straz) and follows very 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. Current members include:

· Mark Leopold, Chair

· Gina Van Hess, Secretary

· Lourdes Briones

· Jane Boza

· Tom Shafer

· Amy Pope

· Paul Necco

Additionally, we are fortunate to have Cecilia Weldon serve as an ad-hoc member, providing additional focus on the key initiatives of the Facilities/Master Planning Team. 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 members would be delighted to talk with you.