MINUTES OF HOLY CROSS PASTORAL COUNCIL MEETING – July 21, 2019 - VIEW PDF
Holy Cross Mission:
We are a community of Catholics who draw our strength from the celebration of the Eucharist, so that Christ may live in us and we may express the family values He taught by our loving service to family, neighbor, and society.
Holy Cross Vision:
Holy Cross Church is a welcoming, inviting, vibrant parish that honors God by demonstrating our faith to our community.
Mark Bentz, Linda Cadaret, Brook Gleasman (chairman), Kenneth Kirkman, William Leiker (secretary), Claude Pilon (trustee), Fr. Matthew Rawson, Carl Thomas
Ryan Boyle, Cookie Dunham (trustee), Thomas Griffith (trustee), Lola Gualtieri, Fr. John Kurgan, Karen Markoff, Kira Reed (vice-chair)
The opening prayer was led by Brook Gleasman.
Minutes of June 30, 2019 Meeting
Linda proposed that the phrase “parish’s successful auction” should be changed to “school’s successful auction” to more accurately reflect the hard work and effort put into the auction by school officials and parents. Mark Bentz moved, and Kenneth Kirkman seconded the approval of the amended minutes.
Motion carried (6-0-0).
Evangelization and Faith Formation
Julie Sheridan attended the meeting to provide an update to the Council on the evangelization efforts of the parish. Julie discussed the weekly Faith Formation classes that take place before school. There are currently 150 total students in the Faith Formation program, a reduction from recent years. One of Julie’s goals is to connect the Faith Formation program more closely with the school.
The Council discussed what the parish should do to address declining youth participation in all its programs. Less than one third of students in the Faith Formation program attend mass on Sunday, and many elements of Sunday mass geared towards younger children, such as the nursery and the children’s liturgy, are struggling due to not enough children attending. Many Council members believe that there should be a bigger focus on engaging with parents to fix this issue.
Finally, Julie discussed recent changes to the program and their impacts. The Council approved of the recent addition of a 5 PM Sunday mass to accommodate more families. Julie also mentioned that the Friday morning Faith Formation group from Tecumseh Elementary has been consolidated with the other elementary schools on Thursday. Finally, the parish is focusing on implementing more technology in its classrooms for these morning programs and received a diocesan grant to fund some of these initiatives.
The Council discussed the parish’s deteriorating financial condition. Claude said that this situation is not unique to Holy Cross and numerous parishes have suffered with declining revenues in response to lower mass participation in the nation and recent controversies within the church. The Council also discussed how to stop the trend of families contributing less on average to the weekly collection.
Claude said that the parish intended to have an increased offering campaign in the future, and the Council debated whether this campaign should be done internally or externally to maximize the net amount of money received by the church. The Council agreed that this campaign was important, given that the school still has an outstanding pension obligation.
The Council talked about how to increase enrollment in Holy Cross School. It is difficult to accurately measure how many students will be enrolled at this time due to the count constantly fluctuating, however, there has been a consistent decreasing trend in enrollment year-over-year. Some ideas recommended by Council members included a change in the way that tuition is paid, a further discount for families that enroll multiple children, and a Pre-K program. Linda said that a Pre-K program would be more difficult for the school because of stricter regulations that apply to these programs.
The Pastoral Council set its next meeting date to August 18, 2019.
The closing prayer was led by Brook Gleasman.