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Pastoral Council Minutes – February 2018

St. Stephen the Martyr Pastoral Council


February 27, 2018


The regularly scheduled meeting of the Pastoral Council of Saint Stephen the Martyr  (“Council”) was held on February 27, 2018, at 7:00 PM, Central Daylight Time, in the Gonderinger Parish Center.


I. Call to Order

President Aaron Keller called the meeting to order.  Hope DeLuca, Secretary, recorded minutes of the meeting.

II. Roll Call

The following members of the Council were present:

  • Father Dave Belt
  • Dean Baumert
  • Katie Corrigan
  • Hope DeLuca
  • Aaron Keller
  • Mike Maier
  • Greg Weiss
  • Michael White
  • Nancy Williams


The following members of the Council were absent:

  • Deb Saraka-Rubin


III. Opening Prayer

       Mr. White led the Council in a prayer to open the meeting.

IV.  Approval of Minutes

Mr. Keller presented to the Council the minutes of the December 15, 2017 and the January 23, 2018 meetings of the Council, whereupon motion duly made, seconded and unanimously adopted.


V. Unfinished/Ongoing Business


Stewardship/Development Report

  • Bathroom remodel – we don’t have all the funds yet. All four bathrooms in the church will need to be brought up to code. The project was put on hold due to lack of funds.

Operations and Faith Formation Report

  • Clark International came and gave security and safety recommendations.

School Advisory Board Report

  • At the open house two weeks ago, the new tuition rates were posted. The registration fee went up $75. It hasn’t been raised in a dozen years. We had the lowest registration fee in the diocese up to this point.

Business Report

  • The statement revenue report looked encouraging.
  • We have the final draft of the budget in place. It needs approval from the archdiocese. We are looking at a 60K deficit right now for next year.
  • The budget needs to be submitted by June 1st. The first draft was done by Christmas, unlike previous years.
  • We had some very generous end of the year gifts, as well as some in
  • Our general Mass attendance is up.

Religious Formation      

  • In previous years, the school board focused on the school, not religious education. They’re very excited to have a board now.

Pastoral Planning Report

  • Have not had a follow-up meeting yet.
  • The comments from the Listening Sessions are falling into a pattern.
  • Many comments on the lack of beauty in our worship space.
  • Overall, a very encouraging outcome. Parishioners were 98% positive.
  • Next the plan is the get the data tabulated, and use that to develop a survey.
  • The Youth Listening Session was very encouraging. They wanted to get out and serve in the community.
  • Father would like to do a Listening Session for the school in the fall.

Adoration Report

  • There was a miscommunication with Koleys. They were given the approval to start working on the tabernacle today. They’re going to try and have the work completed before Easter.
  • There was a meeting with BCDM (Architectural Firm) on February 1st. They will give us a few floor plan options. They were told to make it as simple as possible. The room will be reoriented. The center pillar will be removed. More seats will be available.
  • The sound from the confessionals is coming through the duct work. They suggested using a sound machine to mask to noise.
  • Have we thought about fundraising for the adoration space? After quotes are obtained, this may be a good opportunity for an adopt-a-project scenario.

Welcome Retreat

  • The men’s retreat is this weekend. The women’s retreat is coming up at the end of March.

Facilities Use Policy       

  • It was sent to Dr. Williby, Dcn. Warwick and Mrs. Maguire for their review. We haven’t heard back from them as of yet.

Mini Lenten Mission     

  • Mike Scherschligt was going to come up from Kansas City. He has had health issues, and cannot come up at this time. We are going to wait until he can come up and do it. His presentation is called “Slow Mass”.


VI. Father Belt’s Report

  • The priest personnel meeting was today. New numbers came in. The data on the top 10 parishes in the archdiocese. We are at 12,100 members. We were at 11,700 members last fall. We are the largest in the archdiocese. We are larger than the smallest 62 parishes in the archdiocese, combined. How do we make it feel like a small community?
  • The Winter Clergy Conference was a few weeks ago. Jim Jansen presented and it was one of the best conferences Father has attended. It would be great workshop for the Council to go through. We do a lot of bible studies, but we don’t do a lot of evangelization – having a personal encounter with Jesus. We need to look at our adult education formation and how it needs to expand. We are called to do even more.
  • The School Principal search is going very well. We have a good number of applicants. Dr. Ashton is helping review applications. They need to be certified through the state of Nebraska. The search committee is up and running. They’re working on interview questions and a profile. We will hopefully have a person named by Easter. The next step is interviewing an assistant principal. The new principal will be involved in that hire. The principal will be big picture, the face of the school, developing marketing, recruitment, teacher development and nurture Catholic identity. The assistant principal will be more day to day. They will be in charge of discipline, making sure the hand book is followed, activities coordinator, technology plan and facilities coordinator.


VII. Council Election 2018

  • We will nominate candidates at this meeting for president. The vote will be at the next meeting.
  • Council members with terms ending this year: Aaron Keller and Deb Saraka-Rubin. Mike Maier noted that he would like to step down for the remaining two years of his term.
  • Council members eligible for an office: Dean Baumert, Katie Corrigan, Hope DeLuca, Greg Weiss, Michael White and Nancy Williams.
  • New members will come on board via a selection process. Recommendations will be given to Father.
  • Weiss was nominated for president, and accepted the nomination.
  • Baumert was nominated for president, and accepted the nomination.
  • In April, nominations for vice president and secretary will be open. Their election will be in May.
  • We will recruit for new membership in April.
  • Weiss agreed to take on any changes that need to be made to the constitution. Our current constitution is on the Google Drive and explains the roles for the Council.
  • New positions will take effect at the June meeting.


VIII. For the Good of the Council

  • Maier brought up the idea of Mass together as a Council with our families included.


IX. Closing

Being no other business, the Council closed the meeting with the Prayer for Vocations.  The meeting was adjourned at 9:08 pm.


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