Categories: Church News, Pastoral Council Minutes Leave a comment

Pastoral Council Minutes – October 2017

St. Stephen the Martyr Pastoral Council


October 24, 2017


The regularly scheduled meeting of the Pastoral Council of Saint Stephen the Martyr  (“Council”) was held on October 24, 2017, at 7:04 PM, Central Daylight Time, in the Rectory.


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
  • Deb Saraka-Rubin
  • Greg Weiss
  • Michael White
  • Nancy Williams



  • Katie Corrigan



III.              Opening Prayer

Mrs. DeLuca led the Council in a prayer to open the meeting.


IV.               Approval of Minutes

Mr. Keller presented to the Council the minutes of the September 26, 2017 meeting of the Council, whereupon motion duly made, seconded and unanimously adopted.  The minutes were approved with one minor spelling correction.






V.                 Unfinished/Ongoing Business

Stewardship, Operations & Finance Reports



Stewardship Report


  • The overall scorecard looks good. The endowment is included in the data. It probably should not be included since it is not spendable money. It is not an income item.
  • Sunday stewardship overall is down 4%. Over the past three years it’s been increasing.
  • Enrollment is down by 30 students. Sunday giving is down. There was more tuition assistance granted this year compared to past years. We are looking into getting a line of credit with our bank. We can work with the finance committee and possibly get funding outside of the normal Sunday giving.
  • Tuition assistance should be funded.
  • The number of sacraments is down. Does that correspond to Mass attendance? Father will put together a bulletin article summarizing the attendance and sacrament numbers.
  • “The Pastor’s Connection” has gotten a good response so far.
  • Website – We are developing three separate websites: primary parish site, school and Religious Education, which will all link together. Christmas is the goal to unveil the websites.
  • Updating the bulletin is something that is needed as well.
  • Ernie is working with the staff to write job descriptions.
  • Martyr Madness planning is starting. For the “Raise the Paddle”, it would be nice to find an attractive thing for the money to go to. Possibly do a separate one for the school and parish, to best utilize matching funds, etc.
  • The money that was raised last year during Omaha Gives! is in an account and will be used for updating bathrooms.
  • The parish festival raffle numbers were down this year. Advertising didn’t seem to be as present this year, compared to past years. This was a year of transition for the festival with new leadership and lots going on. Personal invitations might be a way to drive up attendance. Encourage coaches, fish groups, etc. to extend personal invitations.


Operations Report


  • Basketball equipment was not up to code. The hoops were not secured correctly. It is fixed now.
  • RCIA program – potential candidates seem to still be shopping around for the fastest program in the area. Father Dave said that the baptized do not need to go through a nine-month program. A person who didn’t get confirmed originally might do a shorter program, refreshing them on the faith. We will follow the teaching of the Church.
  • Lights in the parking lot have been gradually replaced. The project was approved prior to Father Dave’s arrival. The new lights will help us save money in the long run.

Finance Report


  • The Archbishop’s Annual Appeal – we are currently at 53%, which is on track from last year. It ends in April of 2018.



Other Business


  • Keller will reach out to the other councils (Religious Education Board, School Advisory Board) for their reports.



Adoration Space – Mr. Weiss


  • Weiss met with the architects. He got the original blueprints of the adoration chapel. The firm has agreed to work with us on a pro bono basis. They would like to come take a look at the space. Dcn. Luna is going to get back to Mr. Weiss. He might have a tabernacle and altar stone that we may use, from the Archdiocese. The architect firm will handle the interior design of the project as well.



VI.               Father Belt’s Report

Financial Situation

  • The financial situation of the parish is the primary issue. The weekend of November 4-5th, Father Dave will talk about the financial situation and stewardship at the all the Masses.
  • The finance committee usually doesn’t work in the fall. They have been working and will have a first draft of the budget by Christmas. The finance committee is working very hard.



  • The school board has six members. Its opened up for three more. We currently have 14 applications. We’ve decided to bring on six immediate members. It will be a board of 12. Tomorrow night there is a school board meeting, where they will recommend people for the board. We now have a selection process. A candidate will fill out an application. They then meet with the school board president. The executive committee reviews it. They would then meet with the pastor, and its further narrowed down.
  • The school board is forming four committees: Catholic Identity, Governance & Leadership, Academic Excellence and Operations.
  • Father sent out a survey to faculty and staff. Out of 75, he has 54 replies after just a few days. It has 42 questions with a scale on it, and three short answer questions. The survey is anonymous. Of the surveys returned, the themes are consistent across the board. Dr. Ashton will help Father with the next steps. The parents will be receiving a survey next week.
  • There will be student surveys too.
  • Father is working with administration to write job ­­­­descriptions and set goals for the next six months.



  • Marty is building an evangelization and catechesis team. He has 5-6 people for that so far.



Facilities Use

  • The Council was given the Facilities Use Policy for review.
  • Could we consider renting out some of our rooms? Father stated that we don’t have enough facilities to consider renting anything out. There’s a possibility to rent space in the GPC down the road.
  • Keller has several questions on the Facilities Use Policy. He will reach out to Dcn. Warwick, Dr. Williby, & Mrs. Maguire to clarify.
  • Keller asked that the Council members give him any questions pertaining to the Facilities Use Policy by next Monday to be considered during discussion.


VII.            New Business

Fr. Mallon Meeting Update – Mr. Baumert, Mr. Maier & Mrs. Williams

  • The conference went very well, and was quite informative. There was much to digest afterwards.
  • Mallon had a good idea of management, and how to work through a decline situation. We need to have the problem of having so many people that we are turning them away.
  • It’s about relationships, not programs. We get stuck on the model, not the mission.
  • Priests need to be priests, not business managers. They cannot be helicopter parents with their staff members. They need to get the right people in place.
  • The group of people that attended the Fr. Mallon conference will become the Steering Committee. They will write a new mission statement. After the holidays they will conduct listening sessions and eventually work with the Council to develop a Pastoral Plan.
  • There will be a monthly Steering Committee update.




  • We are all assigned to respective ministries. Reach out to each ministry head, and offer to answer any questions and give your support.


Council Email Address

  • Keller discovered that the Council has an email address on the St. Stephen website. Tom Marble disabled it for the time being. We’d like to bring that back and give parishioners a way to contact the Council.
  • The Council settled on having one person within the group answer any emails or forward them to the right people. Mrs. DeLuca volunteered to take on that role.


Parishioner Discussions

  • There’s a gentleman with Asperger’s Syndrome that needs ride to his place of employment and to Mass. Mr. Keller brought up reaching out to the Knights of Columbus to help. The gentleman’s mother would love to get a list of potential drivers set up to help with this.


  • Trinette Shamburg said that she wanted to help with the parish bulletin and website. Mr. Keller will get her in contact with Dcn. Abbott.



VIII.         For the Good of the Council

  • Maier asked if we could hold a “meet and greet” for the parish staff and department heads. There’s many people that we don’t know yet.



IX.               Closing

Being no other business, the Council closed the meeting with the Prayer for Vocations.  The meeting was adjourned at 9:27 pm.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *