Pastoral Council Meeting Minutes | February 1, 2023

Attendees: Annette Clark, Dick Dolinski, Fr. Rob Howe, Jim Marinik, Lyn Pajk, Jeff Paulus, Patrick Regier, Cathy Richard, Christine Sellnow, Barb Warczinsky

Excused: Jim Mahoney


  • Meeting began at 7:02pm
  • Jim Marinik moved and Barb Warczinsky seconded the approval of the minutes of the December 7, 2022 joint Pastoral and Finance Councils meeting. The motion carried.

Updates (Fr. Rob)

  • The Arnold Center and the Midland County Educational Service Agency have agreed to utilize classroom space in the school building. Arnold Center is planning to move in the week of February 6. There will be volunteer opportunities for Blessed Sacrament parishioners to work with people with disabilities. The ESA people will move in later.
  • There have been some problems with speeding vehicles going through the parking lot. We’ve received some complaints from neighbors regarding safety considerations along with excessive noise. The Swede and Kentwood entrances to the parking lot will be closed off during the day to prevent the problem.
  • Fr. Rob announced that beginning February 1, Bishop Gruss has  named him Parochial Administrator pro tempore at St. Gabriel Parish in Auburn through June 30 as Fr. Tom Sutton recovers from surgery.

Faith Formation—Middle School Ministry Update (Christine and Lyn)

  • Lyn informed the Council that she plans to retire on June 30. A new team leader will be named. Also we will hire a new Adult Faith Formation Coordinator. The Council expressed their disappointment that she’s leaving as she has been an outstanding leader of Faith Formation during her tenure. She will be missed.
  • Christine and Lyn led a thorough discussion of programs and initiatives for adults and middle school youth as outlined in the attached documents. Attendance at recent events has been encouraging and is higher than last year.

Finance Update (Patrick)

  • Patrick reported the Parish finances through the end of January 2023. Weekend collections are at $937,756 vs. a Budget of $885,153 or $52,103 favorable. The Christmas collection was very good and contributed $19,210 to the total.
  • The Parish balance sheet improved significantly in 2022. Net assets increased by $427,000 largely owing to $140,000 received from the federal government COVID program and $187,000 from a bequest from the Glenn Waters estate. Mr. Waters, a teacher for 34 years, was 107 years old when he died. The entire bequest was credited to our Major Expenditure fund.
  • The 2022-23 Christ Mission Appeal has begun and we’re currently at about 71% of the target. There was a brief discussion of the pros and cons of various collection models including home visits, mail campaigns, etc. but these are beyond the scope of control as the Diocese now runs the appeal.

Roundtable Updates

  • Brackets supporting the church kneelers are being replaced
  • The Christian Service Committee’s open house for this year’s grant recipients will be held after Masses on March 12. This ministry is now ~40 years old and has distributed more than $3 million to Midland area non-profits.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:07pm

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