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

Pastoral Council Meeting Minutes | December 7, 2022

Joint Pastoral and Finance Councils Meeting Minutes

December 7, 2022

Attendees: Corrine Cathcart, Annette Clark, Dick Dolinski, Joe Dostal, Pam Gandy, Fr. Rob Howe, Kathy Fothergill, Jim Mahoney, Jim Marinek (Zoom), Lyn Pajk, Andy Pasztor, Jeff Paulus, Patrick Regier, Cathy Richard, Kevin Spencer, Barb Warczinsky

Excused: Dan Kozakiewicz, Dennis Thiel, Judy Gross


  • Meeting began at 7:15pm
  • Jim Mahoney moved and Barb Warczinsky seconded the approval of the minutes of the October 5, 2022 Pastoral Council meeting as corrected. The motion carried.

Updates (Fr. Rob)

  • A number of Synod-driven changes are being implemented
    • Return of altar servers, Eucharist in both forms, videos regarding the State of the Parish, Christmas welcoming, and small faith groups.
  • Facilities
    • The church carpeting project is complete
    • Quality problems with concrete at the church entrance required a re-work that seemed to be successful.
    • New concrete is being installed at the entrance to the Social Hall. Salt for ice melting can’t be used during the first winter so sand will be used instead to reduce slipping hazards.
    • A future project will be to chain off some entrances (e.g., from Kentwood) to the parking lot during the day for safety reasons; prevent speeding vehicles, doing donuts, etc.
    • The Arnold Center and the Midland County Educational Service Agency (ESA) have agreed to use 2 classrooms each in the school building. Arnold Center, provider of services for people with disabilities, will be using the classrooms to teach life skills, art, and related programs. The ESA will use their rooms for offices and storage space while their facilities are being renovated.
    • An assessment has been conducted of the school, gym, and social hall hot water heating equipment. Shut off valves will be installed in the former school building to isolate the facility in case of a water line break. The gym and social hall already have appropriate valves in place.
    • Major repairs are required of the shaft and wheels of the church air handling system.

Faith Formation—Elementary School Ministry Update (Corrine Cathcart and Lyn Pajk)

Corinne and Lyn presented an extensive review of elementary school programs—and then some. The attachment summarizes the various programs and initiatives ranging from movies, book reviews and discussions, talent shows, games, game nights, discussions about the history of the church in the US, Creeds, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit—and more! There is something there for everyone.

Finance Update (Patrick)

  • The October count was 810, down from the pre-COVID total of about 1,200.
  • The total Fund Balance through the end of November increased $263,000 owing in part to $140,000 from the federal COVID support program as well as a $126,000 bequest from the estate of former parishioner Glenn Waters.
  • Year-to-Date revenues and expenses were slightly more favorable than budget except for slightly less than favorable utilities and maintenance/repair expenses.
  • Weekend collections are ~$11,000 ahead of budget through the end of November.

Roundtable Updates

  • Barb—the music concert was great as is the Facebook portal. Kudos to Steve & Kristyn for their efforts in making this happen
  • Lyn—encouraged the Council members to use Facebook to share the good news about the Parish; the word does indeed get out through this medium.
  • Jim—programs in response to Synod input are great. Thanks for the updates.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:15pm

Adult Faith Formation Opportunities Handout


  • 1/4 Afternoon Bible Break Begins
  • 1/11 Wednesday Morning Scripture Study Begins
  • 1/12 Laidback Book Club Discussion of UNOFFENDABLE
  • 1/17, 1/24, 1/31 A Three Part Series on Ways to Pray
  • 1/19 Theater and Theology: Just Mercy viewing and discussion 6:30-9:00 ***possible afternoon session as well if there is interest
  • 1/20 Whole Parish Family Game Night: Including a Euchre Tournament
  • 1/22 Laidback Book Club: Father James Martin’s LEARNING TO PRAY
  • 1/28 Beyond the Nudge: Rediscovering the Gifts of the Holy Spirit with Father Alberto Vargas
  • 2/5 Small Faith Group Sign Up Sunday
  • 2/6 Norb Bufka Presents “A Short History of the Catholic Church in the US”
  • 2/7 Box Full of Love Annual Event
  • 2/10 Whole Parish Family Talent Show
  • 2/11 Milestone Marriages Celebration
  • 2/19 Lenten Small Faith Groups Begin
  • 3/1 The History of the Creed with Edmund Stark

Pastoral Council Meeting Minutes | October 5, 2022

Blessed Sacrament Parish
Pastoral Council Meeting Minutes
October 5, 2022

Attendees: Annette Clark, Dick Dolinski, Fr. Rob Howe (via Zoom), Jim Mahoney, Lyn Pajk, Jeff Paulus (via Zoom), Justin Rose, Patrick Regier, Cathy Richard, Barb Warczinsky

Excused: Jim Marinek


  • Meeting began at 7:00pm
  • Dick Dolinski moved and Jim Mahoney seconded the approval of the minutes of the September 7, 2022 Pastoral Council meeting as corrected. The motion carried.

Updates (Fr. Rob)

  • Information will be mailed from the Diocese to parishioners next week regarding Christ’s Mission Appeal (CMA). Our new CMA target is $250,375, a 5.9% increase.
  • The schedule for the Small Faith program will be rolled out in late October. Work is underway to get people informed and ready for a good start in late winter/spring next year.

Faith Formation—High School Youth Ministry Update (Justin and Lyn)

  • Justin presented a handout that outlines three youth programs for the academic year as follows:
    • Sunday Night Youth Ministry—Some highlights include Trunk or Treat, Gingerbread competition, Euchre Tourney and Game Night, a Talent Show, and End of Year Field Trip
    • Youth 2 Youth Program—The theme is “HOME, He Opens My E” Some highlights include Witness/Faith Sharing, Discernment, Christmas Service Project, Hospitality Service, Reconciliation, concluding with a Weekend Retreat
    • Outreach—Some highlights include participation in the Trunk or Treat event, Alternate Gift Fair, Pasta Dinner, Christmas Wreath Sale, Adopt a Family Shopping, Snack Pack, Pancake Breakfast, Outreach Trip.
  • Lyn reported that the “Encanto” movie was attended by about 90 people and was well received. The event included several exercises including trimming a small house (analogous to church), decorating doors with symbols of our gifts, and a “magic” candle (analogous to the Pascal Candle). The collaboration among staff members was outstanding.

 Finance Update (Patrick)

  • The total Fund Balance through the end of August is $1.6 million, up $191,000 from the beginning of the year. The increase is largely due to $140,000 received from the federal government for the Employee Retention Tax Credit, a Federal program designed to keep employees on the payroll during COVID. This was not budgeted.
  • Weekend collections are ~$5,900 ahead of budget through the end of September.

Roundtable Updates

  • Annette—Outreach program is great.
  • Lyn—adult formation is sponsoring series on the Mass on October 18 and 25 from 7:00pm-8:30pm. It includes Bishop Ken’s teachings on the Mass. Ed Clark and Lyn will discuss the Creed and Fr. Rob on the Eucharist. Peter Sinclair will present on the environment and energy on October 27 from 7:00pm-8:30pm.
  • Rob—there will be an annual incorporation meeting on October 27. Participants will be the Board of Directors including Fr. Rob, the Regional Vicar, Finance Manager, Pastoral Council Chair, and a Diocesan Representative.
  • Jim—urged getting the youth activities calendars out as soon as possible to get ahead of other events.
  • Cathy—it’s great to be a part of an amazing parish
  • Patrick—there will be no Pastoral Council meeting in November. The next meeting will be a joint meeting with the Finance Council in December

The meeting was adjourned at 8:13pm

Pastoral Council Meeting Minutes | September 7, 2022

Blessed Sacrament Parish | Pastoral Council Meeting Minutes | September 7, 2022

 Attendees: Annette Clark, Dick Dolinski, Fr. Rob Howe, Jim Mahoney, Jim Marinek (via Zoom), Lyn Pajk, Jeff Paulus, Patrick Regier, Cathy Richard

Excused: Barb Warczinsky


  • Meeting began at 7:01pm
  • Patrick Regier moved and Jim Mahoney seconded the approval of the minutes of the Joint Pastoral and Finance Council meeting of June 1, 2022. The motion carried.

 Updates (Fr. Rob)

  • Church carpeting installation project is underway and to be completed in two weeks per the contractor.
  • A new coffee maker has been purchased for the parish center
  • The concrete upgrade project at the west entrance to the parish center has performance troubles. The material is substandard and is pitting. The contractor is working with the supplier to remedy the situation.
  • Joe Dostal is collaborating with a contractor to evaluate the outdated pneumatic utility valves for the school, gym, office, and social hall areas. They likely will need replacement with electronic controls. The decoupling of these integrated structures will also be assessed at the same time to permit future flexibility in building utilization.
  • The parish picnic was well received and attended. An estimated 700 people attended the outdoor Mass and picnic and expressed support for continuing the same next year. An amusing comment was expressed by a 5th grade boy who suggested starting earlier because “two hours is just not enough time!” Another suggested improvement is to have water outside (not just beer). The total cost of the picnic was about $3,000 less than last year.
  • The Golf outing was also well received. 26 teams participated
  • The State of the Parish video has received very positive reviews.
  • The Midland Area Catholic Community Loons baseball outing was well attended and contributed to the largest attendance of the year!
  • The annual car show will be held in our parking lot from 8:00am-4:00pm on September 18.

Faith Formation— “We’re Home” and Program Updates (Lyn)

  • The small faith groups initiative is starting up. Meeting with lay ministers were held in August in preparation for the program start in February. Fr. Rob and Lyn are also producing a promotional video for the program featuring 8 individuals who will make 45 second spots on Flocknotes explaining why small faith groups are impactful and have influence in their lives.
  • Training for facilitators will be available for the program to be held during the 6 weeks of Lent next year.
  • The parents of children in the faith formation will be receiving cards in the mail every other month listing events with QR scans to sign up. This is an attempt to get through the “noise” from the frequent stream of e-mails that parents receive today.
  • Kristyn is working with the outreach team to improve its “marketing” effort to explain their work and encourage greater participation.
  • The Youth to Youth Retreat program has 25 youth on team for the retreat. Their target is to invite 3 friends each resulting in a group of 100 for the retreat.
  • A dinner is being planned for the volunteers in the faith formation program

 Finances (Patrick)

  • The 2021-22 Christ’s Mission Appeal drive has ended. Blessed Sacrament fell approx. $28,000 short of our goal. The largest factor contributing to the shortfall is the religious education deduction from our assessment is smaller than past years due to the closure of the school. Next year’s program will begin later this month.
  • The fiscal year ended with about the same results as the previous year. Expenses were lower than budgeted and were in line with the overall budget.
  • The average annual church contribution was $1,030 per household up slightly from last year.

 Miscellaneous Updates

  • Cathy noted that the men’s Christ Renews program currently has 22 men registered. Several are coming from outside the parish including from Bay City and Saginaw and one person from Berwyn Illinois!
  • Rob asked if there is anyone interested in caring from the grounds around the grotto. It was become somewhat weed-infested.
  • Patrick noted the following schedule of meetings:
    • Wednesday, October 5th and Wednesday December 7th. There is no meeting in November. The December meeting will be a joint meeting with Finance Council.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:56pm


Joint Pastoral and Finance Council Meeting Minutes | June 1, 2022 6:30pm

Blessed Sacrament Parish

Joint Pastoral and Finance Council Meeting Minutes

June 1, 2022 6:30pm


Attendees: Annette Clark, Dick Dolinski, Mike Erickson, Pam Gandy,

Fr. Rob Howe, Jim Mahoney, Lyn Pajk, Andy Pasztor, Jeff Paulus, Patrick Regier, Cathy Richard, Kristyn Russell, Barb Warczinsky

Excused: Joe Dostal, Kathy Fothergill, Judy Gross, Dan Kozakiewicz, Jim Marinek, Kevin Spencer



  • Barb Warczinsky moved and Jim Mahoney seconded the approval of the Pastoral Council’s minutes of the meeting of May 5, 2022. The motion carried.


  • Church west entrance is being renovated. The appearance will be similar with the use of staining to match the current concrete.

Synod 2021-23 Results—Parish Summary: Kristyn Russell

  • Kristyn Russel presented a summary of the results of the multiple Synod sessions. Her summary regarding parish-related input is attached
  • What we do well
    • Parish Community—strong community, hospitable, open to change
    • Liturgy—homilies, music, liturgical ministers, CARE participants
    • Faith Formation—many opportunities for formation, programs, youth opportunities
    • Administration—staff, communications, impact on families
  • Where we can improve
    • Parish Community—outreach, welcoming, opportunities for youth service
    • Liturgy—music, community coming together
    • Faith Formation—interactions with other churches, parish mission
    • Administration—transparency, staff visibility, newcomer weekends, listening sessions, marketing what we do well
  • Goals for Moving Forward
    • Parish Community—family-oriented service opportunities, yearly listening sessions, state of parish address, welcome back weekends
    • Faith Formation—small faith groups, MACC opportunities, recruit catechists
    • Liturgy—greetings before Mass, expanded liturgical participation, expanded music offerings, recruit music ministers
    • Administration—staff at coffee & donuts for discussion, post minutes of Pastoral and Finance Councils, build awareness of Christian Service Funding
  • The principal subjects regarding the global church were focused on women’s role in the church, increased diversity and inclusiveness, and the availability of Eucharist for all
  • A full report of Blessed Sacrament’s Synod results has been forwarded to the Diocese and the Vatican

Faith Formation Update—Lyn Pajk

  • Lyn presented a summary of the proposed Faith Formation program for this year. The theme for the year is “We’re Home” to recognize a return to a degree of normality following the COVID-related adjustments, to increase engagement in the church, and to address some of the improvement opportunities identified in the Synod sessions.
  • A summary of the tentatively planned month-by-month events is as follows:
    • Summer Events
      • August 27—Parish picnic
      • September 17—Car show
    • September Theme—Welcome Home
      • September 25—Encanto; whole parish family movie night, dinner, and small discussion groups
    • October Theme—Next Door
      • Neighboring Week, and Crop Walk
      • October 29—Trunk or Treat
    • November Theme—Home for the Holidays
      • November 12—Family dinner…Outreach Pasta Dinner
      • November 20—Advent wreath event
      • November 22—Eucharist and gathering around Thanksgiving Table (Presentation by Fr. Rob about Eucharist and modified Thanksgiving dinner)
    • December Theme—Home Sweet Home
      • December 14—Gingerbread houses…possibly mangers
    • January Theme—Bless Our Home
      • January 8—Home blessing “kits” for Epiphany
      • January 20—Game night (Euchre, Board Games, Bingo…)
    • February—Home is where the Heart is
      • February 7—Box full of love event
      • February 10—Talent show
      • February 11—Milestone marriages social
    • March
      • Pop up dinner??
    • April
      • April 16—Easter egg hunt


The meeting was adjourned at 7:10


Pastoral Council Minutes | May 4, 2022 7:00pm

Blessed Sacrament Parish Pastoral Council Minutes

May 4, 2022 7:00pm

Attendees: Dick Dolinski, Fr. Rob Howe, Jim Mahoney, Jim Marinek (virtual), Lyn Pajk, Jeff Paulus, Patrick Regier, Cathy Richard, Barb Warczinsky

Excused: Annette Clark

Opening Comments: Fr. Rob

  • Facilities

    • Pews project is complete
    • Church carpeting will be replaced in the fall (sample representation at end of minutes)
    • Church entrance doors will undergo maintenance
    • Church west entrance area will be renovated. The appearance will be similar but stamped concrete will be used instead of individual concrete pavers / tiles
    • Options are being explored for improving the playground equipment and area
  • Events

    • Parish picnic is being planned for the weekend on August 27-28
    • Community bike ride from the Tridge to the ice cream store is being planned

Synod 2021-23—Parish Summary: Fr. Rob

  • Kristyn Russel has processed and summarized all of the input from the Synod meetings and prepared a draft report
    • Total of 9 in-person sessions held along with on-line participation
    • 184 people provided input
    • Parish results have been submitted to the Diocese as well as directly to the Vatican
    • A report to the Parish will be provided on our parish feast weekend    (June 18/19)

Faith Formation Update—Lyn Pajk

  • Lyn described the plan for developing, implementing, sustaining, and growing small faith groups
    • Brainstorming meetings will be held in June
    • A six-month effort will begin in August/early September to gear up to launch the week of February 18-19, 2023 (Weekend before beginning of Lent on February 22, 2023)
    • Small faith groups to meet throughout Lent, finish the session before Holy Week, and will be encouraged to celebrate at Holy Thursday Potluck dinner
    • Continue the experience with diverse opportunities by season, ministry, population, etc.

Finance Update—Patrick Regier

  • Parish finances are strong
    • Current year-to-date weekend collections were higher than budget by ~$49,000; Net Revenue (total revenue less expenses) increased by $26,274 through end of March, 2022.
    • 2021-22 Christ’s Mission Appeal (formerly Catholic Services Appeal—CSA) is still lagging behind target
    • 2022-23 Christ’s Mission Appeal will begin in the Fall

Rendering of Church Carpeting

rendering of church carpet

Meeting ended at 8:15pm