Welcome to Our Parish

Minutes of the meeting of PPC of September 12, 2019


 Present: Rev. Joseph McCarthy, Christine Sullivan, Michelle Byrne,  Sean McLaughlin, Mary Doller,  Allen Eppich,  Pat Sweeney,  Barbara McMorrow, Sue Runne,  Kelly Holland, Mary Bower, Steve Dodge


Also in attendance, as a guest: Gini Budak


Co-chair, Chris Sullivan called the meeting to order at 7:10.  We began with a prayer to ask the guidance of the Holy Spirit.


The notes from the June meeting were approved without correction or omission.


Fr. Joe began by giving a summary of present finances, as given to him by Joe Caputo.  We had several un-budgeted expenses, this year, including expenses incurred from a lightning strike, the new wi-fi system and door insulation, resulting in a 15.5% increase over budget.  Last year, there was no Grand Annual Collection as we had anticipated inaugurating a capital campaign.  Offertory was down, as well.  The result was a shortfall of around $49,000.  However, we have been able to meet all of our expenses and we have a $300,000 surplus in the bank.


Regarding a future capital campaign, Fr. Joe told us that when the Archdiocese becomes involved, they send out a team but expect a 20% return.  We do not anticipate doing this at this time.



Religious Education

One hundred-fifty students completed religious education in the summer.  Fall enrollment among students in Grades 1-6 is down.  However, it is typical that there are last minute enrollees into the Month of September.  Enrollment in Grades 7 - 10 is consistent with this time in other years.  The Service Program for the Confirmation students brought young people to My Brother’s Keeper, Fr. Bill’s Place, and as assistants in our summer RE program.  We also have students who will help to serve Thanksgiving Dinner to the senior citizens with the K of C.  The Confirmation retreats will, again this year, be held “in-house”.  The first movie night of the year was greatly successful with one of the best turnouts in recent years.  Children’s Mass will be held on the first Sunday of the month with Liturgy of the Word for Children on the other Sundays.


Adult Ministries and Programs

Bob Fanning will be presenting a program. TBA, for adults, this fall.  There is, currently, a shortage of EMEs. Many feel that this may be due to the fact that people  feel intimidated by the role, due to the fact that they don’t know what is expected.  Several solutions were offered, including 1:1 mentoring, a training program, and a Ministry Fair.   One suggestion was to hold a Ministry Fair in conjunction with Coffee Sunday.  Another, that in order to be more inclusive, there might be people available to answer questions after the Masses.  It was suggested that, after a period of training, it would be nice to commission the new EMEs during Mass.




Council Departures and Elections

Three Council members , after having served  two three-year tems, will be leaving.  There will be three open positions on the PPC. The Nominating Committee is comprised of the most recently elected members of the Council.  Steve Dodge will Chair the committee. Elections will be held on the week-end of October 4-5. Names of potential nominees should be given to Fr. Joe or to a member of the committee.



Fr. Joe announced that his decision was to move forward with the collaboration.  It is unrealistic to believe that we will be able to remain open indefinitely.  Parishioners were invited to voice their opinions on the merger.  Many were bothered by the presentation we were given in June.  People were uncomfortable with being told that it’s now or never. without knowing exact details.  Many were bothered by the cost of the new project, and wondered if there might be some paring down in order.  A Council member informed us that the land cost has risen significantly due to the installation of a new CEO at Cardinal Cushing, who owns the land up for purchase.


According  to Fr. Joe’s analysis of the response that he received, there was a minority of parishioners who were enthusiastic about the proposed merger..  The majority felt that they would stay at St. Thecla’s until the church was forced to close.  After that, they would seek out a parish that would suit their needs.    We are now committed to join the Holy Mothers Collaborative in eighteen months.  This means that, for the next eighteen months, we will remain an independent parish . There will be no changes during that time.  All money collected in the parish will stay in the parish.  After that period of time, we will enter into the Holy Mothers Collaborative.  Fr. Chris Hickey will then become our pastor.  Fr. Joe may either stay on as parochial vicar or move on to another parish.  Our church building will remain open until the new church is built.


With regard to the enormous expense of the new “mega church”, Council members wondered if there might be room for alternate suggestions such as using land and property, currently owned by the Archdiocese, as there will be three parcels as a result of the merger.


Fr. Joe will move forward with the purchase of the land that abuts St. Thecla’s.


The meeting adjourned at 8:35.


The next meeting will take place on November 7.




Respectfully submitted,

Mary Doller









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