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Pastoral Council meeting minutes

Fr. Michael MachacekNativity of Our LordJune 15, 2024
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Nativity of Our Lord Pastoral Council Meeting

Thursday, June 6, 2024, at 7:30 pm (Room 1)

In Attendance:

Pastor: Fr. Michael Machacek

Deacon: Deacon Gerry Almeida

Executive Committee:

Chair: Caroline D’Souza Vice Chair: Open

Council Secretary: Stella Almeida  Co-secretary - Open

Council Members Present: Regrets:

Legion of Mary: Theresa Roberts CWL: Donna Capobianco (regrets)

S.S.V.P: Friendly Visits: Kathy Haugh

Youth Ministry: Arianne Hashim Past Chair: Pat Manuk (regrets)

Lectors: Leslie Borbas

Welcoming Ushers/Alpha/Social: Carol Janssen

Sacristans - Cletus Duffy (Absent)

Caring Ministry: Keith Lewis

K of C: Robert Boyko

Property/Finance: Peter Matthews (absent)

Divine Renovations: Maria Del Rizzo

S.S.V.P: Tina Conti (replacement for John Neander)

The Pastoral Council Meeting commenced at: 7:35 PM

1) Welcome: Caroline opened the meeting and thanked everyone who attended the meeting. She welcomed Tina Conti – representing S.S.V.P and announced regrets from Donna Capobianco (CWL), John Neander (S.S.V.P) and Pat Manuk.

Opening Prayer: Fr. Michael

2) Review & Adoption of February 22, 2024 Minutes: Caroline asked the council if there were any amendments to the minutes as distributed. No amendments.

Minutes Adopted by: Robert Boyko Seconded by: Keith Lewis

3) Fr. Michael – Parish Report:

1) Amost all of the work for the renovations is completed. We are waiting for some proposals from the architects re. an additional hand railing, located to the right of the altar (as you look from the pews). Also, a quote on some updated chairs suitable for the sanctuary. Finally, the lighting company is preparing a proposal and demonstration for improved lighting for the glass reredos.

2) I will be doing a presentation to the parish on some of the theology behind the renovations in place of a homily on the weekend of June 8/9. This presentation will be part of the livestream this weekend and it will be posted on the parish website, along with a summary about the new icon of Jesus in the tabernacle alcove.

3) At the current time we have $320K in our bank account and on deposit with the archdiocese. It is anticipated that we will have $160 K left in our account, when all payments are made. Please note that the proposed works in #1 are not included in this amount.

4) I have posted a notice on the website about the secretary position at St. Ambrose, as the current secretary is leaving at the end of July.

5) Fr. Jan Gogolewski will be arriving on Wed. June 26th – while we have had a few brief conversations, I anticipate will be meeting before my departure.

6) I was overwhelmed in a wonderful way by the send- off on June 2nd. I am so grateful for the kindness and love of all.

7) Memories – arrival in 2012 – coming “back home”. Challenges of different Youth ministers and the evolution of the ministry under Sean, Nick, Sarah, Courtney and Arianne.

8) Thankful for the help of the priests who lived here, and of course, Deacon Gerry Almeida, as well as all the parish staff.

9) Many pilgrimages to the Holy Land – at least 5, if not 6.

10) All the celebrations (our 60th anniversary, dances, etc)

11) Love for my 25th anniversary in 2016, my 65th birthday, anniversary driveby on May 11,2020,

12) Covid – how the parish rallied – livestreams, financial support volunteers for attendance, staffing, etc. and then a rebirth of the parish community, advent of DR efforts to help our parish grow.

4) PARISH MINISTRY REPORTS:

A. EXTRAORDINARY MINISTERS OF HOLY COMMUNION MINISTRY REPORT: DEACON GERRY AND STELLA ALMEIDA

Our 27 strong Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion continue to serve the parish.

One of the problems faced in this ministry is when ministers wish to take the summer off, and the same issue arises during key liturgical celebrations like Holy Week and Christmas.

This creates a real challenge regarding scheduling, as the remaining ministers have to pick up the shortfall.

So, the question that arises is,” Do you NOT attend mass?”

The other issue that arises is the need to pray before carrying out your ministry.

We all need God’s help to serve Him, and we do this only by praying and asking for His assistance.

We cannot remember every procedure in order to fulfil our vocation, so there is the need to revisit and follow the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion handbook and procedures often.

It is our continued hope and trust in the Lord that the fruits of the ministry of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, will be realized by the ministers as they continue their journey to Holiness, and be an example to those discerning the call to serve in this ministry.

B. REPORTS FROM CAROL JANSSEN:

Welcome Ushers:

Nothing new to report, except that we’re always looking for an infusion of new volunteers for this ministry.

Social Committee

On March 2nd, we held The Taste of Nativity, and it was, once again, a resounding success. Parishioners were proud and excited to share their culture through food and we had 30 countries represented. The evening was filled with lively conversation, music, and food from around the world. It was a wonderful example of what our parish can create when we come together.

We thank Father Michael for providing financial support for the event.

No new social event has been scheduled, as we await the arrival of the incoming pastor.

Alpha: 

We began another Alpha session on March 6th of this year, and it ran for 9 weeks. There was also a retreat day. 19 guests attended.

Since we began this program in 2019, guest feedback has been consistent. Alpha is transformational. Faith is deepened, community is created, and meaningful recognition happens.

We experienced a ‘pay it forward’ thinking as many of our former Alpha guests signed up to help make a meal. 19 of our 30 meal team volunteers were Alpha alumni. These folks were so joyful to be back in the Alpha world, as they gathered to feed our guests.

We are deeply grateful to Father Michael for bringing this program to our parish, for joining our leadership team and for providing the financial support needed.

We pray that our incoming pastor will see the spiritual value of Alpha and keep it going.

C. KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS REPORT: ROBERT BOYKO

The Knights of Columbus, Nativity of Our Lord held our annual elections at our last meeting and the new Grand Knight will be Neville Saldana. He will assume office at our next meeting in September, 2024. Please update your contact list. I had to step down, as a new volunteer position has presented itself with the Western Ontario Commandery of the Order of St. Lazarus in Canada.

The Knights hosted the Communion Breakfast on Mother’s day Sunday, May 12, 2024. We had a sold out event and everyone had a great time.

Pictures of the Church were taken prior to the renovations commencing and provided to Fr. Michael for the archives. I will take post-renovation photographs from the same locations in the church for comparison in June prior to his departure, as a parting gift.

It is with great sadness that we learn of Fr. Michael’s reassignment later this year. He has been the soul of this community and I know that his heart is with Nativity of Our Lord. He will be greatly missed.

D. YOUTH MINISTRY: ARIANNE HASHIM

As our regular youth ministry year comes to close, a few things to highlight over the last few months -

Our confirmation preparation was a great success! The first year that it was purely original content & we had 74 confirmation candidates receive the sacrament of confirmation. Their parents & sponsors were both engaged throughout the entire process, having one on one meetings with Arianne throughout the year.

Students have been engaged in different fundraising efforts - namely the valentines candy gram fundraiser & the parish car wash. Both fundraisers were a success and contributed to the subsidy or sponsoring of children attending the Lifeteen retreat or Steubenville conference.

Our last Edges will be June 7th and June 21st.

Our last Lifeteen is June 14th.

We will be going to the Steubenville conference June 28th-30th.

Our summer camp preparations are underway - we’ve received funding from Canada Summer Jobs for our camp staff, and they’ve begun working already. Summer Camp will be running July 15-19th & 22-26th.

26 (potentially 27) Children are going to Edge Camp on August 21st-25th.

The Youth Ministry will kick off again in September.

As many of you know, my husband and I are expecting our first child in October.

That being said, I will be going on pregnancy/maternity leave starting halfway through September in preparation for our baby girl’s arrival. I will be on leave for 12 months. My hope is to onboard a temporary youth minister before I go on leave in September - but this is still to be determined.

E. THE LEGION OF MARY REPORT: THERESA ROBERTS

Station of the Cross in March.

Pilgrim Virgin Statues in homes.

Rosary in many schools and crowning of Mother Mary in the school s.

Visitation in seniors home and hospitals. Feeding program continues in seniors home.

Holy communion to home bound residents.

Members attend the Acies at St. Mary’s Church.

Crowning of Mother Mary at Nativity in May.

Supper Saints dinner was planned for the month of May had to be canceled.

F. THE CARING MINISTRY REPORT: KEITH LEWIS

Total members 12. Holy Communion taken to homebound parishioners every alternate Wednesday or as per the need and request of the homebound parishioner at 9:30 AM followed by distribution of Holy Communion to the sick at the LTC home at Centennial Park.

After 5:00 PM Mass every Saturday Holy Communion is taken to the sick at home.

After the 9:00 AM Mass every Sunday communion is taken to homebound Parishioners.

The Caring Ministry meets once every six months.

We are hosting a small farewell to our dear Rev. Father Michael on June 22, 2024 at our meeting.

The Caring Ministry is always hungry for new members and ready to reach out to homebound parishioners when we get requests.

G. ALTAR SERVER MINISTRY REPORT. – DEACON GERRY ALMEIDA

The Altar Server Ministry now has 22 members.

The ministry continues to evolve and needs refresher courses from time to time.

We meet monthly to exchange any issues the altar servers may have and to let them know upcoming special services, like the Solemnity of Corpus Christi.

At the final monthly meeting on May 31, 2024, the altar servers participated in a written exam consisting of 10 questions. Some multiple choice, some essays. The exam was on the contents of the Altar Server Handbook given to them at the start of their ministry.

It is heartwarming to learn that young as they are, procedures are relevant to the development of being involved in ministry. They do realize the importance of prayer before undertaking their assigned tasks and always arrive early to robe and spend some time in the sanctuary in prayer.

In closing, we must be appreciative of these fine young boys and girls who serve punctually and with the utmost reverence, especially at the Solemnity of Corpus Christi.

The altar servers now have time to enjoy the summer and regroup until we meet again in September.

H. LECTORS MINISTRY REPORT: LES BORBAS

We continue to give thanks to God for the opportunity to proclaim His Word. Our Lector Ministry has provided a steady supply of readers throughout the year and our hope is that we will attract more lectors in the future. In particular, we will need new lectors for the 11:30 mass.

We also give thanks for Fr Michael – and Fr Brian. They have been a blessing to all of us at Nativity, and we wish them every success and happiness at St Ambrose. From our hearts, we embrace both of you. God speed and God bless!

I. S.S.V.P FRIENDLY VISITS REPORT: KATHY HAUGH

· There were 3 new friends whom FV visited. Two have decided not to continue.

· Currently we have 2 friends we visit – the initial pilot person and the (third) one new.

· Two volunteers have decided for personal reasons to leave FV. The invitation to rejoin at some point in the future if they want has been extended.

· There currently are 11 FV volunteers

· Three members of the initial FV committee will meet in the next month or two to discuss the ministry and how it might evolve. A suggestion of rebranding or adding a monthly parish social meetup has been made. After committee meets will discuss with John N (SSVP).

· Initial outreach to Centennial seniors home has not been responded to by the coordinator. This is paused until discussed with new priest.

· In August FV will request a meeting with new parish priest to discuss FV ministry and any changes. At this meeting will hopefully be the FV committee and John N.

J. S.S.V.P REPORT: WRITTEN BY JOHN NEANDER (REGRETS) - PRESENTED BY TINA CONTI

Here are some notes about our most salient activities in the last months.

We held our second Bundle Weekend of the year on May 11th and 12th

Our annual collection for Marygrove camp takes place on the weekend of June 8th and 9th

With the help of the EYSC we registered 25 children of our neighbours in need to play soccer this summer

We have an expression of interest from one perhaps two new members.

By way of follow up: Tina Conte, vice president, will attend for SSVP.

K. FAIRWELL CELEBRATION FOR FR. MICHAEL

Below are the comments regarding June 2nd’event – by MARIA DEL RIZZO

· Fr. Michael’s Farewell/Thank you lunch on June 2nd was a sold out event

· We printed and sold 500 tickets, if we had printed 600 or 700, we probably would have sold out at those numbers as well

· Parishioners really wanted to be there to show their thanks, appreciation and love for Fr. Michael and Fr. Brian

· We couldn’t have had such a successful event with such large numbers without the wonderful volunteers—from selling tickets, setting up the hall, prepping the food, serving the food and cleaning the hall—they gave it their all

· Volunteers serving the food in particular went above and beyond and wouldn’t even take a break until the majority of people had been served

· A thank you to Arianne and the youth for their skits

· A thank you to Abigail for pulling together and sorting through all the pictures and videos that were sent for the slide presentation

· It was amazing to see such support and teamwork come together

· I think I also said a thank you should go out to Pat/Eric Manuk for reaching out to the Pickle Barrel and providing me with a great contact—Theresa. She was excellent to work with. Answered all my questions, we went back and forth on numbers as our numbers increased over the various weeks and she was extremely accommodating

L. NATIVITY CWL REPORT – DONNA CAPOBIANCO (via email).

Nativity CWL held a Day of Reflection on Saturday April 13th; this was open to CWL and all the parish. It was well attended. Father Michael did a presentation on Lectio Divina, and everyone appreciated and enjoyed the day.

In May, CWL presented gifts to sixty-seven children receiving their First Communion and seventy-four students that were confirmed. This is an annual tradition that CWL has done for many years, and we always look forward to it.

Ladies are now busy preparing, working for our Spring Café on June 9th.We have invited outside vendors selling assorted crafts along with our popular bake and jewellery table, to make sure that there is something for everyone.

We will be holding our CWL Members Summer Break dinner on Thursday June 27th in the parish hall. Our monthly meeting schedule will start again in September. Now that the renovations are complete, hopefully our scheduling challenges are over and can get back to our normal schedule.

5) Caroline: Once again, Caroline thanked all the heads of ministries, other volunteers, those that made big contributions, Tony Marinucci, and David Ellis. All ministries continue to grow.

Caroline thanked Fr. Michael for his spiritual leadership on behalf of the Parish Council.

6) OTHER BUSINESS: Carol thanked Arianne Hashim and the youth ministry for their contributions at the presentation for Fr. Michael; Abigail Muree for her work in streaming and providing help with online overhead pictures and is working on providing a link for the parish website so all parishioners may enjoy. Carol also commended the volunteers at the procession.

Theresa Roberts thanked and congratulated the Pastoral Planning committee and volunteers. It was a great event and had excellent people. Theresa thanked Fr. Michael, especially during covid.

Deacon Gerry said the final closing prayer and thanked Fr. Michael and wished him well.