About Us

PARISH STRUCTURE

I have been asked to bring some clarity, as to how I see the relationship between the Parish Pastoral Council, the Finance Committee, the Liturgy Committee, the Building Committee and the Parish Team (Pastoral and Administrative). Most of these groups and other groups that we have in the parish find their roots in Canon Law, various ecclesial documents or in diocesan norms and guidelines.

The structure of these committees is quite simple. The challenges, however, are many. In both parishes, all of these committees have enjoyed various levels of engagement and success. The greater challenge is that all the committees cease to be when a new pastor arrives and that in our case, the new committees need to expand to server the breadth of the Family, that is, Springbank Catholic Family of Parishes.

It will take some time before trust is built and before we come to see each other as working together to bring about God’s Reign. I pray this comes with time. For now, we trust that God’s Spirit works with us, in us and through us.

It is my hope that we will work together in a manner which is prayerful, collaborative and fosters a co-responsible form of ministry. While the pastor is ultimately responsible for providing and guiding a vision for the Family, my promise is that I will always try to consult broadly, before any decisions are made.

It must first be said that all ministry flows from our baptism. Through our baptism, each of us shares in the three-fold ministry of Christ as priest, prophet and king. Whether lay or ordained, our share in Christ’s life provides us the holy obligation of sanctifying the world, proclaiming the Good News and bringing the values of the Gospel to the public sphere.

The work of committees in a parish context is meant to do more than simply “help Father.” Rather, the lay faithful are to bring their particular gifts and expertise to the Church, their homes and their places or work, for the building up of God’s Kingdom.

The Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) is a consultative body that represents the parish community with a role to make recommendations to the pastor of the parish. A pastoral council has its basis in Canon Law (Canon 536). Diocesan norms indicate the following:

The principal role of a pastoral council is pastoral planning into the future by adhering to the mission and vision of both the diocese and the parish; which involves a three-fold approach: one, to conduct needs analysis and prioritize pastoral requirements; two, to set and develop goals and objectives; and three, to recommend a set of intended actions to achieve those goals and objectives.

By diocesan norm, a council members have a three-year term, which can be extended to another term. I am grateful that the following individuals have discerned a call to serve our parish in this capacity for the next three years: Julia Das, Chris Dobson, Linda Darowski, Andre Iarusso, Mark Kok, Donna Kwan, Harold Stewart and Chris Quinn

Before the end of May, they will have developed a “mission and vision” statement for our Family. It is hoped that this will be the lens through which all pastoral initiatives are judged.

It is this “vision” and these recommendations which will give guidance and direction to the Parish Team. My hope is that the Parish Pastoral Council will simultaneously be the greatest critics and the greatest champions of the Team.

The Parish Pastoral Council is invited to pray and to dream. They are to imagine what our Family might be.

The Bishop has asked that Families invest in hiring a Business Manager. Our Business Manager is Rod Tramble. Rod is responsible for working with the Finance Committee and Building Committee in managing the Family’s temporal affairs. The primary purpose in having a Business Manager, is that it allows the pastor of the parish to focus on things which are pastoral, while leaving the more temporal tasks to those that are better suited to these responsibilities.

With the Business Manager, the Finance Committee is responsible for stewarding the financial resources that have been entrusted to our Family. While maintaining the fiscal autonomy of each community, the Finance Committee advises the Pastor on how monies might be spent, while maintaining a prudent reserve for the future.

In addition to this good work, the Finance Committee develops and implements strategies to foster stewardship and to increase our financial wellbeing.

They are to listen to what is being recommended by the Parish Pastoral Council, through the Pastor, while finding ways of funding new initiatives. In keeping with the values of the Gospel, the poor and the needy will always be given priority in our conversations.

I am grateful that the following individuals have agreed to serve our Family in this capacity:

Ed Beore, Deacon Mark Castanier, Shawn Comiskey, Michelle Gilpin, Colleen Kelly, Gary Vanniere and Mary Ellen Zabehalo

The Building Committee is made up of various individuals in the community with expertise in building, construction and maintenance. They are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the buildings and properties of the Family are properly maintained for future generations. Chaired by the Business Manager of the community, the Committee works in conjunction with the Diocese of London, in following and implement guidelines, norms and directives.

I am grateful that the following individuals have agreed to serve our Family in this capacity:

Bernie Bierbaum, Chad Carver, Louis Goldberg, Jason Howlett, Dennis Matthews, Bruno Porciello

The Liturgy Committee is made up of various individuals in the Family who are engaged in fostering and developing our community’s worship. There work is to offer suggestions and to put into practice those things which will serve to enhance the full, active and conscious participation of those gathered for prayer and sacrament. Chris

McConnell is the Family’s Pastoral Minister for Liturgy, Music and Adult Education. He is the Chair of this committee. I am grateful that the following individuals have agreed to serve our Family in this work:

Cheri Anthony, Dean Bechard, Grace Coutinho, David DeSouza, Johanna Hourd, Colleen Murphy, Joanne Sequeira, Mary Sleegers, Patricia Silver

My hope Is that the needs of the community will come forth through these communities, to the Team and that the Team will be tasked with Implementing recommendations.

This process is messy. There will be a great deal of praying and a great deal of talking. One committee may make one recommendation and another committee may make another. Ultimately, it up to the Pastor to hold the recommendations from the various committees in prayer and in conjunction with the Bishop, implement a vision for our Family, within a wider diocesan framework.

Many on these committees have served on these groups and others for well over a decade and have asked to be cycled off the committee, as we are able to find appropriate replacements. If you would like to serve on one of these committees, please contact me directly so that we might talk about the needs of our groups and the gifts that you are willing to share with the wider community.

We continue to pray that God who has begun the good work in us, bring it to completion.

 

Michael Bechard (Rev.)

Pastor