March 15, 2023 Meeting

Parish Pastoral Council Minutes


 Special Item – Mare Draper  --  Meet & Greet

Mare was warmly welcomed to the PPC meeting to meet the Council members.  She is thrilled with her decision to join us as the Faith Formation Director.  She is in the process of completing a Grief Support & Counseling Certification.  She came to us from a part time position and realized that she was called to return to ministry of the youth. She was delighted that there are dedicated volunteers to help her.  She is used to doing things solo.  She concluded while working part time at Nemours that there are a large number of youth with no safe space to turn to and feel comfortable talking with someone.  She has many projects in the works, namely the bus trip to Moses at Sight and Sound Theater.  The bus is currently half filled and will open the bus trip up to other parishes in the deanery an effort to connect members of all neighboring communities.  She has extensive experience with event planning.  Marcia Bowers spoke of working with Mare to have the youth get CPR/AED certified to be able to use the new defibrillators.  Mare mentioned including Narcan certification.  There will also be a bus trip to the Pilgrimage Bishop Koenig is leading in Wilmington.  Sue encouraged Mare to reach out if she needed anything from the Council.


Adoption of Minutes: The minutes were approved unanimously with no corrections.


Financial Report: Robin Brueckman distributed handouts of the Parish Income Statement, Parish Income. Our income is below budget by $17,691 this is mostly due to the weekly offertory budget and lower Christmas donations than budgeted (by $9,000).  The Oblate appeal did very well, and offertory was down those two weeks.  Our expenses are also below budget by $27,619 primarily due to not being at full staff with a Music Director.  Looking to see how Easter offertory compares to the past.  The income that we are receiving from Fair Hill Church continues to offset deficits along with not being at full staff at this time.




Old Business: Progress Reports

  • AED Report: Finance Council approve purchase and Tommy Coulter has placed the order.  ETA of delivery will be provided when it is available.  Tommy will provide a FREE CPR and how to use an AED class to staff and parishioners once we get them.
  • Signs: Site visit was completed on March 2, 2023. Quotes have been received from Full Throttle Wraps and will be reviewed.  Anticipate full report to be presented at                    April 18, 2023 meeting.
  • Parish Information Flyer: Updated pamphlet to the group, highlighting sacramental opportunities. Deacon Ben requested Sue update some of the verbiage regarding receiving the sacraments. Lynn questioned what the pamphlet is being used for.  Sue did not recall, and would have to look at past minutes.  Jim mentioned that it was an effort to give new and exiting parishioners a document to answer specific questions.  Sue mentioned that Vickie and Arlene were working on an extensive document that was extremely informative and was a directory.  A worthy project, pamphlet ideas was to be able to hand out to new parishioners subject specific information they were looking for and not overwhelm.
  • Staffing is half solved with
    1. Faith Formation Director: Mare Draper on board and has multiple projects in the works. 
    2. Music Director -- There were 3 applicants in March.
      1. i) One was from the NY area with impressive credentials and a cost prohibitive salary requirement. 
      2. ii) The second individual is from Illinois, and Fr. Jim will be speaking with him on what that candidate is looking for.
  • iii) The third applicant is George Gregory who has been keeping the music ministry going since Dana’s departure and has been doing an excellent job. He was not initially interested in the position but has since submitted his application for consideration.  The one gap is that George is not able to play the organ or piano which is crucial to music for masses, funerals, and other sacred events. 
  1. Consensus is that George is aware of the gap and one solution put forth, that the council was in favor of, was to advertise for a keyboard musician for weekend masses and see where that goes. The hope is that if we can get someone to do the weekend masses we can potentially add on to the position, or at a minimum have keyboarding during mass. Fr. Jim will reach out to other parishes on potential solutions. 
  2. Action Items: Maryanne Eurenis will reach out to Music School of Delaware with the weekend keyboard musician position.  Lynn O’Brien suggested reaching out to parishioners in bulletin and social media.  Dunne thought we would have already found out about parishioners who were keyboard musicians.


New Business:

Budget: Full budget preparation is in progress.  The Building and Maintenance Committee met with the Finance Council on Tuesday, March 14, 2023.  Terry Gustafson, Fr. Jim and Robin Brueckman reported on the productive exchange of topics and issues that took place at the Finance Council meeting with the Building & Maintenance Department reporting on current and planned accomplishments. 


Three major projects completed Fall, 2022:

  1. Rectory roof.
  2. Tree removal.
  3. Shed behind Rectory removed.

Next priorities in order

  1. Parish Porch replacement. It is leaking into the basement and creating a mold situation there and in Outreach.  Documents of sacraments performed have been removed, documented and stored in air and watertight plastic containers to prevent mold contamination.
  2. Mold Remediation to all affected areas.
  3. Fire Suppression System in kitchen of the school. Required for safety and will facilitate a revenue generating opportunity once it is fully up to code.

Generating Additional Income:

Renew the Offertory Campaign that was successful previously.  Parish must keep top of mind that at some point we will return to full staff and will need increased revenue for day-to-day operations.

Capital improvements needed are roof replacements on all remaining buildings.  Current income flow will be insufficient to provide funds.   Exploring other avenues of fund raising to meet these needs.  Goal for solution is January 2024.

Membership Sub-Committee for New Members:  Sue advised council member that there were three members whose terms are ending this year.  No names were mentioned and request was put out to current Council Members to recruit at least one member each to nominate for membership to Fr. Jim.  Fr. Jim mentioned forming a sub-committee to speak to nominees about the Council business before he spoke with them and made the final decision.




Open Discussion:

New Parishioner Meet & Greet – Maryanne Eurenis and Joyce Ostrand mentioned hosting a New Parishioner Welcome event with youth group providing supervision for young children so that the parents could speak with the committee and council members that would be part of the event.  Goal is to provide an opportunity for them to feel a personal level of connectivity with the parish and ideally find an opportunity to get involved directly in a ministry they may be interested in exploring.


Light refreshments and snacks would be provided.  Best location would be the cafeteria where the committees would be there and the children would be in sight of their parents to put them at ease.  Unanimously agreed upon moving forward with this idea.  Sub-Committee for Parish Pastoral Council will be Maryanne Eurenis, Joyce Ostrand, and Lynn O’Brien. 


Brian Ulmen advised that the same topic came up at the KOC meeting on Tuesday, March 15, 2023 being led by Worthy PGK Lou Najera.  Brian got Maryanne’s permission to pass on her information to Lou Najera so that they could collaborate on the event.


Closing Prayer: The closing prayer was led by Fr. Gerald Dunne.


Adjournment: 6:25pm


Next Meeting: April 18, 2023


Respectfully recorded,

Sue Guarnieri