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Uniting in Heart – Pastorate Staff Adjustments

One of the reasons for the diocesan renewal Uniting in Heart is to build greater capacity for missionary pastors to lead and manage parish communities. If a pastor can lead more efficiently and effectively he will be more available for teaching faith, liturgy, sacraments and time with people. Effective leading and managing needs to be less day-to-day details and more “big picture” matters like, vision, planning and large projects. At both Holy Spirit and St. John Vianney, building projects are one of these big picture leadership items. Holy Spirit is currently in a Parish Life Center expansion and at St. John Vianney we hope to soon build a Parish Life Center. Another significant “big picture” project will be leading the process of developing a 3-year Pastorate Plan. This begins late summer. These are but a couple examples of leading and managing on a higher level. To be able to focus on the “big picture” and still be able to make sure other administration and staff supervision occurs, a pastor needs to delegate some management responsibilities.

In my bulletin article of February 7 I outlined some of the staff teams (overall staff team, priest team and pastorate leadership team) that assist me in my ministry as a missionary pastor. I also mentioned how each pastorate in our diocese was undergoing an update of organizational structure to assist pastors with managing staff and facilitating greater effectiveness. Some of this is a repeat of what was shared last month but I share it again to assist you in understanding both the staff organizational structure and the reasons behind the structure.

We are organizing all lay staff under the two positions: Director of Operations and Director of Evangelization, Family Life and Pastoral Ministries. The titles are new to both parishes, although the ministry is not. Director of Operations has management and overview of business operations, facilities, and finance, what has been referred to as a Business Manager. The Director of Evangelization, Family Life, and Pastoral Ministries, serves to assist with management and overview of the staff engaged in pastoral areas of ministry. These positions are across both parishes. All lay staff will report through these individuals to the pastor. Priests will continue to report directly to the pastor. Staff will continue to meet directly with me as needed but not for supervision or management. Both of these staff roles help assist me by overseeing staff, facilitating communication, and implementing policies, plans and initiatives.

I have appointed two existing staff to these positions. Sue Morgan will serve as Director of Operations. Sue has been Business Manager at Holy Spirit at Geist Parish for over 20 years. She is familiar with all aspects of this position. She has already begun taking on some of the responsibilities at St. John Vianney parish since the Business Manager there took a position at another parish last fall. Mark Timko will serve as Director of Evangeli-zation, Family Life and Pastoral Ministries. Mark Timko has served in various ministries in the Church and has been the Director of Religious Education at Holy Spirit since 2000. He also has a music background and has been overseeing audio-visual technology at Holy Spirit. Both Sue and Mark will begin moving into these roles immediately but the specifics of how these roles interact with parishioners will be worked out over the next couple months. An organizational chart for the pastorate is available HERE.

I also mentioned in the previous bulletin article that there will be a Pastorate Leadership Team. This team helps increase the capacity of the pastor by also facilitating communication, and implementing policies, plans and initiatives. The Pastorate Leadership Team includes the Director of Operations, Director of Evangelization, Family Life and Pastoral Ministry, as well as 2 or 3 other staff members. In addition to Sue Morgan and Mark Timko, members on the Pastorate Leadership Team will be Christine Vincent-Rodas and Shannon Schmidt. Christine’s position at St. John Vianney will be changing to Pastoral Associate. We are looking to hire a Coordinator of Religious Education sometime before next fall. We will evaluate other needs and adjust ministry responsibilities of all staff as ministries return and as the needs evolve.
Members of this team are appointed by the pastor and may change from time to time. The staff are chosen by me because of their expertise, experience, role within the parish (overseeing volunteer ministers) and their ability to bring gifts to the mix that I do not possess. This group will meet weekly with me and assist in various ways, especially helping with communication with staff at both parishes and implementing plans and projects.

Please pray for all our team of staff. We are blessed to have so many capable, dedicated and hardworking staff and volunteers doing ministry in our two parishes. Let us also pray that God continues to help us all hear our call to build up the body of Christ.

“And he gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,” ~ Ephesians 4:11-12

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Dale