«Present: Msgr. Scheyd, Fr. Bartolome, Deacon Pond, Deacon Santulli, S. Goetz, M.Gayer, M. Pascale Vandall, J. Emert, C. Otis, R. Laughton, J.P. ...»
ST. ALOYSIUS PARISH COUNCIL MINUTES
January 11, 2016
Present: Msgr. Scheyd, Fr. Bartolome, Deacon Pond, Deacon Santulli, S. Goetz, M.Gayer, M. Pascale
Vandall, J. Emert, C. Otis, R. Laughton, J.P. Sloan, L. Karl, C. Sindelar, C. Butler, M. Moran, B. Gjoka,
T. Marino, C. Betack, J-P Berliet
Absent: Fr. Segura, B. Buonaiuto, C. Hussey, S. Lione, R. Phelan, M. Hennessey, J. Otis, C. Altier, J.
I. Opening Prayer at 7: 45 pm Offered by Father Cyrus Bartolome II. Approval of minutes of November 16th meeting, reports submitted on November 16th and of agenda for today’s meeting Minutes of November 16th meeting as well as reports submitted on January 11th were approved by Members of the Council who were present. Agenda of today’s meeting was approved.
III. Business Manager’s Report In the absence of Rich Phelan, Msgr. Scheyd reported that the financial report for the fiscal year ending on June 30th has been be mailed to parishioners during the week of Thanksgiving and that the Parish financial results are consistent with expectations laid out in the budget approved for the 2015-2016 fiscal year. Progress will be presented by Rich Phelan in March, at the next meeting of the Council.
The Christmas collection was higher than last year.
IV. Casting the Net update and appeal for help by Council members Denise Luccarelli reported on the finalization of the Casting the Net dinner dance to be held on March 12th at Water’s Edge. The objective is to fill the room to its capacity of 300 (vs. 276 in
2015) and to sustain this level of participation in future years. The objective of the event is to raise $50,000 and to establish the event that will become over time a major source of funding for the Parish.
1 For 2016, Water’s Edge will charge $65 for dinner, including wine. Individual tickets will be priced at $125. Additional money will be raised through a 50/50 raffle, a silent auction, and sponsorship/advertising. Msgr. Scheyd asked all council members to commit to filling a table of ten each by soliciting commitment to attend the event from fellow parishioners and others.
Invitations will be printed shortly and mailed by the printer to active parishioners. This mailing will be supplemented by e-mail blasts, with technical support provided by Parish staff to the Casting the Net team.
The plan to hold an auction supported by items gifted by parishioners is being pursued actively.
Msgr. Scheyd also reminded us that, unlike last year when the event was explicitly promoted in honor of the 50th anniversary of his priestly ordination, the 2016 event should be promoted on a stand-alone basis to ensure its ability to endure past his retirement.
V. Unfinished/Old Business Christmas Masses: Msgr. Scheyd was pleased to report that the new schedule of masses at Christmas (4 pm, 5:30 pm, 7:30 pm and Midnight on Christmas eve and 7am, 8:30 am, 10 am and 11:30 am on Christmas day) resulted in increased attendance, estimated at 6000.
The abbreviated pageant that was integrated in each of the afternoon masses on Christmas eve enabled more parishioners to see a pageant than in previous years when the pageant was held after communion, after many attendees had already left.
Parking went well, especially thanks to the presence of a volunteer from the Police Department who used his cruiser to good effect to control traffic entering/exiting the parking lot.
The distribution of the “Rediscover Jesus” handbook was very successful. The few books left at the end were all used to fulfill special requests on the next day.
Welcoming New Parishioners: Maggie Pierce called new parishioners this summer to determine what they might want upon joining their new parish. Based on her research, it seems that there is a need for a special event/coffee meeting on Sunday to expose newcomers to Parish services and ministries. The format of such an event is being developed for a target event to be held later in the year.
Msgr. Scheyd offered the thought that the Parish might benefit from emulating other organizations who have been more successful in reaching out to community members. They assign responsibility for contacting inactive members and new residents to district captains who take responsibility for this effort.
It was also noted that we might want to emulate St Matthew that provides new parishioners with a welcome letter from its Pastor, a welcome brochure, a refrigerator magnet with office hours, etc.
John Emert suggested that we might want to use the welcoming message used by the Church of St Mary in Nantucket, which could be made available at Sunday coffees or held at the back of the Church.
Organization of a discussion of the “Rediscover Jesus” book: Following distribution of 1000 copies of the book at Christmas, Msgr. Scheyd thought that there could be interest for arranging a group discussion of the book, under the direction of a leader who remains to be identified. It was noted that we might want to investigate whether author Matthew Kelly might be available and willing to participate if the discussion were scheduled in the fall, when he visits St. Matthew’s Church in Norwalk.
Parish Task Force: As a follow-up to the recently completed diocesan synod, the parish is involved in two initiatives, respectively focused on i) assessing the viability and sustainability of the School and ii) a self-evaluation of the parish, as to its effectiveness and viability. Msgr.
Scheyd is to submit the names of 10 parishioners willing to participate actively in the task force to the diocesan Office of Strategic Planning by Wednesday, January 13th. He is considering assembling a diverse group including members of the Finance Committee, the Parish Council, Trustees and Youth.
VII. Updates from Fathers Bartolome and Segura Father Bartolome reported that the bereavement ministry group is scheduled to meet next on January 26th at 8:30 pm Father Segura: Not in attendance VIII. Pastor’s Report Msgr. Scheyd confirmed that Council members and members of the Finance committee will meet with Bishop Caggiano and the new Vicar General on January14th at 6:30 pm to discuss qualities needed in St. A’s new Pastor and that Bishop Caggiano will meet subsequently at 7:30 pm with parishioners to hear the view from parishioners. Bishop Caggiano intends to use inputs provided in these meetings to evaluate candidates and nominate St A’s new pastor shortly after Easter to allow for orderly transitions at St A and in the parish from which the new pastor will hail.
IX. Inputs, Comments and Announcements:
Bardhyl Gjoka, Principal of the school, reported that Bishop Caggiano is concerned about the viability and sustainability of schools. He also stated that the financial position of the school had improved significantly since last year, whereby available liquid assets are now in excess of accounts payable. He also indicated that he had had many opportunities to appreciate and be grateful for the support of Msgr. Scheyd. He is gratified that reforms undertaken with the support of the Parish, including additions to the faculty, curriculum development and investments in technology have made the school competitive and enabled the school to achieve capacity enrollment. Maura Gayer, whose children are enrolled at the school seconded his remarks and stated that the support of successive Bishops, hard work by the School and continued support by the parish have resulted in the success before us now.
Chris Otis observed that The Knights of Columbus had a wonderful sit down Christmas dinner and thought that parishioners would enjoy the opportunity to socialize at the Casting the Net event.
X. Closing Prayer: offered by Msgr. Scheyd at 8:55 pm Meeting Closed at 9:00 pm Next meeting: March 21st at 7:30 pm, Stapleton Hall Submitted by Jean-Pierre Berliet, Secretary
Youth & Family Ministry, submitted by Chris Otis
I am recruiting new Mass Captains for the Teen Mass to provide leadership opportunities for our high school teens. Our doors are well staffed each week by our Confirmation students who welcome and hand out song sheets and bulletins.
We held our Teen Dinner n’ Adoration on December 21. We offered the sacrament of reconciliation during and after Adoration and it was well received and taken advantage of by our teens. We will continue this format. Our next Teen Adoration is be in gthe format of a Praise and Pizza at St. Benedicts in Stamford, as we are gathering middle school and high school teens from all over the eastern part of the diocese.
We had to move our Teen Rosary to a Sunday and it was not as well attended. We will go back to our Friday night format in January and have invited the teens from St. Peters in Bridgeport to join us.
The chapel was standing room only for our 6:30 a.m. Teen Mass on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. A special thanks to Chef Luis for making and donating breakfast wraps for the teens.
We will have a Prayer Service before school at 6:30 am for Ash Wednesday, followed by the distribution of breakfast bags.
We took a group of 12 teens to the Thorpe Family Residence in the Bronx on December 12 for a Christmas Around the World program and gave them all stockings. We were the recipients of some toys from the Fire Department two days before Christmas and earlier this week, one of our college teens took them down to Thorpe – they were very appreciative.
We took a group of 12 teens and 6 adults to Kentucky December 11-13 and flew down to Barbourville Kentucky about 100 of the Project 1,000 stockings and canned hams. It was an amazing experience and our teens will be sharing about their experience through a special bulletin that will be produced this month.
Our teens came together for fellowship and to decorate the priests tree in the rectory on Sunday, December 20 after the Teen Mass.
We participated in a New Canaan Churches service project in December, the week between Christmas and New Years which was called Better Together: Project Inspirica. Almost 100 teens and some adults
We will be taking a group of 12 down to the March for Life Youth Rally at the Washington DC Armory on January 22 – we will be taking a bus down with the teens from St. Mary’s in Ridgefield and returning on our parish bus.
We will be hosting the children of Breakthrough Options on Sunday, January 31 here at the parish.
We held a service-oriented TGIF on Friday, October 18 where our 8th graders went Christmas caroling to seniors on South Avenue. Mary Karen Keneally will be hosting the TGIF in January, which will feature Adoration on the day of the March for Life. Another TGIF will be held to accomplish the sorting for our midnight run in February.
Our Catholic Parents Connect group will meet again this month to fill packages for some of our college students from their parish. We also sent to them a we are praying for you note prior to their finals in December.
Our contingent for World Youth Day will begin their preparation and formation this month on Sunday, January 24. I ask you to continue to pray for our contingent of 20 teens and chaperones.
I am working to coordinate a teen to produce the video/slide presentation for Casting the Net.
Emmaus is April 1-3, 2016. Team meetings will begin February 21.
I am working on developing a new concept to take the place of Massmakers. We are going to involve service opportunities for families and catechesis on saints at the coffee. In December, Father Cyrus portrayed St. Nicholas at the Sunday morning coffee and it was well received. We hope to expand upon this with various saints throughout the year – teaching the children about saints and the virtues they portray.
Parish Partners, submitted by Carrie Sindelar
Since our last report, Parish Partners hosted our third annual Christmas Tea on December 2, 2015 in Stapleton Hall. Our attendance was lower than usual due to the rainy weather but about 40 parishioners attended. Tom Marino graciously attended and provided us with wonderful holiday music and led everyone in the singing of Christmas carols. It was a very festive event enjoyed by all who attended.
Our next event will be a spring mass and luncheon which is scheduled for April 20th and Msgr.
Scheyd will be our speaker.
We began 2016 with a membership meeting on January 6th and we will meet quarterly going forward. All parishioners are welcome to volunteer.
Carrie is continuing to update our volunteer information including contact information and Virtus compliance. We are continuing to update the list of homebound parishioners that we are currently visiting and hope to expand our ministry where needed.
Our Lady’s Guild, submitted by Mary Moran 6 Our Lady’s Guild organized First Friday Adoration on December 4, 2015.
On December 8, The Feast of the Immaculate Conception, OLG held it’s monthly meeting. Mass was held at 9AM followed by the members consecrating themselves to Mary in a candle lighting ceremony. Fr. David Adiletta, a Dominican Friar, celebrated Mass for us and spoke at our meeting.
A Christmas brunch was held in Stapleton and members brought gifts of new clothing which were delivered to St. Camillus in Stamford.
There will be no January meeting for OLG but members are encouraged to participate in The Life is Love activities planned at St. Aloysius on January 22.
Our Lady’s Guild continues to work at St. Vincent de Paul’s food pantry by both volunteering time and donating non perishables at our monthly meetings, visits Waveny to pray the Rosary for the residents on both floors, coordinates First Friday Adoration, makes rosaries for third world countries and helps to promote the Pilgrim Virgin.
Walking with Purpose, submitted by Christina Altier
Walking with Purpose is just about half way through our 22-week course, Opening Your Heart.