Pastoral Council

As of Fall of 2017, we are beginning the process of Revisioning the Parish Pastoral Council. Last April Bishop Mitch made a pastoral visit to St. Francis of Assisi Parish. One of his recommendations was that our Pastoral Council move away from being a council concerned with the "nuts and bolts" of the parish to a council that is truly pastoral in nature and one with a vision. The new process will begin in October and will take a number of months to truly form the new Pastoral Council. After that, there will be parish gatherings where parishioners will have input into annual parish goals. We will update this page as things move forward. In the meantime, the people and committees listed below continue to be the contacts in our various activities and concerns in our parish.

2016-2017 Pastoral Council

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Back Row, L-R):   Francesca Forrest, Council Secretary; Ray Fontaine, Council Asst. Chair; Fr. Jack Sheaffer, Pastor; Franco Dell'Olio, Council Chair; John Rakouskas, Marriage Enrichment
(Middle Row, L-R):  Pat Skaza, Music Ministry Liaison; Shelly Garrow, Family Life; Carla Dell'Olio, Vocations; Therese Rakouskas, Marriage Enrichment; Theresa Murphy, Adult Education
(Front Row, L-R):  Sue Dexter, Hospitality; Theresa Renaud, Hospitality; Anna Donovan, Communications; Paula Moran, Communications; Justine Holdsworth, Evangelization
(Missing from Photo:  Deacon Bill Brawner, Deacon; Carolyn Groves, Director of Religious Ed; Gayle Tyler, Vocations; Kevin Kervick, Adult Education; Ralph St. Sauveur, Evangelization

 

The Pastoral Council is an organized body of appointed, elected, and volunteer parishioners who meet monthly on the first Tuesday of the month at 7:30 PM to address the pastoral needs of the parish. 

For more information about the Council or one of the Commissions, contact the person(s) listed below.

 

Chairperson: Franco Dell'Olio 413-323-0239

Assistant Chairperson: Ray Fontaine 413-537-4086

Secretary: Francesca Forrest 413-323-5297

Family Life Commission Chairpersons:  Shelly Garrow 413-250-8534

Communications Commission Chairpersons:  Dave Adams 413-323-6747 & Anna Donovan 413-323-6958

Marriage Enrichment Commission Chairpersons:  John & Therese Rakouskas, 413-323-4940

Spiritual Life Commission Chairpersons:  (TBD) 413-323-6272

Hospitality Commission Chairpersons:  Theresa Renaud, 413-213-0427

Vocations Commission Chairpersons:  Carla Dell’Olio 413-323-0239 & Gayle Tyler 413-967-8148

Commission Details

Adult Education Commission

The Adult Education Commission plans, coordinates, and conducts programs that will develop in each parishioner a better understanding of Christ and the Mission of the Church. This commission works to enhance current programs and establish new ones and provide educational materials and opportunities to parishioners.

Mission Statement:
As a faith development commission we would like to follow in the footsteps of the parish patron saint, Francis, and educate the community in the tools of our faith. Within this context, we want to teach love, peace, hope, respect, and harmony. The commission objectives are to offer: A) Adult Bible Study,  B) Evangelization, and C) Special programs to enhance the faith journey for parishoners.

Communications Commission

The Communications Commission is responsible for keeping the parish informed about all phases of Council and parish activities through all available means of communication (e.g., bulletin, posters, Sentinel, online resources, etc.). The Communications Commission creates and maintains the parish brochure and the new-parishioner welcome packet. They are also responsible for the production of the monthly activity calendar and the formation of posters and advertisements for publicity of parish events. This Commission also oversees the parish's annual appeal for new commission members.

Mission Statement:
Each of us, as individuals, has a desire in our life to serve God; and, therefore, we wish to serve the spiritual community that is St. Francis Church. One avenue through which we have chosen to accomplish this is through service on the Communications Commission. We perceive that the role as the Communications Commission is to accomplish the following:
--To foster a greater sense of community, which focuses on shared understanding of common Catholic, Christian values: a) faith b) love of God c) love and respect for one another d) charity e) honesty and integrity and f) thankfulness for God's blessings.
--To improve the quality of communication within the parish.
--To act as a liaison between clergy, parishioners, commissions, and the Belchertown community at large

Ecumenical/Family Life Commission

This commission plans, coordinates, and conducts programs which WILL fulfill the temporal needs of the parish. They also work with the other churches in town to plan and conduct ecumenical events for the entire community. Some activities coordinated or overseen by this commission include the annual parish picnic, CYO basketball, food pantry, bereavement group, and the annual CROP Walk.

Mission Statement:
This parish is a blend of people, their gifts, their needs, their interests and their points of view. In a time when there is so much upheaval in the world, it is important to the parishioners to have a sense of community in their lives; they want to feel welcome and to be part of parish life. This committee is concerned with building community in the parish and fostering that sense of belonging. In order to build that community, we need to help parishioner’s better deal with today's issues and challenges.

Hospitality Commission

The Hospitality Commission oversees and coordinates parish receptions, potlucks, and other hospitality, as needed. This group coordinates the refreshments served after such special liturgies such as Confirmation. They also organize the annual Holy Thursday potluck.

Marriage Enrichment Commission

The Marriage Enrichment Commission has the responsibility of addressing the marriage enrichment needs of this parish community. The Commission will seek to promote opportunities for lifelong learning and faith enrichment for all couples. The Commission supports Teams of Our Lady, or "TOOL", which is an international movement of married couples who gather in communion and friendship to support their Christian faith in a daily living experience.

Spiritual Life Commission

The Spiritual Life Commission plans and coordinates the activities surrounding the liturgical celebration and the sacramental rites. They plan, coordinate, and conduct programs that will enhance the spiritual well being of the parishioners. Some activities coordinated by this commission include the Way of the Cross, Holy Week events, the Lenten mission, the Mercy Sunday ceremony and the St. Francis of Assisi Transitus Service.

Mission Statement:
The members of the Spiritual Life Commission feel their personal mission is to grow closer to God. An outgrowth of this deeper relationship with Our Lord is the challenge to be channels of love and prayer for St. Francis parish and a support to the pastor as we journey together to develop a vibrant, spirit-filled worshipping Christian community. As we serve this parish, the collective mission is:
--To assess the spiritual needs of our parish.
--To reach out to the homebound, the sick, the elderly, and families in need.
--To provide opportunities for spiritual growth through the planning and implementation of retreats, missions, ministerial workshops, evenings of recollection, vespers, Stations of the Cross, penance services, and special liturgies for the different seasons.
--To promote and support the activities of the altar society.
--To recruit, train, and oversee the services of lectors, Eucharistic Ministers, ushers, and altar servers.

Vocations Commission

The Vocations Commission builds vocational awareness within the parish. This commission is open to all men and women who are interested in assisting in discernments and promoting vocations for priests, brothers, and sisters, as well as encouraging Lay ministry. This commission acts as a liaison to the Diocesan Vocations office as well to the existing Knights of Columbus Vocations Director and oversees the vocations cross program and the annual diocesan Christmas gift card program for seminarians and religious.

 

Pastoral Council Minutes

2017

June

May

April

March

February

January (No Meeting)

 

2016

December

November

October

September

August (No Meeting)

July (No Meeting)

June

May

April

March

February

January (No Meeting)