St Mary Parish Council Meeting Minutes – Thursday, November 16, 2023 at 6:30 p.m.

Present:  Lynn Cavanagh, Shane Hart, Marsha Maschmann, Linda Ollinger, Sam Peiffer, Scot Wilson, Chris Zug, Brian Cranston, Kent Reed, Wendy Kramer, Sharon Mealey, Fr. Scott Foley, Deacon John Osborne, Jane McFee, Lee McFee, Darlene Doorenbos, Michelle Otto

Not Present: Scott Collings, Dennis Phelps, Judy Binger, Karen Schmidt, Joe Bagnoli

  1. Opening Prayer: Scot Wilson
  2. Spiritual Component: November is dedicated to those in Purgatory. Scott explained the meaning of Purgatory.  Fr. Scott invited all to pray for their relatives who are deceased.  Prayers go to those who need them and while those in Purgatory can pray for us, they cannot pray for themselves.
  3. New Business:

Welcome – Darlene Doorenbos as the recording secretary for the Council.

Guest Speaker – Michelle Otto, who teaches Faith Formation to grades 7 to 12, presented the theme this year for the class as Service.  She requested the Council if a representative from each committee could come to the class and give a 5-to-7-minute presentation on how they serve the parish.  She handed out flyers on possible suggestions to present and would like it if the students could take something physical home to share with their parents.  This could be done as a one-time group presentation or over a period of time. Classes meet on Wednesday evenings at 6:30. Classes begin in 2024 on January 3 and go through April.  Lee McFee will attend the January 3 class.  Call or email Michelle to set up a time.

December Parish Council Pancake Brunch: This will be held on December 3 after the 10:30 mass.  At least 9 people are needed.  Scot will send out an email asking for volunteers.

  1. Financial Council – Lee M. presented the financial report. Those on the Finance Council are advisors to the pastor and review finances.  There are three on the council. Trustees are consulted when an expense is more than $5,000.  QuickBooks Online is the program used and Jay records the expenses and income.  Money received for the CYO and Deacon’s Fund are not available for use in the Operating expenses. The fiscal year for 2023 ended on June 30, 2023, and the church broke even.  The council is working with Fr. Scott to eliminate unnecessary expenses and seek ways to run the facilities more efficiently.
  2. Physical Component:

Big 10 – Presented by Fr. Scott, this is a 1-year commitment, starting in 2024, to help build a strong parish community. There are 10 ways to help the parish which involves 5 Spiritual Components and 5 Physical Components. Fr. Scott encourages that each member of the Parish Council take responsibility for one or two items, preferably 1 Spiritual and 1 Physical.  The official sign-up sheet is on the wall across from the water fountain.

Poweshiek County Cemeteries – Linda O. gave members a quiz on the Catholic cemeteries in Poweshiek County. A Catholic cemetery is one where the ground has been blessed by a priest

Commission, Committee, Finance Council and Knights of Columbus Submitted Reports:

Worship & Spirituality The commission met September 14th and November 9th. The commission offered the annual All Souls Prayer Service on Nov. 5th. Due to the Fourth Sunday of Advent falling on Dec. 24th, decorating for Christmas will take place after Sunday morning Mass on the 24th. We will be hoping for lots of volunteers to make the process go quickly. Two Masses will be offered for the Christmas Vigil: 4pm in Brooklyn and 6:30pm in Grinnell. Christmas morning Mass will be offered at 10am in Grinnell. The credence table in the sanctuary has been replaced with a new custom-made table. A new votive candle stand with small candles is awaiting glass holders before placement in the upper gathering space. Our next meeting will be December 14th.

Parish Life – no report

Social Action

The Social Action Commission met October 5th and November 3rd to discuss our upcoming events and update our visits to the homebound. Connis Dayton and Elizabeth Dobbs reported the homebound visits seem to be going well though a few more volunteers would be helpful. Committee members confirmed the meaningful connections they experienced when making these visits and how much they enjoyed them. Doris Hotchkin requested that an announcement be put in the bulletin reminding parishioners that volunteers are also needed for Mother Teresa’s Helping Hands to help provide meals for parishioners in need. Plans were finalized for the commissions role in arranging the Parish Breakfast on November 5th (Hexters will arrange for help from a few college students), confirming details for No Room at the Inn on December 1st and spreading the word for Project Share in December.

Building & Grounds – no report

Stewardship – no report

Knights of Columbus

 November 14th, 2023, KC meeting Meal at West Side Family Restaurant. Roy Doorenbos presentation on Confession. Guest Speaker – Kevin Seney the High School Principal.

 Minutes – Minutes approved from last meeting.

 Financial Secretary report – Thank you from the Walton family for the Donation to the Perpetual Memorial Society. Purchase of new kiosk pamphlets. Tootsie Roll money is ready to distribute.

 Treasure report – Bills are paid. Will give Tootsie Roll money check to ARC at Christmas Party.

Membership report – Membership Drive last month. No applicants.

District Deputy report – New membership goal is 5 new members. December 4th is District meeting. Newton has a Food Bingo in December. Insurance Agent – Will be at our next meeting to give a brief presentation.

Unfinished business – Tootsie Roll drive after mass brought in a little over $200. Soup Supper for Jingle Bell holiday coming up on the 11/17/23. Christmas carols on the steps of church. Chris Kringle Mart with KC share of profits going to Ryan Gruman. Soup Supper takes place in the Church Hall. Can collection have brought in $309 that was sent on to Pathways to Pella. Coats for Kids going on.

New Business – Potential Raffle for the Fish Fry. KC will provide meat for the December Christmas party with potluck to go along with it. Baby Bottle Drive possible next collection in May.

Good of the Order – Knight of the month – Shane Hart Family of the month – Corey & Olicia Blankenfeld Youth of the month – Sara Jacoby

 Prayer intentions – Mark Godar and the State Chaplin. Next month Christmas Party

  1. Adjournment:

Next meeting will be a Christmas party at the Rectory on December 21, 2023 at 6:30.  Shane Hart will send out the invites to the Parish Council, staff and Finance Council.  Wendy Kramer will do the opening prayer at the February 15, 2024 meeting. Scot Wilson led the closing prayer.  Refreshments of pumpkin bars made by Colette Wilson and cider were provided by Scot Wilson.


Respectfully submitted:  Darlene Doorenbos (recording secretary)