Our New Parish Pastoral Council – PPC
The purpose of the Parish Pastoral Council is to exercise shared responsibility for the pastoral life of the parish under the leadership of the pastor. The Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) meets monthly in open meetings and is charged with providing Fr. Carl with guidance and support in meeting the present and future goals and visions of the parish.
The PPC exists to:
- Assist the Pastor by making recommendations about major initiatives concerning St. Catherine of Siena – St. Lucy and St. Giles Parish’s financial health, maintenance and utilization of the campus, work of the ministries, parishioner satisfaction, and smooth parish operations;
- Ensure that needs and visions of parishioners are realized through a regular assessment of the short- and long-term parish needs and development of plans to meet goals;
- Build relationships within and beyond the St. Catherine of Siena – St. Lucy and St. Giles community through participation and active roles in ministries and committees so that the group can serve as the collective voice of parishioners.
The PPC is made up of parish volunteers who are chosen through a discernment process and agree to serve for a three-year term beginning in September of each year. The Council prayerfully engages the people and the pastor in common reflection about the parish’s mission and ministry. It plans and evaluates in light of the Gospel and church teaching – See information of our PPC Members below!
Latest Parish Pastoral Council Update – October 1, 2023
Several years ago, the Chicago Archdiocese embarked upon the Renew My Church journey. In part, the journey was prompted by the fact that fewer people were attending Mass and fewer vocations to the priesthood. We have made some difficult decisions along the way, which led to the unification of the Oak Park Catholic churches into two newly formed parishes, and we have now embarked on the second leg of the journey. We are now working on Building a New Reality.
Fr. Carl has pointed out that in Building a New Reality, we are coming together in ways that support our mission to support one another in living and growing our faith. We are also bringing others to come to know Jesus. One of the first tasks in that mission was forming new Parish Pastoral Councils for each parish.
The Parish Pastoral Council of the unified St. Catherine of Siena-St. Lucy, St. Giles, and the St. Giles Family Mass Community was appointed and has met twice since. On August 14, the council members identified a primary goal of supporting and promoting a vision for hospitality and bringing people together. As we move from maintaining our faith to living it with a mission, our focus is on welcoming all who come to church in our unified parish. Our measure of success is that all feel welcome and at home here. As a first step, the Parish Pastoral Council hosted Mix and Mingle hospitality following each Mass the weekend of September 9-10 at both worship sites. It was a wonderful opportunity for continued conversation on the unification process. The Parish Pastoral Council has decided to meet on the third Monday of every month.
On September 18, the first item on the agenda was a discussion of the things that we are hearing from our parishioners. Included in this “News from the Pews:” some parishioners shared a feeling that many of the changes taking place involve Masses and activities being discontinued at St. Catherine-St. Lucy, with nothing being added to replace them. Others pointed out that they might be more likely to attend Mass at the another church location if the Mass times were more staggered. Two things that distinguish St. Catherine-St. Lucy are the Praise Choir and the Lead Me, Guide Me worship missals (geared towards African-American Catholics), both of which are being under-used. The administrative cost of all sacraments has increased. A lot of parishioners want to be involved, and they want more transparency. There was an additional suggestion that parishioners wear name tags as we continue to get to know one another. The unified Parish Pastoral Council is in its infancy and feeling its way; however, we would like parishioners to know that they can expect at least a monthly article in our bulletin following each meeting.
Fr. Carl reported that Information Sharing Sessions have been planned and are being held to discuss the feasibility of repurposing the unused Rectory space at St. Catherine-St. Lucy as a base for social ministry outreach to the residents of Austin. This has been termed the “evangelization” component of Renew My Church – drawing people to the faith through service. The Feasibility Study Team has invested countless hours in an effort to identify the unmet needs of Austin and the extended West Side of Chicago. These efforts were recognized in a positive article in the Wednesday Journal. They are also looking to reach out to a larger audience for fundraising to avoid putting all the financial burden on the parishioners. The Praise Choir is currently scheduled to sing at Mass at both St. Catherine-St. Lucy and at St. Giles worship sites. Recognizing the request for more transparency, updated social media pages can be developed.
The Parish Pastoral Council has a liaison on the Finance Committee, through which we learned that the fiscal year ends in June. St. Giles ended in a deficit last year and looks like it could this year, too. In general, while unexpected expenses do occur, St. Giles maintains its campus with a capital plan. St. Catherine-St. Lucy breaks even with help from benefactors, but long-term projects are not in the budget. The other Oak Park churches also do not have long-term maintenance budgets. It is foreseeable that the community will need to make some hard decisions in the near future.
Following the September 9-10 hospitality weekend, the Parish Pastoral Council determined that these opportunities of welcoming need to continue. We will continue to use these Mix and Mingle events to get to know one another better and to facilitate greater communication and awareness. Some ideas to make this happen are to ask everyone to wear name tags, provide a Q & A table, mount a QR code to a form so parishioners can ask questions and send comments using their phones, and to highlight the parish ministries. The next hospitality weekend for St. Catherine St. Lucy and St. Giles will be October 14-15. St. Giles Family Mass Community will continue celebrating Hospitality Sunday on the first Sunday of each month.
The next Parish Council meeting is scheduled for October 25, when we will meet with a representative from the Archdiocese.
Meet Our Parish Pastoral Council Members
One of the jobs of PPC members is to attend ministry/committee meetings to enhance communication between and among the various ministries and initiatives. The PPC also seeks to get feedback from parishioners in the pews who may not be active in various aspects of parish life. So if you have any questions or ideas you wish to share, please don’t hesitate to stop one of us after Mass or at a parish function. The following are the new PPC Members:
Sandy Blake – Sandy Blake is a graduate of St. Giles School, and is an almost lifelong parishioner. She helped bring the innovative Theology on Tap to St. Giles and assisted in founding the Ministry of Care. She has been involved in music ministry, is a past president of CCW and currently serves as a lector, greeter and Eucharistic minister.
Sandy attended Clarke College (now University) where she double-majored in Spanish and Bilingual Journalism, spending her junior year in Madrid, Spain. She worked as an editor of the monthly magazine published by Lions Clubs International while attending Loyola University Chicago School of Law part time. She served as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Cook County for 14 years, concentrating on criminal prosecution, investigation of cases of child sexual abuse, and drug treatment courts. She then worked as a staff attorney for Life Span, where she represented battered women in a full range of family law matters in civil court. Most recently, she serves an Assistant Public Defender in Kane County, where she represents patients in approximately 200 civil mental health petitions annually, including commitment and forced medication petitions.
Maudette Carr – I grew up on the westside of Chicago in North Lawndale, only child of two parents who were Baptist who felt the best education for me was to attend Catholic school. As a result, I fell in love with the teachings of the church and was baptized Catholic at the age of 7 and have been involved in the church ever since. I have been a parishioner of St. Giles since 2012, very involved in many capacities. Prior to being a member of St. Giles, I was a member at St. Catherine-St. Lucy parish. Now that we are a unified parish it has brought me full circle.
I have been a Social Worker for over 30 years, earning a BA and Master of Social Work from Loyola University Chicago. In my early career, I worked with children and families. Since that time, I’ve worked in Hospice and Palliative Care and have found it to not be just a “job” but a ministry where it has been the most rewarding and meaningful work I’ve ever done in my career.
In 2019 I became a Sinsinawa Dominican Associate, a second calling that has allowed me to follow in the Dominican charism and that has provided me with many opportunities to deepen my relationship with other Sisters and Associates while growing in the Dominican tradition. Faith has been such an important part of my life and St. Giles has been at the center of it.
I love to read, dance, theatre, and listen to music. Gospel, Motown, contemporary Jazz are among my favorite genres of music, not to mention, anything by Barbra Streisand!
Lynne DesLauriers – I’ve lived in Oak Park since 2005. My career is in teaching and I love it. I taught in Maywood for a few years and now I teach in South Berwyn. I have been active at both St. Edmund and St. Catherine-St. Lucy, and I look with hope to working in our newly created parish. I have a twin sister (Andrea Legatzke) who is an active member of our parish, so you may feel like you see me around a lot.
Miles Jackson – I spent a year on the St. Catherine-St. Lucy Parish Pastoral Council in 2008. I’ve been an active member of the parish for twenty years. My background in higher education has given me the understanding and patience to be a resource for our parish community on its journey of faith and growth.
I enjoy golfing, listening to live music, playing Texas Holdem’ with neighbors, and reading books of encouragement in my free time. My most recent book read was Living the Psalms by Charles Swindoll.
Last year I was gifted a StoryWorth account https://welcome.storyworth.com/ from my daughters. I received prompts that inspired me to write, and at the end of June 2023 my stories were bound into a keepsake book that I could share with my family.
My wife, Cheryl, and I have been residents of Oak Park for 28 years. Our twin daughters are Skylar and Sydney. Sydney is studying for her LSAT and Skylar has one more year to complete her Master’s Degree in Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Kimberly McGuire – Kim and her husband John joined St. Catherine-St. Lucy Parish in 1989. Through the years she has served on the Parish Pastoral Council, taught Religious Education, ministered as a lector and Eucharistic minister, pitched in on many fund-raising efforts, and partnered with Faith & Fellowship. After graduating from Knox College, Kim worked as a writer, editor, high school English teacher, and full-time mom to now-grown Joshua, Madeline, and Grace. For the last 16 years Kim has worked in public libraries focusing on children, families, and early literacy and is currently a Youth Services Outreach Specialist at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library. She is a Master Naturalist and can often be found volunteering in the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Serving on the Parish Council affords Kim an opportunity to listen and learn while supporting the New Life of our parish.
Kevin Morgan – I’ve been married to my wife Marci for 35 years, and we have 2 sons: Kevin Jr. (age 30) and Kyle (age 26). I operate a small trucking company that is contracted with FedEx. I have been a parishioner at St. Catherine-St. Lucy for the past 10 years, and I’m currently serving as a Deacon for St. Catherine-St Lucy and St. Giles Parish.
Kathie Nash – I have been a member of the St. Giles Family Mass Community for 46 years. When I stepped into that upper room gym for my first liturgy, I knew in an instant that I had found a church home for my young family. Over the years I have grown spiritually, enjoyed many deep friendships and participated in most ministries; as a catechist, liturgy coordinator, member of the Pastoral Team, homilist and treasure hunt planner to name a few.
I’ve been thinking about what gifts I might bring to this new Parish Council. I have worked with and led teams throughout my four-decade long career as hospice nurse and administrator. I rarely make important decisions without praying for guidance. I know this group must be Spirit led.
As we build our unique Oak Park Catholic Community, I can bring some ideas to create enduring structures for processes, decision-making, outreach, and communication that are more synodal (lay-based) than hierarchical. I believe we all have a piece of the wisdom, no one person has it all.
Bob Roscoe – Bob and his wife, Linda, have lived in Oak Park and have been St. Giles parishioners for over 30 years. Their daughter, Veronica, is a graduate of St. Giles school and Fenwick, and was recently married at St. Giles. Bob received his bachelor’s degree from DePaul University, and an MBA from Benedictine University. He works in the commercial real estate industry.
Bob has served on the Parish Pastoral Council and Finance Committee at St. Giles in the past and looks forward to serving again as St. Catherine-St. Lucy and St. Giles builds towards the future.
Maria Samatas – My family and I have been St. Giles parishioners since 2012. My husband Bill and I live in Elmwood Park and have three adult children. I have been actively involved in several ministries over the years: I have served as a member of the Liturgical Ministry as a Eucharistic Minister and as a Lector; I have served as a member of the Parish Pastoral Counsel for several years; and I have volunteered as an assistant for Family Religious Ed. I have the pleasure of serving as the head of the St. Giles Hospitality Ministry, and I continue to enjoy facilitating the Wednesday Night Bible Study group which I co-founded with Alex Ryan several years ago.
Bob Wielgos – I have been a member of St. Giles since 1998 through the Family Mass Community. My wife Maura and I raised our two sons in the church. I taught in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for seven years, served on the Coordinating Board for three years and I took three trips with the Appalachian Service Project. In my professional life, I am a self-employed executive coach and I help leaders in large companies improve their skills in leadership and teamwork. Maura and I love to travel and we recently returned from a week in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Our next trip is to Liverpool, England to see a Premier League soccer game and to visit every Beatles’ tourist sight we can find.