Pastoral Council Minutes 2021


Carbondale and Simpson Area

Pastoral Council Meeting Agenda

Tuesday, April 20, 2021 6:30 PM

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Center


present: Fr. Walsh; Michele Bannon; Eileen Auiar, Kathy Yaklic, Sr. Jane Connolly; Paul Clark; Michael Boris; Fr. Miller; Deacon Pat Massino; Rich Mroczka; Art Hanna; Bob Tomaine; Joe Carachilo




Absent: Tom Didato


  1. Opening Prayer and Reflection: Kathy


  1. House Keeping

Volunteer for bulletin announcement:           Mark                                      

May Prayer: Sr. Jane 


III        New Business / Old Business


Parish Council Membership (transition issues): Fr. Walsh - Proposal - Person leaving council nominate a replacement. Plus pool suggestions for diversity:

SR: Anthony Kuchmanich or Jacob; Nicole Rosar

OLMC:  Marcy Clister Brown;

June meeting will be a transitional meeting

Deadline for nominations  will be May 11

Rich and Joe are remaining members all others who are not “ex officio” will nominate


OLMC Feast Planning update: 3 meetings to date. Take out only proposed. Risks with costs. Grounds clean up. etc. Raffle $50 ticket, Golf Tournament June 19, Statue, food as take out June 1 is decision date on format. Modified version seems to be the current consensus.  Two other meals, one in August, one in September.


OLMC Wall project update: Contractor delayed by rain with getting to the project. Money is in place.


St. Rose Restoration project update:  Scaffolding going up presently. $3,000 short of the $850,000. Should be completed by July. Steps are almost completed. Minor additional repairs. Might need another $50,000 to blend the new work with the existing structure to repair the façade.


Religious Education update (Confirmation – Wednesday May 5 with Bishop Bambera;  May Crowning – this year at SR May 8 Saturday 4:00;   First Holy Communion 14 children Saturday 29 and Sunday May 30;  End of Year review – meeting May 24, 6:00 to plan for next year, Teachers have been phenomenal this past year):

May 23 and 26 for next confirmation parents’ meeting.

July & August registration for next year’s classes. 3 plans in person, 3 foot distancing or 6 foot distancing depending on CDC guidelines. Talk of looking for donors for smart TV’s for the classrooms to use “formed” as desired or other video presentations.


Memorial Day Cemetery Mass: Will continue outdoors OMS cemetery. In front of chapel.


St. Rose "Back on Track" Raffle Tickets: to help with deficit in budget. $700 mailing expense. 2 - $25 dollar tickets per family. Livestreamed drawing at the train station.


Grotto clean-up project: was cleaned up by Shade Tree Commission. No cost to the parish. Beautifully done.


New Cemetery Supervisor: Brad Saul to replace the late Rich Whitelavich who died from covid. Summer help will be added in addition to regular staff.


Feedback on new "Formed" media initiative: positive feedback. Similar to Netflix in format. Will continue to promote.


  1. Pastor Discussion: Next meeting discuss Article by John Allen “A Virus Leaves Its Mark”


VII.     Closing Prayer                                                                                    3 Minutes           

                                                                                                                                                Father Jeff

                                                                                                                                                Father Kevin


NEXT MEETING:     May 18, 2021, Our Lady of Mount Carmel



March 2021 Minutes:


 Old Business                                    50 Minutes

  1. Parish Council Membership review:  We discussed the members who have expiring terms.  Currently Joe C. and Rich M. are the sole members not termed off.  Father Jeff asked for a copy of the bi-laws.  The Council discussed discernment for new members and the amount of members from each parish.  In the past the Council maintained 11 members.  With this new discernment process, we are expected to have a total of 7 members.  The bi-laws discuss the ratio.   
  2. Review of Lent/Holy Week/Easter schedule:  Father Walsh reviewed the various opportunities our parishes can enjoy during lent.  Further, Father noted that reservations will be needed for Psalm Sunday and Easter Sunday masses.  
  3. Parish life, where do we go from here?  We had a spirited conversation on continuing live streaming.  We also discussed bringing everyone back when restrictions are lifted.  The Council had various ideas and input on accomplishing these goals.  Main ideas and concepts included invitations, education, and workability.
  4. Religious Education update:  Kathy provided the Council with an update on the Religious Education Program and the administration of sacraments to the children. 
  5. OLMC Feast planning:  Father discussed the concept of rolling out the Feast in a “Take-Out” fashion.  The Committee has met and plans are in action. 
  6. Stewardship/Fundraising:  Father Kevin provided the Council with an outline of all the concepts from the Stewardship Committee.  To name a few:  Retreats, Fundraising, joining together in our faith, and partnering with other established functions within the City.  Father Kevin can provide a more comprehensive account of the work of the Committee if needed.
  7. Diocesan Annual Appeal update  Father Walsh discussed the status of each parish along with the percentage of our goal attained.  He encouraged the Council Members to share ideas to reach same. 
  8. St. Rose Restoration Project update  The campaign is near completion.  Hoping to wrap up the fund raising portion by April 1st. Stairs should be completed shortly and the scaffolding should be erected in the near future.
  9. Community Meal update:  Currently we are serving roughly 140 meals every Thursday.  St. Francis delivers meals to the four high rises after they are assembled in St. Rose kitchen.  Currently we are looking at a date to begin opening the doors for on-site meal service.
  10. FORMED:  Father Jeff discussed introducing the concept into our parish; simply explained the content is similar to the NETFLIX of Catholic Material.  The Salko Family contributed half of the cost, a benefactor contributed a portion and a $250 cost was split between the parishes.  Father would like to launch the project on April 12th


Pastoral Council meeting Summary, May 18, 2021

Present: Co-Chair Michele M. Bannon,Co-Chair Bob Tomaine, Eileen Aguiar, Joseph Carachilo, Art Hanna, Rich Mroczka – Present Pam Bifano – Present Jacob Kutchmanich – Present Erin McGrady, Father Jeff Walsh, Father Kevin Miller, Deacon Pat Massino, Sister Jane Connolly, Sister Ann McLaughlin,t Kathy Yaklick

Excused: Becky Tolerico, Mark Ignatovich

Absent: Paul Clark, Thomas Didato


  1. Parish Council Membership Transition: 1. Welcome New Members: Pam Bifano, Jacob Kutchmanich, Erin McGrady, and Becky Tolerico. 2. Farewell/Thanks to Departing Members): Eileen Aguiar, Michele Bannon, Paul Clark, Tom Didato, Art Hanna, and Bob Tomaine
  2. Review and implementation of new state/diocesan COVID-19 policy/guidance: Father Walsh reviewed the information from the chancery relative to new protocols. A full outline of the plan can be found in the upcoming bulletin. Father requested information relative to how our parishioners are reacting. Art discussed some comments he received. Kathy discussed how the new protocols will affect religious education in the Fall.
  3. Update on St. Rose Restoration Project: Father indicated that the Engineer was able to gain access to the interior of the tower. A main beam is in dire need of repair. This will have an impact on the budget. Further, Father discussed a Special Meeting of the Finance Committee. The Committee made a recommendation to transfer $60 from savings to assist with the overages on the project. Father Jeff would like to acknowledge the financial fortitude of our St. Michael’s community.
  4. Update on OLMC Feast – Raffle / Golf Tournament / Chicken BBQ:

Father indicated that ticket sales are around 240 as of today; Joe C. indicated that he has 16 gifts, 16 holes sold and 10 teams registered for the Golf Tournament; the Chicken BBQ will be held at the Moxi Club with tickets selling fast. Father also noted that the Statue will be on display for the entire weekend.

  1. Update on Saint Rose Back on Track; Raffle: Father indicated we have $20,000 in profit as of this point. The project is going very well and everything is on course.
  2. Review of Seminarian Mike Boris’ Pastoral Year: The Pastoral Council discussed the blessing of Mike Boris for the past year. Father discussed how this year benefited Mike and the structure of his future.
  3. Report on Diocesan Blueprint Process: Father discussed the Bishop’s desire to revisit the inception of the process. The Pastoral Council initiated conversation at the onset of the pandemic. At that time the Council discussed assembling the members of our deanery and coordinating a meeting. Father would like to approach the issue organically. Further, Father will reflect further and report to the Council on his thoughts in the future. Father Kevin shared the member churches of our Deanery.
  4. Update on Religious Education – Events / Future Planning: Kathy discussed the status of the sacraments. We enjoyed the confirmation of 24 young adults at St. Rose of Lima by the Most Reverend Bishop Joseph Bambara. 22 children received their First Holy Communion and celebrated the May Crowing at St. Rose. Meeting for 2022 Confirmation Class will be conducted within the upcoming weeks. The confirmation students will need service hours. This has been a challenge over the past couple years. There is a concern for utilizing child volunteers without having certifications. Kathy further discussed the Covid 19 protocols for the upcoming school year. The CCD Program could use two additional smart TVs. The Council Members will reach out to their networks to secure same. Finally, Kathy discussed creating a study to track children from Baptism to school age. Children and families are falling through the cracks.
  5. Update on Community Meal: Sister Jane informed the Council that we are serving roughly 160 meals per week through the Community Meal program. The majority of the meals are being distributed to the four senior housing facilities with the partnership if St. Francis Kitchen and the Carbondale Housing Authority. The program will be expanding into Olyphant in the coming weeks as well.
  6. Summer 2021: Father discussed the need to have a meeting in June. The Council feels that it would be appropriate. Rich would like to know who is going to manage the logistical aspects of the meeting. Michele explained that Father or the Council choose a chair from St. Rose and Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The Chairs normally orchestrate the logistics.
  7. Farwell: Father Jeff thanked the outgoing Pastoral Council Members for their service. The outgoing members were thankful for the opportunity to serve.
  8. Next Meeting: The next regular meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 15, 2021

at Our Lady of Mount Carmel at 6:30 PM.

Respectfully Prepared By:

Michele M. Bannon, Co-Chair


Carbondale and Simpson Area

Pastoral Council Meeting Agenda

Tuesday, June 15, 2021 6:30 PM

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Center


In attendance: Fr. Walsh, Fr. Miller, Erin McGrady, Eileen Aquiar, Deacon Pat Massino, Kathy Yaklick, Sr. Ann McLaughlin, St. Jane Connolly, Pam Bifano, Kevin Earyes, Joe Carachilo, Becky Tolerico, Jacob Kutchmanich




Absent: Rich Mroczka



  1. Opening Prayer and Reflection             Sr. Ann


  1. House Keeping                      we welcomed 5 new members to the council this evening.


Next Meeting Prayer (September) Eileen Aguiar


III        New Business / Old Business                                                 50 Minutes


terms of service discussion 3 year terms proposed


Election of Officers

Co-chairs format both parishes

St. Rose – Erin McGrady

OLMC – Becky Tolerico


we need one more parishioner from OLMC to complete membership Joe Carachilo will contact Tom Didato and work on this


Blueprint Process (ongoing discussion) – There are 3 parishes presently open for new pastor.

The process is looking at practical issues on keeping parishes going and will assist in diocesan pastoral planning. Within 9 years there will be about 48 available pastors. Today there are 90. This will mean a 50 percent reduction. At least 3 new parishes will be sharing one pastor this year. Bishop has to manage with what resources are available but will get input from the local level.

People need to be made aware of the numbers.

Publish deanery info. Parish statistics.

People need to see parish as more than buildings.

Would a town hall meeting be helpful? Not about closure but about the future of our parishes, deanery and diocese. Meeting will take place in the Fall. After September meeting.

Our Deanery consists of:

Christ the King - Archbald

OLMC SR – Carbondale

Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary-Jermyn

St. Katherine Drexyl -Pleasant Mount, Ascension – Forest City

Sacred Heart of Jesus - Peckville

St. John, St. Martin, St. Lawrence - 3 Churches Susquehanna County

Queen of Angels - Jessup


“Post-Pandemic” Planning – Liturgy Acolytes are returning. Still no plan for congregational music. Many things are still CDC dependent. Should we continue live streaming for shut ins after obligation to attend Mass is restored? Bishops meeting to address celebration of the eucharist. Mark Ruddy has been a tremendous volunteer in streaming our Masses. We will continue it for at least a period of time.

Topics for promoting the eucharist and evangelization were discussed. Discussion on getting people back to church and families to attend.


SR Restoration – work progressing. Significant repairs were needed inside the belfry. Probably will add two weeks to the project. Blue stone masonry is being repaired. Metal sheeting is being completed. Closer to $950,000 when completed. Had to dip into savings to fully fund the project. Including the entire façade.


OLMC Wall Project Updates – Should see work beginning in June with the stucco work. Contractor is at fault for the delay.


  1. Pastor Discussion

Religious Ed. calendar forthcoming soon for the coming year.

July collections by ushers will resume.

Property lines at feast grounds were brought into question. This will need to be addressed.


VII.     Closing Prayer             Father Kevin


NEXT MEETING:     September 21, Our Lady of Mount Carmel



Carbondale and Simpson Area

Pastoral Council Meeting Agenda

Wednesday, September 15, 2021 6:30 PM

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Center


In attendance: Fr. Walsh, Fr. Lakra, Erin McGrady, Eileen Aguiar, Deacon Pat Massino, Kathy Yaklic, Sr. Jane Connolly, Pam Bifano, Becky Tolerico, Jacob Kutchmanich ,Rich Mroczka, Joe Carachilo,


Excused: Sr. Ann McLaughlin,


Absent: Kevin Earyes,



  1. Opening Prayer and Reflection 5 Minutes


  1. House Keeping 5 Minutes


  1. Next Meeting Prayer: Pam Bifano


III New Business / Old Business 50 Minutes


  1. Discussion of Town Hall Meeting


October 14 OLMC  6:00 p.m.

October 21 SR  6:00 p.m.

meeting will take place in church Halls

get input on planning the future as part of the blue print process of the diocese of Scranton

purpose to provide information and receive feedback

parish statistics will be presented from 2010-present

finances, funerals, weddings, baptisms, weekly Mass attendance, parish size etc.

Deanery statistics and geography

suggestion was made to have a representative of the diocese present

PowerPoint presentation format - style was proposed



  1. Blueprint Process (ongoing discussion)


see above


  1. Ongoing Evaluation of Pandemic Protocols

Discussion of how adaptations have been made and applied in the religious education program

recommendation was made to hold off choir for another month


  1. SR Restoration / OLMC Wall Project Updates

Projects are now almost complete

SR $1,060,000 cost SR $885,000 raised. Working on raising the remainder that had to be borrowed from the diocese.  Monthly envelope in the parish envelopes to reduce the debt was proposed.

restoration work was better than expectations

OLMC wall project was delayed due to contractor. New contractor was hired to complete the project.  Drain holes need to be worked on yet. Sale of property paid the cost of repair.

Handrail, signage and seal coat needs to be completed


  1. Fundraising

fundraisers have been successful

including the chicken BBQ

Golf Tournament

Soireé is coming up next (9/17)

Spaghetti supper follows (10/6,7)

preparation is well underway for these events

Camino is being planned (10/9)

Fr. Walsh proposed a New Year’s Eve party


  1. New Business?


  1. Pastor Discussion

Holy Name is planning the First Responder’s Mass and Breakfast (9/29) SM


Religious Ed report

most students are in-person,

due to late registrations and choice, some children are being homeschooled

118 children enrolled

October 10, there will be an Open-House for people to tour the center

all children are encouraged to come to Mass regardless


Finance council meeting next week


VII. Closing Prayer 3 Minutes

Father Walsh

Father Lakra

NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, October 20, 2021


Carbondale and Simpson Area

Pastoral Council Meeting Agenda

Wednesday, October 20, 2021 6:30 PM

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Center


In attendance: Fr. Walsh, Fr. Lakra, Erin McGrady, Deacon Pat Massino, Kathy Yaklic, Sr. Jane Connolly, Pam Bifano, Becky Tolerico, Kevin Earyes, Eileen Aguiar,


Excused: Rich Mroczka, Sr. Ann McLaughlin


Absent: Jacob Kutchmanich, Joe Carachilo,



  1. Opening Prayer and Reflection 5 Minutes


Next Meeting Prayer Volunteer:  Kathy Yaklic


  1. New Business / Old Business 50 Minutes


  1. Approval of Minutes – corrections made to Aguiar and Fr. Lakra, Yaklic


  1. Review of OLMC Town Hall Meeting

A little contentious unnecessarily

Pastor blamed for inherited situations

better communication seems to be what is needed

this forum is the best way to air things out

things are far from ideal but this is the reality of the way things are in the diocese regarding linked parishes

will people ever get along? yes, but it may take decades especially in deeply rooted parishes

Ann Marie Cawley can serve as a Diocesan representative to assist – or should it be someone from outside the diocese?

Planning on an ongoing town hall forum

financial Sunday may be helpful – Stewardship Sunday? Sharing of Time, Talent and Treasure

During Lent perhaps – maybe the Second Sunday of Lent

Envelopes – some people may not be getting envelopes

Need to check with the way the address is listed on the envelope

Perhaps need to follow up  in the bulletin perhaps

Mass Schedule – big issue at the meeting… people are regimented… Dark during winter months…  No change in attendance when there was a summer schedule

Mass schedule was designed so that Religious Education was the center and also so that one priest could cover the entire Mass schedule if necessary

Seemed like only four or five people spoke at the meeting – do they speak for everyone

It is one thing to look at what happened but we must also be able to look ahead

grief and fear perhaps led to many rude comments that were made at the townhall

this can be negative or destructive, not constructive

St. Michael’s ex. people were grateful to have Mass schedule (We are going to fight for our church, not like the dumb Polaks in Simpson…) They did not want the children from St. Rose helping at the recent spaghetti supper…

We need to reach younger generations to make change moving forward

People do not feel welcome

Some of the linkage that should have happened did not happen

Masses are available – people can go when they want

We are all catholic – we need to do more things together

we need to keep the long view in mind – it is inevitable -


  1. Prep for St. Rose Town Hall Meeting

same format power point as OLMC with different statistics

restoration can be discussed – still in need of money


  1. Upcoming Parish/Diocesan Events

Men’s Conference October 30

Diocesan Annual Appeal

Ask everyone to give something.. even if it’s $10 or $25


  1. Christmas Mass Schedule

no vigil Masses for Sunday because Christmas Day is Saturday

4:00 SR (Living Nativity)

5:30 OLMC

Midnight SM

9:00 SR

11:15 OLMC


New Year’s Eve

4:00 SR

5:30 OLMC


7:30 SR

9:00 SM

11:15 OLMC


  1. New Business

New Year’s Eve Party – DJ – time to form a committee

Forest City to Uniondale – family bike ride in the spring

or a hike

Tinsel trail – sponsor an OLMC-SR tree – joint committee

Christmas Caroling – outside nursing homes – Deacon Pat

Gift of Faith Stress ball – with the four pillars – OLMC-SR $10

t-shirts for camino participants need to be made


III. Closing Prayer 5 Minutes

Father Walsh

Father Arun


NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, November 17, 2021 6:30PM (LOCATION?) Saint Rose