Pastoral Council



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    The Pastoral Council shares with the pastor and staff the leadership responsibilities of the parish. It interprets the Parish Mission Statement, assesses parish needs, formulates goals and pastoral plans for the parish, and evaluates parish programs and activities. Membership is open to all parishioners. The professional staff of the parish are also members of the Council.

    The Pastoral Council is organized into committees on which any member of the parish may serve.

    Current members of the Pastoral Council

    Joe Rolens, Chair

    Tim Kennedy, Secretary

    Gary Schmidt

    David Cooper

    Jane Schmidt

    Linda Medlock

    Sr. Mary Ellen Backes, OSU, Pastoral Associate & Director of RCIA

    Paul Johnson, Music Director

    Deacon Larry Day


    Pastoral Council Committees

    {slider title="Community Builders" open="false" class="icon"}

    The Community Builders Committee works to develop a spirit of Christian community within the parish. It promotes social (Coffee and Donut gatherings after the Sunday morning Masses on the 2nd Sunday of each month) and relational activities which will strengthen community bonds and tries to extend the hospitality of the parish to all members.


    Linda Hernandez-Renfro

    {slider title="Education Committee" class="icon"}

    "The Education Committee believes our primary purpose is to enrich the community in the ways of faith. The committee's focus is on faith enrichment in the context of the physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual needs of the whole person God created. The purpose of the committee is to coordinate, facilitate, and sponsor various life-enriching learning activities which address the needs of every age level."
    - Extracted from the Covenant of the Pastoral Council, Article VII, Committees

    The Education Committee attends to the continuing educational needs of the parish community, especially in the areas of adult religious education and faith development. The committee sponsors and coordinates courses, study groups, speakers, and programs which address these faith concerns and needs.

    The Education Committee has a new name!

    The Covenant of the Pastoral Council is a document which describes the mission and leadership structure of our Parish Council (similar to by-laws). This document also defines the mission and goals of each parish committee. According to the Covenant, the primary purpose of the Education Committee is to "enrich the community in ways of their faith." To more accurately reflect its mission to nurture our faith, the Education Committee has chosen a new name: Faith Enrichment Committee. This name change was officially approved by the Parish Council at its November meeting. From now on, you'll notice this change in the Parish Council listing in the front of the weekly bulletin.



    Members at large:


    From the Education Committee...

    Do you have a desire to grow in your faith, to deepen your personal relationship with God? Do you enjoy sharing your faith with others? Would you like to partner with others to enrich the faith of our parish? If you answered "Yes!" to any of these questions, then consider becoming a member of our parish's Education Committee!

    The primary mission of the Education Committee is to enrich the faith of our parish family. Over the years, we've attempted to do this in a variety of ways. We've coordinated several parish missions. We've worked with the Diocesan Office for Catechesis to implement many innovative programs including small church communities, JustFaith, Why Catholic? and Generations of Faith, to name a few. We also host the simple soup-suppers / reflection series offered weekly during Advent and Lent. During the coming year, we're considering ways we may deepen the parish's appreciation and understanding of the Holy Scriptures.

    Our mission is to serve YOU! Let us know what we can do to help you grow in your faith. If you have suggestions about future programs you'd like to see us offer, please let us know. Better yet, come join us and enrich not only your own faith, but the faith of the entire community! We can't do it without you!

    Please contact Karen Siciliano at 787-9561 or Sister Mary Ellen at 801-7922 for further information. Thank you!

    {slider title="Environmental Committee" class="icon"}

    Respect for creation is of immense consequence, not least because "creation is the beginning and the foundation of all God's works",[1] and its preservation has now become essential for the pacific coexistence of mankind. Man's inhumanity to man has given rise to numerous threats to peace and to authentic and integral human development - wars, international and regional conflicts, acts of terrorism, and violations of human rights. Yet no less troubling are the threats arising from the neglect - if not downright misuse - of the earth and the natural goods that God has given us. For this reason, it is imperative that mankind renew and strengthen "that covenant between human beings and the environment, which should mirror the creative love of God, from whom we come and towards whom we are journeying".[2]

    From Pope Benedict's World Day of Peace message, 2010

    We are pleased that St. Joseph's Parish Council is committed to Catholic Social Teaching and includes an environmental component in parish life. As a faithful Catholic community, we believe that families and parishes are responsible for the changes necessary to reduce energy use, thereby saving resources (both natural and financial) and honoring God's creation.


    We are called to be stewards of all the gifts God has given us. This includes taking care of the natural resources on our earth. In a time of economic and environmental challenges, we are called to actively seek ways to be stewards of these gifts.

    How much energy and other natural resources do we really use and how are they measured? The Alliance for Climate Action has designed a free website where you can measure your residential consumption.

    Another group - includes tips for any individual, business or organization.

    Check them out - surf the net - there are plenty of ideas for preserving all the resources God has gifted us with. Solidarity is the fruit of stewardship. And consider joining the Parish Environmental Council at our next meeting: please check calendar and bulletin for meeting dates and times. For more information, call Diane at 899-2743.



    Relevant links for more information

    And the best resource is to personally link yourself to deeper discernment through a trip to Jubilee Farm. The farm is an 111-acre center for ecology and spirituality. Programs and experiences are designed to help people understand our interdependent relationship to the whole of creation and learn how to live more sustainably with Earth. The labyrinth (an ancient symbol that can be traced back over 3,500 years; and the one replicated at Jubilee Farm is that which is embedded in the stone floor of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Chartres, France) and walking paths help us make the connection to our faith in a unique way, and increase our appreciation of this planet we call home.

    {slider title="Executive Committee" class="icon"}







    {slider title="Health Committee" class="icon"}

    Parish Nurse Ministry Mission Statement:

    We strive to fulfill the mission of St. Joseph Parish as we see each parishioner - their body, mind and soul - as a gift of God to be nurtured and strengthened for their journey here on Earth.

    St. Joseph Parish Health Committee

    Members of the Health Committee meet on a regular basis to collaborate on the health needs of the parish.

    Lucinda Buescher, MD Kathy Cory, RN Lois Jirgal, RN Beth Murphy, BA

    Sister Trudy O'Connor, MSN Doris Schaddel, RN Mary Thoele, RN, PNM

    Roles of the Parish Nurse

    As each parish is unique, so are its health care needs.

    As health educator: the Parish Nurse helps parishioners understand the connection between Catholic values, healthful attitudes, healthy lifestyle, spiritual faith and good health.

    As health counselor: the Parish Nurse discusses health concerns with individuals in home, hospital and nursing home visits as needed.

    As health care advocate: the Parish Nurse works with parishioners, their families and primary health resources to provide what is in the best interest of the whole person.

    As referral agent: the Parish Nurse assists parishioners and their families to locate resources needed to meet their holistic needs.

    Why Talk About Health Care At Church?

    Throughout the centuries, church communities have promoted health and wholeness through worship, music, prayer, sharing and caring. A specially trained registered nurse can offer a ministry of education for health and wellness to each interested parishioner for a fuller sense of wholeness through physical, emotional and spiritual care. With our aging parish population, a major focus of this ministry is support to parishioners and their families who have concerns about the varied medical and social issues facing our elders.

    What's new and healthy?

    These tips were shared at one of our Health Promotion displays during a blood pressure screening. We will update this section periodically. Watch for more great tips on keeping healthy!

    10 Essential Health Tips - (The Basics to Practice Every Day)

    "He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything." -Arabian Proverb

    1. Move More
    Make it a daily challenge to find ways to move your body. Climb stairs if given a choice between that and escalators or elevators. Walk your dog; chase your kids; toss balls with friends, mow the lawn. Anything that moves your limbs is not only a fitness tool, it's a stress buster. Think 'move' in small increments of time. It doesn't have to be an hour in the gym or a 45-minute aerobic dance class or tai chi or kickboxing. But that's great when you're up to it. Meanwhile, move more. Thought for the day: Cha, Cha, Cha.... Then do it!

    2. Cut Fat
    Avoid the obvious such as fried foods, burgers and other fatty meats (i.e. pork, bacon, ham, salami, ribs and sausage). Dairy products such as cheese, cottage cheese, milk and cream should be eaten in low fat versions. Nuts and sandwich meats, mayonnaise, margarine, butter and sauces should be eaten in limited amounts. Most are available in lower fat versions such as substitute butter, fat free cheeses and mayonnaise. Thought for the day: Lean, mean, fat-burning machine.... Then be one!

    3. Quit Smoking
    The jury is definitely in on this verdict. Ever since 1960 when the Surgeon General announced that smoking was harmful to your health, Americans have been reducing their use of tobacco products that kill. Just recently, we've seen a surge in smoking in adolescents and teens. Could it be the Hollywood influence? It seems the stars in every movie of late smoke cigarettes. Beware. Warn your children of the false romance or 'tough guy' stance of Hollywood smokers. Thought for the day: Give up just one cigarette.... the next one.

    4. Reduce Stress
    Easier said than done, stress busters come in many forms. Some techniques recommended by experts are to think positive thoughts. Spend 30 minutes a day doing something you like. (i.e.,Soak in a hot tub; walk on the beach or in a park; read a good book; visit a friend; play with your dog; listen to soothing music; watch a funny movie. Get a massage, a facial or a haircut. Meditate. Count to ten before losing your temper or getting aggravated. Avoid difficult people when possible. Thought for the day: When seeing red, think pink clouds....then float on them.

    5. Protect Yourself from Pollution
    If you can't live in a smog-free environment, at least avoid smoke-filled rooms, high traffic areas, breathing in highway fumes and exercising near busy thoroughfares. Exercise outside when the smog rating is low. Exercise indoors in air conditioning when air quality is good. Plant lots of shrubbery in your yard. It's a good pollution and dirt from the street deterrent. Thought for the day: 'Smoke gets in your eyes'...and your mouth, and your nose and your lungs as do pollutants....hum the tune daily.

    6. Wear Your Seat Belt
    Statistics show that seat belts add to longevity and help alleviate potential injuries in car crashes. Thought for the day: Buckle down and buckle up.

    7. Floss Your Teeth
    Recent studies make a direct connection between longevity and teeth flossing. Nobody knows exactly why. Perhaps it's because people who floss tend to be more health conscious than people who don't? Thought for the day: Floss and be your body's boss.

    8. Avoid Excessive Drinking
    While recent studies show a glass of wine or one drink a day (two for men) can help protect against heart disease, more than that can cause other health problems such as liver and kidney disease and cancer. Thought for the day: A jug of wine should last a long time.

    9. Keep a Positive Mental Outlook
    There's a definitive connection between living well and healthfully and having a cheerful outlook on life. Thought for the day: You can't be unhappy when you're smiling or singing.

    10. Choose Your Parents Well
    The link between genetics and health is a powerful one. But just because one or both of your parents died young in ill health doesn't mean you cannot counteract the genetic pool handed you. Thought for the day: Follow these basic tips for healthy living and you can better control your own destiny.

    Upcoming Events: Blood Pressure Screenings after Sunday masses

    The Health Committee chooses our monthly health promotion topics from this website:

    {slider title="Liturgy Committee" class="icon"}

    The Liturgy Committee's work focuses on the worship and prayer life of the parish. Members plan the liturgical seasons and celebrations, coordinate the ministerial roles and participation of parish members within the liturgy, attend to the environment within and without the Church building, and promote the continuing education of the parish concerning liturgical theology and practice.




    {slider title="Social Concerns Committee" class="icon"}

    This group strives to address the issues of social needs and concerns within the parish and in the larger community. It invites members of the parish to participate and to get involved in various activities and events. It also speaks in an advocacy role on behalf of the needy. The Social Concerns Committee strives to educate members of the parish about contemporary social issues. At times, the committee may represent the parish in the broader community.

    Chairperson: Matt Power, 217-415-3227 (cell),


    Upcoming Activities:


    Other Ongoing projects are: Kumler Outreach-3rd Tuesday of every other month, Helping Hands Outreach-3rd Wednesday of each month; Springfield Warming Center-November through March; additional partnership opportunities with Kumler Outreach Ministry in support of those in need in our parish and neighborhood as they arise.

    {slider title="Stewardship Committee" class="icon"}

    The task of the Stewardship Committee is to encourage and promote the good stewardship of parish resources. Committee members help to plan and coordinate the efforts of parish members by identifying the talent and treasure of the parish and soliciting the sharing of these gifts and talents for the well being of the entire community.


    Diane Best - (544-2814)