A Note From Fr. Timothy
The Role of Trustees
A pastor assigned to a parish is entrusted by the bishop with the pastoral care of the community. “Pastoral care” covers a lot of different things – more than just the spiritual or sacramental needs of the people. Caring for the corporation of the parish and seeing to its temporal needs is also an important aspect of that role.
Obviously, no priest (or even group of priests) could ever meet all those obligations and tasks on his own. A pastor relies on many volunteers to work together in caring for the needs of the community. In spiritual areas, volunteers offer to form things like prayer lines and befrienders to pray for and with others in their struggles. In liturgy, volunteers help make the Mass and sacraments beautiful expressions of faith and devotion. And in temporal matters, volunteers are needed to advise and oversee the physical goods of the parish.
Trustees, specifically, are parishioners elected to serve as a member of the Parish Corporate Board of Directors to care for the corporate well-being of the parish. They work with the finance council members and the pastor to assure that the parish is solid and strong, and will be able to operate into the foreseeable future. Often this includes matters of property and facilities, as well as things like health and any legal matters that may arise.
Each parish has two lay-trustees on the corporate board. Though many parishes have their own bylaws and requirements, trustees are not required to have terms of three or five years. They are usually chosen to serve as they are able for a period that should not exceed ten consecutive years.
New Trustee at St. Michael
At St. Michael, we are welcoming a new trustee, Mr. Joseph Schug, who will join Mrs. Renee Jarnot in the role. Joe and his wife Laura have been parishioners at St. Michael for many years and involved in parish life throughout that time – he even served as president of the pastoral council for a while.
We also should express our gratitude to the outgoing trustee, Mr. Paul Brixius, who graciously agreed to serve well beyond ten years on an exemption to help see our parish through several transitions. His commitment and care for the parish and the community were always evident to me throughout those years of kind and compassionate service. Thank you.
Along with the pastor and other members of the pastoral and finance councils, trustees are an important part of parish leadership and should also be part of the “face of the parish.” I recommend that you get to know your parish leadership. Pray for them (by name if you can) and that they might make wise decisions. They are the men and women to whom you can address concerns or share ideas, so establishing a rapport can be a good idea. We want everyone to feel comfortable in sharing their voice in the parish. Each of us has a leadership role in living the faith.
Fr. Timothy Gapinski