St. John the Baptist (SJB)
Parish Council (PC) Minutes
May 19, 2021
In Attendance: Fr. Mitchell Doyen, Deacon Dana Engelhardt, Kathleen Anger, Michelle Boehne, Marion Erwin, Donna Hawkins, Joan Lopez, Elizabeth Matoushek, Rosemarie Schelling, and Barbara Unger. William St. Clair was absent. Guests were Kathy Frank and Laura Tabachik, potential replacement members for Joan and Bill who are transitioning off the Council at the end of this meeting. To have a twelve-member Council, we could add one more member. For the sake of our guests, we went around the table and briefly introduced ourselves.
Opening Prayer: Barb led us in a prayer by St. Mother Theresa of Calcutta.
Approval of Minutes: The minutes of the April 21 meeting were distributed prior to the meeting for review. There were no comments, so the minutes were approved as written.
- Liturgy: At last Monday night’s meeting, Barb said the committee discussed the wearing of masks, and CDC and Archdiocesan pandemic guidance. The choir is back together and singing for Sunday liturgies. Eleven were consecrated to St. Joseph on May 1. Upcoming events include having a Baptism during the 10 am Mass on Pentecost. Everyone is encouraged to wear red. The monthly Anointing of the Sick will resume, starting on the last weekend in May. There will be a procession after the 10 am Mass on Corpus Christi. The three stations for Benediction have been selected.
- Finance: Donna said the committee has not met. Fr. Mitch said the emergency grant from the Archdiocese to pay for the gas line replacement was approved. The electronic sign board, funded by an anonymous donor, has been ordered and is to be shipped the second week in June. Fr. Mitch hopes it will be installed by the Feast of St. John the Baptist, when we are having an outdoor pizza and ice cream social after the 4 pm Mass on Saturday, June 26.
- Buildings: Elizabeth said the committee has not met; Fr. Mitch said it will meet in June. Elizabeth reported the warped asbestos floor tiles are being replaced as carefully as possible to avoid problems. Tuckpointing is the next big project. Rosemarie reported she had noticed cracks in the ceilings above the St. Joseph and Mary statues in Church. Elizabeth said this will be investigated.
- St. Vincent de Paul Society: Kathy reported 12 families were helped with utilities, 6 with mattresses and/or clothes, 1 with a mortgage payment, and 1 with funeral expenses. We are serving fewer families because there is currently more state aid available. We have received a $1000 donation from St. Clement’s and three carloads of food, which we shared with two local food pantries.
- Parish Missionary Disciples (PMD): Rosemarie reported the prayer box program is being expanded to include all residents (not just parishioners) on the blocks on which the Block Captains live.
- Pro Life: Elizabeth reported that Thom Pancella ordered half as many roses for Mother’s Day as last year. But they did not arrive until early Sunday morning, so there was no time to prepare them. Elizabeth apologized for the bedraggled appearance of the roses. However, donations covered the cost of the roses and more than enough to send Elizabeth to the Pro Life Convention in October.
- St. Francis Community Services: Rosemarie reported there is nothing new on their website.
- Billiken Teacher Corps: Fr. Mitch said all the student teachers were at last Sunday’s farewell Mass for the five who are graduating. There will be fourteen student teachers at SJB over the summer. Then four of them will move to Springfield IL in the fall.
- PSR: Fr. Mitch mentioned the last board meeting of the 2020-2021 school year is the first Monday in June. He also said he was inspired by and grateful for the good attendance of both students and teachers throughout the year.
Fr. Mitch shared a reflection on the upcoming Gospel for Pentecost: John 20: 10-23. Pentecost is the birthday of the Church; it is when the Triune God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — is revealed; and it is when we hear that repentance of sins leads to salvation. It is significant that Jesus says “Peace be with you” twice. We must have peace within us to be able hear and listen to God. If we do not forgive sins, God’s mercy will not flow.
Fr. Mitch plans to record a robocall detailing the relaxed pandemic restrictions. Masks are to be worn upon entering and leaving Church and when going forward to receive Holy Communion. Social distancing is to be continued, but masks do not need to be worn in the pews or outside. The Offertory procession of bread and wine – but not the donation basket — will be resumed.
- Laudato Si: The encyclical is available online, but Fr. Mitch volunteered to order some hard copies. We scheduled a workshop on Laudato Si for the leaders of our Church organizations for Saturday, October 9, starting with 8 am Mass and concluding by noon.
- Recycling: To be implemented by all Parish organizations after the above workshop. One recycling idea is to ban plastic bottles at all Parish meetings. Another is to use compostable utensils and dishes at all Parish events serving food.
- Reuse of the Fenced Playground in the Corner of the South Parking Lot: The wooden playground equipment was too dilapidated to be reused, but the metal bench was moved to near the West entrance to the Church. Someone suggested the area could be turned into a community garden with raised beds. The produce could be donated to a food pantry. This idea would have to be coordinated with the Garden Committee (Cindy Kveton, Phyllis Bilger, and Linda Yarnell). Brightside might be a resource for developing a garden. Someone else said the area may already be slated to be paved to enlarge the parking lot. It was noted that we have adequate parking at this time.
- PC: Meets at 7 pm on the third Wednesday of the month, August through May. No meetings in June and July.
- Donut Sundays: Normally held on the first Sunday of the month during the school year. Eddie’s delivers the donuts, which are ordered by Kathy A., who coordinates with whichever Parish organization is hosting the event that month. We hope to resume having donuts on the last Sunday in August in lieu of the first Sunday in September.
- Men’s Club BBQ: Dates in September, October, and November were discussed, but no decision was made.
- Women’s Quiet Retreat at King’s House in Belleville IL: Barb has registered about fifteen women for either September 24-26 or October 15-17. The latter weekend is fully booked unless pandemic capacity restrictions are lifted.
Closing Prayer: Elizabeth led us in a prayer, starting with “Lord of Day and Night.”
Next Meeting: August 18, 2021
Opening Prayer: Kathy A.
Closing Prayer: Deacon Dana
Refreshments: Anticipating that food restrictions will be lifted, Elizabeth volunteered to provide refreshments.