Special to The Message
The Diocese of Evansville’s newly reconstituted Diocesan Pastoral Council had its first meeting on Feb. 1 at the Catholic Center in Evansville. The DPC is an advisory group to Bishop Siegel, and is made up of three lay members from each deanery and one representative each from the priests, deacons, consecrated religious and young adults of the diocese. This gathering served as an orientation for the members.
Following Mass, Bishop Joseph M. Siegel opened the meeting by sharing his vision for the DPC. He mentioned that he feels it is providential that the DPC begins its work in the midst of the diocese’s 75th Anniversary celebration. Our jubilee has a focus on recalling our past, recognizing the blessings and challenges of the present, and looking to and planning for the future—all in the light of our faith in Jesus Christ. This focus, he believes, is at the heart of the work of the DPC.
The Bishop noted that the Council, like other consultative bodies in the Diocese, is to bring together a broad perspective on needs, concerns and plans that involve and impact the whole diocese. Rather than discussing issues of a specific parish, school, office or community, it will look to broader pastoral trends and possible areas of initiative. For that reason, the members of the Council represent a cross-section of the diocese, not just geographically; it is a diverse group of men and women representing various age groups, backgrounds, vocations and professions.
During the meeting, Diocesan Vice-Chancellor Dominic Faraone provided a presentation that explored the DPC Constitution and By-Laws. Diocesan Chancellor and COO Tim McGuire followed with a session reviewing the diocesan administrative and pastoral offices, consultative bodies to the Bishop and diocesan activities.
The meeting concluded with some final comments from the Bishop, an opportunity for a Q&A, and recommendations for future agenda items. The next meeting is scheduled for May 9.
Members of the Diocesan Pastoral Council include North Deanery: Jerry Price, St. Peter Parish, Linton; Grant Swartzentruber, Our Lady of Hope Parish; Charlotte Wilz, Our Lady of Hope Parish, Washington. South Deanery: Virginia Combs, St. Benedict Cathedral Parish, Evansville; Allen Hair, St. Benedict Cathedral Parish, Evansville; Patrick Wempe, Holy Rosary Parish, Evansville. East Deanery: Sue Brames, Divine Mercy Parish, St. Anthony; Richard Kempa, St. Bernard Parish, Rockport; Joy Seger, St. Joseph Parish, Jasper. West Deanery: Christine Hoehn, St. Francis Xavier Parish, Poseyville; Roger Johnson, Holy Cross Parish, Fort Branch; Stephanie Nellis, Saint Wendel Parish, Saint Wendel. Priest representative: Father Zach Etienne, Good Shepherd Parish, Evansville. Deacon representative: Deacon Chris Borowiecki, Holy Rosary Parish, Evansville. Consecrated Religious representative: Benedictine Sister Pat McGuire, Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand. Young Adult representative: Ellie Kiesel, St. James Parish, Haubstadt.