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Present: Tom Mullooly, Jack Kirnan, Lisa Cole, Connie Duffy, Monsignor Arnister, Roman Hnat, Kathleen Martin, Michael Callahan, Ed Bonnano, Mary Jo Capco, Pam King, Maryann Trez,

Excused: Fr. Damian, Fr. Dean Gaudio, Monsignor Flynn, Deacon John Wedemeyer, Stanley Ciemniecki, Connie Mertens, Janice Cunningham, Jim Parry,  Gary Engelstad, Maria Valdez-Tamayo, Jessica Jarmer, Bob Shafer, Cindy Wagner, Kathleen Bellezza

Roll Call: The meeting was called to order at 7:05pm.

Opening Prayer: Our group opened the meeting with a prayer.

Discussion and Review of Agenda Items for the Meeting:

  • Tom reviewed our plans for the Mass at the Gazebo on September 8th at 10am and referenced a spreadsheet detailing our progress to date. 
    • Dawn from St. Mark’s will organize the music and prayers for the program. Tom will be reaching out to the respective Music Directors to schedule a meeting. We will also ask the Pastors of St Denis and Holy Innocents if they would like to participate in the event.  
    • Lisa Cole will lay out the Program for the Mass using Publisher and John Patrick has offered to publish the Program for $650 which assumes 1,000 copies for a likely 16 page document. The sales representative from John Patrick will be reaching out to a list of advertisers to see if they would like to participate in the Program. Lisa also prepared a Flyer for the Gazebo event to include as an insert to our parish bulletins. We will also advertise the event through the Coast Star, The Monitor, Catholic radio, all parish social media, bulletins, and websites, as well as the gatheredasone website.  Mike Callahan has offered to reach out to Bob Dougherty of St. Catharine School and Mr. Gaudio of St. Rose Grammar School.  
    • Monsignor Arnister mentioned that the A&S sound company will be doing the sound system for the event. We will also use the Banner from the 2017 Mass and Jersey Shore Florist will supply the flowers again. We have also secured a truck to move the furniture for the event with students from St. Rose High School to help with setup hopefully on the Saturday night before the event. Volunteer groups like Holy Name and Mens Cornerstone can help as well. 4 tents will be set up at different locations and be used as staging for Holy Communion.  
    • We will also set up an at will collection at the end of the Mass. The St. Rose HS gym will be used as a backup location. We still need to get a better idea as to how many co celebrants we will have for the Mass as that will also determine how many Eucharistic ministers we will need. The 1st reading will be in English and the second reading will be in Spanish.  We can Livestream the Mass and place a link on the gatheredasone website. 
  • We reviewed the Diocesan Planning Commission’s response to our Cohort 19 Progress report. It was a favorable review and they have suggested that we develop a plan and sub committee to support our Center for Hispanic Ministry and our goal will be to get 3-4 Cohort members to assist Maria and help develop specific action steps for the next year. We were also encouraged to expand our collaboration on Mass schedules, Confession times, consider potential ways we could share our facilities, and to reach out to Holy Innocents Parish with an invitation to join Cohort 19.  Tom will be reaching our to Fr. Todd Carter of Holy Innocents and invite him to our next meeting on August 13th as well as the Mass at the Gazebo on September 8th. 
  • Janice Cunningham has been in touch with Fr. Kevin O’Neill of St Alfonso Retreat House and they are working on potential dates for a Lenten Mission to be held in March 2020.
  • Pilgrimage Walk— Maryann Trez handed out a map of what it would the Pilgrimage Walk look like and referenced the insert that was included in the parish bulletins at St. Rose and St. Margaret-St. Catharine.  We are still at the planning stage of this potential event with meetings scheduled for July 30th to brainstorm ideas as to when to hold such an event. We also need to circle back to St. Teresa as there has been a lack of response to recent email communications.  We should also consider developing  a Master Calendar for Cohort 19 that would list all events across the 4 parish community. Maryann will update us after the meeting on July 30th.
  • Youth Updates — Kathleen Bellezza of St. Teresa provided a handout to update everyone on various activities occurring across the Cohort including Vacation Bible School, the Children’s Rosary Prayer Group, the High School Youth Group, Altar Servers and Youth Readers, Confirmation Students and 7th Grade Students, and the St. Catharine-St. Margaret Ignite group at St Catharine.  
  • Silo Busting — Connie Duffy would like to find a date during the 4th quarter to hold separate meetings for the Pastoral and Finance Councils.  We will also extend the invitation to Holy Innocents and St Denis.  Ed Bonnano would like to have the Pastoral and Finance Councils consider doing something that supports Catholic education like the example of adopting a schoolchild program that Kathleen Martin referenced during the meeting. Tom will put this issue on the agenda for the August 13th meeting.
  • Hispanic Ministry — Connie Duffy and Jim O’Brien from St. Mark’s Parish met with Fr. Jose and Diana Zuna Perez who runs all Spanish activities at St. Mark’s. When CCD starts at 2:30pm Sundays, parents are just sitting there and expressed the need for things to do.  Examples of topics that would be helpful include immigration, good parenting skills, nutrition, exercise classes, etc.  Preference would be for someone to present on any of these topics who is bilingual. Other needs include transportation, hiring a full-time social worker, health care issues, and dental care.  
  • We will place a color-coded grid of all parish ministries within Cohort 19 on the gatherdasone.com website.  Jack Kirnan will continue to post Cohort 19 updates in the respective parish bulletins.
  • Our next meeting will be held on August 13th at St Rose Parish Center, 7pm
  • The meeting adjourned at 8:10pm following our closing prayer.

October 24, 2019 Meeting Notes

Cohort Meeting October 24 2019
St Theresa (Ascension, Bradley Beach)

Welcomed Terry Ginther, Paul Hooker and Jim O’Brien
Gina Lesneski, Jim Maliff from Holy Innocents

1. Mass for the Anointing of the Sick
Saturday December 14th at 11am
Need to get ads into the bulletins

2. Hispanic Ministry at St. Mark’s
Jim O’Brien and Paul Hooker
Paul: gave background on Hispanic population in Diocese and at St. Mark’s
Jim: started with 59 people at the first Hispanic Mass at St. Mark’s, now typically 400-600 attend the Sunday afternoon Mass.
Jim and Peggy helped with the Liturgical and Catechetical programs early on. St. Mark’s has been a much-needed oasis.
They’ve detected more needs of the community in listening to D Zuna and Father Jose. Alcohol abuse, substance abuse, fear, depression, spousal abuse, mental health problems. Things a Parish is not always able to handle. Seems like we could use a social worker. “What’s the best path to serve our brothers and sisters?”

One of the resources Paul and Jim have been in contact with is Catholic Charities. Their response: “If you can come up with something, we’d be very happy to collaborate with you.” Paul and Jim think CC could be a great resource to handle the management, oversight, administration and training of a program like that. First step might be to get a survey to pin down numbers, needs, and resources, especially in the mental health area.

Paul asked TPM about budgeting. Responded that each Parish in the cohort allocated funds to hire a full-time Youth Director. That position was not filled, we went in a different direction. So it is possible there may be funds in the parish budgets already to “chip in” toward a social worker.

Discussion: how to disseminate the survey?
Getting the attendees at Mass to fill out the survey is a good start. Father Ed mentioned St. Rose has a large ESL class every THursday evening, that’s another opportunity to get a survey out. Paul said he would work with CC to get the survey together. Margo Hooker shared some samples of “needs assessments” with Diana Zuna at St. Mark’s, a good start.

Question: why are we considering getting a social worker for the Hispanics, when they have the same issues we all have? Many of the Hispanics do not have insurance.
Jack: there is an existing survey. Jack learned Mother of Mercy Parish had a similar survey and suggested paul and Jim contact them to see if we can get a copy from them.

Terry: in DOT they use mobile platforms, especially GroupMe, not so much online platforms, but mobile. Not everyone may have laptops, but likely have phones.

TPM: Has there ever been any discussion about hosting CCD classes for Hispanic population at St. Denis, instead of at St. Mark’s? There’s an empty school one mile away. Msgr Flynn explained that all CCD classes are in English, not Spanish. Comments from Msgr Flynn (and C Duffy) seems to indicate they do not have a space problem right now at St. Mark’s.

Next step: Jim & Paul will reach out to Father Miguel (Mother of Mercy) and get that survey over to CC.
Maria mentioned the Our Lady of Guadalupe Torch coming to St. Mark the following weekend (Nov 2). We discussed having a Flocknote message circulated to let subscribers in the cohort know about that event. St. Rose also had one of the four miraculous images of OLG that is going around the world, commissioned by the Basilica in Mexico City.
24 hr prayer for life, exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.

3. Re-cap: Mass at Maclearie Park
The last 24 hours went nuts.
We had approximately 700 people come out to a place which (the week before) did not know the name of, but had driven by it a million times before. We do have a handshake agreement to have an event in August. Belmar doesn’t want events between Memorial Day and Labor Day to have an event. Polled the audience, Gazebo seemed to win over having it again at the Park. Cost will likely be the same.

4. Lenten Mission: (Janice)
Met with Father Kevin (and Pastors) Oct 1st. St Alphonso’s. Mission will be
“Change our Hearts” is theme. Sat/Sun March 7th-8th he will preach at the Masses. We will (hopefully) have a video from Fr Kevin that we can show at all the other Masses in the Cohort that weekend. The schedule for the mission itself will be Monday 3/9 @ St. Rose, Tuesday 3/10 @ St. Margaret, Wednesday 3/11 @ Holy Innocents.  Really a true Cohort Mission – not at just one Parish.
Lisa added that two flyers she created and circulated at the meeting were drafts, not final copies.

5.  Sponsor a Student:
We established a sub-committee to take this idea further, especially with catholic Schools Week approaching at the end of January. Ed Bonnanno has graciously agreed to lead the sub-committee, and Kathy Martin, Lisa Cole, Michael Callahan, Janice Cuttingham, Stan Ciemniecki are also involved.

6.  Parish Walking Pilgrimage:
It was decided that the “walking tour” among the Parishes would be moved to a date in 2020 when it will (hopefully) be better weather (summer?) where folks can walk from Parish to Parish. The Holy Thursday tradition of visiting churches is still present, as Father Damian mentioned, but has been fading in recent years. Fr Chris added we can capitalize on the recent message from the Bishop about the Holy Eucharist. As a Cohort, we want to let Cohort parishioners know there will be certain Parishes in the Cohort that will be open until 10pm on Holy Thursday and will have Altars of Repose. This could be an excellent opportunity to reignite a fading tradition across the Cohort.

7.  Silo Busting:
Connie Duffy reported updated us on her efforts to get Pastoral Councils and Finance Councils together. The consensus seems to be to get a meeting for all together in the new year.

8.  Youth Group Updates:
Kathleen B reported the youth group at St. Theresa’s is off to a big start. They have held six meetings so far and are averaging fifteen attendees. Students are coming from CBA, St. Rose, Manasquan, Allied Health, Ocean Twp, Trinity Hall, Wall HS, and some home-schooled teens. These teens are coming from Holy Innocents, St. Rose, St. Theresa, Mother of Mercy and St. Catharine. Good opportunities to share and network. Some know each other, some do not. The goal is to make sure they have a relationship with God and be sure before they go off to college they can rely upon their friendship with God. KB also reported the start of a children’s prayer group where they get together (children of any age, not just HS) to pray the rosary. Additionally, St. Theresa is starting an ARISE group and father Dean is starting a “Teen Arise” group as well.

Lisa reported there is a middle school group (Ignite) just getting started at St. Catharine and is open to all Parishes. LC reported she’s seen some issues with getting information out in the Cohort bulletin.

9.  Gathered As One website:
Maryann T announced Lisa Cole will be assisting in keeping the website running. Maryann has stated more than once we NEED to get better communication from the Parishes about news and events to add to the GAO website. Lots of events happening, especially Youth-oriented

Our Cohort of parishes will be celebrating a Mass on Sunday, September 8, 2019, led by Bishop David O’Connell. Mass will be held at Maclearie Park in Belmar.

Maclearie Park, named after Peter Maclearie, longtime Mayor of Belmar from 1947-1974, is located “along the bend” on Route 35.

Belmar administrators and public safety have granted us a great deal of parking and will will be helping with directing traffic that morning. Please see the video (below) for details.

The choir will begin at 9:30, Mass will begin at 10am.
Please remember to bring beach chairs and sunscreen.

Present: Tom Mullooly, Jack Kirnan, Stanley Ciemniecki, Connie Duffy, Monsignor Flynn, Maria Valdez-Tamayo, Monsignor Arnister, Roman Hnat, Jessica Jarmer, Janice Cunningham, Kathleen Martin, Connie Mertens, Michael Callahan, Bob Shafer, Cindy Wagner, Kathleen Bellezza, Ed Bonnano, Mary Jo Capco, Pam King, Fr. Dean Gaudio, Maryann Trez, Tim Graham, Seminarian.

Excused: Monsignor Cullen, Deacon John Wedemeyer, Lisa Cole, Jim Parry,  Gary Engelstad.

Roll Call: The meeting was called to order at 7:05pm.

Opening Prayer: Monsignor Arnister led our group in prayer to begin the meeting.

Discussion and Review of Agenda Items for the Meeting:

  • Tom Mullooly introduced three new members of the Cohort 19 Team — Roman Hnat from St. Teresa of Calcutta, Michael Callahan of St. Catharine-St. Margaret, and Kathleen Bellezza of St. Teresa of Calcutta. A 4th new member for the Cohort 19 Team — Lisa Cole of St. Catharine-St.Margaret was unable to attend the meeting.
  • Tom led a discussion on our plans for the Cohort 19 Mass that will be held at the Gazebo in Belmar on September 10, 2019 at 10AM.  Mary — who works for the town of Belmar — mentioned there would be no cost incurred this year for using the Gazebo versus the $500 the Cohort paid for the 2018 event which was rained out. Belmar will be providing conference tables and risers, podiums, celebrants chairs, altar chairs, and additional chairs for the musicians and choir.  Ideally, we would be able to set up for the event on Saturday night with volunteers from our various youth groups who can load and unload the truck and also assist with cleanup after the Mass concludes on Sunday.  We also need a cost estimate for the sound system and 4 soccer tents.  Police will be on duty for the event and EMS will also be available. Parking should be sufficient but a no parking zone will be established on Ocean Avenue between 5th and 6th avenue.  In case of inclement weather, our backup plan is to hold the event at St Rose High School, and we will consider holding a reception afterwards at Taylor Pavilion.
  • The Team discussed the importance of having our 4 parish music directors coordinate music for the Mass, including how many musicians and choir members will participate.  We also need to know upfront what it will cost to put the music program together for the event and how those costs will be shared across the 4 parishes.  Ideally, Dawne from St. Mark’s can meet with the other 3 music directors before our next Cohort meeting on July 18th.
  • Tom also mentioned the need for coordination across the 4 parishes in a number of other areas including how many Sacristans, Altar Servers, Lectors, co-celebrants, and Eucharistic Ministers will be needed for the event.
  • We also discussed at length how best to promote the Event including publication of a Program for the event ($1,000 in 2018), publication of a special Bulletin (John Patrick Publishing and Bonventure are preparing quotes for us),  posting details for the event on our 4 Parish websites and Bulletins, the gatheredasone.com website, and the local press (Coast Star, Jersey Coaster) and Monitor.  The readings and music for the event will need to be published in both English and Spanish.
  • Team members who attended the Cohort 19 Luncheon on May 7th that was held for parish staff felt it was a big success and helped improve understanding for what the Cohort mission is all about and how the 4 parishes can work more collaboratively in sharing information.  Connie Duffy and Connie Mertens have agreed to work on a prospective date this coming fall to have the Parish Councils and Finance Councils of the 4 parishes get together in a further attempt to improve communications and share best practices across the Cohort 19 community.
  • Maryann Trez outlined a potential plan of holding a Cohort 19 Pilgrimage at some point within the next year which would entail a total walking distance of 6.1 miles across the the 4 parish communities that comprise Cohort 19 with parishioners visiting each parish church along the way including both Ascension and St. Elizabeth Churches.
  • 2020 Lenten Mission — Janice Cunningham gave an update on potential plans for a Cohort 19 Mission in 2020.  She mentioned that Fr. Larry Richards would not be flexible as it relates to his program and would therefore not make sense for us to pursue. She also mentioned that Fr. Gately would be difficult to get in time for the next Lenten season. Monsignor Flynn recommenced that we consider having Fr. O’Neill of St. Alfonso Retreat House who has expressed an interest and would be available on a Sunday-Wednesday format for the following dates in 2020:  March 8-11, March 22-25, and March 29-April 1.
  • Monsignor Flynn and Ed Bonnano mentioned that Fr. Bill Lago of St. Denis Parish would like to participate in our events including the Gazebo Mass and his participation will also help with St Mark’s Hispanic ministry.
  • Hispanic Ministry at St. Mark—Maria Valdez-Tamayo reiterated the need for volunteers especially for youth between 16-18 years and who could help with activities like arts and crafts and cooking. She would like to do a different activity every week as well as holding classes in English and discuss such topical issues like immigration.
  • Maryann Trez mentioned that she hasn’t received any response from the administrators for each parish who should be providing information to help with updating the GatheredasOne.com website.
  • Jack Kirnan mentioned that the Diocese of Trenton will be releasing Progress Reports for each of the 25 Cohorts in the next week or so and that Cohort 19 will receive a very favorable review of its Implementation Plan for the 2019-2020 period.  He will also prepare a Cohort 19 Update to be included in each of the 4 Parish Bulletins for the Sunday, July 14th editions as well as posting the update on each of the parish websites.
  • Our next meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 17th at 7pm in the St. Rose Parish Center.

Present: Tom Mullooly, Jack Kirnan, Pam King, Mary Jo Capco, Cindy Wagner, Bob Shafer, Janice Cuttingham, Connie Mertens, Jessica Jarmer, Monsignor Arnister, Kathleen Martin, Ed Bonnano, Rich Siderko, Monsignor Flynn, Maria Valdez-Tamayo, Reverend Dayton

Excused: Monsignor Cullen, Reverend Gaudio, Deacon John Wedemeyer, Mary Ann Trez, Connie Duffy, Jim Parry, Megan Gepp, Gary Engelstad, Juan Gonzales, Mike Nolan, Stan Ciemniecki, Jean Reilly

Roll Call: The meeting was called to order at 7pm.

Opening Prayer: Monsignor Flynn led our group in prayer to begin the meeting.

Discussion and Review of Agenda Items for the Meeting:

  • Opening Comment – Tom Mullooly mentioned that the Team meeting scheduled for April 24 will need to be changed and he will follow up with the Team with a new date in the next few days.  He also mentioned that we will need to prepare our Annual Implementation Report to the Diocesan Planning Commission in late May that would update our progress over the past year and clarify new and/or continuing goals for the 2019-20 period.
  • Collaboration with St. Denis Parish of Manasquan— Tom reached out to Fr. Bill Lago of St. Denis Parish and he expressed interest in collaborating with the parishes of Cohort 19.  However, St. Denis will continue to be formally affiliated with the other parishes of Cohort 20.  Fr. Bill plans to join us at our next Team meeting in April.
  • Mass Schedules— Monsignor Arnister informed the Team that he had consulted with the St. Rose Pastoral and Finance Councils and that the current Mass schedules will remain intact. Therefore, Cohort 19 parishes will not be making any changes to the Mass schedules at this time but in our Annual Implementation Report to the Diocesan Planning Commission we will highlight the changes in the Mass schedules that occurred at St. Teresa reflecting the merger of Ascension and St. Elizabeth.
  • Cohort 19 Event— Bishop O’Connell has approved our request to hold a Cohort Mass at the Gazebo in Belmar on Sunday, September 8th at 10am.  Monsignor Arnister would like to set up a Committee to begin planning for this event. He also mentioned that he had spoken to Reverend Gaudio and that St. Teresa has moved their Beach Mass to Sunday, September 15thto avoid a conflict.
  • Lenten Mission 2020— A number of Team members expressed support to hold a Cohort Mission Event in 2020 and the need to begin the planning for that event.  Consensus emerged that once a speaker has been secured, the event would be held for 3 consecutive evenings during the Lenten Season and to have the speaker participate in the Sunday Masses prior to the start of the Mission.  Ideally, the Mission would be held at one of the larger Churches in the Cohort (St. Mark or St. Margaret would be the largest) to accommodate as many parishioners as possible. A sub-Committee will need to follow up with the Cohort 19 Team after they assess potential speakers and themes to consider for the Mission.
  • Luncheon for the Parish Office Staffs— The Cohort will be hosting a luncheon for all staff members of each of our 4 parishes on Tuesday, May 7th at St. Rose from 12 noon-1:30pm. We will be sending out an email to the Pastors before proceeding as their attendance is of paramount importance.  Terry Ginther of the Diocese of Trenton will likely attend the luncheon and Karen Donahue who runs Selective Seconds for the St. Vincent DePaul Ministry will be catering the luncheon.  The central purpose of the meeting is for us to bring everyone on the parish staffs up to speed on what the mission of the Cohort is and to solicit staff input on how to share best practices.  We would also like to get the Finance and Pastoral Councils of the 4 parishes together as a next step in our collaborative process and then schedule additional meetings with leaders from some of our larger ministry groups like Walking with Purpose, That Man is You, Men’s Cornerstone, etc.
  • Cohort Updates for the Parish Bulletins and Parish Websites — Jack Kirnan will be providing regular Cohort updates that will be included in each of the Parish Bulletins beginning with the March 24 editions as well as posting the updates on each of the Parish websites.  Our goal is to have these updates in the Parish Bulletins run for two consecutive weekends and to add new updates as deemed appropriate by the Cohort Team.
  • Supporting the Center for Hispanic Ministry at St. MarkParish– Maria Valdez-Tamayo shared her thoughts with the Team on some of the challenges currently faced by the Hispanic community at St. Mark’s Parish and the critical need for more support and volunteers from the Cohort community. Mary described the typical schedule on Sundays for the Hispanic Ministry beginning at 3:30pm with a variety of activities that are followed by the Hispanic Mass at 5pm (participation ranges between 400-500 people).  Families then enjoy pizza after Mass with the CCD Program running from 6:30-7:30pm. Mary mentioned a number of other critical needs for the Hispanic community including: 1) more support for transportation to and from St. Mark’s even though financial support is provided to parishioners by both St. Mark and St. Rose; 2)  parents and particularly adult women who are looking to learn ESL to acclimate to their new environment (perhaps the current program at St. Rose can assist St. Mark’s in this regard); 3) the need for a host of social and psychological support services relating to addiction, abuse, financial difficulties, and legal concerns regarding immigration status; 4) the need for volunteers who could assist in developing activities for children and teenagers. Following Mary’s presentation, discussion ensued about the need to develop a more effective Cohort support plan that would need to be in place by next fall including more advertising of the Hispanic Ministry’s need for more volunteers, ESL instructors, and a potentially more active role for some of the services offered by Catholic Charities through the Diocese of Trenton.
  • Gathered as One Website– An alternate working version of the website had been developed by Stephen Kenny of St. Catharine-St. Margaret Parish but following our Team meeting it was determined that we would keep intact the current version of the website. Jessica Jarmer has created a Facebook page and the challenge is to add more content from each of the 4 parish communities to the Cohort website.  Jessica would like 1-2 volunteers from each parish to assist in that effort and we will ask each of the parish staffs for their input on this request when we meet with them on May 7th.
  • Support for Catholic Schools in Cohort 19— Ed Bonnano requested that the Team provide an update on our Catholic Schools strategy at our next meeting with the primary objective centered on how our 4 parish communities can be more supportive.
  • Clarification of Youth Ministry – Janice Cuttingham mentioned that there had been some initial confusion as to what the Cohort Youth Ministry Plan was following Sub-Committee meetings earlier this year.  It was emphasized that the strategy for now is for each parish to have their own youth group and Coordinator.  Each of the 4 Parish Coordinators will be expected to collaborate and communicate with Reverend Dayton on a monthly basis so that the youth in each of our parishes will have an enhanced opportunity to participate in any Youth activity or event within the Cohort.
  • Adjournment & Next Meeting Date– The Team concluded with a final prayer before the meeting adjourned at 8:30pm.

Tom Mullooly will notify the Team via email of when our next meeting will be held in April.