New officers were elected to the Diocesan Pastoral Council, an advisory council to Bishop Donald Kettler, at its meeting Nov. 17 at St. John the Baptist Church in Swanville.
New officers include: chair, Russ Van Denheuvel, who represents the Fergus Falls/Wadena deanery; vice chair, Deacon Jerry Theis, diaconate representative; and recording secretary, Cheryl Weller, who represents the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women.
The guest speaker was Brenda Kresky, director of the diocesan Planning Office. Kresky explained the vision for the new pastoral plan expected to unroll in July 2019.
Representatives reported findings on the question Bishop Kettler posed at the preceding meeting: “What are the strengths of youth and young adults in your communities?” Among the answers were: strong youth group and activities, bringing forth new ideas and excellent technology skills, volunteerism and service, and positivity and enthusiasm.
Members were asked to reach out to their constituents between now and the next meeting to ask, “What issues and concerns do people have regarding the diocesan planning of Area Catholic Communities?”
The next meeting is Jan. 26.