Parish Pastoral Council
Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) is a consultative body that represents the parish community with a role to make recommendations to the pastor of the parish.
A pastoral council has its basis in Canon Law (Canon 536). The bishop of a diocese can establish a pastoral council in each parish that is presided over by the pastor. A parish council is engaged in pastoral care of a parish and is regulated by the norms laid down by the bishop. The principal role of a pastoral council is to participate in pastoral planning into the future by adhering to the mission and vision of both the diocese and the parish. This involves a three-fold approach: one, to conduct needs analysis and prioritize pastoral requirements; two, to set and develop goals and objectives; and three, to recommend a set of intended actions to achieve those goals and objectives. A pastoral council has a three-year term, which can be extended to another term.
I am grateful that the following individuals have discerned a call to serve our parish in this capacity for the next three years.
Along with the pastor, they will be setting strategic directions for the pastoral team and for the Finance Committee.
May God who has begun the good work in us bring it to completion.
Michael Bechard (Rev.)
Born and raised in London, I have been a lifelong member of St. George. I am a nurse currently working in mental health, and I love my profession. It is a gift to see the graces of God’s mercy and love in so many people. When I’m not at work you can find me doing embroidery or coaching competitive dance at a local studio.
I currently serve the parish as a cantor and choir member, and I previously served as Vacation Bible School assistant artistic director, a parish pastoral council youth representative, and altar server. I am very grateful and excited to serve our Family of Parishes in this new capacity.
My name is Marjorie Braatz. I am a wife of 38 years, a mom of four, and a Grammie of two. I have been a parishioner at St. George for 21 years, and for seven of those years I served as the youth minister. I returned to university at that time and earned my MDiv. After youth ministry, I worked at Holy Cross as a high school chaplain and am now a spiritual director. I love being part of this beautiful parish community and consider this my spiritual family. I hope and pray that I will serve this community with dedication and trust.
My name is Alan Coombs. My wife and I have been parishioners of St. George since we moved to London 15 years ago, and we started attending Mass at St. John the Divine about four years ago.
We have always loved the community both parishes allow us to be a part of.
My wife and I have been helping with Baptism prep for about 10 years, and love helping families begin to see their life in church with their sons and daughters. We have two kids of our own that help us empathize with the difficulty that sometimes comes in encouraging youth to join adults in Mass.
I love baseball and follow the Blue Jays and Cubs as my favourite teams. I do my best to explore the beautiful trails London has to offer when in between innings!
I have three beautiful daughters, two grandsons, and one granddaughter. I have been coming to St. George Parish since 1976 but officially registered in 1997 when I settled in London. I am passionate about community and service by attempting to get involved in most ministries, big or small.
I worked in the Federal Government in National Defence as a staffing officer and then needed back surgery, which involved being hospitalized for a year in a full body cast. That was a time when I connected with my spirit. I got to know who God is, how I relate to Him, and how He has responded to my call. I am humbled to be chosen to serve with such an intellectual, faith-filled group who have so many gifts to share. I am excited to be representing the Family.
My husband, James, and I have been married for two years and currently attend St. George's with our daughter, Danielle. I have an educational background in Catholic Studies and Disability Studies, which has led me into a career in special education with the London District Catholic School Board. I hope to see this Family of churches grow, welcome, and support people who want to deepen their faith. It is important that we become aware of the issues facing the church today and that we respond in a Christ-like way. I'm looking forward to seeing how my knowledge and experience with ecumenism and inclusion will lead to building a more well-rounded parish community.
I am a married mother of three and hooman to three fur babies. Celebrating the Rite of Christian initiation of Adults (RCIA) in 2002, I am blessed to have found my spiritual home in Catholicism and raise my family in the faith. In my career as an Ontario public servant, I lead with a person-centered approach with outcomes that promote an inclusive environment to advance the importance of diversification. Serving as a chorister and cantor for the St. George music ministry for 20 years, I expand my love of music and the arts by engaging as a Board and Executive member of the Amabile Choirs of London, an organization dedicated to musical education and excellence.
2022 marks my involvement with the Springbank Catholic Social Committee whose offerings of in person fun,
faith based, youth, adult and family activities and events strive to reconnect us all. I look forward to the experiential learnings and supporting transformational change by demonstrating and increasing the understanding of the importance and value of our faith reflecting the whole of our present-day community.
I grew up in Woodbridge, witnessing a beautiful faith-filled mother overcome many challenges, including the stigma of divorce. I moved to London, attended Huron College and U.W.O. law school, met my wife, Lisa, raised four children. We joined St. George in 1996. I offer my prayer life and skills as a trauma-informed person to the service of our Family. I desire to do the work that matters for all God's children. May our Lord use these trials to raise up a new people for a new wine that is His and His Mother's sacred heart: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Mary Undoer of Knots pray for us.
I was born in upstate New York. My father worked for the General Accountancy Office of the United States Congress, and my family moved often throughout the United States, Europe, and Latin America. I completed my graduate degree at the University of Michigan and have taught at colleges and universities in both Canada and the US. I served as Chair of the School of Language and Liberal Arts Studies at Fanshawe College (2004-2010), where I still teach today. I also work as a biographer for the Canadian Medical Association Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, located here in London, Ont. I live in Byron with my wife of 20 years, Kathryn Kennedy. I have a daughter who lives in Halifax working for Toronto Dominion. I was baptized this year (2023) and attend St. George. I look forward to serving on our Parish Council to assist, in the words of St. Paul, in "building up the body of Christ."
I grew up in Brant County. As a first generation kid, I worked at the family restaurants. Some of my favourite memories of this are when first responders or those in less fortunate circumstances came in, and their meals were on the house. I asked why we did this, and my parents' response was that we all serve: some serve in the line of duty, and others do what they can, whether preparing a hot meal, helping someone move, or making someone smile. It is my honour to serve you as a member of the Parish Pastoral Council.
I have been married to my wife, Mary Lou, for a half century and counting. We have two sons and two granddaughters. I retired after spending almost 40 years in the financial service industry on the insurance and investment side of things. Some would describe what I did as an advisor’s advisor. I believe one of my strengths is being able to look at circumstances from all points of view and offer advice and solutions based on what works best for everyone.
I was raised in Chatham, Ont. with seven siblings. My parents drove home the value of a strong Catholic home life filled with love, faith, and service linked to our Polish heritage. I moved to London after graduating from Laurier with a BSc in 1986. I've been married to Gina for 34 years, and we are blessed with two daughters and one grandson. I have been a member of St. John the Divine since 2000 and participate in the St Vincent de Paul and Knights of Columbus organizations. I have spend my 37-year career in sales and software/controls engineering, with my recent role as a strategic account manager. I’m currently semi-retired and look forward to serving with the parish council and continuing to nourish my faith. I am a strong believer in our ability to come up with creative solutions to challenges when God is at the centre and teamwork based on humility is exercised.
I was born and raised in London. I have been married to my amazing wife, Carmela, for almost 40 years. Together we have raised three incredible children. I have been a parishioner at St. John the Divine for over 30 years.
Although I retired as a high school principal almost eight years ago, I continue to support the London District Catholic School Board whenever there is a need.
When I am not working at one of the schools, I can be found
working in our vegetable and flower gardens, painting homes, helping our children with their renos, bowling, and volunteering with the Knights of Columbus.