This council is a separate and distinct body that collaborates with the Parish Council in all matters financial, including money, assets and properties. Two Trustees are elected by the parishioners to serve in this capacity. This council meets four times a year or as needed.
This council is made up of 15 confirmed and active Catholic members of the parish and serves as an advisory body to the pastor assisting him in his responsibility to plan and act in all matters, including the spiritual, educational, financial, and social affairs of the parish and in its operation and management, except in those matters where explicitly limited by Church or civil law. The council establishes the parish’s mission, vision and goals and oversees the church, in cooperation with the pastor, the programs and organizations which are designed to implement those goals. A nominating committee proposes a slate for the election and the parishioners elect the new members in April. Five new members are elected each year and serve a three year term. There are five different commissions that serve under the Parish Council and meet on a regular basis. They are: Education, Faith Communities, Health, Human Needs, and Social Activities. There is also a Property Commission which meets as needed and a Liturgy Commission is being formed. Each council member is required to serve on at least one commission and report back to the Council that commission’s activities. The council plans and hosts the annual parish picnic in September, God’s Plan in October and the Trusting in the Spirit Parish Planning Project with our cluster parishes: St. Thomas Aquinas, Madison; St. Francis Xavier, Cross Plains; St. Peter, Ashton and St. Martin, Martinsville. This council is open to any active parishioner age 18 and over. The council meets on the fourth Thursday of the month (September, November, January, March, May and July.) All parishioners are welcome to attend the meetings.
EDUCATION COMMISSION assists the Parish staff in two main areas: religious education programs for the youth and faith formation programs for adults. Their task is to review the existing faith formation programs in the parish and come up with ideas for enhancing and strengthening them. Lay participation in this commission has increased. To help keep the light of Christ burning brightly within our Parish and Community, more participants are needed to keep this group vital and alive with ideas. The Commission meets on the third Thursday during the months of October, January, April and July.
FAITH COMMUNITIES COMMISSION is to provide materials and support to our Small Faith groups. It also has sponsored parish events such as Old Befana and the Seder Meal; works with the Human Needs Commission on the Giving Tree and hosts a potluck dinner for all members of the small faith groups in the spring. This commission meets 3 to 4 times per year in preparation for each session or event. They welcome new members to the Commission or a small faith group.
The Small Faith Communities, under the leadership of the Faith Communities Commission, started nearly 20 years ago as a means for parishioners to gather and interact with one another on any number of faith-related subjects…all in an open and informal setting. Currently there are ten groups that meet at various times and locations, two hours a week for six weeks prior to Advent and during Lent. The materials used are either prescribed lesson plans or a selected subject of interest to members. During the six-week quest, they touch on many topics and issues in the social and spiritual forefront. In doing so, they grow closer together as they weave their personal needs and thoughts into the material in what normally evolves as an evocative and nonjudgmental melding of minds and hearts in which lasting bonds of friendship have been created.
HEALTH COMMISSION was formed to promote St. Bernard’s Mission: “A Catholic, Eucharistic community glorifying God through prayer, worship and service.” Following Jesus the Healer, the commission seeks wellness of body, mind and spirit for our faith community. It conducted a health survey to identify the needs in the parish and has worked to offer programs of interest that encourage the development of our gifts to share with one another such as the Befriender Ministry, Share the Care, Living Well With Chronic Illness Spiritual Support and a Prayer Shawl Ministry. This commission meets on the third Thursday of every other month, September through July.
HUMAN NEEDS COMMISSION coordinates both annual and ongoing projects. Its members work with hundreds of volunteers throughout the parish to spread the spirit of faith by offering services and sustenance to the neediest in the community. Help is offered without regard to religious background or commitment to dogma. The commission deals with individuals at the most essential levels of need for food, clothing and community. Ongoing projects are: Middleton Outreach Ministry (MOM), St. Paul and St. Martin Meal Programs, St. Vincent de Paul Conference, and St. Francis Assisi Parish, Milwaukee (our sister parish). Annual Projects include a School Supply Drive, Food & Clothing Drives, Giving Tree, MOM Christmas Dinner, Easter Baskets, and the Mother’s Day Rose Sale. Meetings are held on the third Mondays of August to November and January to May.
LITURGY COMMISSION: The function of this commission is to assist in the planning, preparation and evaluation of all aspects of parish liturgies, and to further the education and understanding of our Liturgical practices among parishioners.
- Environment Committee works to enhance the worship space and provide a prayerful environment.
- Music Committee works with the Director of Music in selecting music for the various liturgical seasons in the Church year.
- FOCCUS Couples: Married couples meet with a couple preparing for marriage and do an inventory survey with them. All training is provided.
SOCIAL ACTIVITIES COMMISSION is responsible in promoting, maintaining and overseeing a variety of activities in the social life of the parish and it assists, as needed, various parish groups and organizations like the 5-0 Club, Knights of Columbus, Youth Ministry, and Spaghetti Dinner Committee. The commission organizes Coffee Sundays, Soup & Stations, and has sponsored other parish events. Meeting dates to be determined.