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Parish Mass Schedule Change Proposal

Our Lady of Good Counsel
Sunday Mass Scheduling Options
August 6, 2017

Report from Fr. Matthew O’Leary, Pastor


PROBLEM:  Inability to Maintain Concurring 10:30am Masses at two locations.

Fr. Peter’s availability to Holy Disciples and Our Lady of Good Council has been extended only until November. Discussions with Abbot Neil may push that deadline as far as through next Spring, but certainly not longer than June 30, 2018.  There is no other priest from the Benedictine community, other religious orders, or the Archdiocese of Seattle to assist the pastor of Holy Disciples and Our Lady of Good Counsel in covering concurring 10:30am Sunday Masses.

Because the distance between the two locations makes it difficult for one priest to preside at three Sunday morning Masses in the two parishes, and because congregants and respective schedules for religious education/faith formation, youth groups, and parish social community time would be disrupted and adversely affected by a significant rescheduling, Fr. Matthew has consulted with the dean and other pastors of the southeast Pierce Deanery, the Archdiocesan Office of the Vicar for Clergy, and Archbishop Sartain.  Two proposed solutions have emerged.

Change Mass Time at Our Lady of Good Counsel
Change Pastoral Affiliation with Holy Disciples

Option 1:
Move Mass times at Our Lady of Good Counsel to Saturday at 4:00pm and Holy Disciples to 6:00pm. 


  1. This will allow the current and future pastor to celebrate Masses at both communities. 
  2. Budgetary support for Our Lady of Good Counsel’s share (10%) of the HD/OLGC remains unchanged. 
  3. Pastoral and community relationships remain.


  1. Will people commit to new time—including liturgical ministries?
  2. Will people continue to support parish financially?
  3. How will religious education/faith formation, parish social time, and youth programs be affected by either remaining separate from Mass on Sundays, or changing to Saturdays, or another day of the week?


1.  Moving from Sunday morning to Saturday afternoon is a major change.
2.  Lack of parish support could make parish financially unviable.
3.  Significant impact on Sunday morning and afternoon life at Our Lady of Good Counsel
4.  Separation of religious education/faith formation program from celebration of Mass
5. ​​​​ With two Saturday afternoon/evening Masses, the priest would never be able to stay
     for parish community-building gatherings after Mass.

Option 2
Keep Our Lady of Good Counsel Mass on Sunday morning—not necessarily at 10:30am—and create new pastoral partnership with a parish other than Holy Disciples. Pastor will hand this back to the Archdiocese for action.


  1. Minimize change to Our Lady of Good Counsel’s Sunday life and programs.
  2. Likely continuance of present congregant participation and support of church community.


  1. Likely new association would be with smaller community, so Our Lady of Good Counsel would have to assume more financial and volunteer responsibility for its share of pastoral and administrative expenses.
  2. Disruption from another leadership change and pastoral association.


  1. Significant financial increase for Our Lady of Good Counsel: the community’s share in pastoral and administrative expenses is currently 10% in the HD/OLGC relationship.  Partnering with a new and smaller community would increase that to as much as 40% or 50% of shared budget expenses. 

NOTE: OLGC’s current 10% 2017-2018 projected share is $31,797.94 of the $225,055.94 total for HD/OLGC Pastoral Services (includes: pastor—wages, housing, food, benefits, worker’s comp, continuing education; support staff—PAs, parish office manager, bookkeeper, facilities manager/repairs—wages, benefits, taxes, worker’s comp) .  This 10% share of $31,797.94 is in the overall OLGC 2017-2018 budget of $99,568.81

  1. Question of Our Lady of Good Counsel’s ability to generate significant increase of needed giving.


DECISION:  Fr. Matthew and Archbishop Sartain ask the Our Lady of Good Counsel community to express its preference for and take ownership of one of the above proposed solutions.


  1. Get information.
  2. Ask questions.
  3. Ask Holy Spirit for guidance. 
  4. Discuss among Our Lady of Good Counsel community. 
  5. Pray about what is best for the community rather than individual preferences.
  6. Express the community’s decision via parish survey to be conducted in August. 
  7. Commit to the chosen solution.

Respectfully submitted by Fr. Matthew O’Leary, Pastor
Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord
August 6, 2017