January 31, 2016

Twelve years ago next month I walked in to the rectory for the first time wondering “what actually happens here?” 

I could not have imagined. 

It really is a remarkable place filled with hard-working and devoted people.  I thought I’d tell you a little about what goes on.

The rectory is the large brick house just south of the Cathedral,  and it serves two purposes. Upstairs, it houses the parish priests.  Downstairs, it is the parish offices where much of the parish staff works each day. 

The reddish brown part of the building was built in the early years of the parish, and the brown section was added on when the  Cathedral was built. 

Besides the priests, there are eight staff members who work at the rectory. Three work full-time and five are part-time.  Let me  introduce you to my friends:

When you ring the bell, the door will probably be answered by one of our two receptionists--Linda Cassineri and Karen Slattery.  They both graciously serve as the first contact for anyone at the door or on the phone.   In the great tradition of church workers  everywhere, they do so much.  Besides making sure every caller or visitor is served or directed to someone else, Linda is a data entry whiz and she helps with all of our mailings and Karen coordinates our baptisms. 

Next up is Danielle Schumacher.  Dani has been on staff the  longest and she has a wide-range of big responsibilities.  She   compiles our highly-informative bulletin every week (no small feat when you have people who continually push the deadline.  Yes, I am talking about myself.) She also keeps our website up-to-date (straymond.net--it’s really good!), schedules weddings, manages our giving records and supports the Religious Education program.  She is a marvel!

Speaking of Religious Education, Christine Pershey serves as   our Director of Faith Formation.  What that means is Christine  coordinates and leads our RCIA program and other adult  enrichment programs.  She is also responsible for working with our devoted volunteer catechists to provide an outstanding and  enriching Religious Education program. 

Pete Pluth is our Business Manager and the lucky man who gets to share his offices with seven women.  Pete is a CPA, and he is  masterful at budgeting and expense management.  He also  handles payroll for the 61 people who work at the parish or school.

As bookkeeper, Mary Wheaton works closely with Pete to get all of our bills paid and to get the weekly collection deposited quickly and accurately.  Mary also oversees the Mass intentions--a behemoth of a job.  When people call or stop by for a Mass card, Mary deftly works the intention into our crowded calendar

Our newest team member is Kathy Starasinich who works with me on the Centennial Capital Campaign.  These days, Kathy works one day a week to process and track all pledges and gifts.  She’s a balances-her-checkbook-to-the-penny person, so she’s great at keeping tabs on everything.

As for me, I do my best to keep a lot of plates spinning.  Along with my development, marketing and planning duties for the parish, I also advance all of the Diocesan events we host here at the Cathedral.  And every once in a while, I oversee the building of a parking lot. 

A couple of years ago at our staff Christmas party, Fr. Brad offered a toast, saying we have the blurriest job descriptions ever.  We laughed because it’s true.  We all do a little bit—actually, A LOT—of everything.  Come see us any day!  No matter who answers the door, we are all happy to help, and we love putting faces and names together!

Eileen Hooks Gutierrez
815-722-6653, extension 242




Online Giving

Online Giving

Secure and Convenient Donate now!