Parish Pastoral Council
The Parish Pastoral Council provides the vision and direction for the parish, establishes pastoral priorities and ensures their implementation. The Council is responsible for calling and enabling all members of the parish to discover, develop and offer their gifts in service to the parish and to the wider community.
2017 Parish Pastoral Council Members
Please contact any of our Council Members with your questions, comments, or suggestions.
Msgr. William Carr
Gina Prettitori Austin
Kerri Inge PC Chair, Women's Ministry
Elisabeth Beal Youth
Ann Gill NET, Liturgy
George Sadler School Principal
Pierre Morel About
Ross Grogg About
Andrienne Morales About
Barbara Gorla About
Pam Sweeney About
I was fortunate to have grown in the Catholic faith surrounded and encouraged by my parents. From an early first communion,a growing love for the Eucharist fueled my journey forward. Looking back, my faith journey looks like a series of steps followed by long flat periods.
The first challenge came when I moved to the US in my early 20s, I had to “re learn” my faith. Switching from France where Catholics are a majority (though not practicing) to a place with many denominations and a minority of Catholics. Growing up my only challenge was how to explain that I believed. But now I had to answer: Why are you catholic specifically? All this faith received and stored, I had to make mine.
The next step in my faith came with meeting my wife Vanessa. Her questions and love challenged me to re-learn the content ofour faith. Allowing me to be a father, she also contributed to a deeper understanding of God’s fatherhood.
The overwhelming grace received during a Cursillo gave me my next step. This was compounded a year later when I was asked to be on team to teach the following Cursillo. God showered me with gifts for a stronger prayer life and pushed me towards a greater love of his Word.
Two years ago we moved to Richmond and joined St Bridget as our parish and the school for our oldest. With my wife and our daughters Caroline and Lily we slowly got involved with the school and some parish activities.
I was honored to be called to serve on the St Bridget parish council. As someone told me a few years ago: our Father doesn’t call the qualified but qualified the called.
I am grateful for the love of our Father that continues to slowly transform me. I am not the man I used to be but I am not yet the one He wants me to be so the journey continues. Please keep us in your prayers so that we can serve where He wants us.
I was born and raised in a small town in upstate New York, Millbrook. Raised Episcopalian, my family was very active in the church. Both parents served on the vestry and the whole family was involved in special programs at the church.
Admittedly I was not great about going to church in college or even right after college; to me, attending church had always been about community. However, I was lacking a permanent community but still felt I had a relationship with God. Once Istarted my career and settled down, one of the first things I did was join a church, albeit in the Episcopal tradition. It wasn’t until I met my wife, Nicole that I was really led to Catholicism.
As I started praying about conversion, I realized just how many people in my life were Catholic. Most of my best friends from high school all the way to my first job, were all catholic and found subtle ways to share their faith with me. I am convinced they were there for a reason.
I’ve always believe in God, that his Son died for my sins, andnow I believe He is truly present each time I am at mass, however the path to that last belief was not easy. Transubstantiation forced me to question my logic and my decision throughout the RCIA process. However, while my mind questioned, my heart knew I made the right decision. Right after my first communion there was a moment when it hit me and I knew I was in the right place. As Monsignor Carr said recently, “my heart was on fire with the love of Jesus.” Truly in that moment my heart burned with his love.
That moment coupled with the strong community at Saint Bridget has made me love God and our church even more. Nicole and I usually attend Mass on Sundays at 5:00pm; I usually Usher and she lectures. This opportunity with Parish Council is the next way for me to give back and I believe my journey will provide a unique perspective to the Council.
My name is Adrienne Morales. I was born in Roanoke, VA, lived in Richmond during elementary school, Fairhope, AL, during middle school, and landed in Atlanta, GA, where I attended high school, went to Georgia Tech, and began my career. During this time, my faith life included attending mass and Sunday school until I was confirmed in 7th grade, and then when Life Teen became optional, I opted out and mass became the definition of faith for me.
Despite my minimal involvement with a church community from HS on, there are still a few conversations with God that resonate with me. The first was in 2012, and it’s what got me involved with Catholic Heart Work Camp. Since then, each year I have chaperoned and worked in sweat and faith with teens to do good in the community and watch God work through us.
The second followed in 2013. I was working in Atlanta and had been offered a job in Richmond. I was struggling to decide, so went to mass. When I walked into the Basilica there was music playing on a stereo. Usually there is no music at daily mass. I knelt to pray and noticed I was humming along to the instrumental tune, wracking my brain for what it was. “Be not afraid. I go before you always. Come, follow me. And I will give you rest.” I walked out of mass, accepted the position, headed to Richmond, and have been here and at Saint Bridget for almost four years.
Saint Bridget has become my home and the contemporary choir in particular, my family. My husband and I met at choir and were married here in November 2016. We are excited to continue to grow here and bring children into this community of faith.
In the meantime, I look forward to getting further engaged with the parishioners through my service with the Pastoral Council, by brainstorming how best to shape the Saint Bridget community for the future and how to most effectively communicate to the masses and encourage participation in our ministries and in our broader community.
I am honored to be a new member of the Pastoral Council of Saint Bridget Catholic Church.
I was raised in a family where my mother was Catholic and my father was Foursquare Baptist. My mother ensured that my brother, sister and I completed our sacraments. However, there was no daily presence of faith in my childhood. Being called to serve was something I never heard about or experienced.
Through the grace of God and my daughter's gentle and persistent encouragement, 5 years ago I became a member of Saint Bridget. Up until then, my faith was filled with hills and valleys, turning to God to fix my failings, asking God to help a loved one in need and then not attending to God when life was good and things were peaceful. Though I met my obligations as a Catholic, I had no true understanding of what the presence of God in my life actually meant.
When I joined Saint Bridget, I was hesitant because I felt this might be an uncomfortable journey and a commitment I could not keep. I was so pleasantly wrong. I felt so welcomed at the New Member Meeting. After that, I had the courage to reach out and become more involved in parish service. With each new service activity I participated in, I felt more closely connected to God, while finding myself unknowingly bringing His presence to my daily life.
I feel most blessed to be a member of Saint Bridget. I love this parish and feel connected to it on so many levels. It is a special blessing to have 3 of my grandchildren attend school here, to have my granddaughter participate as an altar server and to see my daughter serve on the schoolâ€™s PTO. As a family, we have much to share in our daily discussions and give thanks for the spiritual, fellowship and service that Saint Bridget brings to our conversations each day.
I look forward to further participating in God’s work and strengthening my own personal faith journey. I am grateful to have been called to serve.
Mark and I have been parishioners at Saint Bridget for more than 25 years. I have always loved the parish, but it was not until the last several years that I truly realized what an enormous blessing it was to be part of this parish family. During the past several years, I have gradually become involved with various activities and ministries at Saint Bridget. I began by participating in the Wednesday morning Bible Study. Next, I was asked to serve on the Welcoming Committee for new parishioners after Mass on designated Sundays. My next big step was becoming a Lay Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. Serving at Mass has been an honor as well as a humbling and joyful experience. For the last 5 years I have volunteered at Blackwell Elementary School through the Micah Initiative. Since I have a tutoring business and a Masters in Teaching it has been a good fit for me.
I am interested in joining the Parish Council because I want to serve the parish that has given me numerous opportunities to enrich my life. Additionally, I want to help Saint Bridget grow as a parish and increase the participation of its parishioners (time, talent and treasure). I feel my experiences and enthusiasm will help move the parish forward and encourage others to take the first step to get more involved in the parish life and ministries at Saint Bridget.