Welcome your new Pastoral Council members!
There were three Pastoral Council positions open and three well qualified nominations! Please welcome Mike Maggart, John Parker and Tessa Ventura to the Pastoral Council. They begin their three year term on July 1st.
My name is Tessa Ventura. I’ve been a parishioner here at St. Leo’s for about ten years, but my affinity and appreciation for Ignatian spirituality and the Jesuit charism started over thirty years ago when I attended Bellarmine Prep, then Seattle University for my undergraduate studies. For the past twelve years, I have worked as an Administrative Assistant for a local eye surgeon, though my other “work” environments have included state government, the Archdiocese of Seattle, and REI. In my years here at St. Leo’s, I’ve been active with the Young Adults group (before I “aged out”), as an Acolyte/Sacristan, with the Simbang Gabi novena celebrations, and most recently, adult faith formation with the RCIA community.
Though I see myself as an introvert, I believe I am a good listener and observer in our community and the local area. I am constantly inspired and challenged by the ways in which we hear and live out the Gospel here at St. Leo’s. I hope to be an active listener and participant in liturgical and parish life, and I look forward to serving our vibrant and growing community for the next three years.
Mike Maggart moved to St. Leo’s from Sacred Heart Bellevue with his spouse of 47 years, Nancy, March 1, 2017. Their four sons and five grandchildren live in the Seattle/Tacoma area. Mike is currently a member of the JV Encorps volunteer cohort with Nancy, and very interested in building strong, healthy, ties in their new community. Mike retired in June of 2016 from Kennedy Catholic High School after 23 years of teaching, counseling and administration. Years of experience as teacher, coach, and administrator at Jesuit High in Oregon, Gonzaga Prep in Spokane, the Pacific Institute in Seattle, and Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers in Seattle have laid a significant foundation for responding to the needs of the St. Leo’s community. Mike also participated in the RCIA core team for over 20 years at Sacred Heart, Bellevue. These experiences managing people and projects as an administrator, collaborator, and team
decision-maker demonstrate his qualifications to serve the many needs of a diverse parish like St. Leo.
I have a tremendous sense of admiration, respect and devotion to our St. Leo’s community! The rich diversity of people along with the care and guidance of our pastors is among the reasons I returned to the catholic faith after several years of being away. My experiences here at St. Leo’s have shown me just how important everyone’s faith journey is to spiritual health and vitality of our congregation. For this reason, I would like your consideration and support for a position on the pastoral council. My journey in the catholic faith started when I was young and fostered by so many others who helped me grow. After confirmation as a young adult, I channeled my ministry to the youth in a few ways. I became a CYO youth minister in Sumner and continued connecting with kids to help them unlock their own spiritual path. I am married and have two children who were baptized and received their first communion here at St. Leos. Their comments about St Leos have been nothing short of inspiring to me, and lend to the feeling of ‘coming home’ to the faith. Currently, I serve the parish on the Stewardship Commission and also support our ‘Called to Serve as Christ’ campaign. Typically, you will find me at the 8 am mass where I enjoy ushering and welcoming new parishioners. Among the key reasons I am running for council centers on the need for unity. Focusing on our similarities of experiences rather than our differences keeps us united. St. Leo’s is made up of beautiful, caring individuals from all walks of life; yet, we come together for events and weekly mass to share our common passion, a love for Christ and desire to serve one another.