Collaborative Ministry Model

By virtue of our baptism, we are all called to participate in the mission of the Church. God bestows upon each of us a unique set of gifts: personality, skills, insights, experiences. These gifts are indeed a personal gift we have the privilege to savor, but they are also bestowed so that we can share them with our communities so all may benefit. A community, then, becomes a great sacramental exchange of God’s gifts, all for the betterment of creation. Each person has a collaborative role to play in the unfolding of our life together in the light of the Spirit. 

Commission Reports

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Commission Structure

St. Leo embodies this understanding by living out ministry through commissions that empower members of the community to shape the direction of parish life. We enjoy collegial relationships that take seriously the reality that the Spirit moves in and among us all. The staff supports these commissions in achieving their own self-directed goals.

St. Leo has the following eight commissions: Liturgy, Social Justice, Faith Formation, Stewardship, Pastoral Care, Ecumenical & Interfaith, Food Connection, and Facilities. Each commissions has a chair, a secretary, a pastoral council liaison and a staff liaison

Every five years, the community goes through a discernment to ascertain where the Spirit is inviting the community. You can find our most recent planning results here: Five Year Plan Presentation and Five Year Plan.

October 2022 Short-Range Parish Plan

Serve on a Commission

Parishioners are invited to inquire about participating on a commission. You must be a parishioner for at least one year. The commitment is three years with an option to renew one’s term. We welcome you to find out more about participating on a commission.


The Liturgy Commission supports the liturgical life of the parish. Liturgy is the sacred space within which we consciously and collectively join with Jesus in worship and thanksgiving to a God who passionately pours God’s self out to be with us. We are rooted in the liturgy and the sacraments, and honor its place as fundamental to the health and wellbeing of the parish. We seek to cultivate prayerful liturgies that help the community deeply encounter the divine, nourishing our collective relationship with the Triune God.


Staff Contact: Fr. Elias Puentes |

Commission Chair: Teresa Lynch |

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The mission of the Social Justice Commission is to live out the Gospel mandate to help realize God’s reign of peace and justice. As a Commission we educate the parish community on issues of social justice and environmental stewardship; engage in the work of social justice through the promotion of just legislative/policy development; promote action of civil engagement on behalf of vulnerable and exploited populations; develop programs and collaborative relationships to promote positive social change and sustainable living in a just world; and support direct services to those in need via St. Leo Emergency Services.

Staff Contact: Rick Samyn |

Commission Chair: Joel Hellencamp |

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The Faith Formation Commission focuses on creating and supporting opportunities for parishioners to deepen their faith. We embrace our Roman Catholic identity in this Jesuit parish following in the footsteps of St. Ignatius. We understand faith formation is a life-long journey which nourishes our Spirit in community. As a Eucharistic, Servant, and Pastoral community, we invite, reach out, and look inward as we deepen our faith experiences. Through faith formation experiences we seek to become disciples and authentic witnesses to the message of Jesus Christ within ourselves, in our families, and in our varied communities. The Faith Formation Commission listens for those values that most fully guide formation experiences. Core values that have emerged include:

  • The experience of trust and relationship in community
  • Encountering mystery and sacredness
  • Engaging our story-telling, retelling and interpreting the word of God
  • Celebrating our Catholic tradition in sacrament, liturgy, and prayer
  • Living faith with a preferential option for the poor
  • The practice of discernment-listening deeply for the will of God

Our hope is that as you experience the faith formation ministries either as minister or seeker, adult or child, you will feel engaged, inspired, and sense yourself as part of the whole in this community.

The Faith Formation Commission takes care of the Ecumenical & Interfaith Ministry works helping the parish proactively collaborate with other faith traditions in prayer and action. There is much that can be done and much to learn from each other. We seek a deeper understanding of our faith through the understanding of other faith perspectives and engaging in collaborative efforts. As a commission we support and assist with community interfaith projects; explore opportunities to incorporate interfaith education and action in youth formation; ensure that interfaith and ecumenical concerns are included regularly in the Prayers of the Faithful; provide educational experiences; participate in Habitat for Humanity building days; and seek to strengthen our engagement with ecumenical and interfaith organizations.

Staff Contact: 

Commission Chairs: Jerry Waterhouse | & Cass Harnett |

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Stewardship is a way of life. The mission of the St. Leo Stewardship Commission is to foster a spirit of recognition that all gifts come from God and we are called as individuals and as a community to return those gifts to God by bestowing them on those around us. Prayerful, courageous and joyful stewardship is fundamental to all parish life.

Staff Contact: 

Commission Chair: Kathleen Dommer |

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The Pastoral Care Commission assists the pastor in meeting the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of the Body of Christ. Each member of Pastoral Care, whether staff or trained steward, is committed to serving with love and integrity demonstrated by the life and ministry of Jesus. Pastoral care ministers commit to be the heart of God to those around us, whether by bringing communion and comfort to someone deeply isolated in a care facility, by offering homemade cookies with a smile to our community after Mass, by walking with someone in their grief. Pastoral care ministers make present the unwavering fidelity of God to love us into wellbeing.

Staff Contact:

Commission Chair: Rossane Trunk |

Health Care     Parish Life

The Food Connection Commission serves as the advisory board for the St. Leo Food Connection. A ministry of the parish, the Food Connection operates a variety of emergency food programs throughout Pierce County. The Food Connection has an annual cash budget of more than $600,000, plus donated food and volunteer hours valued at more than $2 million annually. The Commission assists the Director with strategic planning, fund development, and parish and community outreach efforts. The Commission meets monthly and members are encouraged to serve on one sub-committee. The Food Connection Finance Council is newly forming in Fall 2018 and will work with the Food Connection Director and Parish Business and Facilities Manager to oversee the finances of the organization.


Staff Contact: Daw Whitman |

Commission Chair: Chris Gavin |


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The Facilities Commission cares for our buildings with the understanding that our buildings play a key role in making St. Leo a welcoming home for all. This Commission notices the state of the buildings, is proactive in responding to issues, and plans for the construction, renovation, repair and maintenance of the physical facilities of the parish campus. This includes the church building, the rectory where parish staff work, and the William Bischel Hall (the Bix). The Commission works to support the St. Leo mission and help create a warm and welcoming environment that reflects and nurtures the charism of the St. Leo community.

Staff Contact: Patrick Keely |

Commission Chair: |

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Your Ideas Are Welcome

If you have an idea you want to propose in any area of the parish, bring it to the staff member associated with the commission of interest. The staff person will put your idea on the commission’s agenda. In addition, the staff contact will then relate your idea or initiative to the pastoral staff at its weekly meeting. The appropriate commission will research, review and reflect on a course of action that is consistent with the parish 5-Year Plan as well as our Mission and Values Statements. After collaboration with the Pastor, Pastoral Staff, other appropriate commissions and the Finance Council (as appropriate), the commission then makes a decision by consensus on a course of action. Depending on the idea, it may then go up to the Pastoral Council for approval


To contact a commission, begin with contacting the staff person associated with the Commission (listed above).

Serve on a Commission

Parishioners are invited to inquire about participating on a commission. You must be a parishioner for at least one year. The commitment is three years with an option to renew one’s term.  If you would like to find out more about participating on a commission, please contact the staff person associated with the commission of interest.