Archdiocese of Seattle Pastoral Planning Statement – 7.8.20

Pastoral Planning Statement 7.8.20

Archdiocese of Seattle Reaches Milestones in Pastoral Planning Process Launches Survey and Names Members to the Pastoral Council

Seattle, WA, July 8, 2020 – The Archdiocese of Seattle continues its pastoral planning process with the goal of ensuring all archdiocesan and parish ministries are serving the fundamental mission of the church, namely to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. Focused on elevating the voice of the laity, the archdiocese launched its Catholic Survey and appointed members to the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, achieving key milestones in the pastoral planning process.

“Our goal is to become a more mission-oriented church that continually draws people closer to Christ, regardless of where they are in their faith journey,” said Archbishop Paul D. Etienne, who wrote about the need for the church to be more effective in carrying out this mission in a letter issued earlier this year. “It’s really about understanding what God is calling us to do right now.”

Archdiocesan Pastoral Council
For the first time since 2001, the archbishop of Seattle has appointed a Pastoral Council to provide consultation. Satisfying one of his earliest stated goals, Archbishop Etienne formally appointed 13 lay representatives and two clergy consultors, after five months of fielding nominations and vetting more than 90 lay candidates.

“The church is all of the people of God, not just the hierarchy, which is why I need to hear from the people to keep in touch with their lived realities and work with them to achieve the mission entrusted to us all by Jesus Christ,” Archbishop Etienne said. “This Archdiocesan Pastoral Council will help inform long-term ministry planning, lay the foundation for greater mission effectiveness, and create a more united church.”
Similar to pastoral councils of the past, the newly appointed members will immediately begin work on the creation of a new pastoral plan for the church in Western Washington. Unlike past councils, the archbishop intends to make the pastoral council a permanent body in order to honor the importance of lay voices in the church. Those appointed in this first cohort will serve a two-year term.

Newly appointed lay council members include:

  • Claudia Vargas from St. Theresa in Federal Way
  • Dana Questad from St. Luke in Shoreline
  • Gary Thebault from St. Mary in Anacortes
  • Ian Heisser from Immaculate Conception in Seattle
  • Ignacio Martinez from St. Alphonsus in Seattle
  • Jaisy Joseph from St. Anne in Seattle
  • Jesus Gomez-Sanchez from St. Joseph in Vancouver
  • Jim Hochstein from St. Catherine in Seattle
  • Kerry McMahon from St. Frances Cabrini in Lakewood
  • Kim Brennan from St. Rose in Longview
  • Lisa Matchette from St. James Cathedral in Seattle
  • Patricia Davis from Sacred Heart of Jesus in Seattle
  • Thuy-Tien Vo from St. Anne of Tacoma

Additionally, Archbishop Etienne appointed two clergy members to the council:

  • Father Colin Parrish from St. Anne in Seattle
  • Deacon Scott Aikin from St. Joseph in Vancouver

The Catholic Survey

To gather insights from the faithful, the archdiocese launched This comprehensive survey for current and former Catholics asks about the archdiocese’s strengths, weaknesses and potential priorities for the new pastoral plan.
“This is a significant 30-minute survey that asks a number of questions regarding a person’s faith history, their personal beliefs, and closes with open-ended responses,” said Tim Hunt, executive director for planning and mission effectiveness, who will be managing the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council. “We’ve received over 6,400 completed surveys, which is encouraging because it shows a high level of engagement and interest in the future of our church.”

The Archdiocesan Pastoral Council will review this data to inform its work and provide an initial report of findings in the fall. The survey will remain open throughout 2020 and is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Korean:

“If Catholics have already taken the survey, I’d ask that they share the survey with others who may not be aware of it,” said Hunt. “We especially hope for even greater feedback from middle aged to younger adult Catholics and those who were once Catholic but no longer consider themselves to be so.”

About the Archdiocese of Seattle

The Archdiocese of Seattle encompasses all of Western Washington, stretching from Canada to Oregon and from the Cascade Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. There are 169 parishes, missions and pastoral centers in the archdiocese, with more than 500 weekly Masses celebrated in eight languages. Archbishop Paul D. Etienne leads the archdiocese with his two auxiliary bishops, Bishop Eusebio Elizondo and Bishop Daniel Mueggenborg. For more information about the Archdiocese of Seattle, visit


Media Contact: Helen McClenahan |Media line: 206-402-9373