According to its Constitution, the St. Thomas More Parish Council “serve(s) as a consultative and collaborative body to the pastor, sharing in the decision-making process, and assisting the pastor in carrying out his leadership role in the parish.” If STM parishioners are a community of companions of Jesus on mission with him in this place and at this time in history, the members of the STM Parish Council, along with the pastor, are leaders of this community of companions of Jesus.
More specifically, the Council adopts the same broad perspective of parish mission and identity and life as the pastor so that the Council can can assist the pastor in knowing the parish and assessing its strengths and needs. The Council assists the pastor in articulating the mission and identity of the parish; communicating that mission and identity to parishioners; encouraging and otherwise enabling parishioners to develop and carry out programs and activities capable of accomplishing the parish mission; and assuring the parish’s fidelity to that mission.
Currently, nine parishioners serve on the Council. Members typically serve three-year terms, with one-third of the membership rotating off the Council each year. Parishioners who are to replace those members rotating off the Council are nominated by the full membership, and these are appointed by the pastor. Current Council members are:
Cassandra (Cass) Catroppa
Cass Catroppa retired in 2010 from Atlanta Archdiocese after a 26 year career, prior to that she was a small business owner. She has been an STM parishioner since 1999 and is involved in the Welcome Ministry, Martha’s Ministry, LCAC and The S Factor. She has two adult daughters, Andrea and Alex; a grandson Brennan and a son-in-law, David.
Pat Hamilton has been a member of STM for two years, although was also involved in the parish when her children attended STM School. She is a retired lawyer and current administrator at Emory and has two young adult daughters, in Boston and Buffalo, who do interesting things!
Chris Harvey and his wife, Cathy, have been STM parishioners since 1995, and all four of their children have attended STM School from K-8 grades. Chris is an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist, a member of the Knights of Columbus, and a member of the Archdiocesan Lay Advisory Board.
Juliette Johnson has been a member of STM since 1979 and has been a Eucharistic Minister since 2007. She is widowed, has 3 children, 5 grandchildren and is a retired registered nurse with an active license.
Chris Marquardt is a partner at Alston & Bird LLP, a national law firm headquartered in Atlanta, and leads the firm’s Labor & Employment practice group. Chris and his wife Marie have four children – Mary Elizabeth, Nate, Pixley, and Annie – and have been STM members for several years.
Mesrak Nadew has been a member of the STM community for seven years serving as a Lector, a Eucharist Minister and a member of the Social Justice Committee. She works as an Independent Public Health Consultant and lives with her husband and children.
Anh Phillips has been a parishioner at STM for over 13 years. She is a former management consultant who now leads research and writing on trends and topics impacting technology leaders. She currently lives in Decatur with her husband and two children.
Originally a parishioner at STM from 1995-1998, Steve Siler returned to the parish in 2016. He has taught religious education, served as a lector and Eucharistic minister, and worked on the Parish Council. Steve is the president of the Mercy Care Foundation, the fundraising arm of Mercy Care, which provides healthcare to homeless or uninsured Atlantans. Steve and his wife Julie live in Decatur with their 3 kids, Katie, Caroline and Sam.
Mary Swartz has been a parishioner at STM for 3 years and an STM school parent for 11 years. Mary and her husband, Jim, live in Decatur with their 4 kids, Molly, Andy, Katie and Tommy.