Friar +Joseph Augustine Menna, AIHM

Friar Shane+Nicholas Neese, AIHM

Friar Thomas+ Gabriel Bradshaw, AIHM

Friar Michael Simeon Marino, AIHM





Guest: Bishop Steven


Meeting opened with prayer


Discussed amount in Diocesan account.  Have no real income unless we have a fundraiser. Discussed how poorly the last fundraiser done by the AIHM performed.

Budget - will share the cost of Web Hosting with the Order.

Discussed vocation advertising, but decided not to at the present time. 


Discussed and approved setting up a Synod fund to pay for the cost of General Synod in 2020 for the Delegates.  Delegates will still be responsible for their own air fare. 


Statutes call for Assessment by clergy and ministry.

Discussed ways to raise funds. 

St. Augustine Parish will contribute $100

St. Rita's House Church will contribute $100

AIHM will contribute $200


Discussed Jubilee celebrations during the year.  Final dates and decisions will be tabled until Annual Chapter meeting later this evening.


Agreed to change name of Diocese from Diocese of St. Thomas of Villanova to Synodal Catholic Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic.  Or Mid-Atlantic Diocese for short.




Any ministries wanted that we are not doing? 


Michael discussed his ministry of making plarn and mats for homeless. Each of us can donate bags to be cut into plarn, OR better yet, cut the bags and make balls of plarn to give to Michael.  He will then crotchet the mats.  Anyone can crotchet the mats.  Michael will work with Shane to make a how to video for youtube.  This will also help garner some attention from people looking at what we are doing.


Compassionate Care Page


Bp. Steven discussed his experience at the ICCC convention.

We discussed focusing on local or at large.  It was decided that with our size right now, to focus on local level.   But we have not said no to being a part of the ICCC


How we operate as a Diocesan Synod may need to be codified.  Discussed keeping the way we operate "around the table" for now. If we need to set rules of order and such, can always do this later. 


Mid-Synod will be help during President's Day weekend going forward.  This year that is February 16th. 


No new business.


Meeting was adjourned and Bp Steven gave a blessing.




St. Thomas of Villanova Annual Diocesan Synod

August 12, 2017


Bp. Joseph Augustine, AIHM

Friar Thomas Gabriel, AIHM

Friar Shane Nicholas, AIHM

Karen L.

Dcn Melina Frame

Amanda P.


Dcn Melina opened the meeting with prayer



The money currently in the account is from donations and Assessments.

It was discussed and decided that the Diocese will split the cost of web hosting with the Order, and this will come directly out of the budget instead of being paid privately.

Ministry/Parish assessments will remain at $25 for the year.

Discussed Vocations and Marketing

            Boosting posts on social media

                        Focus on reaching out to women

                        Focus on our inclusiveness

                        Timing will be Christmas and Easter

A video will be assembled with stills and live action, perhaps even with an interview.  This is will be shared to social media, our websites, and Karen L will post to a couple of listserves she is a part of.

Dcn Melina suggested selling handmade Rosaries through our website to help put money into the Diocesan fund. This was approved.  Rosaries will be made and sent to Friar Shane for photographing and posting. Shipping will be handled directly from Friar Shane to facilitate ease.


Making a charitable donation was tabled for this year so we can work on building up our funds and our diocese.

We will discuss a mid-synod gathering to take place in March or April.



Discussed doing a fundraiser.

Bp. Joseph said he doesn’t want us doing two during the year (one for the diocese and one for the Order)

Will do a fundraiser with Booster, money will be split with the Order.



Changes were sent out to everyone via email a couple of months ago.

Bp. Joseph called for a vote

Friar Shane motioned,

Karen L seconded.

All were in favor, none against.


House of Clergy

It was decided that Major Clergy of the Diocese will meet at least once a year outside of Annual Synod.

General Continuing Formation was tabled.  But Bp. Joseph will work with Dcn Mel on continuing Diaconal formation.


Plans for a Diocesan Mid-Synod was tabled for now.  Houses will inform Bp. Joseph of plans/ideas.


New Business

Discussed using Zoom for video/conference calling. It was explained how easy it is to use, the call and video quality, etc.

Will begin using Zoom for all Conference Call/Video Conferencing. 

The cost will be born mostly by the Order with the Diocese helping to pay a small portion.  Again, it was decided to have this directly come from the accounts instead of being paid privately.


There were no Communion Wide issues or ideas to discuss


A lot going on in the world.  Bp. Joseph will post to our Facebook page to address issues.



Meeting was adjourned. 


Bishop Joseph Augustine Menna, AIHM

Father Shane Nicholas Neese, AIHM

Father Thomas Bradshaw, AIHM Obl

Karen Lasko, Bishop's Council, Lay Delegate

Gregg Torres-Agosto, Guest



Amanda Parks, 

Friar Alessandro De Trinitate Botelho, AIHM  Lay Delegate


1. Integration Plan

Update: We are past the point of observation. Only part left is the practical part - overlap in clergy, etc. Diocese of Florida and Diocese of California will have their annual synod meetings in January and will vote on finalizing our integration.

2. New Life

There is a small group in Virginia that may possibly be forming.  +Joseph will visit them this fall. Also, they have a potential seminarian in mind that would serve this small group. 

3. Financial Needs

Diocesan Checking account is necessary and is already in place. AIHM will use the St. Thomas of Villanova Fund account as the Diocesan account.

Diocesan Stewardship/Assessments

 * Non-public clergy will be assessed $10 per year

 * Public Ministry Clergy will be assessed $25 per year

 *Religious Orders will be assessed $25 per year

(it was not discussed whether each mission/parish is also to be assessed each year) 

4. Prayer and Community

Do we want as clergy a time regularly scheduled to fellowship and pray? 

It was decided that we would conference call Quarterly.

The first half of the call would be Clergy and Laity

The second half of the call would be Clergy.

Everyone is to look at their calendars and see what would be best date to start. Email to group will be sent through the new Diocesan email group Shane will create

5. Lay Delegate Selection

Karen Lasko will be the Lay Delegate for St. Augustine

Alessandro will be the Lay Delegate for the Augustinians of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Possibly Amanda Parks will be Lay Delegate for St. Rita's - Fr. Thomas will discuss this with her and let us know soon.

6. Bishop's Council

Is to be made up of the Lay Delegates and the General Council from the AIHM 5

7. Vocations and Evangilization

We are the best vocation brochure - how we live our lives and interact with people is the best witness we can make. Continue to be a witness for Christ and the Church. 

8. Website

Our Diocesan page is basically there as a landing page.  It contains information about us, but is also there as a starting point for folks to find our parishes and Religious Order.   No changes were recommended at this time. 

9. New Business

Our name will stay Diocese of St. Thomas of Villanova

Together throughout the year we will work on a logo to use for the Diocese 

Father Shane will create the Diocesan group email.