The Parish Pastoral Council Election is the weekend of May 18 & 19.
Here are the nominees to fill the Three open seats on the council.
It is an honor to be nominated for one of the vacating seats on our parish council. Interestingly, this nomination has occurred at a time when I am seeking the opportunity to participate more actively in the lay ministry at St. Boniface as the result of a planned career slow down after 25 years which should allow more time to devote to family and self.
As a biographical sketch, I was raised in a very caring Catholic family of 5 children in Lebanon, PA. After 12 years of Catholic schooling and graduation from Lebanon Catholic High School in 1970, then continuing at Bucknell University's Catholic Newman Center followed by an 8 year tenure as a science teacher and football/track coach at Lancaster Catholic High School, I have remained actively involved in multiple parishes in the Dioceses of Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and Scranton as an alter server, lector, Eucharistic minister, and high school CCD and Confirmation class teacher. At Sacred Heart Church in Cornwall, PA, I served as an elected parish council member, but this occurred earlier in my life in a parish that was smaller than ours and at a time of less complexity in both our Church and in the contemporary social milieu. On the arrival of my wife, Ann, and our 4 children to the Danville and Williamsport areas in 1988, I participated on a limited basis in active parish life as a lector but not in any other capacity primarily because of work related time constraints until more recently.
In truth, I possess no complex or planned agenda, if elected to our parish council, other than to faithfully serve our pastor, Father Bill Corcoran, fellow parishioners, and the parish council itself to the best of my intellect and ability, and in whatever capacity possible in order to advance our parish's vibrant mission and its message of spiritual healing and Catholic Christian service. This goal encompasses bringing and strengthening our parish's mission to our faithful members, to our youth, to the home-bound, to those in need of the basic necessities of life that are not necessarily our parishioners, and to those locally who our Catholic Church still numbers as its own but who have- for whatever reasons- sadly abandoned our Faith, are now "lost,' and need once again to be "found" and brought back to our family in Christ.
As a lifelong member of St. Boniface parish (as were my parents and grandparents), it is a pleasure to introduce myself today. My name is Arnie Betts and I have placed my name for consideration to be part of your parish council. I currently reside in the Linden area with my wife – Michele where we have raised three wonderful children – Rebecca, Timothy, and Emily - on a small Christmas tree farm. Our family has been active in parish life – through the mass, music ministry and religious education. I am a recently retired instructor of Science from the Williamsport Area School District and retired adjunct instructor of Anatomy from the Pennsylvania College of Technology. During that tenure I have had the pleasure of interacting with many fine individuals as well as serving as a coach, club advisor, band parent, orchestra parent, and being active on various school committees all the while providing students with unique learning adventures. Outside of the classroom, I have been involved with Girl Scouting for 25 years and currently have twice that many years in as a registered member of the Boy Scouts of America. I still continue to work with a local troop. It is my hope that I will be able to use my skill set to build upon the great strides that St. Boniface has made over the last couple of years. It would be my honor to serve the parishioners of St. Boniface Church.
I am honored that I was nominated for parish council. I’ve been a member of St. Boniface since birth. Most of my family and relatives are Catholic and belong here and other local parishes. I’ve been a Eucharistic minister for about 20 years, and I’ve brought the Eucharist to nursing home residents and home-bound parishioners for about the same period of time. I’ve been a pastoral minister and even taught 1st grade Sunday School one year. My daughter Megan assisted me. There were 30 kids in the class that year. That will sure show you what you’re made of! By the end, it was a wonderful experience. I learned a lot from them. They were great kids.
All of the ministries I’ve participated in have humbled me and brought me more spiritual strength. I get so much from these people. I know that in every way I’ve served, God gave me the nudge to ask me to do these things. I’ve never regretted saying “yes”. I would also give this ministry my best to move forward in this modern age and also keep tradition. If I’m not chosen, that’s OK too. I will just keep doing what I’m doing. Wherever I am needed, I will go. God puts people where they’re needed.
A Williamsport native, I am a life-long member of St. Boniface Church. I attended St. Boniface School, St. Mary’s High School and graduated from Williamsport High School and Sacred Heart Hospital School of Nursing in Allentown, PA.
My career as a nurse began at Divine Providence Hospital. I was employed as a Registered Nurse for 41 years, spending the majority of that period in management positions in Maternal/Child Health. During that time, I completed a Bachelor’s Degree program through College of St. Francis, Joliet, IL.
I was married 41 years and have two children and four wonderful grandchildren. Since retirement, I volunteered many years at St. Anthony’s Medical Clinic, Divine Providence Hospital and serve on the Boards of the Hospital Auxiliary, Hospital Retiree’s Organization and the Florence Crittendon Foundation. I am a member of our parish’s Social Concerns Committee and have been involved in many parish activities.
My Catholic faith is extremely important in my life and I am honored to be nominated for Parish Council. If elected, I will do my best to help meet the needs of our Parish Community.
Robert S. Pursell
I grew up in Williamsport where my family belonged to Annunciation (St. Joseph the Worker) Parish. I moved away from Williamsport to attend college and begin my career in education. Upon my return twenty years later, my wife, children and I joined St. Boniface Parish in 1985.
My college education includes Lock Haven University, B.S., Elmira College, M.A., The Pennsylvania State University, M. Ed. and graduate studies at Cornell University. My career path has been both varied and enjoyable with experience in three distinct careers of about 15 years each.
I have experience with board positions as a volunteer. I served on the Lycoming United Way Board and served as the Lycoming County Fund Drive Chairman in 1991. I served for 19 years on the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra Board holding the position of secretary for many years. I just completed a 6-year term on the Williamsport Country Club Board where I held the offices of secretary, treasurer and vice president. I am currently a member of the Lycoming County Economic Development Foundation.
My wife Carol and I enjoy central Pennsylvania and have no plans to leave the area. We have three grown children: Rob living in Connecticut, Erin in Virginia and Alyssa in Mississippi. We do enjoy traveling and of course visiting our four grandchildren. Now that I am retired, I have the time and the desire to contribute my energy and experience to St. Boniface. I would like to serve to help meet the needs of our parish.
Jim Runnels, Jr.
I am a lifelong member of St. Boniface, and a retired public school teacher. My wife, Linda, and I have 3 children and 2 grandchildren. As a school teacher, I was involved on many committees and grade level teams. I can bring some of that experience to parish council. As a youth, I was a member of the choir and an altar boy. As an adult, my wife and I were members of the baptism committee. I have a vested interest in the future of St. Boniface. It has been my family’s home parish for 3 generations. As my children begin to raise their own children, I want to continue the growing feeling of community here at St. Boniface. As a parish, we need to continue to involve our youth, as they are the future of our church. I would be proud to serve as your representative.