New Mission Strategy Group Begins Work

In February, a new advisory group will begin the next phase of developing a mission strategy for the partnership dioceses. The group, which will be chaired by Craig Dressler of St. Mark’s, Erie, and Twila Smith of St. Simon’s, Buffalo, was appointed by the councils of both dioceses.

“I am grateful to the people of both dioceses who have agreed to lead this effort,” Bishop Sean said. “The dreams and aspirations that we generated at diocesan convention and during the Emmaus Gatherings will guide them as they develop gospel objectives and goals for our mission strategy. Our agenda, as I have said, is to transform our communities for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and these leaders will help us design a plan to do just that.”

The advisory group will meet for the first time at a retreat on February 13 and 14, and then form working groups to address different facets of the mission strategy. In May, the advisory group will meet with the standing committees and councils of both dioceses to review its progress. The final mission strategy will be presented to the people of the partnership in the fall.

Members of the Mission Strategy Advisory Group from Northwestern Pennsylvania include

Cathy Dinger of Holy Trinity, Brookville, Adam Trambley of St. John’s, Sharon; Jason Shank of Resurrection, Hermitage; Melinda Hall of the Cathedral of St. Paul; Stacey Fussell of Ascension, Bradford; Claire Wachter of St. Stephen’s, Fairview; Erin Betz Shank of Trinity, New Castle and Mary Norton of Emmanuel, Corry.


Members from Western New York include Jim Isaac of St. Mark’s, LeRoy; Lillian Davis-Wilson of St. Philip’s, Buffalo; Barbara Price of St. Paul’s, Lewiston and St. John’s, Youngstown; Luke Fodor of St. Luke’s, Jamestown; Saxon Deck of St. Matthias, East Aurora; Derrick Fetz of St. Paul’s Cathedral; Colleen O’Connor of St. Mark’s, LeRoy and Ann Tillman of St. Matthias, East Aurora.

Read more about developing a diocesan mission strategy in Bishop Sean’s convention address.

Note, this story was edited on May 7 to add the names of new members of the mission strategy group.