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Pastoral Council

The work of the Pastoral Council

In the years following the Second Vatican Council, many changes have occurred in the Church and the world.  These changes are reflected in our own diocese, one of the most remarkable being that vocations to the priesthood and religious life have decreased markedly.  As a result, parishes have been closed, merged or partnered.  At the same time, the spiritual needs of our parishioners continues to  multiply.  The good news is that the Holy Spirit is alive and active among us, urging us to use our gifts and talents for the good of our sisters and brothers.

There are two important questions that must be answered:  What needs to be done as the Church moves into the future and who is going to do it?  No one person has all the answers.  No one person can identify all the issues.  But we, working together as brothers and sisters in Christ, can begin to answer these questions as we move ahead.

The Pastoral Council, made up of ordinary parishioners, is designed to work with the Pastor in identifying the needs of the parish and then to chart a course that will help us, as Church, respond to those needs.  Members of the Pastoral Council are called to help shape the vision of the parish:  (Where do we see the parish moving in the next five to ten years?), and then to develop a plan that will motivate and inspire parishioners to reach that goal (What do we have to do to get there?).

Pastoral Council Members


Lauren Abel

Lauren AbelLauren was born and raised in New Kensington and has been a lifelong member of Mt. St. Peter Church. She serves our Parish as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion and is a member of the MSP Legacy Society. Lauren is a Procurement Manager at Bechtel Plant Machinery in Monroeville and currently resides in Lower Burrell.

Lauren's vision for Mt. St. Peter Parish is that it will continue to grow and have a greater presence in the surrounding communities. Lauren hopes to motivate and inspire parishioners to become more involved in the many projects and ministries that Mt. St. Peter Parish has to offer.  


Brenda Augustine

Brenda AugustineBrenda has been a member of Mt. Saint Peter Parish since 1995 where she married her husband George. They have two children, Victoria and Cameron, and reside in Apollo. Brenda currently serves as a Eucharistic Minister, Chairperson of Children's Games for the Festa, volunteers at Fish Fry, and was previously an assistant for Faith First.

“I am proud to be a member on Pastoral Council. I believe that faith should come first in family life. My vision for Mt. Saint Peter Parish is that the younger families become more involved in the life of the parish. Through their faith and involvement in the parish, my hope is their families will grow closer to God.”  



Michael Brock

Michael BrockMichael is a lifelong resident of the area, graduating from Kiski Area High School. He graduated from Southern Illinois University with a degree in Dental Laboratory Technology. He and his wife. Nancy, were married in Mt. St. Peter Church 29 years ago and they have two beautiful daughters, Lauren and Natalie. They are the owners of Brock Laboratories, Inc. a full service dental laboratory in Creighton.

Michael has been a member of the parish since 1986 and went through the RCIA process in 1994-95. He hopes to see our parish thrive and grow, not only in the number of parishioners, but also as a presence in the community.



Maria Guzzo

Maria GuzzoMaria and her husband, Joe, married at Mount St. Peter in 1991 and have a son, Joseph. Born in Bethlehem, Pa., she met her husband at Point Park University where they both studied journalism and communications. They moved to New Kensington, Joe’s hometown, in 1994.

Maria began volunteering at Mount St. Peter with the Gardeners of Eden and her parish involvement has grown ever since. She also is now involved with the Food Pantry, Community Clothes Closet, Soup for the Soul, St. Anthony Guild, Addolorata, Trash & Treasure, Festa, fish fry and taking photos for the parish’s social media sites.

Maria hopes more parishioners will recognize they have time and talent to offer, and realize the joy in volunteering and reaching out to others.


Jennifer Lombardo

Jennifer LombardoJennifer and her husband, Nick Lombardo, were both born and raised in New Kensington. She’s been a member of the parish since they were married here 22 years ago. They currently live in Lower Burrell with their son, Nico, age 16. Jennifer has a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a concentration in public relations.

Jennifer feels she is truly blessed to be part of such a hardworking and generous parish! She has seen firsthand how Mt. St. Peter parishioners have responded to evangelization efforts and how they have made a significant difference within the parish, as well as out into the community. “We still have lots of exciting work to do, and together we can continue to spread the good news of Christ!”


Larry Martin

Larry MartinLarryMartin and his wife Sue have been members of Mt St Peter Parish for over 20 years. They have lived in Markle, Allegheny Township for 29 years where they raised their daughter Julie and sons Stephen and John. Larry serves our Parish in the ministries of lector, extraordinary minister of Holy Communion to the homebound, and Secretary of the Holy Name Society. He has a BS Degree in Chemistry and works at U. S. Steel Research as an Electron Microscopist.

Larry believes that as followers of Jesus Christ we are all on a Journey to Heaven. Deepening the spirituality and sense of discipleship of the members of Mt. St Peter, especially the men of the parish, makes the goal more attainable for everyone. He hopes that all members of the parish can contribute to broadening the Evangelization efforts in our Community.


Terry Schrock

Terry SchrockTerry Schrock and his wife, Denise, were married in Mount St. Peter Church on June 22, 1996 after Terry completed the parish’s RCIA program. The couple has three children, Lauren, Rachel, and Wesley. Terry and Denise try to instill in their children, the importance of giving back to one’s church and community in appreciation for the gifts bestowed on each of us by God through the Holy Spirit. They believe that children should be shown an example of faithful stewardship and active evangelization by their parents and that the entire family should be expected to participate in church related activities beginning at a young age. Terry and his family participate in Children’s Liturgy of the Word, choir, baptismal preparation, youth group, fish fry, and, of course, the Festa. 2015 is Terry’s first year on Pastoral Council.

Terry believes in Mother Theresa’s plea to “find [our own] Calcutta” within our own backyards and communities, and even next door. As a member of Pastoral Council, Terry would like to extend a personal challenge to each and every parishioner of MSP to investigate and get involved in just one program or ministry in the next year and commit to a single year of service to that organization. Through increased participation and discipleship from individual parishioners, Terry envisions a time when the entire A-K Valley will be able to “count on the Mount” as the go-to source for spiritual nourishment (through a vibrant Catholic liturgy), social justice and outreach (based on Christ’s example and teachings), and community leadership (steeped in decades of Italian Catholic heritage).  


Maryellen Schroeder

Maryellen SchroederMaryellen is the wife of Edward and the mother of Ariel, Gabe, Isabelle, and Ethan. She studied Germanic language and literature before receiving degrees in Public Health and medicine from the University of Pittsburgh. Since 1990 she has served as full-time faculty for the family medicine residency program at UPMC St. Margaret and is also active in private practice.

She has recently become interested in how Catholicism’s rich, two thousand year heritage perfectly complements science and technology, and as a council member wants to explore new and modern means of communication to spread the gospel. She feels that Mt. St. Peter Parish can help invigorate our local community through actively following Christ in word, deed, and prayer. As a Pastoral Council member she hopes to deepen her own faith as well as help other parishioners nourish their spirituality while living in a secular world.


J. T. Tuskan

J.T. TuskanJ. T. Tuskan, his wife, Anita, and their family have lived off of Coxcomb Hill for nearly 30 years, but were only blessed to discover the many ways MSP could increase their faith in late 2008. The vibrant liturgies, impactful homilies, joyful singing, community outreach and the wonderful Italian food and people have become a significant part of the Tuskan’s lives over the last six-plus years.  J. T. and Anita have raised three children, Justin and Julie who live in the Pittsburgh area, and Jessie who is attending Seton Hill. J. T. directs the marketing and corporate communications efforts for Pittsburgh-based Federated Investors, a $350 billion investment company where he’s worked since 1993.

On Pastoral Council, J. T. continues to focus on the adult faith formation committee and its expanded efforts to include strengthening families. He’s also lending his marketing expertise to council as it uses new and increased communications tools so more parishioners become aware of the blessings they receive as active MSP members. His prayer for MSP is that Christ will set more hearts ablaze with His love to spread the good news of the gospel to active and inactive parishioners, as well as the New Kensington community.