Parish Council




Frequently referred to as simply the Parish Council, our Parish Pastoral Council’s primary functions are to serve the Catholic Church of St. Mark community and to provide prayerful, considered advice to our Pastor, who is the church’s leader and spiritual Shepard in all matters. 



The council’s role should not be confused with a local municipality’s elected council.  Ours is a three part advisory role on pastoral matters, wherein we are called to investigate, reflect and deliberate, and provide recommendations to the Pastor.

In its directive, "Called to Serve", The Diocese of Richmond provides guidance on the formation, responsibilities and duties of our parish council.   The council’s responsibility is to:

    • Learn about the parish community,

    • Discern its faith life and

    • Help all to respond to needs as they identify those who are materially and spiritually impoverished, those who are oppressed and neglected.


The Bishop’s guidance states the council’s primary role is advisory, making recommendations to the pastor about the parish’s spiritual well-being.  The council does not run the parish, or supervise its daily work; that is the pastor’s responsibilityThe council must be a visionary group, concerning itself with where the parish wants to be in three to five years and not with the administrative aspects of running the parish.  The council must be prophetic, calling the community and its leaders to grow in faith together and to respond to the needs of the people.

We state in our Parish Council constituion that the council helps the pastor to evaluate and formulate policy, plans and activities that meet our parishioner’s pastoral needs, and with a focus on our Parish mission statement, allows the community to act and grow in response to the gospel.

The council serves on behalf of the parish community, and is therefore charged with listening to parishioners concerns by encouraging and engaging in open communication with the entire community.  The council functions in an environment of thoughtful discernment, and as a group must act in a collaborative manner within itself, and when working with other parish committees and groups.



All registered, active and worshipping lay members of the Parish are eligible to serve on the Parish Council.  The council is comprised of At-large members serving a three consecutive year term, and the chairpersons from each of our four ministries’ standing committees. The four minmistries' standing committees are Religious Formation, Parish Life, Justice and Peace, and Liturgy.

The pastor is the council’s President and exercises final authority over all matters before the council. He is supported by the Council Leadership Team comprised of the Council Chair, Vice Chair and At-Large Representative.

Leadership team members are elected annually by the council.  Additional council administrative positions include Recording Secretary, Faith and Prayer Coordinator and Mass Scheduler.


Current Membership

At-Large Members

Becky Schnekser ( Chair ) - Council member since August 2012:  Becky Schnekser is an energetic mother of two, Gabi and Luke. She is the proud wife of Michael Schnekser and loves to spend time watching and playing sports especially the Washington Redskins. She is a Science teacher at Cape Henry Collegiate and has been teaching since 2006. In addition to singing at mass, she is a member of the parish Baptism Team. Becky has been attending Saint Mark since 1995.


Steve Schlossberg  ( Vice-Chair ) - Council member since October 2014: Steve Schlossberg grew up in Seattle, WA and moved to Hampton Roads in 1989. Steve and his wife Marlene have three children; Arianne, Julian and Sam. They joined St. Mark Parish in 2005. Steve was born Jewish but later converted to Catholicism and completed the RCIA program at St. Mark in June 2014. He was Baptized and Confirmed during Saturday Mass at St. Mark on September 27, 2014. Steve attends Bible Study, became a Eucharistic Minister and programmed the new St. Mark website. He graduated from ODU as an Engineer, performs IT support and web programming for the Norfolk Admirals and Norfolk Tides and is a very avid Seattle Sports Fan (Go Seahawks).


MJ Sargent  ( Recording Secretary )


Mike Coleman  ( At Large Member ) - Council member since October 2014: Mike Coleman has been a member of St. Mark’s since 1987 and has had the pleasure of serving as a Catechist, Just Faith Justice Walking facilitator, CHWC adult participant, a member of the parishes Prison Ministry team, and a Catholic Worker volunteer. His wife Ellen is equally involved in many parish ministries. They have two adult children, Sal & Nick both leading exciting lives.


Ed Malana  ( At Large Member ) - Council member since August 2013: Ed Malana was born in the Philippines and moved to Virginia Beach in July 1977. He has been a member of Saint Mark Catholic Church since the start in 1978. He and his wife, Evelyn, are members of the Eucharistic and Lector Ministries. In addition, Ed is also a Greeter/Usher. He retired from the United States Navy in 1993 and was hired by the Department of Veterans Affairs as an Accountant until January 1995. He then transferred to the United States Air Force Audit Agency as a Civilian Internal Auditor and retired for good from the Federal Service in 2008. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus Father Habets Assembly 1505 and Kempsville Council 10515. Both Ed and his wife volunteer at the Saint Mark Food Pantry.


Victor Lepere  ( At Large Member ) - Council member since October 2014: Vic Lepere is a retired Naval Officer. Vic and his wife, Joy, have three daughters and five grandchildren. They have been members of St. Mark Parish since 1981 and have participated in several parish ministries.


 Tony Simpson ( At Large Member ) - Council member since February 2017: Tony Simpson has been a member of St. Mark's since 2011 and has been a catechist, serves on the Parish Information Team as well as serves as an occasional usher. Tony has been a member of the Knights of Columbus since 2008 and volunteers for many of its programs, charities and also serves as a Coucil Officer. Tony has worked in the aviation industry for the US Navy, US Coast Guard as well as for commercially since 1989. Tony has two beautiful daughters, Jordan and Haley, and is married to his wonderful wife, Paula.


Lacy Favila ( At Large Member ) - Council member since February 2017:



Standing Committee Chairpersons


Joyce Gridley ( Justice and Peace ) -


Giness Torres  ( Parish Life ) - Giness Torres Quinones is a devoted Catholic and a loving mother of 4 Jordan, Donovan, Petra, and Arianna. She loves and lives life to her fullest. Giness enjoys making people happy. She also enjoys dancing, reading, watching movies, teaching and singing. She's a member of the choir and attends the Saturday evening Mass. In addition, she teaches 4th grade Religious Formation and is in the morning group Women's Bible study. Giness has been attending Saint Marks since 1996 and is fluent in English and Spanish.


Deacon Mike Johnson ( Liturgy Committee ) - Committee chairperson since August 2014: Deacon Mike and his wife, Jessie, have been members of St Mark since the days of Mass at Indian Lakes Elementary (1983).  They have two adult sons who are both recently married. Mike served on Parish Council, including a term as its chair in the early 1990's.  He’s served the parish as a Lector, Eucharistic Minister and Mass Coordinator.  Mike retired in 1998 after 22 years of Naval Service.  He began formation for the Permanent Diaconate in 1999 and was ordained in March 2003.  Mike enjoys fulltime ministry and also likes to work-out.  He is an alumnus and ardent USC Trojan fan.



Parish Council Meeting Minutes

September 29, 2016 Parish Council Minutes

October 27, 2016 Parish Council Minutes
January 26, 2017 Parish Council Minutes
February 23, 2017 Parish Council Minutes

April 27, 2017 Parish Council Minutes
May 25, 2017 Parish Council Minutes
July 27, 2017 Parish Council Minutes
August 24, 2017 Parish Council Minutes
September28, 2017 Parish Council Minutes

October 24, 2017 Parish Council Minutes



Links and References