Parish Pastoral Council

2018-19 Parish Pastoral Council. Clockwise, from top left: Carlos Salinas, John Dolan, Christopher Hannigan, Jim Thessin, Richard Coll, Kathleen Coogan, Jimmy Ervin, Kevin Barquinero, Ellen Toups, Tania-Chomiak-Salvi, Kevin Gillespie, S.J.
Not pictured: Kevin Coogan, Sara DeCarlo, Kenny Kraft

Council Members
Ellen Toups
Chris Hannigan
Vice President
Kevin Gillespie, S.J.
Kevin Barquinero
Tania Chomiak-Salvi
Richard Coll
Kathleen & Kevin Coogan
Sara DeCarlo
John Dolan
Jimmy Ervin
Kenny Kraft
Carlos Salinas
Jim Thessin

2019 Parish Pastoral Council Elections

In the 2019 election cycle, the Parish Pastoral Council received four self-nominations for four open seats. In the absence of a competitive field of candidates, the PPC Elections Committee, in consultation with the pastor, will forgo balloting and name these parishioners to the Council by acclamation. Over a three-year term, these four candidates will work with other PPC members and the pastor in discerning, articulating, and communicating to other parishioners the identity and mission of our parish.

We asked candidates to respond to three questions:

  1. Why do you want to be a part of the PPC at Holy Trinity? What gifts, visions, and talents would you bring that would contribute to the work of the parish?
  2. Which activities, such as social justice service, parish-sponsored prayer opportunities, or other ministries that you have been a part of at Holy Trinity have been the most meaningful to you? Why?
  3. Based on your involvement at Holy Trinity, what are some high-priority issues that might need to be addressed in a long-term plan for the parish?

Please read more about their contributions to Holy Trinity and ideas for the future of our parish in their candidate statements below.

Jennifer Dorsey

1. I believe representation is important. As a young woman dedicated to representing, supporting, and uplifting voices that often go unheard, I have endeavored to bring that same passion and prioritization to leadership roles at Holy Trinity and would seek to continue to do so on Parish Council. 

2. I served as the retreat coordinator on two young adult retreats. The role provided me with unique and life-giving encounters, both with retreatants and my own faith. Also, as a bi-sexual woman, I am grateful to be a part of the formation of the parish's LGBTQIA+ ministry. 

3. People with disabilities are underrepresented at Holy Trinity. As a woman with Multiple Sclerosis, I have seen people with both visible and invisible disabilities struggle to fully participate in the parish. On the council, I would encourage regular consideration of the needs and perspectives of this community into parish planning.

Denise Eaton

I grew up in the DC metropolitan area, participating in a Catholic parish in the Diocese of Arlington and attending elementary school there, from K-8th. My husband, Geoff, and our two sons, Elliott and Clyde, joined Holy Trinity when our sons were young, as we moved to a home close to the parish. Upon finding Holy Trinity, we immediately felt welcome, and have enjoyed being members of the parish and school communities alike. In addition to being a parishioner and school family, I work at The Carlyle Group, a financial firm, where I am a Principal in the Legal and Compliance group.

1. Within the HT community, I have focused much of my energy and activities to date on HTS. As my sons get older, I am entering a phase where I feel I can offer more to the parish. I would like to think that I can offer thoughtful ideas and viewpoints, am willing to roll up my sleeves and get involved, and have leadership qualities and experience. I try to be inclusive and enjoy working with all.  

2. Within HTS-HSA, I spent seven years helping with McKenna Sandwiches for Martha’s Table, and then served as VP, President, and Past President. As facilitated through HTS-HSA, parish and Carlyle, my most meaningful ministries have been those that offer direct assistance to the community: Martha’s Table, SOME, Sunday Suppers, Community of Hope, and Junior Achievement.

3. As the parish plans for its long-term future, in addition to ensuring sustainability of its Jesuit faith community, I think a continued emphasis on social justice programs, religious education, youth ministry and HTS are top priorities. I feel that these programs are key to the parish because help define what makes HT such a special place; sustaining those distinguishing characteristics seems important to retaining and attracting parishioners. 

Anna Nelson

1. Holy Trinity’s strong, active parish and Jesuit values remind me of the church where I was raised. My talent as an attorney is working backwards from the needs of those we serve - at HT our parishioners. I earn trust by clearly defining goals and delivering results individually and with teams.

 2. I’ve been blessed to chair Holy Trinity’s Ambassadors Program for the past couple of years which serves our mission to “Welcome All.” We’ve found a winning recipe in developing our program by combining the first-hand experiences of newcomers with the institutional knowledge of long-time parishioners.

3. Shifting demographics and cultural trends require a long-term plan focused on the high-priority issues of early engagement and long-term retention of Catholics throughout all life stages. That means more opportunities for younger parishioners and working backwards from the parishioner to address their needs at all stages of life.

Jen Touchette

1. As a Holy Trinity parishioner for 15+ years, I would like to get more involved with the church and give back in a meaningful way. My leadership abilities include former Mizzou Alumni Chapter President in DC, former PTA President at Ross Elementary School and outgoing Holy Trinity School HSA President. I am comfortable leading meetings and motivating people with an initiative.  I am also a good soldier when it comes to getting things done.

2. Our family volunteers for the hospitality ministry Sunday mornings and my children have helped bring up the gifts during Mass.  On the school side, we have been involved in social justice service opportunities like: the Gleaning service project; Sunday Suppers at Georgetown Presbyterian Church; A Wider Circle; and Martha's Table.

3. I come to the council with the lens of an HTS parent and volunteer who has a lot to learn about the parish side of things.  Sometimes I sense a disconnect between the parish and the school, and I would love to help bridge these two worlds. I would also like to help people as they are healing with the Catholic Church crisis.

Meeting Dates for 2018-2019

  • September 19
  • October 17: Parish Leadership Night
  • November 14
  • December 19
  • January 16
  • February 20
  • March 20
  • April 10: Parish Leadership Night
  • May 15
  • July 10

The council meets on the third Wednesday of the month from 7-9pm, unless otherwise scheduled.

Twice a year, the Council invites standing committee chairs, members, and parish staff to meet together as a Parish Leadership Night to provide input to the work of the Council and to share fellowship.


Holy Trinity (HT) is a Catholic parish sponsored by the Society of Jesus. As such, its identity is rooted in the person of Jesus as he is encountered and understood by the Jesuits and their lay colleagues through their practice of Ignatian spirituality. This identity is the starting point for understanding the parish’s mission and the role of those who are involved in parish governance, including members of the PPC.

Our mission statement:

Holy Trinity is a Jesuit Catholic parish that welcomes all to:
Accompany one another in Christ
Celebrate God's Love


HT parishioners form a community of companions of Jesus on mission with him in this place and at this time in history.  PPC members, who along with the pastor are formed by their understanding of Jesuit identity and mission and their practice of Ignatian-style prayer, are leaders of this community of companions of Jesus.


PPC members share leadership responsibility with the pastor at HT. As advisors to the pastor, PPC members assist the pastor in discerning, articulating and communicating to other parishioners the identity and mission of the parish, and they assist the pastor in assuring fidelity to that identity and mission.

Way of Proceeding

The sacred nature and purpose and close relationship to the Society of Jesus demands that the PPC carry out its responsibilities in ways that are distinctively Jesuit.

For example:

  • A PPC member approaches participation on the Council with an open heart and mind coupled with a willingness to listen to and follow the guidance of the Spirit, which may be expressed through one’s colleagues on the Council;
  • A PPC member practices the Ignatian presupposition, that is, always presumes that the other is speaking or acting without bad intent, and always gives the other the benefit of the doubt;
  • The PPC deliberates through communal discernment. Communal discernment:
    • Is a way of reaching a decision in which all have participated and which all can embrace, even if it is not what one would have chosen him/herself apart from the discernment process;
    • Seeks consensus;
    • Is not necessarily compromise, though it may involve compromise;
    • Reaches a decision through a process that respects the beliefs and opinions of each member of the group, and that preserves the group's unity and harmony and mutual affection; and
    • Is consciously and deliberately attentive to the Spirit within.

Qualities of Effective Members

One who would like to serve as a member of the PPC:

  • Engages in regular personal prayer;
  • Has been an active parishioner involved in the life of the parish for at least two years;
  • Has pledged to worship with the parish community at Sunday Eucharist as often as possible;
  • Has participated in some parish ministry (committee) for at least one year;
  • Agrees to support the parish financially;
  • Has participated in some parish-sponsored retreat or prayer program or event;
  • Is capable of thinking broadly and strategically and without uncontrolled bias, and has a mind and heart open to the “magis,” that is, what is for the greater good;
  • Is willing to serve as a PPC member for at least three years.

One who is selected to serve on the PPC will be expected to:

  • Participate with other PPC members in other ongoing formation programs that are designed to deepen their understanding of Jesuit identity and mission and the ways of proceeding that are appropriate to the PPC;
  • participate in scheduled PPC meetings as faithfully as possible;
  • Be a liaison and an active member of one of the parish's committees, reporting to the committee the works of the council and reporting to the council the updates on the committee's work;
  • Observe or otherwise participate in parish activities and ministries so as to be familiar with the parish’s efforts to be faithful to its identity and to carry out its mission; and
  • Encourage input and communication with parishioners to ensure the needs of the parish are met.

Membership, Terms, and Selection Process

The Parish Pastoral Council will be comprised of a minimum of 10 members and a maximum of 12, excluding the pastor. The term of office of each member will be three years.

Selection of PPC members will be through the following process:

  • The PPC will timely publicize the qualities of effective PPC members (see above) and will invite parishioners to consider whether they possess these qualities and want to be considered for selection to the PPC; if so, interested parishioners will submit an “expression of interest”;
  • Parishioners expressing interest in this way will be invited to participate in an information session in which current members will further explain the identity and role of the council and its “way of proceeding” (see above);
  • Following the information session, parishioners expressing interest will again prayerfully consider whether God is calling them to this service; if so, they will submit their names and other appropriate information about themselves to the PPC for inclusion on an election ballot;
  • Registered and fully initiated parishioners who are at least 16 years of age are eligible to vote; these may vote for not more than the number of candidates necessary to fill vacancies on the PPC.