The Parish Pastoral Council provides an essential framework through which this responsibility can be shared. Parish Pastoral Councils are potentially the most effective means of joining together the People of God to fulfill the mission of the Church. The Parish Pastoral Council is a community of service.
- EVERY PARISH IS TO HAVE A PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL THAT UNITES CLERGY, THOSE IN CONSECRATED LIFE AND LAITY IN A COMMUNITY OF LEADERSHIP AND SERVICE.
- THE PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL IS TO HAVE A FORMAL AND VISIBLE STRUCTURE WITH ESTABLISHED BYLAWS, REGULAR MEETINGS WITH AN ESTABLISHED AGENDA AND AT LEAST 50% OF ITS MEMBERSHIP ELECTED BY THE PARISH AT LARGE. ONLY CATHOLICS IN GOOD STANDING ARE ELIGIBLE FOR MEMBERSHIP.
- THE PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL MUST BE CONCERNED WITH THE FULLNESS OF THE CHURCH’S MISSION, PARTICULARLY THE EVANGELIZATION AND SPIRITUAL RENEWAL OF THE COMMUNITIES OF WHICH THEY ARE A PART.
- THE PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL MUST UNDERSTAND AND SUPPORT THE RELATIONSHIP OF THE PARISH TO THE DIOCESAN CHURCH.
- THE PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL MUST PROVIDE INITIAL INFORMATION AND CONTINUOUS TRAINING TO COUNCIL MEMBERS.
- IN UNION WITH THE PASTOR, THE PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL SHARES RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE LIFE AND WELFARE OF THE PARISH.
- THE PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL IS PREEMINENTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF THE PASTORAL MISSION OF THE PARISH.
- THE PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL MUST RESPECT THE DAY-TO-DAY OPERATION OF THE PARISH WHICH IS CLEARLY THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PASTOR AND STAFF.
- THE PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL REACHES ITS CONCLUSIONS BY A PROCESS OF PRAYERFUL DISCERNMENT AND CONSENSUS SHARING WHILE RESPECTING THE CANONICAL AUTHORITY OF THE PASTOR.
- AS THE CHIEF COORDINATING AND UNIFYING STRUCTURE, THE PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL MUST SEEK CONSTANTLY TO DRAW FORTH THE TALENTS, ENERGIES AND INSIGHTS OF THE PARISHIONERS AND CHANNEL THIS “VARIETY OF GIFTS” FOR THE BUILDING UP OF THE WHOLE BODY OF CHRIST.
- THE PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL MUST COMMUNICATE REGULARLY WITH THE PARISH AT LARGE AND THE CIVIC COMMUNITY OF WHICH IT IS A PART.
- THE PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL MUST DISCERN THE NEEDS OF THE PARISH AND COMMUNITY AND ADVISE THE PASTOR ON PARISH DIRECTION BY PRAYERFUL REFLECTION AND A CONTINUOUS PROCESS OF PASTORAL PLANNING.
Six Areas of Mission for the Pastoral Council
THE MISSION FOR EVANGELIZATION
THE MISSION FOR EDUCATION
THE MISSION FOR PASTORAL MINISTRY
THE MISSION FOR LITURGY
THE MISSION FOR SOCIAL CONCERNS AND OUTREACH
THE MISSION FOR ECUMENISM AND INTERFAITH CONCERNS
PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL A Check List—
The following items should be reviewed when new Council members are installed. This review will serve as an orientation for the new members as well as ensuring that the following items are current and supportive to the goals of the Parish Pastoral Council.
■ Review Constitution and By-Laws of the Parish Pastoral Council and revise, as needed.
■ Review and Proclaim the Parish Mission Statement.
■ Identify Parish Needs.
■ Develop a parish pastoral plan that enhances and strengthens the life of the parish.
■ Evaluate effectiveness of existing parish ministries, committees, and parish outreach, etc.
■ Meet with leaders of the various parish committees and organizations.
■ Develop strategies to connect parish ministers so as to provide a greater opportunity to draw parishioners into the life of the parish.