Forming Our Next Pastoral Council
The process is currently underway. Stay tuned for information on our new council!
The Role and Function of the Parish Pastoral Council
The primary responsibility of the Parish Pastoral Council is pastoral planning. The pastoral planning process is an ongoing, cyclical process which is always mission motivated. Pastoral planning involves discernment, consensus, prioritizing goals and objectives, implementation, and evaluation.
The Parish Pastoral Council works with the pastor and members of the pastoral team to discern needs, ensure that they are met and continually move the family of parishes towards the greater fulfillment of its mission. Through constant attention to the life of the family of parishes and the greater community, the council identifies areas of concern and enables the family of parishes to reach out to those in need. The traditional hallmarks of Christianity – Word, Worship, Community and Service – guide the council in evaluation of needs and the family of parishes’ response to them. Knowing that they cannot do all things at once, prioritizing goals help them to determine areas of greatest need or activities that are achievable within a 2 – 3 year time frame.
The Parish Pastoral Council practices discernment and consensus in the decision making process. Discernment and consensus require patience and respect. Discernment is a process of decision-making that utilizes listening to the Word of God, and reflecting on the mission of Jesus, the mission of the universal church and the mission of the family of parishes. Discernment requires an open mind and an open heart. A capacity for prayerful contemplation is essential in the discernment process.
Consensus is discerning together, as a council, as a body. Although the body of the Parish Pastoral Council has several members, when a decision has been made through prayerful discernment, the council expresses unity – unity of spirit, and unity of purpose. Coming to consensus requires dying to self and focusing on the common good, two attributes of discipleship. Consensus means not insisting on our own way. Consensus requires humility, honesty, integrity and gentleness.
In order to develop a spirit of unity and purpose, the Parish Pastoral Council finds opportunities for prayer and reflection, whether within meetings or on special occasions for study and retreat. It reflects on what it means to be a Christian in today’s world, on what it means to be a community in service to the world. It articulates local goals and objectives in relation to the mission which flows from the diocesan pastoral plan. The council looks back as well as forward with hope as it regularly evaluates its efforts and plans new responses in service to the mission of Christ in our local community.
The Parish Pastoral Council meets regularly, once a month. Occasionally, council members may be asked to be part of an ad hoc committee charged with researching or investigating a particular matter related to council deliberations. Key qualities needed in council members are the abilities to consider, reflect and recommend sound conclusions.
As we work through the parish discernment of new council members, pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Look around the parish to see those individuals whom you would recommend to serve on council or consider submitting your own name.
uggesting their name. You can submit their name at the link below.