|What is Pastoral Council?|
What is the Parish Pastoral Council?
Prior to 1999 parishes in our diocese functioned with a group of men and women, elected by the parish members under the heading of Parish Council. There were four major committees that assisted the Pastor in managing the day-to-day tasks of running a parish.
In the year 2000, the Bishop asked all the parishes to adopt a new model of operation called Pastoral Council. Instead of four committees, there is now one body of 10 to 12 men and women. Instead of elections (which really became quite political), the Pastor now initiates a call to the parish-at-large for anyone interested in joining Pastoral Council. To those interested, he explains their potential role on Pastoral Council; and after prayerful consideration, a selection of the new members is made.
Bishop Zubik wrote in his Pastoral Council Guidelines, One Body, One Mission, that “It is the task of Pastoral Council to keep before the faithful of the parish their baptismal commitment to make Jesus’ Mission the Mission of the parish.” This is accomplished by listening to the members of the parish and bringing those needs, both spiritual and temporal, to the pastor and then offer him counsel to support his discernment on how to best meet these needs. Unlike the old Parish Council, the Pastoral Council acts as a consultative body to the pastor, who makes the final decision regarding all parish matters. One of the Pastoral Council’s tasks is to develop a Parish Pastoral Plan with clear goals and objectives to be implemented over a three-year period. The Pastoral Council then helps the Pastor identify parishioners who can help achieve our Parish’s new goals and objectives.