Pastoral Council Application for Discernment
As written in the Vatican Council II Documents: “The work of the pastoral council is to examine and consider all that relates to pastoral work and to offer practical conclusions on these matters, so that the life and activity of the People of God may be brought into greater conformity with the Gospel.” In simpler terms, this council is to ensure that the focus of any activity within the parish is spiritual based. For that reason, this Council will be the umbrella for all the other committees within our parish. The following excerpts were taken from “Guidelines for Parish Pastoral Councils,” Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, October 4, 1988.
ROLES & FUNCTIONS OF THE PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL
- To become a praying community and by this example to lead the parish to a fuller life of prayer.
- To be sensitive to the movement of the Spirit among the People of God in the parish.
- To be truly representative of all members of the parish in planning and decision-making.
- To support the pastor in his role as shepherd of the parish.
- To foster unity in the parish.
- To encourage full participation of parishioners in parish life.
- To promote on-going dialogue among the pastoral staff, parishioners and the various parish organizations.
- To assess the needs and strengths of the parish community.
- To establish priorities, goals and objectives for the parish, in consultation to and in collaboration with the pastor in service to the parish, to the diocese, and to the Universal Church.
- To provide leadership, direction, education, resources, and encouragement in accordance with on-going and changing goals of the parish, the diocese, and the Universal Church.
- To evaluate the parish community’s progress toward its identified goals and objectives.
GENERAL QUALIFICATIONS FOR A PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL MEMBER
Potential Pastoral Council members are chosen from among parishioners:
- Who demonstrate that their faith is alive and active.
- Who hold the Eucharist and other sacraments as essential to their faith.
- Who are genuinely committed to the pastoral welfare of the parish.
- Who are knowledgeable about the life of the parish.
- Who are willing to give priority time and energy to the work of the Council.
- Who relate well to people and can listen and sincerely take into account the ideas and opinions of others.
- Who are willing to participate in training on how to serve most effectively in parish leadership.
Fr. Pat Jakel, Pastor
Jacob Rose, President
Monica Toennies, Vice President
Shirley Bellm, Secretary
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