What is Parish Council?
The parish pastoral council is a recommended structure within the Church concerned with pastoral activities of parish life. It is made up of a representative body of the faithful and must include the pastor. The parish pastoral council shares the responsibility for building the parish into a vibrant Christian community that promotes gospel values of love, justice and peace. It is a consultative body of leaders who actively seek the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and are guided by the teachings, laws and recommendations of the universal Church and the local diocesan Church.
‘In every parish in every diocese, a pastoral council shall be established, if the diocesan bishop, after consulting with the council of presbyters, so decides’ (Canon 536, #1)
Parish pastoral councils are recognized bodies within the Church structure. Like the diocesan pastoral councils, parish pastoral councils were strongly recommended by the bishops of the Second Vatican Council as a vehicle for promoting the mission of Christ and ensuring that the ‘life and activity of the people of God may be brought into greater conformity with the gospel’. The parish pastoral council is a structure of participation that facilitates ‘an organic blending of legitimate diversities’ encouraging all the baptized to work together for the good of the whole community, ‘sustaining it in all its many needs: from catechesis to liturgy, from the education of the young to the widest array of charitable works.’
Parish Pastoral Councils – Function
The general function of the Parish Pastoral Council is to advise the Pastor in those pastoral matters presented to it by the Pastor. It carries out its function by:
- Informing the Pastor of the needs and concerns, gifts and resources of the whole parish and its members
- Developing and reviewing a parish mission statement (which will always contain the name of Jesus) and periodically re-evaluating and revising it
- Developing a parish pastoral plan
- Participating in ongoing pastoral planning
- Recommending policies, procedures and programs which would assist in the implementation of the mission statement and the parish pastoral plan
- Reviewing and evaluating the effectiveness of existing programs
SACRED HEART & ST. GERARD MISSION STATEMENT
We, the Eucharistic communities of Sacred Heart and St. Gerard, being faithful to the Mission of the Church as expressed by the Redemptorist way of life, seek and invite others into an ever deepening relationship with Jesus and with one another. Seeking to build up the Kingdom of God, empowered by the Holy Spirit, nourished by the Sacraments and Prayer, we commit to reach out to everyone through evangelization, especially those most in need.