What is it?
A parish pastoral council is the chief consultative body to the pastor. Consultation is a sharing of wisdom which enables the parish to carry out its mission. The pastoral council discerns issues that impact the lives of parishioners; prays, studies, and discusses those issues; and recommends practical ways of addressing them.
Why should a parish have a pastoral council?
By baptism and confirmation, the laity shares in the priestly mission of Christ and are empowered to participate in decisions regarding the work of the church. As the "wisdom community" of the parish, the council listens to the spiritual needs of parishioners and exercises stewardship of the gifts of the parish. The parish pastoral council shares responsibility with the pastor for building up the faith community.
How does a parish pastoral council operate?
A council meets once a month with the pastor to consider pastoral issues. The council listens carefully to the concerns of the pastor, the parish staff and others involved in the life of the parish. Through prayer and discernment, it searches for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and reaches decisions through consensus.
Who should be a member of a parish pastoral council?
A council member should be prayerful, care about the spiritual well-being of the entire community, be willing to learn about the church, have a sense of mission: to bring Christ to the people and people to Christ; and be involved in the life and activities of the parish.