ABOUT PASTORAL COUNCIL

Purpose of the Parish Pastoral Council

In Accord with the universal law of the Church and diocesan statutes, a Parish Pastoral Council is hereby established for Saints John and Paul Parish to advise and collaborate with the pastor and pastoral staff on matters related to the pastoral welfare of the parish with special attention given to planning, evaluation, envisioning and fostering participation in parish life.

Mission
Ensures parishioners work as co-workers and advisers to the pastor and staff, and that they have an active role and voice in their parish. Assesses the current and future needs of the parishioners and advises the pastor and staff accordingly. Develops long-term and short-term goals.

Discerned
Council members are selected through a process of prayerful discernment. This approach invites the guidance of the Holy Spirit toward identifying those with gifts necessary to create, implement and oversee the annual pastoral plan, who will work tirelessly to support the pastor and parish and form together and individually as microcosms of the parish, ever mindful of the Mission of Jesus Christ.

Primary Role
Carefully utilizes the skills of listening, assessment and planning to assist in establishing an ongoing pastoral plan that is implemented by the pastoral staff, parish committees, volunteers, organizations and parishioners and evaluates the outcome of same.

Accountability to Parish
Pastoral Council is first accountable to the Pastor and is secondly accountable to the parish at large. All actions of the Pastoral Council are transparent and will be made known to all.
*Adapted from Pittsburgh Catholic, April 2, 2007, John Franko.

Structure of Council
The pastor presides at meetings and the other essential positions are facilitator and recorder.

Presider: The Pastor is the presider and shall oversee and participate in all council deliberations.
Facilitator: A facilitator designs and oversees the process of each council meeting, assisting the group with planning, decision-making, and problem solving.

Recorder: A recorder shall be appointed to record the principal actions and significant points of deliberation at Parish Pastoral Council meetings. The recorder is also responsible for any council correspondence or other clerical tasks, including disseminating the agenda and meeting reminders to the council in advance of each meeting.
Additional roles and/or tasks may be promulgated by the Pastoral Council or the pastor as deemed necessary.

Committees
The Parish Pastoral Council may suggest the formation of any Ad Hoc committee it deems necessary.

Meetings
Regular meetings of the Parish Pastoral Council take place monthly, except for July and December.

Order of Meetings
The spirit of the group is one of consultation and collaboration. Decisions are made through discernment and consensus.

Decision-Making
The ordinary operative mode for the deliberations of the Parish Pastoral Council shall be to arrive at a consensus. Discernment, collaboration and consensus characterize the deliberations of the Parish Pastoral Council.

Council Prayer and Reflection
The Parish Pastoral council is a microcosm of the parish community of faith. Hence, as parish leaders, they must be about the task of continual renewal – growth in their faith journeys throughout life. Members of the parish pastoral council need to have opportunities to pray with one another in order to deepen their individual and communal holiness. Every member is integral to the prayer of the group. Personal preparation for the meeting, a certain eagerness for sharing matters of the spirit, and full attention and participation are every member’s responsibility. It is important that the council makes the time for prayer. Prayer is the source of strength and guidance for the ministry of leadership and forms the council into a community of faith at the heart of the parish.