The Pastoral Council
Although the Scriptures do not give us explicit direction for a Parish Pastoral Council, the words and ideas of Jesus give us a sense of what he wanted to accomplish in his mission on earth. For the last 2000 years the Church has recognized and strived to fulfill the four marks of His mission, Jesus offered a MESSAGE of love and healing; he brought people together in COMMUNITY; he reached out to SERVE the poor and he modeled for us a life of PRAYER.
Councils have been part of the Church throughout its history. The impact of these Councils on the Church varied depending upon what was happening in the Church at the time. Shortly after Vatican II when Parish Councils initially formed, the members primarily shared their expertise in the area of finance. Authority, that is, who will govern, frequently became a divisive issue. The focus of the Parish Council was on the temporal affairs of the parish.
The Second Vatican Council affirmed the laity's participation in the Mission of Jesus Christ by challenging all the baptized with a call to holiness, to ministry and to community. The Council no longer placed the focus of this call only on the ordained, but on the laity as well. As Pastoral Councils continued to define themselves, the theology of shared responsibility and collaboration that flows from the Vatican II documents began to take hold in the 90s.The focus shifted from the temporal activities to the pastoral activities of the parish.
This focus by the Pastoral Council on the pastoral activity of the parish embraces the mission and ministry of the Church: worship and prayer, proclaiming the Gospel and teaching, social action, care of the poor, the sick and dying and bringing God's healing power to everyone. Pastoral activity is reflected in the parish by the way the Pastoral Council responds to:
How we welcome people to our parish.
Are the liturgies vibrant and prayerful?
Do we meet the spiritual needs of the person?
Do we minister to young families, senior citizens, sick, homebound, and to the physically and mentally impaired?
Do we bring friendship and unity to our parish and neighborhood?
And do we invite parishioners to share their gifts?
The Pastoral Council is an effective structure for promoting and supporting parish life, worship and service, as well as, helping to accomplish the mission of the parish.
The Parish Council meets the third Monday of each month at 7:30pm in the Hospitality Room located in the Parish Center.