Parish Pastoral Council
As the primary visioning body of the parish, the Parish Pastoral Council assists the pastor in:
Soliciting the wisdom of the parish community on pastoral matters.
Forming a consensus about pastoral planning, which addresses the needs of the parish.
Communicating that pastoral vision to the parish as a whole.
Involving the parish commissions in implementing the vision.
An essential aspect of such visioning is the work of evangelization. Evangelization invites all people to a full and active life of faith, sharing in the mission of the Church. The work of evangelization is not something done “in addition to” everything else. Evangelization is to inspire all that a parish does and is to be the foundation of its very identity.
For that reason, evangelization is at the heart of all a Parish Pastoral Council does. It is to be a priority in any pastoral planning and is to be at the forefront of the work of all parish groups and activities. To help the importance of evangelization to become a reality, the Parish Pastoral Council is to have an Evangelization Committee as a direct subcommittee to the Pastoral Council.
The Parish Pastoral Council is not the body that implements the programs and activities to carry out the strategic plan for the parish. That is the work of parish Commissions. Parishes vary greatly in size, resources and needs, and the
Pastoral Council needs to keep in mind what will best help its own parish achieve the vision that is set out. In doing so, there must be commissions to represent the following four major areas of parish life and activity:
Commissions try to involve a wider circle of parish members using their particular gifts in each area. Commissions create concrete objectives to carry out the goals established by the Pastoral Council, and recommend to the
Pastoral Council policies that might aid in furthering the parish’s vision.
All parish commissions and their committees operate under the leadership of the Parish Pastoral Council. Through the Pastoral Council, they are to communicate with each other on a regular basis so that the overall implementation
of a parish’s vision is a collaborative effort. The coordinating work of the pastor and pastoral staff can be a significant help in maintaining the overall vision and the collaborative spirit.
(taken from the Parish Vicariate and Archdiocesan Councils Handbook)