Jesus, strive to live out His mission and share this mission with others.
The parish council forms with the pastor a leadership group of the parish that is broadly representative of parish membership. It is an energizing, coordinating and unifying organism of parish life that enables the individual members of the parish to have access to the processes that guide and support the various aspects of parish life. As such, all other parish groups or bodies should relate to the parish council through one or another of the council committees (e.g., Board of Education, Rosary Society, etc.). It must be emphasized that the spiritual growth and mission of the parish community is the primary concern of the parish council. As a result, the parish council concerns itself with the material well-being of the parish only within the context of this primary focus.
The parish council carries out its purposes through three interdependent functions:
- Spiritual Formation
- Parish Planning
The primary concern of the parish council is the mission and faith growth of the entire parish. In order to promote the formation of adult Christians in the parish community, it is essential that the members of the parish council themselves join together in a process of such growth. This will be a valuable witness to the entire parish that the planning, decision and policymaking processes of the parish council are centered on Christ Jesus and lead toward the growth of the parish as a community of faith.
Planning for the growth and direction of the parish community is the major work of the parish council each year. The steps in a parish-planning process are:
- Writing a simple, direct statement of the parish’s mission as a community within the diocesan church.
- Identifying and reflecting upon the needs of the parish in light of this mission.
- Establishing goals and objectives to respond to the top-priority needs.
- Monitoring and evaluating the programs and activities designed to accomplish the goals and objectives.
The importance of communication as a function of the parish council in its service to the parish and in its relationship to the larger church and world community cannot be overestimated.
- In its role of service to the parish, the council should regularly communicate with the members and groups of the parish, seeking input from them on issues and concerns needing to be considered.
- The parish is an integral part of the diocesan community and the universal church. Through the deanery councils, the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, and other consultative groups, the parish council develops regular channels of communication between itself, the bishop, and the universal church.
- The parish council creates communication linkages with communities of other faiths and with appropriate groups/ persons within the civic community.
- The parish council must continuously develop the quality of its own internal-communications process among the members of the council itself.