pastoral planning

Training and Resources:

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Parish Councils: The pastor serves the parish community entrusted to him by the diocesan bishop. The pastor carries out this role through teaching, sanctifying, and governing with the cooperation of others who share in the pastoral care of the parish and the assistance of the Christian faithful (Canon 519). The role of the pastor cannot be surrendered or diminished. This authority is not to be viewed as personal power but as genuine service to the Christian faithful exercised in a collaborative manner.

In virtue of his office, the pastor presides over the Parish Pastoral Council and the Parish Finance Council. As Presider, the pastor fully participates in the deliberations of the Parish Pastoral Council and the Parish Finance Council and is involved completely in the planning and policy development. The pastor is responsible for the final approval of the Councils' recommendations concerning pastoral plans and policies as well as for the implementation by parish staff and other groups.

The Parish Pastoral Council and the Parish Finance Council are consultative bodies which unite laity and clergy in the community of prayer, leadership, service, and pastoral planning. All councilors work together as they seek to listen to the Holy Spirit in discerning what is best for the parish in the light of the Gospel, the Church's teaching, and the experiences and needs of parishioners and the surrounding community. The Councils can fulfill their roles by encouraging a climate in which people can feel free to speak the truth with openness and love.