Saint Patrick’s Parish Pastoral Council (PPC)
The Second Vatican Council brought about a refocusing of who we are as a Church and chose the term “people of God” as one of its expressions of the mystery of the Church. Accordingly, a renewed emphasis was placed on the role of each member in the life and mission of the Church. Recognizing that Christ did not mean for priests to shoulder the entire mission of the Church, the 1982 Code of Canon Law introduced two consultative bodies, the Finance, and Pastoral Councils, to be present in parishes so the wisdom of the laity could be utilized. While the pastor is still the “power of governance,” these councils are meant to assist him as consultative bodies.
Responsibilities of Parish of the Pastoral Council
The parish pastoral council is a consultative body for the Priest. Through reflection, prayer, planning, motivation and support, the parish pastoral
council serves the Priest by helping identify and encourage those ministries or services that are needed for the growth of a living parish community, evaluated and implemented on a regular basis. Thus the pastoral council must carefully consider the needs of the faithful and search within the community to recommend to the Priest ideas and means that will adequately respond to these needs. This responsibility of the parish pastoral council does not diminish the continued mission and responsibility of the parish as a whole.
Each baptized parish member remains responsible in his or her own way for the mission of the parish. In this way, the parish pastoral council is an instrument to help the Priest and the parish better discern, clarify, and communicate its responsibilities for proclaiming the Good News.
The main objective of the parish pastoral council is “to promote pastoral activity that will help the parish achieve its supreme purpose, the salvation of souls.”
The parish council assists the Priest with discerning and achieving the
overall good of the parish and its mission. The work is both contemplative and active. With the Priest, the council practices discernment. Through reflection, prayer, planning, setting goals and priorities it responds to the movement of the Holy Spirit in the life of the parish and to the Bishop’s pastoral vision for the Clifton diocese.
In action, council members take leadership in the coordination, motivation, support, and evaluation of pastoral activities in the parish. Concerned with the overall pastoral development of the parish, the pastoral council will often serve as liaisons to the various parish groups or coordinate the implementation of specific initiatives at the request of the Priest.
Council members usually serve for three years.
Archived minutes are available on request from the PPC Secretary