The Parish Pastoral Council consists of lay members of our parish with Fr. Michael, our pastor, Fr. Joseph, along with staff members, Teresa Ruehlicke and Bob Fanelli, in attendance. The council is to be the visionary group of the parish, meeting monthly to work on the goals of establishing a parish vision and mission. In addition, they give counsel and assistance to our pastor.
Unlike a “Parish Council”, the Pastoral Council does not have officers and is not about the “business” of the parish. Instead, the work of the Pastoral Council is prayer and discernment for the identity and future of the parish. The members are tasked with being the “eyes and ears” of the parish and bringing that to the table with a goal of forming the direction of the parish. The business of the parish is the work of the Finance Council, and the newly formed Ministry Council.
The Pastoral Council meets regularly with the Parish Ministry Council (a group of leaders from each parish ministry). In those meetings, the Ministry Council reports what they are doing, hearing and seeing and the Pastoral Council offers suggestions and overall parish direction and vision. For instance, the Pastoral Council may feel it’s important for our parish to focus on finding ways to involve the youth of the parish in more parish activities and will suggest that to the Ministry Council. Or the Pastoral Council might think there is a greater need to serve the senior citizens of our parish, especially the sick and homebound, and will ask the Ministry Council to consider that need within any or all of their ministries.
Membership on the Council is the result of someone offering their time and talent as a council member, and then a process of Discernment. This is much the same way as is found in scripture when a new apostle was needed.