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  1. An Historical Outline

  2. Role Of Parish Pastoral Councils

  3. Roles Of Key Bodies In The Parish

  4. Establishing A Parish Pastoral Council

  5. Parish Pastoral Councils In Action

  6. Renewing A Parish Pastoral Council

  7. Links




3. Roles Of Key Bodies In The Parish

Parish Priest
The Parish Priest is appointed by the Bishop with full responsibility for every aspect of parish life, with some few safeguards under Canon law. It is understood that usually the priest would be guided by the advice of the Pastoral Council and Pastoral Assembly. It is also understood that the Parish Priest will delegate responsibility and authority for leading and co-ordinating parts of the life of the parish to staff and key volunteers if he is to be successful in leading an evangelising parish.

Parish Pastoral Council
A Parish Pastoral Council is a group that is representative of the entire parish. Its function according to the Code of Canon Law is "to investigate and weigh matters which bear on pastoral activity and formulate practical conclusions regarding them?. (Canon 511) Its responsibilities, therefore, include the preparation and evaluation stages of decision-making. It should plan for the parish and evaluate the plan's implementation.

Pastoral Assembly
A Pastoral Assembly is a gathering of the people of the parish, which accepts, rejects or modifies the plan presented to it by the Pastoral Council. Pastoral Assemblies are held regularly, e.g. in a parish each year.

Pastoral Team
A Pastoral Team is a small group including the parish priest and other pastoral staff and sometimes key volunteers, who are responsible for coordinating the implementation of the Pastoral Plan which is formulated by the Pastoral Council and approved by the Pastoral Assembly. This group attends to detailed programming, allocation and coordination of tasks, and any necessary adaptation to changing circumstances. (Adapted from Newcastle-Maitland Diocese)

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Copyright © 2004, Martin Teulan