OUR PASTORAL COUNCIL
I am pleased to share with you the names of our sisters and brothers who have stepped forward to become members of our Pastoral Council.
David Amedio, Ed Diegel, Rosemary Doyle, Parker Fields, Robert Flynt, George Frany, Bob Goodman, Jack Hauck, Carmen Lookshire, Mary Mawn, Jack Minozzi, Liz Nardacci, Phil Sidoti, Deborah Villa.
We are grateful to you, the People of God, for participating in this process. You offered the names of individuals in whom you saw gifts that might be used in this role. In fact, we received the names of over 30 individuals who were invited to information gatherings to bring them up to speed about the nature of a Pastoral Council. We then invited all to an evening of prayerful discernment, led by Sr. Sean Peters, CSJ, during which candidates were asked to listen to the listen closely to the voice of the Spirit within this context:
- Can I do this?
- Do I want to do this?
- Do I have external confirmation for my conclusion?
I am grateful to these good folks who represent a cross-section of our parish. We will be installing and blessing them at Mass in the fall. Please join me in welcoming them as those who will lead and guide our parish into the future.
What is the purpose of a Pastoral Council?
The primary responsibility of a Pastoral Council is pastoral planning. In other words, how do we plan for the long-term growth and vitality of our parish. The fundamental steps in this pastoral planning process are:
♦ exploring our parish’s pastoral reality;
♦ reflecting on this reality under the guidance of the Holy Spirit;
♦ making recommendations to move forward.
This involves envisioning, addressing, and evaluating how we are fulfilling our mission in light of the Gospel and Church teaching. The primary gift of a Pastoral Council is practical wisdom. Thus, a Pastoral Council is
♦ grounded in prayer;
♦ visionary in nature;
♦ discerning in ways to identify and respond to our parish’s pastoral reality.
How might we speak of the gifts of members of a Pastoral Council?
In his book “Making Parish Councils Pastoral,” Mark Fisher writes that Pastoral Council members should:
♦ possess the gift of deliberation;
♦ know the parish and be able to judge how the parish will respond to new initiatives;
♦ be able to express their opinions well, and to listen attentively to the opinions of others in a
♦ above all, be able to synthesize the various opinions, clarifying them and making sound
recommendations. Their goal is not to gain an advantage for one group at the expense of
another, but to seek the common good.”