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THE PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL

I. Purpose
A. Through the parish pastoral council, which is a consultative body, the Christian faithful are to "give their help in fostering pastoral activity" (Canon 536)
B. Pastoral activity means especially the proclamation of the Word of God and catechetical formation, the celebration of the Eucharist and the other sacraments as well as the fostering of family and individual prayer, and serving those in spiritual or bodily need (Canons 528 and 529; cf. appendix).

II. Membership
A. Members of the parish pastoral council are to be members of the parish in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church.
B. The membership, numbering from six to eighteen, should represent the different facets of parish life, and it should include a near-equal number of men and women.
C. Two-thirds of the membership is to be elected, and one-third is to be appointed by the pastor (hereafter includes pastoral administrator) after appropriate consultation.
D. All members should serve a three-year term, renewable once, with vacancies filled as soon as possible through appointment by the pastor after consultation with the pastoral council.
E. The names of the members of the pastoral council should be made known to all the parishioners.

III. Meetings
A. The parish pastoral council should meet at least every third month.
B. The pastor and a majority of the members constitute a quorum for meetings.
C. An agenda, with significant time for prayer and study, should be distributed several days prior to the meetings.
D. Discussion at meetings should be conducted in a manner marked by Christian courtesy, love and respect.
E. Voting should take place (if it is required or thought wise) only after consensus has been reached on a given issue.

IV. Officers and Responsibilities
A. As the pastor presides in love at the Eucharist, so he presides in love at meetings of the parish pastoral council (Canon 536); he may, however, designate a member of the council to act as chairperson.

B. The parish pastoral council should elect one member to be secretary. V. Committees
A. It is recommended that the parish pastoral council have the following standing committees: The Agenda Committee, the Committee for the Word of God, the Committee for Worship and Prayer, and the Committee for Christian Service. B. Sub-committees of the above committees (or other standing committees) may be established if the pastor and council judge this necessary for effectively carrying out the mission of the parish.

VI. Relationship with the Parish Finance Council
a. Though the parish pastoral council and the parish finance council are distinct bodies with distinct responsibilities, communication between them must be maintained.
b. To maintain this communication between the two parish councils, one member from each council should attend the meetings of the other council.

from: The Parish Pastoral Council; Policy and Procedures in the Diocese of Crookstonl; August 1997