The Parish Pastoral Council is solely a consultative body with the role of advising and assisting the pastor in areas of pastoral concerns. Its membership is representative of the entire parish, recognizing and reflecting the parish’s rich diversity.
In the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, every parish is to have one Parish Pastoral Council which is to foster full participation of the entire parish – clergy, religious, laity – in the pastoral life and mission of the parish and of the Universal Church. The parish faith community participates in this mission by:
- Worshipping God;
- Creating and nurturing Christian Community;
- Growing in faith and holiness;
- Serving those in need, especially the poor.
The Parish Pastoral Council carries out its function by:
- Informing the pastor of the needs and concerns, gifts and resources of the whole parish and its members;
- Developing and reviewing a Parish Mission Statement and periodically re-evaluating and revising it;
- Developing a parish pastoral plan;
- Participating in ongoing pastoral planning;
- Recommending policies, procedures and programs which would assist in the implementation of the mission statement and the parish pastoral plan;
- Reviewing and evaluating the effectiveness of existing programs;
- Reflecting on Archdiocesan pastoral priorities and recommending how they can be implemented in the parish.
In addition to the pastor and parochial vicar(s) of the parish, there should be twelve members of the Parish Pastoral Council (three ex officio, three appointed, and the remainder elected). Among the three ex officio members, one must be a member of the Parish Finance Council. Others may be the Principal of the parish school, the Director of Religious Education, the permanent deacon of the parish, the parish social minister, the director for worship, or other professional staff members.