COUNCILS AND COMMITTEES
Canon Law provides for the formation of Parish Pastoral Councils in Canon 536 #1. “In every parish of the diocese, a Pastoral Council shall be established, if the diocesan Bishop, after consulting with the Council of Presbyters, so decides. The pastor presides over the Pastoral Council. The Pastoral Council is composed of members of the congregation together with those of the parish staff who have pastoral care by reason of their office. The Pastoral Council assists in promoting pastoral action in the parish.”
What constitutes parish staff will vary from parish to parish. Pastoral Team members are those who are
involved in the day-to-day ministry of the parish. They may be full-time, part-time, or volunteers. The
Pastoral Team generally has its own unique relationship with the pastor as it endeavors to carry out its
responsibilities and ministry within the parish.
Pastoral Team members may be invited to attend some pastoral council meetings when their expertise or training may be of assistance to the council. It is recommended that where applicable an assistant
pastor, by virtue of office, be a member of the council. Other ex officio members may be included at the discretion of the pastor. However, their presence should not dominate council meetings or stifle the
voice of the general membership.
The Parish Pastoral Council is a consultative body, pastoral in nature, because it strives to discern the
movement of the Holy Spirit among God's people in the parish. A Parish Pastoral Council gives its help to the pastor in fostering pastoral activity; it investigates, under the authority of the pastor, all those things which pertain to pastoral works to ponder them, and to propose practical conclusions about them. It is essential that Council meetings occur in the context of prayer and openness to the Holy Spirit, so that at all times the common good will prevail.
Specifically, the Parish Pastoral Council's purpose is to enhance the process of:
-Developing pastoral programs
-Improving pastoral services
-Evaluating the pastoral effectiveness of various programs and services
Although the Council is not a body which makes binding decisions, the recommendations of the Pastoral Council are to be taken seriously when grounded in prayer, discernment, and communal wisdom. The pastor presides over the Parish Pastoral Council. The pastor is responsible for the final approval of Council recommendations concerning pastoral planning, programs, and services for the parish, as well as for their implementation. While the pastor is not obliged to follow the recommendations of the Parish Pastoral Council, it is understood that he ought to do so unless there is a compelling reason to do otherwise. If there is such a reason, the pastor should share this with the Council.
Deacon Gary Ingold, Chairman
The Finance Council is an integral part of the Stewardship responsibilities of the parish. The council assists the Pastor in their deliberation and decision-making process in order to serve the needs of the Parish in the prudent administration of its resources and funds. The council functions within the guidelines of the Financial Policies and Procedures for Parishes published by the Diocese of Venice. The Finance Council interacts closely with the Pastoral Council and Buildings and Grounds Council to assure that the finances are available to support the Parish Mission and goals. The major responsibilities of the Council are to: assist the Pastor in the preparation of the Annual Budget, assist the Pastor in the preparation of the Annual and Quarterly Reports to the Parish, review Parish revenues and expense reports quarterly and make recommendation as necessary, and assist the Pastor in any and all matters pertaining to the financial operation and well-being of the Parish.
Edward Sweeney, Chairman
The Ave Maria Catholic Church Development Committee is an integral part of the fundraising responsibility of the parish. The Committee advises and assists the Pastor in order to serve the needs of the Parish in the prudent administration of its fundraising program. The Council functions within all guidelines of the Diocese of Venice. The Development Committee works closely with the Pastoral, Finance, Councils and Buildings & Grounds Committee to ensure that funds are available to support the parish mission. The major responsibilities of the Committee are to: assist the Pastor in the preparation of the Annual Fundraising Plan, ensure parishioners and benefactors are thanked for their gifts, and advise and assist the Pastor in any and all matters pertaining to the fundraising effort of the Parish.
Our beginning is extremely slow. The order I was endeavoring to establish fell back almost lifeless... but not dead.