Office for Parish Service and Support > Parish Pastoral Councils > Principles

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 following principles guide the formation of Parish Pastoral Councils:

  1. Every Parish Pastoral Council is to develop a statement of purpose which reflects the identity and mission of the parish in light of the Gospel, Church teachings and the specific realities of the parish.
  2. The Parish Pastoral Council is solely a consultative body with the role of advising and assisting the Pastor in areas of pastoral concerns.
  3. The Parish Pastoral Council develops and recommends parish pastoral plans and directions through a consensus process and prayerful reflection.
  4. Every Parish Pastoral Council in its membership should be representative of the entire parish, recognizing and reflecting the parish’s rich diversity.
  5. The Parish Pastoral Council is to cooperate with parish committees which address such areas of parish life as worship, spirituality, community, evangelization, education, and service.
  6. It is the responsibility of the Pastor to convoke the Parish Pastoral Council, to preside over it, and to determine the issues to be treated by it or to receive proposals from its members.
  7. In the event that the Pastor of a parish dies, resigns or is transferred, the Parish Pastoral Council ceases to exist.
      It is the prerogative of a newly appointed Pastor to either confirm the present membership of the former Parish Pastoral Council or choose to have new members elected, with the exception of the three members who serve on this council ex officio and the three members the Pastor is to appoint.
  8. When a Parochial Administrator is appointed to a parish because of the incapacity or ill-health of the Pastor, or for some other cause, this Administrator will assume the rights and responsibilities of the Pastor in relation to the Parish Pastoral Council.(paragraph 8 revised 2/18/05)