Parish Pastoral Councils - Size, Membership, Terms


In addition to the Pastor and Parochial Vicar(s) of the parish, there should be twelve members of the Parish Pastoral Council. Of these twelve (12) members, three are ex officio, three are appointed and the remainder elected.


Parish Pastoral Councils are composed of the Pastor and his Parochial Vicar(s), representative parish staff members and lay members of the parish. Since the Council is to be representative of the entire parish community, the members of the Council ought to reflect the diversity within the parish. Lay members of the Parish Pastoral Council are to be parishioners in good standing.

Membership is determined as follows:

  1. Ex Officio
    Besides the Pastor and Parochial Vicar(s) there are 3 ex officio members, one of which must be a member of the Parish Finance Council. Others may be the Principal of the parish elementary 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.

  2. Elected
    A process for nominating and electing six members should be conducted by a Nomination Committee chaired by the Vice-Chairperson of the Parish Pastoral Council.

  3. Appointed
    The Pastor is to appoint three members to the Council representative of the community in order to reflect the diversity in the parish community.


Elected and appointed members serve a three year term with the possibility of serving a second term. Elected and appointed members may serve only two consecutive terms.

Normally, not more than one third of the Council's membership should be changed at one time.

In a newly formed Council one third of the membership serves a three year, a two year and a one year term, respectively. Those serving a one year term in a newly formed Council may serve for two additional consecutive terms.

Rationale, Principles and Guidelines for Parish Pastoral Councils

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