One of the goals of the Second Vatican Council was to promote new means of communication and mutual
collaboration among the clergy and laity in their cooperative pastoral mission of evangelizing and sanctifying
the world, and in their continued efforts to build up the Kingdom of God on earth. The Council called for
the establishment of diocesan and parish structures to facilitate this mutual collaboration.

Among these structures is the Parish Pastoral Council which provides a setting in every parish for
communication between the laity and the pastor/ administrator concerning the pastoral needs, plans, and
activity of the parish. The call of the Second Vatican Council for the establishment of the Parish Pastoral
Council is one of the ways the Church seeks to involve the laity in its pastoral and salvific mission.

The Second Vatican Council, in its Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, expresses the good which it
expects to result from this type of collaboration between laity and clergy. ''A great many benefits are to be hoped
from this familiar dialog between the laity and their pastors: in the laity, a strengthened sense of personal responsibility, a
renewed enthusiasm, a more ready application of their talents to the projects of their pastors. The latter,far their part, aided by
the experience of the laity, can more clearly and more suitably come to decisions regarding spiritual and temporal matters. In this
way, the whole Church, strengthened by each one of its members, can more effectively fulfill its mission for the life of the world."
(LG, 37)

Further, the Code of Canon Law also calls for the establishment of a Parish Pastoral Council.
Can. 5 36 §1. lf the diocesan bishop judges it opportune efter he has heard the presryteral council, a pastoral council is to be
established in each parish, over which the pastor presides and in which the Christian faithfuI, together with those who share in
pastoral care ry virtue of their office in the parish, assist in fostering pastoral activity.

§2. A pastoral council possesses a consultative voice only  and is governed ry the norms established ry the diocesan bishop.

The Parish Pastoral Council is intended to be a source of open and responsible dialogue between
parishioners and pastors/administrators in their respective parishes concerning the discernment and
assessment of the pastoral needs of the parish. In addition, the Parish Pastoral Council is intended to foster
the mutual cooperation of both parishioners and their pastor/ administrator in determining the proper
pastoral planning necessary for them to fulfill together those pastoral needs.

Article 2: Purpose and Activities
a. Purposes:
1. To assist the pastor/administrator in the pastoral ministry of the parish(es)
2. To enable the parish to share in the general pastoral thrust of the Diocese of Fall River and to
promote programs and activities recommended or presented by the Diocesan Bishop.

b. .Activities:
1. Evaluate the apostolic needs of the parish and propose means whereby these needs can be met;
specifically, the Parish Pastoral Council will do this by helping the pastor/administrator develop
and implement a pastoral plan which will promote the common good of the parish.
2. Suggested topics of concern for the Parish Pastoral Council: spirituality of the parish,
evangelization, worship, faith formation, youth ministry, community service, stewardship,
fellowship, and leadership. Pastors/Administrators may also contact the Diocesan Office of
Pastoral Planning for assistance.

3. .Assist the pastor/administrator in his endeavors to fulfill those pastoral needs and plans.


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St Mary’s Catholic Church
789 Dartmouth Street
South Dartmouth, MA 02748