How are we doing as a Parish Community?
Last week I shared in this space, the “Benchmarks for a Healthy Parish.” This week I’d like to share the first “Benchmark” which I am happy to say is one of our outstanding qualities here at Holy Trinity, Our Pastoral Council. We have been blessed with numerous parishioners who generously have shared their talents with past pastors as well as me. The purpose of a Parish Pastoral Council is to:
1. Engage in pastoral planning.
2. Monitor parish ministries.
3. Assess the current status and changes in the climate of the parish.
Currently our Pastoral Council consists of the following members:
Paul Hilton - Chairperson
Vickie Barela - Co-Chair
Deacon Steve Kula
Deacon Ferdie Ona
Both John and Dorothy are new members and they took the place of Butch Correa and Sue Ann Moniz, who recently concluded their time of serving on the Council. We thank them for the years of contributing to the Council and their continued participation in the life of our community.
Best practices that are specific to this benchmark include:
Each parish has numerous, often unique characteristics that affect the current status of the parish. All of them hinge on the level of trust between the lay faithful and the parish leadership.
Each parish will have a parish pastoral council that meets at least quarterly.
The parish pastoral council’s primary responsibility is planning and creating the vision for the future of the parish. The council is consultative and advisory to the pastor. Members prayerfully investigate and discern issues of concern to the whole parish and make recommendations to the pastor for goals and actions.
The parish will have a parish pastoral plan that is reviewed and updated on a regular basis.
The parish council should have bylaws by which it operates that are approved by the pastor.
Regular ministry fairs or stewardship renewals
• Regular spiritual formation opportunities for all ages
• Regular spiritual and social events for families
• Youth and Young adult participation in parish ministries and leadership
• Regular community outreach events
At the upcoming September Pastoral Council meeting, we will be discussing how we measure up to these important aspects of our parish life. We will also be looking at any “Warning Signs” that indicate we are not meeting this benchmark. This document is a living tool and will allow us to do a self-assessment of the vitality of our community. It’s an exciting venture and we will keep you informed of our progress. If you wish to contribute to this discussion, please feel free to e-mail me your comments at: email@example.com.