Saint Catharine’s Pastoral Council serves parishioners by supporting and encouraging the parish in its mission to be a vibrant, faith-filled community that spreads the Good News by word and example. The Council, comprised of the pastor and lay members of the parish community, meets monthly (from September to June) and maintains focus on enriching the spiritual life of the parish and enhancing the sense of community here at St. Catharine.
The Pastoral Council is a consultative body that strives to discern the movement of the Holy Spirit among God's people in the parish. The Council, in collaboration with and under the authority of the pastor, monitors “the pulse” of the parish, identifying both immediate needs and opportunities for parish growth, investigating potential solutions, recommending practical conclusions and planning any required actions. Council meetings always occur in the context of prayer and openness to the Holy Spirit, so that at all times the common good of St. Catharine is the primary consideration.
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.
Serving on the Pastoral Council is a ministry to the whole parish. Official Church documents state that the Pastoral Councils are to represent the people of God, but not in the legal sense. Rather, Council members are representative in that they are a witness or a sign of the whole community (Sacred Congregation for the Clergy, Private letter on Pastoral Councils, # 7). They make its wisdom present through their commitment of time, talent and leadership in a consultative and collaborative manner, their ability to study and reflect prayerfully, and their willingness to recognize and respect the viewpoints of others.
If you’d like more information regarding the Pastoral Council or have a specific concern or aspect of parish life that you would like to put before the Council for prayerful consideration, please do not hesitate to contact either of the council chairs or Fr. Tom.