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July 2, 1993     The Message
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July 2, 1993

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=/ I! [/ II t/ ! II ! i[ hol00A[ E S S SPECIAL SYNOD SECTION JULY 1993 Pastoral Councils 0 By SISTER BOND, S.N.J.M. Chancellor Lthin the Diocese of there is great hope future ministry of Pastoral Councils. prayerful collabora- parish leaders and already have ex- the rewards of their giftedness many years. in order to build on of the past and toward a renewed of Parish Pas- a Synod Corn- has presented Draft #5 sh Pastoral Councils and Guidelines to pastoral life coordi- and all Synod dele- the next month, delegates will be re- the latest draft and if they wish, further for revision. The ttee responsible of the docu- meet again to dis- Suggested revisions. changes will be sub- to the delegates for COnsideration at the ight ask the ques- ts there so much Sis being placed on PaStoral councils? The reflections may greater understanding US PRAY on the continuing development of policies to this very legitimate ques- tion WHY? Jesus gave a command to all of us to " Go, preach the Good News to all the world." One means of responding to this command is through a vital parish pastoral council. PARISH For many Catholics the ex- perience of family and parish are among their greatest trea- sures. Within the family, the seed of faith is first planted and nourished. Within the parish, families and individuals continue the mission of Jesus, continue to have their faith nourished, and find ways to publicly ex- press their faith through teaching, witnessing, wor- shipping, praying, and serv- ing in many ways. PASTORAL Our parishes do not exist in isolation. Jesus entrusted his mission to the apostles and eventually through them to the bishops of the Church. Each diocese and its parishes are part of a world-wide Church and are guided by its tradition and teaching under the leadership of the Pope. The diocese and parishes also exist within other communi- ties on a local, national and global level. The Church is pastoral in its nature because Jesus called its members to be con- cerned with the needs of the people. In Biblical terms, a "pastor" was the shepherd of the flock. Some reflection on Chapter 10 of St. John's Gospel will draw further attention to the meaning of "pastoral." MISSION The parish is called to carry forward the mission of Jesus which is the work of the Church. The parish has two basic purposes: To support the spiritual growth of its members through proclaiming the Word of the Gospel, worship- ping through the liturgy and other prayer, sharing gifts and talents through stewardship and working together, build- ing community through cele- brations and service. To enable the members to live out their baptism by par- ticipating in the prophetic, royal, and priestly mission of Jesus. PROPHETIC == "Everywhere on earth they (the bap- tized) must bear witness to Christ and give an an- swer to those who seek an account of that hope of eternal life which is in them." (Lumen Gentium paragraph 10 and 27} ROYAL -- The royal func- tion has to do with influ- ence. Vatican II invites lay PRAYER FOR THE SYNOD Diocese of Evansville life and love, You sent Your Son to live among us, might know and love You, ght serve and worship You as Your faithful people. us in living holy lives as faithful disciples of Jesus, Your Son, presence may be known and felt in our midst, Others too may come to know and love You may begin to serve and worship You. tis with Your Spirit to use fully the many gifts You have given us. our faith. us to see Your plan for the Church. to the future, may our plans be faithful to Yours, we, the Church of Southwestern Indiana, further Your kingdom through preaching and living Your gospel. Praise be Yours through Jesus Christ Our Lord! persons according to their knowledge, competence, and ability to exercise their right and duty to ex- press opinions on those things which pertain to the good of the Church. (Lumen Gentium para- graph 37) PRIESTLY -- The baptized are called to be "a holy priesthood to offer spiri- tual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ... a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people. (1 Pet 2:4-5, 9). This par- ticipation in the priest- hood of Jesus is a special call to holiness for all members of the Church. PASTOR Some of the baptized are called to serve the commu- nity as ordained ministers. The pastoral care of the parish is entrusted to a pastor or pastoral life coordinator under the authority of the diocesan bishop. ' :" The Pastor or Pastoral Life Coordinator is to preach the Word of God. to guide the faithful and to unite the parish community through worship. The pastor/pastoral life co- ordinator has the central leadership role in the life of the parish. Other priests, dea- cons and lay and vowed reli- gious members of the Christ- ian faithful assist the central leaders in carrying out their role. I I PARISH COUNCIL This body enables clergy and laity to cooperate effec- tively in carrying out the mis- sion of the Church. {The term "laity" is understood always to mean all the faithful who are not in sacred orders, in- cluding vowed women and men religious.} VATICAN II "Because they are partners in the prophetic, royal and priestly role of Christ, lay people share actively in the life and action of His Church. Within the communities of the Church their cooperation is so much needed that with- out it the apostolate of the pastors would be largely inef- fectual .... Lay people offer- ing their competencies.. .lend efficacy to the care of souls and even to the man- agement of Church proper- ties." (Decree on Apostolate of Laity, chapter III, para- graph10) ..... ......  j ...... : He publition of:Drft #5, Parish Pastoral Councils Poli- cies and Guidelines, builds upon the many experiences and learnings from our parishes since parish coun- cils were mandated by the Third Synod of the Diocese of Evansville in 1969. Bishop Gerald Gettelfinger called for this document as a guide to future growth and develop- ment of parish pastoral coun- cils because they continue to be so vital to the mission of the Church today. L I I L Jr (  " - +. - + . J II I II ' ] II]-I - I