Canon law and the GIRM give us the word for all priests. Then BLS elaborates on the special tasks of a pastor:
§ 35 § Priests are consecrated to “celebrate divine worship and sanctify the people.”(canon law 835 § 2) The priest “stands at the head of the faithful people gathered together, presides over its prayer, proclaims the message of salvation, joins the people to himself in offering the sacrifice to God the Father through Christ in the Spirit, gives his brothers and sisters the bread of eternal life, and shares in it with them.”(GIRM 93) As the one who presides, he always prays in the name of the Church and of the community gathered together. As the leader and representative of the local parish, the pastor takes the lead in the building process, keeps the local parish in communication with the bishop and other diocesan officials, and helps to draw the parishioners together in the decision-making process.
We read in the RDCA of the importance of using the time of building a church to form parishioners not only in knowledge of the particulars, but to ensure the building up of a faith community that is enriched and enlivened in the process.
All texts from Built of Living Stones are copyright © 2000, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.