In BLS 182-195, we’ll cover “Roles Within the Parish,” starting today with the key person, the pastor:
§ 182 § The pastor is vital to the building or renovation of a parish church. The pastor shepherds the community through the various and often lengthy stages of discernment and planning and works with the finance committee in fulfilling his responsibility for the fiscal dimensions of the project. He must open channels of communication with the entire parish so that all voices may be heard. A clear initial presentation on the scope of the project and frequent updates on the progress of the work, especially any alterations to initial plans, coupled with displays of the architect’s renderings, floor plans, and scale models help to involve parishioners as part of the project from beginning to end. With the help of the staff and others in the parish, the pastor arranges for the parish self-study, the liturgical education of parishioners, and the preparation of the building committee as it begins discernment. The pastor is also the connection and communication link with the diocese throughout the process. In the final analysis, decisions concerning every facet of the building program from beginning to end remain with the pastor, in conformity with diocesan regulations. Wisdom, however, requires that the pastor consult broadly with the congregation, the parish staff, the parish pastoral council, the parish liturgy committee, and the parish finance council, as well as with liturgical and architectural experts and experienced diocesan personnel.
In sum, the pastor is leader (not necessarily doer), financial overseer, diplomat and facilitator, educator, spiritual director, liaison with diocese and parish. It might be no single person is good at all of these. In that case, the pastor delegates appropriately to people who are.
All texts from Built of Living Stones are copyright © 2000, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.