Built of Living Stones 185-186: The Parish Pastoral Council, the Parish Worship Committee, and the Finance Council

Standing councils and committees get a role:

§ 185 § Each of the key parish committees oversees the various aspects of parish life and continues to work during this major parish activity. As the building or renovation project progresses, these parishioners contribute to its development through membership on existing parish committees or on newly formed committees entrusted with specific tasks. The parish pastoral council can assist the pastor with the general oversight of pastoral activity in the parish and represents the concerns of the parishioners. The parish worship committee can contribute its expertise in keeping the liturgical needs in the forefront of the discussion. The finance council has a significant role with regard to sources and limits of funding, debt amortization and financial campaigns. Areas that might be addressed by other committees include furnishings, seating arrangements, the chapel of reservation, devotional items, interior and exterior artwork, and landscaping design.

§ 186 § However, it is essential that members of these committees approach their tasks from an informed perspective and stay in constant communication with other committees to insure a well informed team and a coordinated project. While the professional experience of people related to a building project is valuable, care must be taken that these professionals familiarize themselves with the special requirements of the liturgy related to their area of competence. In many instances, the initial work of the committees will be to gain knowledge of the church’s liturgical practices as they relate to their task. As the project develops, these committees may be called upon to provide an ongoing informed review of plans from their areas of expertise.

Liam’s comment in the last BLS post is spot on. It is optimal for a pastor’s leadership (not to mention his ego) to have people willing to disagree and even haggle over serious points on any building project. These three lay groups balance considerations of material resources, liturgy, and the overall pastoral thrust of the parish and its ministries. Aside from defending “turf,” it is also vital that these groups commit to formation (both education and prayer), mutual communication, and teamwork.

All texts from Built of Living Stones are copyright © 2000, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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