The Irish Bishops’Pastoral Renewal and Adult Faith Devlopment Commission haslaunched aframework document setting out norms and guidelines for Parish Pastoral Councils. Document with foreword by Bishop Moriarty (Commission Chair) can be viewed on-line.

Click for PDF File – Parish Pastoral Councils – A Framework for developing Diocesan Norms and Guidelines

It is almost twenty-five years since the Irish Bishops first called for the development of parish pastoral councils in line with similar initiatives that had been taking place in the universal Church since the Second Vatican Council. This call has been repeated many times and at various levels within the Catholic Church in Ireland.

In parish communities throughout the country, the life of faith, liturgy and service is being enriched through the work of the parish pastoral council. The many and varied gifts of parishioners are being welcomed, collaboration between ordained and lay faithful is growing and the Church envisaged by Vatican II is emerging.

However, it is clear that effective and sustainable parish pastoral councils require ongoing training and resources for their task. The role of the council in the parish, and in particular its role vis--vis the role of the Parish Priest and other ordained ministers of the parish, needs to be continually worked out.

The purpose of this document is to offer encouragement and guidance to all concerned with parish pastoral councils. It is not a blueprint for each place. The document offers a framework for developing diocesan norms and parish guidelines. It is our hope that this publication will support the work which is best done in light of local circumstances

The document represents a commitment on the part of the Irish Bishops to the development of parish pastoral councils. These councils are intended to give visible, local expression to the Church as a living and welcoming community, founded on the relationship of each Christian with Christ and the love that all Christians are called to share with one another. The pastoral council is a primary means by which the parish community can review and plan for its mission to witness to the gospel of Christ and to promote the reign of God.

On behalf of the Commission for Pastoral Renewal and Adult Faith Development, I wish to thank all who have participated in consultation processes regarding parish pastoral councils over the last two years and, in particular, the task group that has brought this document to its present point of completion.

Bishop Jim Moriarty
Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin
Chair of the Commission for Pastoral Renewal and Adult Faith Development

Irish Catholic Bishops Conference, 2007