The importance of lay participation in helping foster the pastoral activity of a parish is indicated in the
Code of Canon Law:
Can. 536, §1. After the diocesan bishop has listened to the Presbyteral Council and if he judges it opportune, a pastoral council is to be established in each parish; the pastor presides over it and through it the Christian faithful along with those who share in the pastoral care of the parish in virtue of their office give their help in fostering pastoral activity.
§2. This pastoral council possesses a consultative vote only, and is governed by norms determined by the diocesan bishop.
Therefore, the Bishop of Lake Charles, having heard the Presbyteral Council, and judging it to be opportune for the good of the church, hereby decrees that there is to be a pastoral council in every parish.
A pastoral council may not be dissolved, either temporarily or permanently, without permission of the bishop.
Five (5) members, who are elected at large with the assistance of a nominating committee. These members shall have staggered three year terms, and may not serve more than two consecutive terms.
2. Ex-officio members by reason of their role or position:
a. Vice Chairperson or member of the Parish Finance Council
b. Principal of the Catholic School, if there is one in the parish
c. Chairpersons of the Pastoral Commissions
d. The two Trustees of the parish corporation
e. Associate Pastor(s)
3. Appointed members:
a. Representative from the mission, if there is one in the parish.
b. Other members may be appointed as deemed appropriate by the pastor.
- Pastoral Councils are to meet regularly. No council, regardless of how small the parish, should meet less often than four times a year.
- The following officers are to be elected by Council members:
a. Vice Chairperson
- The Pastoral Council will operate with a system of commissions. Commission chairpersons are to be appointed by the pastor, since it is he, who according to Canon 536, presides over the Council.
- The following commissions are recommended:
a. Worship and Spiritual Life
b. Religious Education
c. Social Justice and Community Services
See the attached document for more information.
Normal quarterly meetings:
- First Tuesday in August
- Last Tuesday in October
- Last Tuesday in January
- First Tuesday in May