Council Member Discernment
Qualities of a Pastoral Council member
All Pastoral Council candidates must be:
• A baptized, practicing Catholic
• A registered member of the parish
• A participant in the ongoing life of the parish, especially the Sunday Eucharist
• At least 21 years old
Prospective candidates should:
• Desire spiritual growth for oneself and parish
• Be enthusiastic about the future directions of the parish
• Have a willingness to listen, speak honestly and to work toward consensus
• Display the ability to inspire and empower others and to delegate
• Demonstrate flexibility and openness with people and ideas
What is asked of Pastoral Council members
Meetings are held monthly and lasts approximately 1½ hours. Frequently there are council members who take on other tasks as part of the work of the council. The council writes a column for the bulletin once a month and each member will take that responsibility when assigned. We also write articles for More News.
Council members have various roles and responsibilities as part of the function of the council. We have a facilitator, a convener, a recorder, and a prayer co-coordinator. Council members may form sub-committees to work on specific problems based on decisions and the direction and needs of the parish. The council holds two leadership dinners a year and use parishioner listening session as a discernment tool as needed.
Council members typically commit to a three year term but some past members have only served one year due to personal or health issues and others have served more than five years.
The discernment process
Prior to the formal discernment process, prospective members must attend the information sessions. If a session is missed, they are available on DVD. They must also submit their personal information as requested at the sessions by the given deadline. Once those requirements are satisfied, prospective members can attend the discernment sessions.
The formal discernment process is led by a professional facilitator. It is a collaborative process involving prayer, discussion, learning about one another and discovering those who have the gifts most needed by the council and the parish. The decision is discerned by the group as a whole.