PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL
Frequently referred to as simply the Parish Council, our Parish Pastoral Council’s primary functions are to serve the Catholic Church of St. Mark community and to provide prayerful, considered advice to our Pastor, who is the church’s leader and spiritual Shepard in all matters.
The council’s role should not be confused with a local municipality’s elected council. Ours is a three part advisory role on pastoral matters, wherein we are called to investigate, reflect and deliberate, and provide recommendations to the Pastor.
In its directive, "Called to Serve", The Diocese of Richmond provides guidance on the formation, responsibilities and duties of our parish council. The council’s responsibility is to Learn about the parish community, Discern its faith life and Help all to respond to needs as they identify those who are materially and spiritually impoverished, those who are oppressed and neglected.
The Bishop’s guidance states the council’s primary role is advisory, making recommendations to the pastor about the parish’s spiritual well-being. The council does not run the parish or supervise its daily work; that is the pastor’s responsibility. The council must be a visionary group, concerning itself with where the parish wants to be in three to five years and not with the administrative aspects of running the parish. The council must be prophetic, calling the community and its leaders to grow in faith together and to respond to the needs of the people.
We state in our Parish Council constitution that the council helps the pastor to evaluate and formulate policy, plans and activities that meet our parishioner’s pastoral needs, and with a focus on our Parish mission statement, allows the community to act and grow in response to the gospel.
The council serves on behalf of the parish community and is therefore charged with listening to parishioners concerns by encouraging and engaging in open communication with the entire community. The council functions in an environment of thoughtful discernment, and as a group must act in a collaborative manner within itself, and when working with other parish committees and groups.
All registered, active and worshipping lay members of the Parish are eligible to serve on the Parish Council. The council is comprised of At-large members serving a three consecutive year term, and the chairpersons from each of our four ministries’ standing committees. The four minmistries' standing committees are Religious Formation, Parish Life, Justice and Peace, and Liturgy.
The pastor is the council’s President and exercises final authority over all matters before the council. He is supported by the Council Leadership Team comprised of the Council Chair, Vice Chair and At-Large Representative.
Leadership team members are elected annually by the council. Additional council administrative positions include Recording Secretary, Faith and Prayer Coordinator and Mass Scheduler.
Parish Council Meeting Minutes