Parish Pastoral Council Retreat V2


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A PowerPoint-based retreat I led in November, 2002 for a parish Pastoral Council. It utilizes a current excplanation of the rights and responsibilities of laypeople in the Catholic Church as well as the basic material of "Who Moved My Cheese?"

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  • Parish Pastoral Council Retreat V2

    1. 1. The Parish Pastoral Council: Agents of Grace in a Church Full of Change
    2. 2. What We’re Here to Do! <ul><li>Opening Prayer </li></ul><ul><li>Session One (9:15 – 10:15) What’s a Parish Pastoral Council? </li></ul><ul><li>Session Two (10:30 – 11:30) What’s the role of the Laity? </li></ul><ul><li>Lunch (11:30 – 1:00) Video: Forming Adult Disciples </li></ul><ul><li>Session Three (1:00 – 1:45) Change: The Handwriting on the Wall </li></ul><ul><li>Session Four (2:00 – 3:15) Managing Change: An Exercise </li></ul>
    3. 3. It’s All About Change Haw now realized that the change probably would not have taken him by surprise if he had been watching what was happening all along and if he had anticipated change. He stopped for a rest and wrote on the wall of the Maze: Smell the Cheese often so you know when it is getting old. Ecclesia semper reformandum: The Church is always changing. We have all reaped the benefits of change in the Church. As Parish Pastoral Council Members and as Clergy, we must also accept, initiate and manage change for the good of the church, within our Parish community.
    4. 4. What is a Parish Pastoral Council? <ul><li>Code of Canon Law </li></ul><ul><li>(Codex Iuris Canonici), 536: </li></ul><ul><li>A (Parish) 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 help in fostering pastoral activity… </li></ul><ul><li>The Pastoral Council possesses a consultative vote only , and is governed by norms determined by the local bishop. </li></ul>
    5. 5. What does the Council do? <ul><li>(E)xamine and consider all that relates to pastoral work and to offer practical conclusions on these matters, so that the life and activity of the People of God be brought into greater conformity with the Gospel. -- Pope Paul VI </li></ul><ul><li>In other words, provide a means by which the full parish community can participate in discerning the mission of Jesus Christ, and how this particular parish membership is being called to carry out that mission in this particular time and place. </li></ul>
    6. 6. How does it work? <ul><li>The Parish Council is composed of mostly lay persons , with a variety of vocations </li></ul><ul><li>The Pastoral Council exists to do pastoral planning </li></ul><ul><li>The Council is consultative in nature </li></ul><ul><li>The Pastoral Council does not directly coordinate pastoral activities </li></ul><ul><li>The Pastoral Council distinguishes itself from the Parish Finance Council, Archdiocesan Pastoral Council, Priests’ Council, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>The Pastoral Council is one of several ways to share responsibility for the mission of the Church </li></ul>
    7. 7. Where does it come from? <ul><li>Fr. John Coleman, SJ who has written extensively on parish pastoral councils states that these documents inspired the formation of parish councils because of their emphasis on communion, collegiality, subsidiarity, and justice as participation. </li></ul><ul><li>Parish Pastoral Councils have their history in the documents of the Second Vatican Council (1962 – 1965) and afterward, and their understanding of the nature of the Church as a community of believers and as an institution . </li></ul><ul><li>The two most important documents from the Council that form our current understanding of the church are Lumen Gentium (The Dogmatic Constitution on the Church) and Gaudium et Spes (The Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World). </li></ul>
    8. 8. Communion Parish Pastoral Councils give us a structure and a means to exercise our communion by seeking ways to be Christ in this world and to further the reign of God. Communion or fellowship speaks of unity within parish life, which is based on the equality of all believers . The foundation of this communion is Baptism , which can be understood as our common vocation to the ministry of the church. Through Baptism we are joined by Jesus in the life of the Trinity and in our being called to share in Jesus’ mission. All of us have received this call, no matter what our position in the church (or the world) may be. All of us are called to be disciples of Christ and to proclaim and enable the coming of God’s reign. But the very heart of the concept of communion is participation . We as baptized members of the church, share in the ministry of Christ, “in accord with the condition proper to each one.” ( LG )
    9. 9. Collegiality Parish Councils offer the parishioners the opportunity to exercise collegiality to further the mission of Christ, in union with those in Holy Orders. The idea of communion leads to the notion of collegiality. If there is to be true communion among the baptized, there has to be collegiality between ordained clergy and lay men and women. Lumen Gentium 33-37 teaches that the laity’s mission comes through Baptism and Confirmation and consequently the layperson has the right and often the duty to give his or her judgment on the church’s internal affairs. This is even reflected in the 1983 Code of Canon Law ( CIC 212:2).
    10. 10. Subsidiarity <ul><li>Parish Pastoral Councils (and all ministry groups within the parish) which are involved in the process of consultation are vital for the good of the Church. </li></ul><ul><li>A fundamental part of Catholic social teaching since the 19 th Century, the principle of subsidiarity assumes that problems are best defined and resolved by those most closely affected by them. </li></ul><ul><li>In other words, the lowest possible level of authority should be most capable and most responsible for resolving an issue. Diversity and good order should be maintained through subsidiarity. </li></ul>
    11. 11. Justice as Participation <ul><li>“ (I)t is not enough for individuals to be mere passive recipients of justice.” </li></ul><ul><li>Parishes are invited by Vatican II to establish Parish Pastoral Councils. The nature and structure of these councils continue to evolve. Although not mandated, it is difficult to understand how communion, collegiality, subsidiarity and justice as participation can be achieved without such structures. </li></ul><ul><li>Gaudium et Spes insists that we, the Baptized, are active subjects in our society. We are artisans and authors of the culture of our community. We are responsible for the cultural mores in which we live. We are called to create a just society and to be a sign and a sacrament of the presence of Christ in our community. </li></ul><ul><li>It follows that just ecclesial societies (dioceses, parishes, etc.) allow for the participation of all the Baptized as they seek to work for the common good of society. </li></ul>
    12. 12. What? Pray?? The Pastoral Council needs to spend time together in prayer and retreat experiences for the growth of Christ’s community of faith and love. Significant time for prayer should be a scheduled part of each meeting. Formation opportunities should be provided on a regular basis. What are the basics of Parish Council prayer? A warm and inviting atmosphere that helps the group be attentive to the presence of God’s Spirit in their midst. Prayers that reflect the liturgical seasons, work of council, or address needs of the community. Use scripture, portions of the Liturgy of the Hours , or Church Documents to shape the prayer and establish the theme. Silence and/or time for quiet reflection is an important part of prayer. Include time for quieting down at the beginning to help everyone settle and be open to the wisdom of the Spirit. Prayer may be done at anytime during the meeting, but prayer at the beginning is preferred.
    13. 13. Some Points to Know <ul><li>Recognize and appreciate the Pastor’s role and vision for the community. </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize that the Pastoral Council is consultative to the Pastor and/or Administrator. </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize that clarity of expectations on the part of both Pastor and Pastoral Council members is essential, and must be communicated. </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize that the formation and education of Pastor, Pastoral Council members and parishioners is critical to forming a vision for the essential elements of the mission of the parish. </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize that pastoral planning is critical to the life of the Council and the larger parish, regardless which model or style is implemented. </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize that the process of consensus should be learned and used. </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize that there needs to be clarity of relationship and roles between Pastoral Council and the Parish Finance Council. </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize that prayer, reflection, and faith sharing are primary, integral parts of the ministry of a Pastoral Council. </li></ul>
    14. 14. The Finance Council The Parish Finance Council and the Parish Pastoral Council are distinct and separate. They are related, however, since both are concerned with the life and mission of the parish. Each community is to foster a cooperative relationship between the two. CIC 537 In each parish there is to be a finance committee to help the parish priest in the administration of the goods of the parish, without prejudice to can. 532. It is ruled by the universal law and by the norms laid down by the diocesan Bishop, and it is comprised of members of the faithful selected according to these norms. CIC 532 In all juridic affairs the pastor represents the parish according to the norm of law. He is to take care that the goods of the parish are administered according to the norm of cann. 1281-1288.  
    15. 15. The Code prescribes that the Finance Council be distinct from the Pastoral Council because each has responsibility for distinct aspects of parish life and the membership of each is different. Both Councils are consultative to the Pastor; the Pastoral Council in formulating the pastoral plan and the Finance Council in financing. The Finance Council looks to the Pastoral Council for a statement of the mission of the parish , a pastoral plan and parish priorities . The Pastoral Council looks to the Finance Council for sound financial guidance and planning regarding the resources needed to develop and implement parish plans, programs and policies. The Finance Council’s recommendations deal with financial plans and policies and not with ordinary matters of day-to-day administration. Cooperation may be realized in some of the ways that follow. Regular reports can be exchanged between the two Councils. The Parish Finance Council may choose one of its members to be a liaison to the Pastoral Council Taken from the Diocese of Cleveland’s Parish Finance Council Policy
    16. 16. Discussion Time <ul><li>In your own words, what is the work of the Parish Pastoral Council? How does it differ from what you just learned about the Church’s vision for it? </li></ul><ul><li>Can you see the Church as a community of believers, and as an institution? How do the two work together? How do they conflict?? </li></ul><ul><li>Think about communion, collegiality, subsidiarity, and justice as participation . Do these make themselves apparent in the work of the Parish Pastoral Council? The Parish Staff? The larger Church in the Archdiocese? Can you give concrete examples? </li></ul><ul><li>How does the Parish Pastoral Council and the Parish Finance Council work together? Can this be improved or modified? </li></ul><ul><li>Have you ever read or heard of Lumen Gentium and/or Gaudium et Spes ? What do you know about them? What do you think the Church is doing by writing these documents </li></ul>
    17. 17. What is a Layperson? <ul><li>Laity (Greek, laicos ), “the public.” </li></ul><ul><li>Once defined by the Church as “a person who is not in Holy Orders.” </li></ul><ul><li>A newer definition since Vatican II: A fully initiated member of the Church, authorized to share in the…function of the Bishop… (for the) sanctification, teaching, and shepherding of the Church. (Pilarczyk) </li></ul><ul><li>The Church has changed, and has begun to appreciate her lay membership, and the power it shares through Baptism, Confirmation and the Eucharist. In the near future, she will now need to develop: </li></ul><ul><li>A more accurate description of the laity </li></ul><ul><li>A “theology” of the laity in the Church </li></ul><ul><li>A way to foster authentic Catholic Christian spirituality </li></ul><ul><li>Precise roles, including ministries </li></ul>
    18. 18. Laity Facts <ul><li>There is an equality among the baptized. </li></ul><ul><li>We are called to a perfection of our Christian life, as we are sharers in Christ’s own life, here and now. </li></ul><ul><li>We are all baptized into a priesthood of believers. </li></ul><ul><li>Through the Sacraments, we have a share in the exercise of the prophetic life of Christ. </li></ul><ul><li>We have a “secular quality,” apart from the ordained ministry, which helps to transform the world we live in. </li></ul><ul><li>Our apostolate (Christian work) flows not from the “hierarchy,” but from a vocation from God. </li></ul><ul><li>As members of the baptized, we enjoy certain rights and bear certain responsibilities. </li></ul>
    19. 19. Laity Risks <ul><li>The post-conciliar path of the lay faithful has not been without its difficulties and dangers. In particular, two temptations can be cited which they have not always known how to avoid: </li></ul><ul><li>The temptation of being so strongly interested in church services and tasks that some fail to become actively engaged in their responsibilities in the professional, social, cultural and political world; </li></ul><ul><li>… The temptation of legitimizing the unwarranted separation of faith from life, that is, a separation of the Gospel’s acceptance from the actual living of the Gospel in various situations. </li></ul><ul><li>- Christifideles Laici, 2. </li></ul>
    20. 20. Discussion Time <ul><li>Are the “temptations” mentioned shown in your own experience? Can you give examples? </li></ul><ul><li>What are some other factors working against lay people seeing their active engagement in secular concerns? </li></ul><ul><li>Who would you consider an outstanding example of a lay person giving service in our parish? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there truly one Catholic position on issues such as family, work, politics, etc? Should there be? </li></ul><ul><li>How can the Church support lay men and lay women more effectively in their secular mission? </li></ul><ul><li>What sorts of things should the Church do to support lay work on the institutional level? What things should be done on the parish level? </li></ul>
    21. 21. Church Structure (prior to Vatican II)
    22. 22. Church Structure (since Vatican II) There are five divisions of the Church, known as orders , based on the Sacraments. Within each order, and among them, is to be communication, cooperation and a sharing in the responsibilities of the work of the Church. The lay faithful participate in the life of the Church not only exercising their tasks and charisms, but in many other ways. Such participation finds its first and necessary expression in the life and mission of the particular (parish) Church ( Christifideles Laici, 25).
    23. 23. Discussion Time <ul><li>Is Saint Francis of Assis effective in drawing out the gifts and charisms of its members? If not, what are the obstacles and what could be done to be more effective? Can you give concrete examples? </li></ul><ul><li>Do you experience polarization at St. Al’s or within the larger Church, perhaps by rival groups or movements? Can you name them? How can these be challenged and aided to promote a greater sense of communion? </li></ul>
    24. 24. Describe a situation at Saint Francis of Assis where you or others are having a difficulty with change. Before we continue… How do you personally feel about the situation? How do you think the situation will turn out? Your observations are for your own use only, though we may be referring to these situations as we move along.
    25. 25. <ul><li>Change happens </li></ul><ul><li>Anticipate change </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor change </li></ul><ul><li>Adapt to change quickly </li></ul><ul><li>Change </li></ul><ul><li>Enjoy change! </li></ul><ul><li>Be ready to change quickly, and enjoy it again. </li></ul>The Handwriting on the Wall
    26. 26. Discussion Time <ul><li>What are you afraid of? </li></ul><ul><li>Why does this frighten you? </li></ul><ul><li>Can you share a moment when you were really experiencing fear? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you think others are afraid of? </li></ul><ul><li>Can you think of a moment in the Church when fear was overwhelming? Can you talk about what happened? </li></ul>
    27. 27. Readiness, Anticipation, & Energy for Change <ul><li>If we are to become agents for change, we must first determine who we are, and how we can relate with others – as planners, leaders, and also as fellow Christians. To begin, we must look at our four little friends and ask ourselves: </li></ul><ul><li>Can I “sniff” change in the air? </li></ul><ul><li>Am I able to “scurry” into action? </li></ul><ul><li>Do I reject and resent change and cry,“This isn’t fair!” </li></ul><ul><li>Do I get startled by change, then come to accept it and move on to “new cheese?” </li></ul>
    28. 28. So…Who are we? There are parts of Hem, Haw, Sniff and Scurry in us. Sniff is aptly named. For whatever reason, he sniffs out change at its earliest point and communicates the need to change to others. He acts out of instinct, never out of boredom. Scurry is the initiator of change, picking up where Sniff leaves off. Not acting out of sheer impulse, he takes action quickly while managing new (or changing!) situations. Hem is more complex than the mice, and therefore more difficult. He resists and resents change which impacts that which he feels he is entitled to, and reacts forcefully at first, then turns to sullenness and despair, never moving at all. Haw is only different than his counterpart in one respect – he moves from the shock of change to an understanding of why change must happen. He then moves forward and anticipates real achievement – which only happen by changing.
    29. 29. Finding Our Inner (Sniff, Scurry, Hem, Haw) <ul><li>There are four groups which match how our four characters work and communicate: </li></ul><ul><li>The Thinker: Sniff </li></ul><ul><li>The Doer: Scurry </li></ul><ul><li>The Friend: Hem </li></ul><ul><li>The Actor: Haw </li></ul><ul><li>Keep in mind that you’re never strictly one type or the other – we all have parts of all four in us. Different situations bring out different parts. </li></ul>
    30. 30. Managing a Major Parish-Wide Change Change is something we have to deal with in one way or another. How we anticipate, implement, manage and accept change is critical to the success of whatever it is we’re changing, and to our ownership and value of it. As lay people called by our Baptism to aid in the support of the Parish and to take a share of the labors of its Pastor, we often work with change more than we realize. Now is time to take our “cheese” to work!
    31. 31. THE SCENARIO: An increase in Parish population has caused severe overflows to occur in the new Church at any given weekend Mass. At the same time, the demographics of the population reveal a need for more formation-related activity, to be scheduled in a manner accessible to them. After much discussion and anticipation, the decision has been made to increase the number of Weekend Masses, with their times moved to accommodate more Parish-related and formation-related activities : Saturday 5:00 p.m. Mass Sunday 8:00 a.m. Mass 9:30 a.m. Mass 11:00 a.m. – 12:20 p.m. P.R.E.P. 12:30 p.m. Mass 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. Optional Activity 5:30 p.m. Mass 7:00 – 9:00 Youth / Young Adult Groups
    32. 32. YOUR TASK: Using the topics learned and discussed in the Who Moved My Cheese? text, and the ongoing call of the larger Church to increase the participation and formation of the laity, convince the Parish population that this change is the most appropriate one to make. You should be able to perform this task by means of one-on-one conversations with parishioners who may (or may not) understand or accept the motives or the goals behind the change. Good Luck!
    33. 33. Discussion Time <ul><li>What was the most difficult part of your conversations? </li></ul><ul><li>What parts of you “came to the surface” most – Sniff, Scurry, Hem or Haw? </li></ul><ul><li>How did you use your listening skills? Your skills of persuasion? </li></ul><ul><li>If this change took place today, would you be able to continue what you did in this environment? </li></ul><ul><li>Can you think of a more difficult scenario? How does it frighten you? </li></ul>