The pastoral plan for each parish within a regional partnership or deanery needs to be a prayerful and participative process by which members acknowledge their purpose, their goals and their priorities, then devise accountable ways to ensure the realization of their pastoral plan.
Consideration towards collaboration with other parishes is an important part of the pastoral planning. Areas of ministry to be addressed would be those which could be better accomplished together than separately, and which enhance the spiritual life of all in an area. The plan must emcompass all the important facets of Church life: word, worship, community and service.
The major impetus for structural reform to broaden consultation and councils in the Church derives from the word which catches the spirit of the definition of the Church as a communion in heart and mind in a common mission and in sharing the common life of God. In a word: co-responsiblity. “I believe in my heart that we remain co-responsible for this wonderful mission called evangelization.” (Bishop Bambera, Wounded and Loved, Regathering the Scattered)
Commissions, committees, coordinating teams or project teams (various terms are used)develop strategies to implement parish goals stem from the Parish Pastoral Council to carry out the action plans. They study, pray and act as servant leaders to make the parish a center through which its members carry out its mission. These members in their area of mission and to provide continuous opportunities for people to grow spiritually through active participation in parish life.
Although the Parish Pastoral Council sets direction and develops/approves an overall plan for the parish, the actual work of carrying out those plans is often entrusted to commissions/coordinating teams with the help of available parish staff. Normally at least one Parish Pastoral Council member is appointed to act as a liaison between the Coordinating Team and the Council.
The purpose of any version of Commissions/Coordinating Teams/Committees is to help the Parish Pastoral Council oversee the mission and to accomplish the goals of the parish. Commissions/Coordinating Teams also provide opportunities for the gifts and talents of all parishioners to be called forward as they live out their baptismal commitment.
Parish Pastoral Council Guidelines pp. 34-37
Examples of Parishes Putting the Plan into Action