FAQ #5

Question:

May a deacon serve on the pastoral council or the finance council at the parish at which the deacon is assigned?

Answer:

The preference is that a deacon, parochial vicar, and parish staff should not serve as members of the pastoral or finance council at the parish.  The deacon, parochial vicar, and parish staff may (and should) serve as resources to both councils as the pastor may desire.

Parochial vicars should participate in council meetings, as should deacons if requested by the pastor.  The bishop’s assignment of the parochial vicar and deacon to the parish is for each to share in the pastoral care and service of the pastor.  Staff persons assist the pastor in the administration of the parish and, to the extent proper, in ministerial functions.  The primary purposes of the pastoral and finance councils are to provide consultation from those who are not serving directly under the pastor.  Consultation recognizes that both the ordained and the non-ordained have distinct roles.  Because of their representative nature and consultative role the pastoral and finance councils should be comprised of persons separate from the clergy and staff.

Note:

The foregoing answer briefly summarizes relevant portions of the diocesan pastoral manual section addressing the pastoral and finance councils.