Steve Toon

Robert Lippet

Dan Griffin

Denise McFarland

Andrea Ricci

Not pictured:

Camillo Prandini

Nadia Banuelos 

Alejandro Dasilva 

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What is the role of a Pastoral Council?

Purposes of the Pastoral Council

The Pastoral Council is an advisory body for the pastor. The council does not manage parish operations, and its roles are distinct from the staff’s role of making day-to-day administrative and pastoral decisions. The Pastoral Council is responsible for:

Priorities and Planning

  • Interpret the mission statement that gives direction to the parish and articulates God’s will for the parish. Discern where is God calling us
  • Determine the vision and priorities for our parish
  • Develop a top-level strategic plan to achieve our priorities
  • Discern how to meet the needs of our parishioners and of our mission field
  • Consider the mission and vision of the diocese in this process


  • Follow up with staff on implementation of priorities and strategic plan
  • Assist with matters brought by the pastor


  • Aim to involve everyone in the parish in the work of the parish
  • With the pastor and staff, discern how to use the gifts of everyone in the parish

Serve as the voice for the people of the parish

  • Proactively, intentionally, and carefully listen to our parishioners
  • Study, reflect and pray about what is heard
  • Share the comments, suggestions, and wisdom of the community
  • Examine pastoral issues, study them, and offer recommendations to the pastor

Qualifications of Pastoral Council Members

  • Registered, active, and participating member of the parish for a minimum of two years
  • Vatican II vision of the Church
  • Ability to listen to the needs of the parishioners
  • Desire for spiritual growth, an openness to study and reflection
  • Comfortable working with groups, and willingness to empower others
  • Commitment to actively participate in meetings; to ensure that everyone is heard and understood; to engage in constructive disagreement; to strive for consensus and collaboration; and to place the best possible outcomes for the Newman Center ahead of any personal agendas
  • Time, energy, and commitment to make the Pastoral Council an important priority
  • Eagerness to carry out the parish mission

Pastoral Council Structure


  • Parish Priest 
  • Parish Life Coordinator
  • Representative of Campus Ministry
  • 5-7 members of the parish

Terms of Office

  • Three year terms
  • Staggered so that 1/3 changes each year
  • After two terms, must take one year off
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