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Pastoral Council at
Holy Name of Mary
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Pastoral Council Guidelines
Diocese of Rockville Centre
December 8, 2002

The origin of Pastoral Councils can be traced back to the Second Vatican Council when Pope Paul VI and the Bishops articulated for the Church and for the world, the need for faithful Catholics to share responsibility for the pastoral mission of the local church. They spoke clearly of the fact that laymen and women are not merely recipients of ministry; by reason of their Baptism they are called and gifted for ministry, and together with the ordained clergy share in witnessing faith and carrying out the church's mission. The Council made it clear that clergy and laity must develop a new understanding and effective ways of collaborative leadership in the parish and in the diocese. Recognizing an additional opportunity for increase participation and involvement and the possibility of developing vibrant communities of faith, parishes have been encouraged to work towards the development of Pastoral Councils.

The Pastoral Council is a group of parishioners asked to take seriously the role of assisting the Pastor in the efforts of long range pastoral planning that allows for a greater awareness of the “larger vision” proposed by the gospels. As a visioning body, it serves as a forum of consultation for the Pastor and members, primarily by engaging them in ongoing conversations about the needs, feelings, hopes and reactions of parishioners. The purpose of this interaction is to foster the process of pastoral planning and decisions in the light of our parish mission and vision.

In 2002 Holy Name of Mary began the process of developing a Pastoral Council. Members were selected and began to work on understanding their role and becoming familiar with the many facets of our complex parish so that they will be able to provide the information and advice for effective long range planning in our parish. This, of course, is a “work in progress” and a big undertaking in a parish our size; we ask for your input, your support and your prayers as this group moves ahead in its efforts.

A Message from our Parish Pastoral Council


The Pastoral Council of Holy Name of Mary is an advisory board to our pastor. It has been in existence since 2002 and consists of 17 members who share a commitment to Holy Name of Mary Parish. The Council meets monthly and serves as a forum of consultation for the pastor by discussing the needs and hopes of our parish community. In addition to advising the Pastor on current activities, projects and issues, the group is involved in discussions about long term plans for our Parish.

Recently, the Pastoral Council has discussed questions and concerns of parishioners that have been brought to the attention of Council members. Discussions regarding the questions and concerns have provided opportunities for all to broaden and deepen their understanding of how parish life affects, enriches and challenges family life. These discussions have also helped to create an understanding of the complexity of Parish life and the real need for patience, creativity and diligence when addressing concerns such as greater participation in Sunday Eucharist, finances, and the desire of our parishioners to be a Community of Faith. Some wonderful insights have been gained and some excellent suggestions for future consideration have been made.

The Pastoral Council will try to keep parishioners informed of their activities through occasional bulletin articles and information on our parish website. Please feel free to go to the website at or to contact the Council by e-mail at

Please send your ideas, recommendations and suggestions to the Pastoral Council here at Holy Name of Mary using the following e-mail address:

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