Commissions: General


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The Commissions and Commission Structure. While the parish pastoral council is the thinking, planning, and reflection group for the parish, the commissions are made up of the people that actually help to make the plan a reality.

The members of the commissions are made up of individuals of the parishes commissioned by the pastor to carry out a particular ministry in the parish that is peculiar to his role as pastor. They are spiritually called to this ministry. It falls to the pastor, pastoral council, and the commission to imitate the Apostles, prayerfully discerning those person in the faith community that may have a calling to a particular ministry. This same discernment should occur every time there is a need to fill positions in the faith community, including the pastoral council.
Existing organizations or committees relate to the pastoral council through the appropriate commissions. It is common in parishes across the Diocese to delegate commission to the level of another committee. This is contrary to the intent of the Synod.
Commission members are called and are the principal body responsible for overseeing the proper carrying out of the ministry in accord with the pastoral plan. This calling should be recognized by the pastor, pastoral council and the faith community itself. Commission members should be installed in their ministry during Sunday mass.
Commissions are established within every parish with size and membership dependent upon the size of the parish. Each commission is responsible for establishing a working plan including mission statement, goals and objectives, the recommendation to the pastor of policies concerning matters pertaining to the commission, evaluating programs and policies, and approval of their budget.
The commissions should endeavor to become the experts in the parish concerning the ministry that they carry out. For example, the Community Life Commission should be trained in all pertinent aspects of Social Justice and commission members should take their obligation to be educated in the subject seriously. Canon Law specifically requires that individuals in a particular ministry be trained in that ministry (Canon 229 ยง1). The pastor and pastoral council must also take seriously this obligation that all engaged in ministry must be trained and insure that opportunities are provided for proper formation. Money must be budgeted annually to insure that the laity are properly trained. The commission structure is:
Synod Today
Liturgy Liturgy and Worship
Community Life Community Ministries
Family Life Parish Life
Ecumenism/Evangelization Ecumenism
Education Education and Formation
Administration/Communication Buildings/Facilities


With the completion of the strategic plan of the Diocese, Crossing the Threshold with Christ, it was recommended Ecumenism is to be a separate commission with Communication being added to Evangelization. In this way the commissions better reflect the nature of Evangelization and Ecumenism as understood in the Church today.