Pastoral Council Handbook

Bishop Jugis seal

November 1, 2007
Feast of All Saints
In Nomine Domini. Amen.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As your Bishop it is my privilege to oversee and foster the pastoral life of the Diocese of Charlotte. I share that responsibility with my brother priests by appointing them shepherds of the faithful in our parishes.

The faithful also share responsibility for the pastoral mission of the local Church in virtue of their baptism and full initiation into the Church. According to the Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity of the Second Vatican Council, “… the laity has an active part of their own in the life and action of the Church. Their action within the Church communities is so necessary that without it the apostolate of pastors will frequently be unable to obtain its full effect.”(No. 10).

In his Apostolic Exhortation, Christifideles Laici, Pope John Paul II identified and encouraged the formation of pastoral councils: “The participation of the lay faithful in these Councils can broaden resources in consultation and the principle of collaboration – and in certain instances also in decision-making – if applied in a broad and determined manner.” (Cf. Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation, Christifideles Laici, n. 25.5)

Members of the pastoral council collaborate with the pastor in the building up of the Church and its sanctification. (Lumen Gentium No. 32c, 33a). We are called to serve the faithful and those who have not heard the Gospel message. We are called to be servants of Christ and of each other. We are called to do nothing less than help build Christ’s kingdom on earth. To this end I officially promulgate these Guidelines for Pastoral Councils for use throughout the Diocese of Charlotte. This document replaces the 1991 Guidelines for Pastoral Councils.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Peter J. Jugis, JCD
Bishop of Charlotte