Starting a Council?

If you plan to start a new or renew an old council, you’ll need a foundation document, a guideline, a solid rationale, and sample mission statements.

3 bishops, 2 laity

In successful councils, pastors clearly state what they are consulting about and councillors know what is expected of them.

The Church teaches that councils are not parish forums or sounding boards.  Rather, pastors consult councils so that they might benefit from the council’s work of study, reflection, and recommending conclusions.

  • Foundation Documents.  Click here to learn how a foundation document can help you establish or renew your council.
  • LA Pastoral Councils.  The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has published its pastoral council guidelines in a dual-language edition.
  • LA Finance Councils.  The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has published finance council guidelines.
  • Parish Budget and Actual Figures.  The budget indicates what the parish expects, the actual figures show how correct the expectations were.
  • Parish Budget Categories.  By dividing expenses into five categories (payroll, operating, fixed, capital, and discretionary expenses), managers can better control the budget.
  • Pastoral Instrument.  The pastoral council serves the apostolate of pastors through study, reflection, and recommending wise conclusions.
  • Mission Statements.  Every parish has to define its own mission, but these samples can help.
  • Selecting Councillors.  A suburban parish selected its members through an open parish meeting.