Deacon Lynn Clancy from the Diocese of Bismarck wrote on March 28, 2011:

The 2009 Pastoral Council Guidelines from the Diocese of Bismarck, North Dakota, project the parish pastoral council as the primary collaborator with the pastor for mission-based pastoral planning. Council members assist in discerning the will of God for the parish.

The Bismarck guidelines recommend that the parish council establish Word, Sacrament and Service standing committees to develop goals and allocate resources with the focus on our mission: “To be Ambassadors for Christ who Live Stewardship in Word, Sacrament and Service.”

The Guidelines are an outcome of a four-phase planning process. This aspect deals with faith community organization with an emphasis on revitalization and renewal of council life within our parishes. Implementation of this commitment includes an orientation of council members and workshops to encourage mission based budgeting. We have an important goal of fostering cooperation and sharing among parishes.

The guidelines include an introductory letter from Bishop Paul A. Zipfel.