Our parish has recently formed a parish council and the council is working through the initial phases of of building the organization. We've adopted a constitution, established five subcommittees to various facets of the parish mission. Recent meetings have been open to the parish at large. We are now looking to put in place guidelines to facilitate questions and comments from the parish community. I would appreciate any procedures that you can share from your parish.

Thank you!

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Hi Suzanne

Firstly congratulations to you and your parish on your work. I'm attaching three files. One is an article on pastoral councils that I've used as a "thought paper" with a lot of councils over several years. It is designed to provoke thought about how to be a council and about a specifically Catholic paradigm for being a council in a parish. It is not meant to be THE answer to every council because every parish is different, and how a council operates needs to be congruent with the parish story and culture. The second is an assembly of the Church's canons about councils, and the third is an article written by Sister Sharon Euart, the former president of the Canon Law Society of America about consultation in the Church. A further resource is the work of Dr. Mark Fisher whose books on councils can be found on Amazon.com. He has been writing about councils and how they work for many years, and is highly regarded for his insights on this field.

I hope these is useful. Let me know how it goes and if you need to chat about this feel free to give me a call.

Jim Lundholm-Eades

Director of Programs and Services

National Leadership  Roundtable on Church Management




Jim, thank you for this very thorough response.  I'm reading through the documents you shared and finding them very helpful.  There is much our Parish Council can gain from this information.  I will be in touch after I've had the opportunity to read through Communio In Action. 

Thank you!

Hi Suzanne,

So, you've been at it for a couple of years now.  How are things going?  Do you have any "Do's and Don't s" for those of us who are now where you were three years ago?

Our case may be a wee bit different, in that we are trying to change what has been somewhat ineffective for many years, but arriving and sustaining are monter achievements.  There yet?

Best regards,


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