The Oakland Diocesan Pastoral Council published the first edition of Ten Essentials of Parish Life in 1992. Oakland’s Second Diocesan Pastoral Convention in 1988 outlined ten abiding values that the delegates felt were essential to parish life. Below is an excerpt from the revised edition of the document.
But if I washed your feet – I who am Teacher and Lord –
then you must wash each other’s feet.
John 13: 14
Finding and developing leadership potential is essential if individuals are to take the places God equipped them for in the Body of Christ. We hear often that Christ has no hands and feet on earth but ours. Each parish needs to encourage its members to place their hands, feet, and minds in God’s service.
In discussing leadership we note first the pastor and pastoral staff of the parish. As a diocese we strive to form our leaders so that they can understand the direction and values called forth by Vatican II. In these times of decreasing numbers of priests to pastor our parishes, we need to cultivate vocations to the priesthood and religious life. We commit ourselves to forming parish life directors capable of building community and offering good pastoral leadership. We seek pastoral staff members who have developed competencies for their fields of ministry.
In addition to the pastoral staff, Canon Law mandates that each parish have a pastoral council and a finance council. We believe that these two councils are important consultative bodies for the pastor. We count on these councils to play a greater leadership role in the parish of the future. We do not see the pastoral council as directing the administration of the parish but as a guide for the parish in collaboration with the pastor and pastoral staff. The task of this leadership body is to explore pastoral issues; pray, reflect on, and study them; and make recommendations to the pastor. Its valued purpose is to be advisory; its focus is visioning where the parish is headed and planning around pastoral issues.
The leadership of the finance council is also crucial, as many parishes face financial challenges. This council is to offer long range financial planning much as the pastoral council offers long range pastoral planning. As the finance council plans and monitors the annual budget, it also looks to the future financial life of the parish. The council should be responsible for the soundness of finances in all parish organizations.
We are not currently accepting new members of either the Finance or Pastoral Councils. However, if you are interested in learning more about these lay leadership bodies, please contact the parish office:
email: St. Augustine Church phone: 510-653-8631
The role of the Parish Finance Council is to assist and advise the Pastor in overseeing and controlling the financial affairs of the Parish. The Parish Finance Council is accountable to the Pastor, who has the responsibility for final decisions.
Members of the Parish Finance Council are appointed by the Pastor. Members are skilled in business and have a variety of experience in management, financial, accounting, legal, fund raising or related fields.
The following are some of the functions of the Parish Finance Council:
- Study sources of parish revenue, make recommendations for maintaining and enhancing parish revenue, assist in the development of programs and processes to that end, and coordinate fund raising programs.
- Advise the Pastor in the financial and budgeting aspects of managing and caring for the parish buildings and equipment. Assist the Pastor in evaluating deferred maintenance projects and the development of a long range capital improvement budget.
- Oversee and review fund raising programs and expenditures for the parish and affiliated groups or organizations. Implement a uniform fund raising policy and guidelines for use by the parish and external organizations.
- Review and recommend approval or disapproval of fund raising requests from individual parish organizations.
- In conjunction with the Parish Council, educate parishioners with regards to stewardship.
Parish Pastoral Council
The role of the Parish Pastoral Council is to assist and advise the Pastor in defining and realizing the mission of the Parish. The Council is accountable to the Pastor, who has the responsibility for final decisions.
Members of the Council are appointed by the Pastor. Members include long-time and newer members of the parish, and reflect a diversity of age, experience and professional skills. You are welcome to contact current members of our current Parish Pastoral Council.