Special Circular Concerning the Formation of New Parish Pastoral, Laity & Finance Councils.

September 28, 2018 6:52 pm. Posted by Comments Off on Special Circular Concerning the Formation of New Parish Pastoral, Laity & Finance Councils.

To all Priests, Religious and Lay Faithful of the Archdiocese of Lagos.

Dear Msgri., Frs., Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,

1. Archdiocesan Parish Guidelines
The Archdiocesan Parish Guidelines for Parish Pastoral, Laity and Finance Councils came into effect on November 29, 2015 (First Sunday of Advent) with the inauguration of the above Councils in all Parishes of the Archdiocese. The tenure of the Councils was set for three years, to end by November, 2018. In line with this, preparations for the inauguration of new councils are to be set in motion where this has not already started. A Timetable has been drawn up for the constitution of new Parish Pastoral, Laity and Finance Councils which must be inaugurated on December 2, 2018 (First Sunday of Advent) for a four-year non-renewable tenure, as follows:

i. —Parish Forum: On Sunday, September 30, 2018 – To educate parishioners on the roles of the various councils, membership and tenure. Notice of the Forum is to be announced to parishioners on Sunday, September 23, 2018 by the Parish Priests or Associate.
ii. —Collation of new names for the PPC and PFC to be completed by October 14, 2018.
iii. —Orientation/Training of proposed Councilors to be done at the Regional level on November 10, 2018.
iv. —Joint Meeting of the old and new PPC and PFC is to be held on Sunday, November 18, 2018.
v. —Inauguration of the New Councils on Sunday, December 02, 2018 (1st Sunday of Advent).
Nota Bene: The Regional orientation and training of incoming councilors is compulsory and is mandatory for all of them.
2. Parish Priests are expected to publish the following information, which are drawn from the Archdiocesan Parish Guidelines, in their Parish Bulletins of September 30, 2018 in order to make a success of the Parish Forum scheduled for the day:

The Purpose and Functions of Parish Pastoral Councils
The three-fold task of PPCs is to investigate and weigh pastoral undertakings and formulate practical conclusions regarding them. In other words, study parish pastoral realities, consider them and make recommendations. These are the steps involved in parish pastoral planning. Parish pastoral planning involves considering the unique characteristics of the parish, the specific pastoral needs of its parishioners, its human and temporal resources in order to plan and recommend ways to accomplish the mission of Christ.
a. The PPC is a strategic organ that keeps the parish focused on its divine purpose – to love God, love God’s people, do God’s will and lead others to God.
b. The PPC is responsible for ensuring that its plans result in the spiritual growth of its parishioners. The PPC is therefore primarily responsible for planning for parish engagement, evaluating the impact of its plans and reviewing its plans as needed.
c. The PPC is also responsible for investigating pastoral issues that may arise outside of its pastoral planning and evaluation processes in as far as they impact on parish engagement.
d. Another body better serves the coordination of ministries, organizations, associations and societies. This frees up the PPC focus on this all-important task and ensures the right quality and quantity of membership for effectiveness is maintained. To be effective, there are implications on its composition and limits on its functions in order to keep the overall good of the parish in view rather than on sectional interests.
e. The responsibility for implementing pastoral plans lies with specific pastoral committees.
f. The members of the PPC assist the parish priest in the work of pastoral planning thereby participating in the pastor’s ministry.

a. The members of the PPC should be able to study, reflect and make recommendations on pastoral matters, in order to accomplish the task of the council.
b. The members of the PPC should be outstanding in faith, good morals and prudent.
c. Considering the particular function of the PPC, membership ought to be by selection and appointment of competent, talented, committed and qualified parishioners, in order to provide the appropriate pastoral leadership necessary for growing engaged parishes.
d. The competences required in the council are strategic planning, facilitating change, familiarity with the people and needs of the parish, decision-making based on careful study and research of issues rather than from personal opinions.
e. Membership is subject to the approval of the parish priest.
f. Other qualifications include:
i. Be baptized and practicing Catholics who are registered and supportive of the parish and are also communicants. ii. Active in the practice of the Catholic faith; iii. Supportive of Church teachings iv. Open to prayer, study and dialogue. v. Committed to the success of the parish. vi. Have working knowledge of the parish. vii. Possession of time and energy, viii. Ability to listen to people with diverse views, ix. Desire to grow in spirit, openness to study. x. Reliability, willingness to empower others for action, xi. Desire to work collaboratively.
Concerning the purpose and membership of the two other Councils, we expect that reference would be made to the appropriate Guidelines to guide the choice of the members.

3. Guidelines Implementation Team
An Implementation and Monitoring Team was set up to help ensure proper implementation of the Guidelines. Each of the Regions of the Archdiocese now have the following as Team Leaders:
* Badagry Region: Rev. Frs. J. Akinyemi and F. Ike
* Ikeja Region: Rev. Frs. A. Fadairo and M. Mayaki
* Lagos Region : Rev. Frs. J. Olaitan and E. Likoko
* Lekki Region: Rev. Frs. M. Okonkwo and L. Garber.
The Priest-Team-Leaders will be supported by selected Lay Team Members from the list of those in their Regions who have attended seminars/training on the Guidelines between 2017 and 2018. The Regional Teams will be fully responsible for monitoring the proper implementation of the Guidelines in their respective Regions, providing deaneries and parishes with any assistance they may need.

+ Alfred Adewale Martins
Archbishop of Lagos

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This post was written by Emmanuel Ozoezi

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