Consultative Leadership

St. Monica Parish Councils & Commissions
The way a parish is structured and organized can tell us a great deal about that community. The organization of a parish says a lot about how the parishioners understand the role of the laity and clergy, and their vision of the mission of the church.

Prior to Vatican Council II, parishes tended to see the pastor as an absolute authority. Decisions were made, projects undertaken, and moneys collected and spent without consultation of the laity. The laity fulfilled their role in the “kingdom of God” by acting as loyal subjects of the pastor—the representative of Christ the king.

With Vatican Council II, our prevailing image of church began to shift from the “kingdom of God” to the “people of God”. Over the decades, the structure of parishes has begun to reflect this shift in images. Parishes are gradually looking less like fiefdoms of the kingdom and more like communities, where the lay parishioners are getting more involved in the actual leadership and decision-making. Some of this shift in structure has in fact been mandated. While the pastor (or lay pastoral coordinator) is appointed by the bishop, canon law requires that this authority be exercised in consultation with such bodies as pastoral and finance councils. This sharing of responsibility flows from the vision expressed in the documents of Vatican II, which recognizes both the right and the responsibility of the laity to participate fully in the mission of the church.

St. Monica Parish currently has four parish leadership bodies: two councils (Pastoral and Finance), which help provide leadership for all areas of parish life; and two commissions (School and Liturgy) which provide leadership for one particular area of the parish. Commissions work closely with the various committees, ministries, organizations, and parish staff in their area of parish life to help gain a clearer sense of the strengths, needs, and direction.

Council and commission members were selected through a Discernment Process which was open to the entire parish. Members serve a three-year term. Each group meets monthly. A brief description for each council/commission is listed.  Click on the council/commission you are interested in.

If you are interested in learning more about the leadership provided by the parish councils and commissions, or if you are interested in possibly serving on a group in the future, please contact the Parish Office, 206-232-2900;

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