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Every Catholic parish has a pastoral council and a finance council, but how many fulfill the mission they were set up to serve?
These councils are among the most important but least understood structures in the Catholic Church. Mandated to exist, their roles have become increasingly critical as parishes--both large and small--are stretching personnel and financial resources further and further each year. Add in the need for internal financial controls and human resource management coupled with fewer and fewer parish priests, and the importance of these councils goes way beyond simply filling seats with warm-bodied volunteers.
The function of these councils is to provide consultation to the pastor and to promote greater participation of the entire parish in the life and mission of the Church. But in reality, these terms are vague and leave too much room for individual interpretation.
In an unprecedented research effort, author Charles Zech explores the very function of these councils in an effort to lay the groundwork for best practices at every parish. It systematically fills the void as both Church leaders and laity strive to better understand the structure and processes needed to improve their effectiveness. Zech's common-sense, straightforward writing style unpacks the extensive data to cover critical issues such as:
- Parish Leadership
- Education/Formation Programs
- Communication with Parish and Parish Staff
- Council Guideline Manuals
- Internal Controls
- Long-Term Planning
- Prayer and Faith-Sharing
A must-read for every pastor, staff member, or committee volunteer, Best Practices of Catholic Pastoral and Finance Councils gives the guidance, support, and how-to that every parish needs--making it helpful for diocesan staff as well. Use it to stay on track, get back on track, or simply realize a track exists for these highly critical leadership councils.