Parish Pastoral Council
Holy Trinity (HT) is a Catholic parish sponsored by the Society of Jesus. As such, its identity is rooted in the person of Jesus as he is encountered and understood by the Jesuits and their lay colleagues through their practice of Ignatian spirituality. This identity is the starting point for understanding the parish’s mission and the role of those who are involved in parish governance, including members of the PPC.
HT parishioners form a community of companions of Jesus on mission with him in this place and at this time in history. PPC members, who along with the pastor are formed by their understanding of Jesuit identity and mission and their practice of Ignatian-style prayer, are leaders of this community of companions of Jesus.
PPC members share leadership responsibility with the pastor at HT. As advisors to the pastor, PPC members assist the pastor in discerning, articulating, and communicating to other parishioners the identity and mission of the parish, and they assist the pastor in assuring fidelity to that identity and mission.
The PPC’s Way of Proceeding:
The sacred nature and purpose and close relationship to the Society of Jesus demands that the PPC carry out its responsibilities in ways that are distinctively Jesuit. For example:
- a PPC member approaches participation on the Council with an open heart and mind coupled with a willingness to listen to and follow the guidance of the Spirit, which may be expressed through one’s colleagues on the Council;
- a PPC member practices the Ignatian presupposition, that is, always presumes that the other is speaking or acting without bad intent, and always gives the other the benefit of the doubt;
- the PPC deliberates through communal discernment. Communal discernment:
- is a way of reaching a decision in which all have participated and which all can embrace, even if it is not what one would have chosen him/herself apart from the discernment process;
- seeks consensus;
- is not necessarily compromise, though it may involve compromise;
- reaches a decision through a process that respects the beliefs and opinions of each member of the group, and that preserves the group's unity and harmony and mutual affection; and
- is consciously and deliberately attentive to the Spirit within.
Qualities of Effective PPC Members:
- One who would like to serve as a member of the PPC:
- engages in regular personal prayer;
- has been an active parishioner, involved in the life of the parish for at least two years;
- has pledged to worship with the parish community at Sunday Eucharist as often as possible, to participate in some parish ministry, and to support the parish financially;
- has participated in some parish-sponsored retreat or prayer program or event;
- is capable of thinking broadly and strategically and without uncontrolled bias, and has a mind and heart open to the “magis,” that is, what is for the greater good;
- is willing to serve as a PPC member for at least three years.
- One who is selected to serve on the PPC will be expected to:
- participate with other PPC members in other ongoing formation programs that are designed to deepen their understanding of Jesuit identity and mission and the ways of proceeding that are appropriate to the PPC;
- participate in scheduled PPC meetings as faithfully as possible; and
- observe or otherwise participate in parish activities and ministries so as to be familiar with the parish’s efforts to be faithful to its identity and to carry out its mission.
PPC Membership, Terms, and Selection Process:
The Parish Pastoral Council will be comprised of a minimum of 7 members and a maximum of 10 members, including the pastor. The term of office of each member will be three years. Member terms will be staggered so that no more than 3 members are selected in any year. Selection of PPC members will be through the following process:
- the PPC will timely publicize the qualities of effective PPC members (see above) and will invite parishioners to consider whether they possess these qualities and want to be considered for selection to the PPC; if so, interested parishioners will submit an “expression of interest;”
- parishioners expressing interest in this way will be invited to participate in an information session in which current members will further explain the identity and role of the Council and its “way of proceeding” (see above);
- following the information session, parishioners expressing interest will again prayerfully consider whether God is calling them to this service; if so, they will submit their names and other appropriate information about themselves to the PPC for inclusion on an election ballot;
- registered and fully initiated parishioners who are at least 16 years of age are eligible to vote; these may vote for not more than the number of candidates necessary to fill vacancies on the PPC.
The PPC will meet at least four times each year between September 1st and July 1st.
Adopted by the PPC 4/8/15