Association of Catholic Priests
The US Association of Catholic Priests has produced a proposal for lay pastoral care in priest-less parishes. Experience shows we need personal presence of authorized pastoral ministers, ordained or non-ordained, working in collaboration and within the principle of subsidiarity. Here is the document, Proposal for Pastoral Care In & Thru Priestless Parishes.
Key elements of The Pastoral Task
- Leadership: to create a vision with the parish community: “the purpose for which we are here,” and form persons
in the faith and train them for ministry and service.
- Care: To visit the faithful, especially in time of sickness and death, but as much as possible, know and be known by all and to be present to the whole community.
- Governance: To take responsibility for the day to day coordination of parish activities, and take initiative as need to motivate, to correct, and to affirm persons who work in the parish ministries; and where needed, provide conflict resolution and reconciliation. To be a true pastoral leader he/she must lead worship where appropriate, and likewise break open the Word. In short, he/she would be in the role of pastor, excepting sacramental ministry, and under the supervision of the canonical pastor.
(per Canon 517.2)