HARTFORD – With the publication in the May issue of The Catholic Transcript of the “Statutes of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council,” a body has come into existence whose functions will include advising the archbishop on matters concerning the future of the Archdiocese of Hartford.
See document here.
A letter by Archbishop Leonard P. Blair was inserted in church bulletins several months ago and reproduced in the March 2015 Transcript, advising Catholics of a new Office of Pastoral Planning. The purpose of that office is to address the changing needs of the archdiocese on an ongoing basis.
The Archdiocesan Pastoral Council is an offshoot of that office and will help identify those needs, said Msgr. John J. McCarthy, chancellor of the archdiocese.
The new council will consist of between 20 and 30 members, including a priest, a permanent deacon, a man or woman religious and several church-active laypeople in good standing, according to Article II.
Msgr. McCarthy said, “With all the pastoral planning that’s going on now and looking at how the archdiocese can best serve the mission of the church in the 21st century, it’s very important to have broad-based input from throughout the archdiocese, especially from laypeople, and so the archbishop is instituting an Archdiocesan Pastoral Council.”
He said letters were sent to parishes asking for names of parishioners who might be good representatives on the council. Now that the council exists, the archbishop can act on those recommendations and appoint members, he said.
“With the promulgation of this, these statutes become equivalent to archdiocesan law, so after this is promulgated, then you fill the membership of the body that exists,” he said.
“I think it’s an important step in planning for the future of the archdiocese. It creates an important resource for the archbishop in his work in planning the future of the archdiocese, the pastoral future of the archdiocese,” Msgr. McCarthy said.