The St. Matthew the Apostle Parish Pastoral Council shall be the focus for discernment for the St. Matthew the Apostle Catholic Parish. This Council is a small community of parishioners committed to serve the Parish by prayerfully reflecting with the pastor on issues that affect the life of the Parish community and coming with him to decisions which will insure the spiritual growth and vitality of the Parish and its members.
Members of the council have a sense of mission. A council member is willing to become considerably involved in the Parish, in its life and activities. The Council will coordinate, encourage and promote apostolic activity within the Parish, utilizing the talents of all its members. The Council will take steps to provide the leadership, direction, training, resources and encouragement needed to meet the goals of the Parish, Archdiocese and the universal Church. Council members must make a greater commitment in time and energy than attendance at monthly meetings. Council members are listening people (which is essential to the dialogue process) who are trying to discover the real issues and concerns. Each member of the Council is aware of offering a talent or skill to Council ministry. Members do research, background reading, attend workshops and seminars, and lead their fellow Council members through study sessions on various aspects of Council ministry. They do their homework and attend Council meeetings well prepared to discuss the issues that are placed on the Council agenda.
The Administration and Finance Commission works with the stewardship commission for the parish, giving all parishioners and opportunity to share time, talent, and treasure to serve the mission of the Church in the parish, to make recommendations to the Council concering all aspects of parish financial and budget matters, and to be concerned with the maintenance of parish property. This commision helps set priorities for the parish but ultimate approval is the responsibility of the Council itself.
The Christian Formation Commission has the responsibility of developing, promoting, and evaluating education programs which answer educational needs that parishioners feel and express. It gives leadership to the parish's efforts to move people beyond where they are to a deeper understanding and experience of faith. In cooperation with the pastor, the parish pastoral coiuncil and other parish professionals in education, the Christian Formation Commission sets policy concerning education programs in the parish.
The overall purpose of the Parish Life Commission is concerned with building community in the parish organizations and with fostering a sense of belonging. It encompasses all efforts that strengthen the Christian community in love. The Parish Life Commission also incorporates services and is involved with both personal and social justice concerns.
It is the purpose of the Social Concerns Commission to promote and coordinate programs that will guarantee all God's children in the worldwide community, in the local community, and especially within the parish boundaries, justice and charity in full measure. It has the responsibility of enabling members of the parish to respond to the social justice problems of today. It also concerns itself with the physical, mental, and emotional needs of the people of the parish, giving special care to the poor, the lonely, the aged, the oppressed, and minority groups.
The overall purpose of the Liturgy Commission is to plan and provide fot the spiritual development of each member of the community through liturgical celebrations. "A group of people gathered to celebrate, no matter where this community exists, will never be exactly the same as another community — even a neighboring parish. Each group has its individuality and uniqueness, almost like persons. It is always we who celebrate and the celebration must be ours."