It is the Second Vatican Council which recommended the establishment of Parish Councils in 1965. That original recommendation has been amplified in later official documents and has its roots in the Christian traditions, fundamental from the beginning of Christianity, of Communion, Participation, Gifts and Consultation in the community of the faithful believers.
Communion is the heart of Christian identity. Christians are chosen and united by God. Christ has called us together. Our communion is the foundation of our efforts on behalf of the Church.
Participation: in the Christian communion, everyone participates. Christians are participant-members of the Body of Christ. Baptism commissions every Christian to carry on the saving mission of Christ. Every Christian has a part to play. All of us are to work together as partners in bringing forth God’s kingdom.
Gifts: as members of the Body of Christ, every Christian has a gift from God’s Spirit, given for the benefit of the Church. Not everyone has the same gift. All of us are to serve the Church according to the gifts we have been given.
Consultation: from the earliest days of the Church, the leaders would take counsel with the community. The apostles and the elders met at the Council of Jerusalem to discuss. No decision was made until all parties, including Paul and Barnabas, had had a chance to speak. Consultation ensured that the leaders received good advice and that the community remained united.
What was important in the first century is no less important for us in the Church today and among us in our Parish of the Holy Cross and its Parish Council. Pray that we may be faithful to the Lord, to fulfill our mission as Christian believers today. May the Lord always bless us in His mercy!
Akis HjiIossif (Chairman)