The pastor and the priests who collaborate with him have a great pastoral responsibility, not to mention that today they are asked to care for more souls and assume more responsibilities and more functions than ever before. Therefore, any support given to them can ease their workload, and enable them to focus on the spiritual needs of their community. If each of the faithful would do just one thing to help in the life of the Church, then the work of the parish priest would be much easier.
What are the pastoral responsibilities of a pastor and how can the community help?
If you have never asked yourself how you can help, here are eight ways to do it. But keep in mind that the first recommendation is to encourage you to offer your help. Don't wait to be asked if you can do something, offer to help! Volunteering your time to the parish is a sign of support and service.
Before the Vatican Council IIIn the past, all the responsibility and management of the parish depended solely on the parish priest. Thanks to Vatican II, we no longer have excuses to engage in the task of spreading the Word of God.
From Baptism we are incorporated into Christ and participate in our own way in the three ministries, priestly, prophetic and royal. Thus our presence and vocation are constitutive of the People of God, together with that of priests. Our communal participation in the life of the Church is indispensable for its existence, as well as, at the same time, for our own identity and Christian mission.
It is necessary, therefore, to participate actively in the celebration of the sacraments, to welcome with an obedient heart the apostolic proclamation of the faith and to bear witness to it. Live one's gifts and tasks in the full communion of the Church. This not only prepares us to discover a deeper relationship with Christ, but also confers on us a greater responsibility as laity toward our Church and the community in which we live.
The Second Vatican Council also teaches us that the Holy Mass must be the center and root of Christian life. In every Eucharist the presence of the Risen Christ becomes a sacrament of communion, and shared faith is transformed into a fraternal banquet and nourishment of life. To this end, we must undertake paths and actions that will help us to go through all the parts of our celebrations. In this way we will fulfill Jesus' command to "do as he did" and we will ensure that the whole assembly "takes part" in the Eucharist.
"Holy Mother Church ardently desires that all the faithful be led to that full, conscious and active participation in liturgical celebrations which the nature of the liturgy itself demands, and to which the Christian people have the right and obligation, by virtue of baptism."Documents of Vatican II, Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium (SC), 14.
To promote active participation you can respond strongly, be a lector, altar server or also a cantor at the celebrations. This lightens the priest's load in Spain and helps the liturgy flow smoothly.
We must take care of our parish priest and his priest collaborators, since they are few in number and the need for their ministry is great. The overwork and misunderstanding of many can lead them to exhaustion or frustration. prayer and friendly accompaniment is a service that we must provide by opening the doors of our families and activities, in such a way as to give them rest and closeness, which will result in a better service for the entire community.
Priests need your prayers to continue their pastoral work. Let them know they are not alone. Take time to pray for the pastor and the priests. priests of your parish, praying for their well-being, wisdom and strength in their ministry.
Although they don't ask for it, they need your prayers to comfort them and to continue their mission. Let them know, through prayer, that they are counting on you and that they are not alone. May our prayers give them the strength to overcome obstacles, fidelity to the magisterium and courage to push for change throughout the world. Do you know when your pastor's birthday is? His anniversary of ordination to the priesthood?
Parish groups are associations formed by members of a parish who share common interests, objectives or activities. These groups are oriented toward the practice and living out of the faith, and usually have the purpose of fostering community, spiritual growth and active participation of the faithful in the life of the parish.
The Parish Pastoral Council, chaired by the pastor, studies all matters pertaining to the pastoral work of the parish and in communion with the diocesan Church. Each group and the different pastoral roles are represented in this Council, and its main mission is to cooperate with the pastor in the programming of activities. Its activity begins a little before the beginning of the school year, in September, and ends after the last official act of the school year, in June.
People who are interested in developing their specific vocation in the Church can join the parish group that is closest to their human or Christian concerns. Ask your pastor.
As Pope Francis writes, the Lord calls us so that "each of us, with our spiritual and intellectual resources, with our professional skills or life experience, and also with our limits and defects, may strive to see ways to collaborate more and better in the immense task of placing Christ at the summit of all human activities" (Christus Vivit, 162).
The lay ministry of the catechist is a vocation, a mission. To be a catechist means that one is a catechistnot that works as a catechist. It is a whole way of being, and we need good catechists who are both companions and pedagogues.
We need creative people who proclaim the Gospel, but who proclaim it with their lives, with gentleness, with a new language and opening new paths. And in so many dioceses, in so many continents, evangelization is fundamentally in the hands of a catechist.
The exercise of charity is part of our mission as Catholics. Parish Caritas is run by a group of volunteers who are responsible for identifying cases of need in the parish community.
Once needs have been identified and resources have been collected, this assistance is distributed directly to the people in need. This can be in the form of food, hygiene items, clothing, financial aid, among others.
The importance of diocesan and parish Caritas and its efforts to guarantee access to basic rights such as food, housing, health and education for the most vulnerable people must be taken into account.
Parish Caritas can also provide assistance in emergency situations, such as natural disasters or sudden economic crises. It collaborates with other local organizations and agencies that offer complementary services, such as emergency shelters, employment centers, health services, among others.
You can also help financially. With a lot or a little. Sporadically or monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annually. In addition, donations made to foundations or entities under the Patronage Law entail tax deductions for the donors. The cost of the amount actually contributed is much less than the amount received by the institution. The same applies, of course, to donations you make to the parish and diocese.
It also happens with organizations such as the CARF Foundation that support the work of priests and promote their formation. Because the need to be formed and to take care of the permanent updating in the teachings of the Church and in the ways of taking care of people is also necessary for priests.
Remember that your help to the parish and your support of your pastor and priests can make a big difference in the life of the parish and in the life of the pastor. It is always good to talk to the pastor or parish staff to find out their specific needs and how you can best contribute.