Association of Parish Pastoral Associates

The name of this organization shall be “The Association of Parish Pastoral
Associates of the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg” and shall be referred to herein as the

ARTICLE II – Composition
This organization shall be composed of all those – deacons, vowed members of
religious communities, and laypersons – ministering as pastoral associates on a full- or
part-time, salaried basis in parishes within the Diocese of Harrisburg.

The purpose of the APPA of the Harrisburg Diocese is to provide its members

A. a faith community in which to gather for prayer and spiritual enrichment,
and to plan retreats, days of prayer or other spiritually nourishing
formation opportunities

B. an environment to support the membership’s dedication to authentic
Catholic teaching and the goal of creating vibrant faith communities

C. a forum for confidential discussion of issues and concerns that arise from
their shared ministry, with a view toward offering encouragement and

D. an avenue for promoting quality and competence in ministry through
mentoring and the sharing of useful information and resources

E. an opportunity to collaborate with the Secretariat for Parish and Special
Ministries in the development of the role of Pastoral Associate

ARTICLE IV – Definition of Pastoral Associate

“Pastoral Associate” is the term used by the United States Catholic Conference of
Bishops and the Diocese of Harrisburg to designate someone who is professionally
qualified to minister within a parish or institution, and who shares in the daily care of the
faithful, as well as in needs assessment, planning and implementation of parish ministries
and operation.

Pastoral Associates report directly to the pastor and have a broad range of
responsibilities that may include duties within the following categories, as well as others
not herein listed:

Pastoral – visiting and consoling the sick, dying and bereaved; or otherwise
assisting those facing difficulties in their lives; coordinating evangelization
programs for both active and inactive Catholics; meeting with new parishioners;
contributing to the initial formation and ongoing development of parish ministries
and groups, and in certain cases acting as the parish contact person for those
ministries or groups; participating in Ecumenical and Interfaith activities;
representing the pastor when necessary

Liturgical – leading communal prayer – e.g., parish prayer services – and wake
and cemetery services; assisting in the planning and preparation for funerals or
memorial services; assisting in the preparation for the sacraments of Baptism and
Marriage; assisting in the planning of liturgical and sacramental celebrations;
overseeing or assisting in the implementation of the RCIA process
Administrative – assisting in the overall process of parish administration,
including pastoral planning, implementation, etc.; and directing volunteers as
directed by the pastor.
Education and Youth – collaborating with appropriate staff members and
volunteers in the ministries to youth and young adults, as well as adult religious
education and formation.

ARTICLE V – Organization
The following officers will be elected for a term of two years at the spring
meeting: Chairperson; Vice-Chairperson; Secretary. The Chairperson will facilitate the
meetings and act as the spokesperson for the association. The Vice-Chairperson will
facilitate in the absence of the Chairperson and be responsible for the membership. The
Secretary will be responsible for correspondence, meeting summaries and special
mailings that may be required.

ARTICLE VI – Meetings
The association will meet on a quarterly basis: March; June; September;December
Amendments can be made by 2/3 vote of the members present.
All members of the association have voting status. Diocesan staff will be exofficio
with a non-voting status.
All proposed recommendations and initiatives must have the support and approval
of the office for Ministry Development and the Secretary for Parish and Special

Approved: The Most Rev. Nicholas C. Dattilo
April 14, 2003
Ratified: Association of Parish Pastoral Associates
June 3, 2003

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