ARTICLE I – Name
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 “APPA.”
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.
ARTICLE III – Purpose
The purpose of the APPA of the Harrisburg Diocese is to provide its members with:
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 support
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 Ministries.
Approved: The Most Rev. Nicholas C. Dattilo
April 14, 2003
Ratified: Association of Parish Pastoral Associates
June 3, 2003