The parish priest today faces many challenges. He is responsible for all facets of parish life including sacramental, pastoral, and administrative as well as a myriad of ordinary tasks that confront him each day.
Experience has shown that the Parish Pastoral Care Program can assist the priest in a variety of ways in the pastoral care of his people. Other organisations within the Parish are sometimes limited to a particular type of service. The Parish Pastoral Care Program can call on these specialist services as required.
Parish based care programs have been very successful where the parish priest has taken an active interest in the program and used it to help provide pastoral care and build community.
Parish Care Coordinators are encouraged to meet periodically with the parish priest to discuss their work and any particular challenges this brings. These meetings, which are particularly important for new Pastoral Care Coordinators, provide an excellent feedback mechanism for the Parish Priest as well as a time of formation for the Coordinators.
The meetings also demonstrate recognition of the importance of the Parish Care Pastoral Program and help promote a broad parish community awareness of the program which in turn promotes its development.
The continued encouragement and use of the Pastoral Care Program by the Parish Priest are essential for its vitality and continuity.
Spiritual support should be the foundation for good works to be built upon. The parish priest can help to ensure that a spiritual base underpins the Pastoral Care Program.
Suitable recognition of the work of the Parish Pastoral Care Program from time to time will affirm Coordinators and volunteers, and promote within all parishioners the sense of belonging to a vibrant parish.
Frequent calls on the Program will help keep it alive and give it a place in the life of the parish.