Parish at the service of evangelisation

parish serviceThe Instruction on, The pastoral conversion of the Parish community in the service of the evangelising mission of the Church, was released by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy on 20 July 2020.

Whilst this Instruction does not promulgate new legislation, it does offer guidance and encouragement on a number of issues key to parish life.

Chapters in the Instruction include:

  • Pastoral conversion as a central theme of evangelisation
  • The parish in a contemporary context with reference to the impact of technology and parish affiliation
  • The value of the parish today and the importance of reading the signs of the times and listening to the Spirit
  • Mission: the guiding principle for renewal with references to the importance of accompaniment, the celebration of the Sacraments and the need to “rediscover Christian initiation”
  • “A community of communities”: A parish that is inclusive, evangelising and attentive to the poor
  • From the conversion of people to that of structures, presents ideas on the role of the clergy and laity
  • The parish and other subdivisions within the diocese references the process of renewal structures
    1. - How to proceed with the establishment of parish groupings offers guidance on the suppression of Parishes and closing churches, and what are not legitimate reasons for such actions
    2. - Vicariate Forane advice on caring for neighbouring parishes that may come together in special groups (e.g. deaneries)
    3. - How these Pastoral Units should be cared for
    4. - How Pastoral Regions should be cared for
  • Ordinary and extraordinary ways of assigning the pastoral care of the parish community, provides guidance on the role of the Parish Priest
    1. - A Parish Priest, provides more detail on the priestly ministry
    2. - Parish Administrator, provides advice on the appointment of an Administrator when a Parish Priest cannot be appointed immediately
    3. - Priests in solidum, offers advice on when a parish or group of parishes come under the care of several priests
    4. - Appointments of Parochial Vicars
    5. - Appointments of Deacons
    6. - Contribution of Consecrated men and women
    7. - The role of the Laity, and
    8. -Other forms of assigning pastoral care
  • Appointments and pastoral ministry references those who have responsibility for parishes and ministries
  • Bodies of ecclesial co-responsibility
    1. - The Parish Finance Council
    2. - The Parish Pastoral Council
    3. - Other forms of co-responsibility in pastoral care
  • Offerings for the celebration of the sacraments

Links to related articles

Instruction: The pastoral conversion of the Parish community in the service of the evangelising mission of the Church

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Media Blog:

Vatican News


Sharon Brewer


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