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Diocesan Pastoral Council
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Dates of existence
The Diocesan Pastoral Council was instituted in 1969 to involve lay persons in determining the priorities of the Diocese and its future direction. The first chair was Dr. Ray Whiteman, Director of Religious Education for Calgary Catholic Schools. It included laypersons from each parish and representatives from the clergy and women religious. Its purpose was to assist the Bishop in making decisions concerning the needs and development of the Church in southern Alberta, facilitate communication between Bishop and people of the diocese and to coordinate the activities of all the diocesan organizations. It became an important part of Diocesan decision-making although few parishioners understood or knew about the Council.
The Diocesan Synod recommended that the Council review its structure, role and effectiveness.
The ideal and the reality were necessarily at odds. Direct representation from all parish councils would have resulted in an impractically large meeting. Multi-parish councils were formed to elect a representative to Pastoral Council. This worked especially well in rural areas leading to a preponderance of rural representation on the Diocesan Pastoral Council. This problem of representation was ongoing.
Bishop Henry discontinued the Diocesan Pastoral Council in 1998.
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