"A parish is a definite community of the Christian faithful established on a stable basis within a particular Church; the pastoral care of the parish is entrusted to a pastor as its own shepherd under the authority of the diocesan bishop" (No. 515).
Even if a bishop determines that the pastoral care of a parish or parishes is entrusted to a team of several priests, one priest should direct the activity and be responsible to the bishop.
Likewise, in the case of the death of a pastor or when no resident pastor can be appointed, the bishop must still appoint a priest with the powers and faculties of a pastor to ensure the pastoral care of the faithful (No. 517).
However, parish life does not depend solely on the priests.
- He must preach the Word of God;
- instruct the people in the faith; promote apostolic works;
- see to the Catholic education of children;
- reach out to those either who have stopped practicing the faith or who do not believe;
- ensure the devout celebration of the sacraments,
- particularly the most holy Eucharist and penance; and foster family prayer.
RELATED PAGE: A Pastor's Responsibilities
Therefore, the pastor, his assistants and the faithful work together.
"Nourished by their active participation in the liturgical life of their community,
- they engage zealously in its apostolic works;
- they draw men toward the Church who had been perhaps very far away from it;
- they ardently cooperate in the spread of the word of God, particularly by catechetical instruction;
- by their expert assistance they increase the efficacy of the care of souls as well as of the administration of the goods of the Church (No. 10).
RELATED PAGE: Ministries and Roles within the Liturgical Assembly