Archdiocesan Pastoral Council (APC)
Archdiocesan Pastoral Council
Braintree , MA 02184-3839
Secretariat: Cardinal's Office


Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley, OFM Cap.
Office: 617-254-0100
Sr. Marian Batho
APC Coordinator
Office: 617-746-5637

Archdiocesan Pastoral Council (APC)


Introduction to Guidelines For Parish Pastoral Councils


“Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature” (Mk 16:15). This command of Christ has inspired countless men and women throughout the Church’s history to give themselves to the work of spreading the Good News. The Second Vatican Council has repeated and renewed this mandate of the Lord, calling all members of the Church to involve themselves in witnessing to the Gospel.

As part of its renewal to the Church, the Council called for a number of new structures to promote active involvement and collaboration in the mission of the Church. After the Council, a new structure was proposed by the Church to call forth in an orderly fashion the insights and cooperation of persons at the level of the local community. That structure is the parish pastoral council.

The rationale for the parish pastoral council may be found in the Council’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church:

“By reason of the knowledge, competence, or pre-eminence which they have, the laity are empowered indeed sometimes obliged to manifest their opinion on those things which pertain to the good of the Church. If the occasion should arise this should be done through the institutions established by the Church for that purpose and always with truth, courage and prudence and with reverence and charity towards those who, by reason of their office represent the person of Christ.”1

The guidelines contained in this document flow from the Council’s insistence on the need for active participation by the laity in the life and mission of the Church. These guidelines are intended to enable pastors and parishioners to form effective and cohesive parish pastoral councils [PPC] in all the parishes of the Archdiocese of Boston.

PDF version for printing 
Promulgated at the Eighth Synod of the Archdiocese of Boston, November 27, 1988