Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of February 21, 2000
Regional councils need reevaluation - McCaffery
By WCR Staff
The chancellor of the Edmonton Archdiocese has asked the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council to reevaluate its system of regional pastoral councils (RPCs).
Father Mike McCaffery said while he has heard few discussions of whether the APC or parish pastoral councils are a good idea, the topic has come up repeatedly over the last dozen years with the RPCs.
McCaffery said when he was rector at St. Joseph's Basilica, he enjoyed being involved with the Edmonton Centre RPC. But there have been regular discussions on how to make the RPCs more effective.
"Maybe we don't need the RPCs. I don't know," the chancellor told the Feb. 12 meeting of the APC at the Grey Nuns Regional Centre.
Or perhaps what is needed is a different model such as having the RPCs comprised of parish council chairpersons, McCaffery said.
Ten RPCs, whose meetings are attended mainly by lay people, exist in the different areas of the archdiocese. As well, there are nine deaneries, comprised of priests and pastoral workers. The geographical boundaries of the RPCs and deaneries are different.
Rita Strauss, the APC's executive secretary, predicted the struggles of RPCS will continue as long as RPCs and deaneries exist side by side.
Rural members of the APC expressed frustration that only parishes - and not missions or local faith communities - are represented on the RPCs. It's too much to expect a parish representative to understand all the needs of outlying attached missions, they said.
The APC has discussed the RPCs frequently at meetings this year. In October, several regional representatives told the APC that the RPCs are struggling with their identity and with poor attendance. In December, the group heard a presentation from the Camrose RPC on steps it has taken to become more effective.