Last Updated: Tuesday - 01/04/2011
February 25, 2001
Archdiocese ready to impliment new plan for RPCs, deaneries
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
EDMONTON — The Edmonton Archdiocese will have a new set of regional councils and deaneries effective Sept. 1.
The 26 regional councils will replace the 10 regional pastoral councils (RPCs) that have existed for about a dozen years.
John Acheson, who is overseeing the transition, said the role of the RPCs has been in question at least since a 1991 report that said they were ineffective.
But by vastly increasing the number of regional councils and strengthening their roles, it is hoped that the councils will become the main bodies for coordinating local pastoral activities among parishes.
The deaneries, meanwhile, will increase in number from seven to eight and will focus more specifically on the professional and spiritual needs of priests in the area.
Previously, there was confusion within the archdiocese about the roles of the two bodies and their tasks, and their levels of activity varied widely from one area to another.
Acheson said that confusion led to the perception that decision-making power was vested in the deaneries. But in the future that largely will not be so.
Under a plan received by the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council Feb. 17, the regional councils will consist of pastors, two parish council representatives from each parish, representatives of small Church communities, and all parish staff members who are in pastoral leadership roles.
The regional council will coordinate services and activities in the region, and foster communication between parishes and between the region and the APC.
The plan hopes the councils will encourage regionally-based Church activities such as evangelization, missions, sacramental preparation, youth ministry, adult education and training for lay ministers.
One of the councils' leading roles will be "to assist the faithful of each parish to focus beyond their own parish in order to acquire a broader view and understand the Church of the archdiocese."
The priests of the archdiocese will consider the planned new arrangement of deaneries when they hold their annual assembly in May.
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