Pastoral Council

Contact Council Chair Sarah Macey  525.4281

Parish Mission StatementPastoral Council Vatican II

Saint Raphael the Archangel Parish is a diverse community of Catholic believers, called by baptism to share in the Christian Mission of evangelization, worship, and service. As stewards of this community, we commit our time, talent, and treasure to building the Body of Christ together.

A New Job Description for Pastoral Council!

This past January 2017, I wrote in this article about the importance of having a leadership team at a big parish like St. Raphael that consists of staff members who in turn work closely with the parishioners on the pastoral council to help a pastor make good decisions, communicate, and implement. I spoke about how regular contact between the pastoral council and the leadership team will help us to better collaborate across the many aspects of our large and complex parish, better plan for the future – and take the next steps toward the new evangelization in the joy of the Gospel!

To better serve in these ways, the pastoral council (PC) had implemented some significant changes this year in the way it works:

  • The main focus of the PC is now on developing broad strategy for the whole parish, especially the formation of ongoing, long-range plans.
  • To better do this type of work, the PC no longer meets for an hour once a month but for a whole morning or afternoon once every two months or so, together with the leadership team.

Given this new focus of the PC, the kind of people we need as council member has also become more clear and focused. As pastor, I need people on the PC who have the gifts, interest, and availability to do big-picture parish strategy work! Below is a job description. The ideal Pastoral Council member at St Raphael:

  • is a passionate visionary thinker and planner
  • loves to focus on strategic, big-picture issues and is good at it
  • has skills to address the driving question: “Where are we going and how will we get there?”
  • is committed to the importance of welcoming and inviting parishioners and people in our whole area of North Raleigh to know Jesus, be formed in an ongoing way as disciples in his Church, and be sent out on his mission
  • is deeply dedicated to applying the above gifts to long range planning for our parish, which is large, multi-generational, multi-cultural, multi-lingual, is inspired by Jesuit and Ignatian charisms, and has a school and preschool as two of its largest ministries
  • is interested in immersing him or herself in reading/learning about parish renewal models
  • is able to commit significant time to this important work (including a half-day meeting every two months), and is able to converse in English (English as a second language is fine, and bilingual skills in various languages are a plus)
  • is in full communion with the Catholic Church, is a parishioner at St. Raphael who regularly attends weekend Mass, and is 18 or over as of Sept 16

If you are a person who fits this description, please consider submitting your name as a possible candidate for the Saint Raphael Pastoral Council. An election will be held the weekend of September 16-17 for several new members. Please contact the chair of the elections committee, Arthur Powers, at by August 8th. And if you know someone else who fits this job description, consider encouraging them to submit their name!

Thank you, and please pray with me: Come, Holy Spirit, and guide our pastoral council in the year ahead…

In hope,
Fr. Phil Hurley, SJ

What Does Our Council Do?

The Pastoral Council assists our pastor in ministering to the people of the parish. The Council serves mainly as a planning and advisory group. 

Various Pastoral Council committees are involved with specific areas of parish life, such as developing the parish plan; parish facilities policies; parish celebrations and spiritual enrichment; Council elections; etc. The Pastoral Council works closely with the parish staff, Finance Council, our Preschool, and our Saint Raphael School. Members of the Council receive input from individuals and groups, e.g., as presenters during Pastoral Council meetings, as well as during their interaction with others in the parish.

How to Join Our Council

The Pastoral Council has two types of voting membership: elective and appointed. Elected or appointed members of the Pastoral Council may serve up to 2 consecutive terms of 3 years each. After serving 2 consecutive terms, a member must sit out one year before running for election again. An election is held in the Fall. Individuals running for Pastoral Council must meet the following requirements:

1. Must be a registered parishioner of St. Raphael for one year.

2. Must be 18 years of age or older.

3. Must regularly attend weekly Mass at St. Raphael Catholic Church.

4. Must be living or desiring to live the mission statement of the parish, especially as it pertains to practicing stewardship of time, talent and treasure.

5. Must be interested in the parish overall and be without an inordinate attachment to a personal/group agenda.