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​​​​​​​Every parishioner is encouraged to register in his or her parish and play a full and active role in parish life. In addition to receiving the sacraments, regularly attending Mass, and engaging in ongoing catechesis, parishioners are vital to parish life as volunteers. They participate as catechists in religious education, organize youth ministry and adult events, assist in charitable and social outreach activities in the community, and serve as extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist, lectors, altar servers, and ushers, as well as in other supporting ministerial roles.

Parishioners are encouraged to offer their talents and expertise to further the parish mission by considering service on the advisory and consultative boards in their parish and school and on the Parish Pastoral Council (see also the Manual for Parish Pastoral Councils) and Parish Finance Council (see also the Finance Council Handbook​). In addition, parishioners have a responsibility to offer financial support to their parish, according to their means. They should be given regular information concerning the pastoral and financial affairs of their parish.

God calls all to holiness, including the laity, which is manifested in their work and activity and nurtured by participation in the life of the Church. This effort helps to bring about the sanctification of the world and assists in its evangelization. At the opening of the pastoral convention of the diocese of Rome, Pope Benedict XVI described the role of parishioners as follows:

"Historians answer the question as to how the success of Christianity in the first centuries can be explained, the ascent of a presumed Jewish sect to the religion of the Empire, by saying that it was the ​experience of Christian charity in particular that convinced the world. Living charity is the primary form of missionary outreach. The word proclaimed and lived becomes credible if it is incarnate in behaviour that demonstrates solidarity and sharing, in deeds that show the Face of Christ as man's true Friend. May the silent, daily witness of charity, promoted by parishes thanks to the commitment of numerous lay faithful continue to spread increasingly, so that those who live in suffering feel the Church's closeness and experience the love of the Father rich in mercy. Therefore be 'Good Samaritans', ready to treat the material and spiritual wounds of your brethren….I invite you to put your enthusiasm and creativity at the service of Christ and the Gospel, making yourselves apostles of your peers, ready to respond generously to the Lord" (Pope Benedict XVI, Church Membership and Pastoral Co-Responsibility, 2009, Rome).​​


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