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Skip Navigation LinksADLA Administrative Handbook > Chapter 2 - Parish Governance > 2.3 - Parish Life > 2.3.2 - Pastor and Other Ministerial Leadership


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​​​​​According to canon law, the pastor/administrator "exercises the pastoral care of the community [parish] entrusted to him under the authority of the diocesan Bishop, whose ministry of Christ he is called to share, so that for this community he may carry out the offices of teaching, sanctifying, and ruling with the cooperation of other priests or deacons, and with the assistance of lay members of Christ's faithful, in accordance with the law" (Canon 519).

In the Archdiocese of Los Angeles​, the appointment of priests to parishes and other ministries is overseen by the Priest Personnel Board. In the archdiocese, pastors are generally appointed for a six-year term that is renewable for one additional term (Canon 522). If the priest has not previously been a pastor, he is appointed as administrator or administrator pro tempore before becoming a pastor. The priest appointed as administrator has the same duties and obligations as a pastor, but usually serves for one or two years and then becomes pastor or is appointed to a new location. See Clergy – Deacons​​.

In some parishes without a resident pastor, a parish life director or deacon may be appointed by the archbishop to provide overall day-to-day pastoral care and administration; in these cases, a pastor at another parish is designated as priest moderator and he is ultimately responsible for the sacramental life of the community of faithful.

In this chapter, references to pastor/administrator include parish life directors and deacons who are the designated administrators for all matters not reserved to the ordained priest, who serves as the sacramental pastor.

The pastor/administrator should lead by example, always calling forth a good and faithful effort from parish clergy, religious, lay employees, and volunteers. Pastors recognize that the lay faithful must play an important role in helping to administer the parish, contributing their time and talents to further the mission of the Church. Among the laity's most important contributions is their service as staff and volunteers on parish consultative bodies, particularly the Parish Pastoral C​ouncil and Parish Finance Council.

The pastor/administrator is expected to serve as a mentor and coach of the other clergy and ministerial personnel assigned to his parish. He is to involve them in administrative matters and encourage their participation in parish life.


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