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​​​​​​​​​An essential role of clergy serving in a parish as deacons, priests, or pastors is to promote the participation of the lay faithful and assist them to respond to the universal call to holiness as individuals and as the missionary disciples and members of the body of Christ. Pastors or the other ministers in charge of the parish have a particular responsibility in communicating this understanding and in assuring a faith community where individuals and families can flourish in their faith and grow in their knowledge and understanding of the teachings of the Church.

According to canon law (Canons 528–529), the principal responsibilities of the pastor/administrator include: ​

  • ​Ensuring that the word of God and all the truths of the faith are proclaimed to the people of the parish through preaching, teaching, and catechesis

  • Ensuring that the Eucharist is the center of life in the parish and making certain that all of the other sacraments are offered and faithfully administered through sound and systematic catechesis, preparation, and instruction; the pastor/administrator must "strive to ensure that Christ's faithful are nourished by the devout celebration of the sacraments"

  • Getting to know and appreciate the wide diversity, ethnic backgrounds, and cultural perspectives of those under his care, offering the consolation of God's love and supporting family life; the pastor/administrator "is to be especially diligent in seeking out the poor, the suffering, the lonely, those who are exiled from their homeland and those burdened with special difficulties"

  • Recognizing and promoting the role of the laity and their specific vocation in the Church; the pastor/administrator "is to endeavor to ensure that the faithful are concerned for the community of the parish, that they feel themselves to be members both of the diocese and the universal Church, and that they take part in and sustain works which promote this community"

  • Encouraging vocations to the priesthood and religious life (Canon 233 §​1)

  • Maintaining sacramental records​ ​​

  • Creating and overseeing the parish consultative bodies and the other organizations and committees​