and more parishes find themselves without a residing priest.
Some of these parishes also have a religious or a lay person
in charge. These people are very special since they also participate
to the ministry of the bishop. Here is an outline of who they
are and what their role is. This description is not complete
but it gives a good idea of their ministry in our diocese.
A parish animator? Never heard? Then let me
introduce them to you.
animator is someone who is mandated by the bishop
to animate along with a priest moderator and the lay
people involved in the various parish councils to encourage a faith
life in their community.
So that the ministerial priesthood be present
in the midst of the community, the bishop will appoint a priest
moderator of the pastoral duties; he will encourage
the faithful to work along with the parish animator.
Should a conflict arise, the decision of the parish animator
By their mandate, the parish animator is called
to share the pastoral role of the bishop and thus, be in communion
with him and the presbyterium.
And What Is Their
The first and foremost duty of the parish
animator is to identify the needs of the parish with the members
of the P.P.C.; to do-with the people already involved
in pastoral ministry so that they can come to a lets-do-it;
this way the baptized will take upon themselves the growth of
their christian community. This person, the parish animator, has
also the responsibility to build a faith community (through Bible
and catechetical programs, etc), a cultual community (through
prayer, liturgy committee, celebration of the Word), a charitable
community (through the implementation of various services with
special attention to the poor); and finally to promote, animate
and support the parish activities, groups and organisations.
What About Their Mandate?
The parish animator receives a mandate which
is both special and large. They have the power to baptize, to
exercise the ministry of the Word, to preside liturgical prayers,
to distribute communion to all, especially the sick and the dying.
They have the faculty to preach in the parish to which they are
assigned as well as other parishes across the diocese when invited
to do so. The homily is usually reserved to the priest and the
The parish animator may preside funerals in
their parish. They may receive a special mandate to preside weddings,
as long as the civil norms are strictly observed. They may also
preside others ceremonies or liturgies which, by their very nature,
do not necessitate the ministerial priesthood.
A Few Characteristics
The main characteristics that one needs to
fulfil this ministry are the capacity to journey with people showing
care and respect; to foster the growth of all baptised on their
faith journey; the ability to work and pray as a group; to understand
and to be able to define their role to the members of the various
councils and committees of the parish; etc.
Term of Office
Parish animators are appointed by the bishop.
They are in place until revocation by the bishop or
as specified in the contract or the appointment letter.