Diocesan Pastoral Council

Pastoral Council of the Diocese of Jefferson City


  “It is greatly desired that in each diocese a pastoral commission will be established over which the diocesan bishop himself will preside and in which specially chosen clergy, religious and lay people will participate. The duty of this commission will be to investigate and weigh pastoral undertakings and to formulate practical conclusions regarding them.” ~ Christus Dominus #27



The name of this body shall be the Pastoral Council of the Diocese of Jefferson City (DPC).



We are all individually called and uniquely gifted by God. As we come together collectively, all the gifts needed for ministry and service exist within the faith community. Every baptized Catholic, clergy, religious or laity are called to participate:

  • In the evangelizing mission of the Church,
  • In the development of their spiritual formation,
  • In growing in their relationship to God, and
  • In transforming themselves into maturing persons who live in an individual and shared response to their baptismal call.

The DPC enables the laity and clergy together to assist the bishop in planning and implementing an effective pastoral plan. Through the Council, along with the bishop’s vision for the diocese, we are more fully and directly able to participate in and promote the saving mission of Christ.

The DPC’s task is to give counsel to the bishop and seek the consultation of the people of God. With the bishop, the DPC discerns, plans, animates and facilitates the active engagement of the local faith community in the mission of the Church.

The DPC provides a structure of collaboration among the parish communities in expressing their collective wisdom concerning pastoral plans and activities.

Its purposes are further explained as follows:

  • To investigate, consider, and propose practical conclusions about those things that pertain to pastoral works in the diocese. (cf. c. 511)
  • To serve as a channel for recommendations of Parish and Deanery Councils that might benefit from consideration at the diocesan level.
  • To make Christ’s message manifest in the home, parish community, work place, and society, primarily through our collaboration on the deanery and parish level.
  • To collaborate with the Missouri Catholic Conference, applying values of the Faith in fostering public policy.



Section 1.  Qualifications.  Members are Confirmed Catholics who are eighteen (18) years or older and are active stewards in their parish. They are or have been in leadership positions in their parishes and institutions, through membership on the Parish Pastoral Council, RCIA team, and other forms of ecclesial service. Members also include priests, deacons and religious.

Section 2.  Number and Composition.  The Council will consist of the following members. No one person can represent more than one (1) pastoral position:

  • The bishop is President. The vicar general, judicial vicar and chancellor are ex officio members.
  • 8 lay deanery representatives.
  • 2 priest representatives.
  • 2 deacon representatives.
  • 2 religious representatives.
  • 1 Newman Center student representative.
  • Other lay members appointed by the bishop.

Section 3.  Selection.  One representative to the DPC shall be elected or appointed from each deanery; the deanery shall determine the method of election/appointment. The priest representatives shall chosen by the Presbyteral Council and approved by the bishop. The deacon representatives shall be chosen by the deacon community. The religious representatives shall be appointed by the bishop. The Newman Center student representative shall be presented from one of the three Newman Centers within the diocese; the Newman Centers will rotate representation. The bishop may appoint additional lay members/representatives.

Section 4. Terms.  All members shall have three (3) year terms. Members can serve no more than two (2) consecutive full terms, at the discretion of the bishop.

In case a seat is vacated by resignation, dismissal, or death, another person shall be elected or appointed by the group who chose his/her predecessor.

Elections for membership shall be held in the fall, with the term beginning with the next DPC meeting.


Officers and Committees

Section 1.  Officers.  The bishop shall be President. Officers shall be the Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson and the Executive Secretary. The Chairperson, or in his/her absence, the Vice-Chairperson, conducts the meetings.

Section 2.  Elections.  The Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson shall be elected for a three (3) year term at the fall meeting. The Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson shall stay in office until succeeded even if their term of membership on the DPC has expired. The Executive Secretary shall be appointed by the bishop.

Section 3.  Committees.  The officers with the bishop shall constitute the Executive Committee.

Standing Committees may be recommended by the Executive Committee to the bishop, with the assent of the majority of the membership of the DPC. They shall have a chairperson and a recorder from the DPC membership. Non-DPC members may be appointed by the President to serve on all committees of the DPC.

The DPC may, when needed, have Ad Hoc Committees for specific purposes. The Ad Hoc Committees shall be accountable to the DPC and the bishop. Ad Hoc Committees are given a timeframe not to exceed three (3) years. After three (3) years, the need will be reevaluated in order to be continued for another specified period of time. Members of Ad Hoc Committees may include non-DPC members.

Officers for Standing and Ad Hoc Committees shall consist of a Chairperson and a Recorder appointed by the President.



Regular meetings shall be held three (3) times each year, to be set up on a suggested schedule after deanery meetings with flexibility and consideration of the bishop’s schedule. The Executive Committee of the DPC shall set the dates of these and any special meetings. The bishop may call special meetings at any time.

The agenda of the DPC meetings will be set by the Executive Committee.

For voting, a quorum is constituted by a simple majority of the members of the DPC.



This Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of the elected and appointed membership of the DPC, subject to ratification by the bishop.

This Constitution is approved on November 8, 2018.