A parish does not exist for itself, but for the Mission of Christ. In a word, the parish exists to evangelize. The parish is an intentional community charged with growing in faith, sharing faith and transforming the world in faith. Every parish has a part in Christ's saving mission. Vital parishes are mission-driven. Gathering at the Lord's Table on the Lord's Day forms us into the body of Christ and compels us outward as his ambassadors of mercy and reconciliation to all. It is from this table of gratitude that we go out to care for the least of God's children.
Parishes form a communion of communities within a diocese and are united with Catholics across the globe. It is in the midst of the parish that the Gospel is proclaimed, liturgy offered, and the sacraments celebrated. It is in the company of fellow Catholics that we discern and live out our vocation. It is in the midst of the parish that the beginning and end of our earthly life is celebrated. This is all accomplished through a community of faith with a particular identity, regional character and cultural heritage. In that sense, every parish has both a universal purpose and a unique charism. What is written here speaks to its unifying sense of purpose.
The mission of the parish is not the same as the purpose of the pastoral council. The work of the pastoral council is to consider, plan and recommend ways for the parish to accomplish the mission of Christ. The pastoral council is a strategic organ in the parish that keeps the parish focused on its divine purpose – love God, love God's people, do God's will and lead others to God through Christ.
Recommendation: Review the parish mission statement at least once a year.