‘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.’

 Decree Concerning the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church,
His Holiness, Pope Paul VI, 1968




The Diocesan Pastoral Council is an advisory and consultative council to the Bishop in pastoral matters across the Diocese.

The role of the Diocesan Pastoral Council is to give the Bishop practical advice relating to pastoral work and priorities for the future. 


  • The Diocesan Pastoral Council is a major consultative body which works with the Archbishop in a model of shared wisdom in leadership of the local church
  • The Diocesan Pastoral Council is a forum for the voices of the community expressed in an environment of trust
  • The Diocesan Pastoral Council provides advice and effectively communicates with the Archbishop on the diversity of life experience throughout the Archdiocese
  • The Diocesan Pastoral Council provides advice to the Archbishop to assist in building the local church as a place where all people will experience loving, nurturing and belonging.


There are currently 23 members of the Diocesan Pastoral Council for the Archdiocese of Adelaide. The members vary in age, background and culture and representation on the Council is drawn from clergy, lay people in regions across the Diocese and Diocesan representatives.

The Council meets 5 times each year, on a bi-monthly basis.

In the previous 2 years, the DPC has focussed on Family Centred Church and the Year of Grace and Faith as its main theme. With the release of the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), this is now the primary focus of the Diocesan Pastoral Council. Other themes explored include Prayer, Recontextualisation, Evangelisation and Living Catholic.

A Parish Pastoral Council consists of the pastor together with a group of parishioners chosen by the parish community. The Pastoral Council's role is to promote the Church's mission to live and communicate the love and values of Christ in our world. The Pastoral Council shares in the responsibility for the ongoing life and development of the faith community, working together with parishioners to provide support for their efforts to live as followers of Christ.