Seeking nominations for new Diocesan Pastoral Council

FALL RIVER, Mass. — Laura M. Carrillo, the new director of Strategic and Pastoral Planning for the Fall River Diocese, recently sent an email message out to the volunteer members of the various committees working on the strategic planning for the diocese.

In it, Carrillo noted that they will be forming a Diocesan Pastoral Council to help implement the recommendations of the various committees and they are seeking nominees to serve on this new group. 

“We are overwhelmed with the amount of positive energy, hard work and commitment that all of you have brought to the planning process,” Carrillo wrote. “The plans you’ve developed are amazing and a true testament to the gifts you’ve shared on behalf of the diocese. 

“In order to ensure that your great work is leveraged, we’re putting together a new Diocesan Pastoral Council. The bishop is counting on the DPC to hold our feet to the fire in acting on the strategic plan.”

The primary goal of the Diocesan Pastoral Council will be to prioritize and implement the commission plans. The council will be comprised of laity and clergy who bring a mix of skills as well as a balance of representation from across commissions and deaneries. 

“We’d specifically like to make sure that we have functional expertise in the areas of Finance, Communications, Human Resources, Evangelization and Youth as those impact every plan,” Carrillo wrote. 

The council will meet monthly for the first year, then meeting less frequently in years following. Attendance at the monthly meetings is an important requirement for the first year given the critical nature of the implementation process. 

“We will also rotate the location of the meetings across deaneries, and occasionally leverage technology in an attempt to minimize travel burdens,” Carrillo wrote. “We anticipate one-, two- and three-year terms, looking to stagger timing so that we are not turning over the group at the same time.”

Carrillo invites people to suggest nominees from among the existing committee planners or others who may have particular expertise in one of the key areas.

“Please feel free to nominate a planner you worked with on your commission or to nominate yourself,” Carrillo wrote. “Make sure to share a very short note about why you or your nominee would be a good fit to help lead implementation as part of this council.”

Nominations are due no later than Wednesday, August 14. 

“We will be making selections and reaching out during the week of August 19,” Carrillo added.

The strategic planning commissions will have a final “share out” meeting on Wednesday, September 4 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Bishop Connolly High School in Fall River. This meeting will provide an opportunity for the committees to hear their counterparts’ recommendations.

The Diocesan Pastoral Council will be formally announced, blessed and commissioned by Bishop da Cunha as part of the special celebration Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fall River on Saturday, September 14 at 9 a.m. The Mass will be followed by a brunch at White’s of Westport.

Please email nominations and any questions to:, or call 508-617-5304.

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