The Archdiocesan Pastoral Council met today in Center City Philadelphia. Pope Francis’s visit, along with the World Meeting of Families and summer generally, threw off our normal quarterly schedule.

I’ve explained the purpose of the council before, which is basically advisory in nature for Archbishop Chaput as much as it is a way for council members to keep their finger on the pulse of Catholicism nationally and internationally.

Since the proceedings are private, it’s difficult to reflect substantively on it in public. What I can share is that it’s been tremendously rewarding to participate in these (roughly) quarterly Saturday day-long gatherings.

I think the health of most organizations derives from the strengthen of its members relationships, and that’s not something that’s historically been fostered within the Church in Philadelphia. If a healthier, more collaborative lay leadership seizes its role in collaboration with the clergy and religious sisters and brothers, it will be a great fruit of these council meetings.

I’ll probably share one more update on these meetings in February, which will mark my last meeting as a council member.