Saint Luke Church

     Westport, Connecticut

    Pastoral Advisory Council



(Pictures and contact information for the current members,
as well as meeting Agendas and Minutes,
 are at the bottom of this page)

Pastoral Advisory Council  (PAC) is the real name for what is usually (casually) referred to as a "parish council."  There are several reasons for our choice to use the official terminology. 

First, it is the term used by the Catholic Church's Code of Canon Law in referring to such a group, whether they are formed to serve the diocese and its bishop or a parish and its pastor.  

Second, the term highlights the emphasis of the council's work as being "pastoral" another "Church-speak" word which is understood to refer to the work of pastoringeverything that pertains to the spiritual care and nurture and growth of people.  The understanding of "pastoral" as relating to the pastor of the parish is secondary. 

Finally, the PAC is understood by Canon Law to be advisory since, under that Law, the pastor of the parish is the only individual ultimately responsible to the bishop for the parish entrusted to his care.  Unlike the governing structures of other Christian denominations, the PAC does not have decision-making authority or the powers of hiring/firing. 

Because the pastor is thus subject to the authority of the bishop rather than to a group of parishioners, this structure protects the parish from a pastor who is not properly exercising his responsibilities.  This arrangement also protects the parish as a whole from a "renegade" council that would seek to force an issue that contradicts Catholic life and teaching or to interfere with the pastor's conscience and responsibility. 

The task of the PAC, therefore, is threefold: (1) to gather information about parish life and activities and the needs of parishioners, especially spiritual needs; (2) to strive to understand that information within the larger context of the Catholic Church's understanding of parish life; (3) to derive conclusions from that information and make proposals to the pastor (and through him to the parish staff) for the good of the parish.  In addition to making direct contact with the Saint Luke Parish clergy and staff to share your positive feedback, suggestions and concerns, all parishioners are encouraged to look upon PAC Members as your representatives and to contact them using the information listed below.

Please pray regularly for our PAC Members that they be inspired by the Holy Spirit to serve wisely and well for you, our parishioners! 


Contact Info

(Other Ministries)

Peter Anstett


Ed Bagnulo   (Ex Officio:
Lay Member of the Church Corporation; Lector)
Bill Carmell    
Chad Celini   (Youth Group Rep)
Jennifer Coffman    
Louise Demakis  

(Eucharistic Minister)


Jeff Ford



(Eucharistic Minister and Usher)

Irmgard Gwilliam




Juliana Hopper

  (Youth Group Rep)

Joanne Landino

  (Ex Officio:
Lay Member of the Church Corporation; Eucharistic Minister)
Stephanie Mergenthaler    
Joe Nixon   (Ex Officio:
Finance Council Chair; Lector)