In the Diocese of Harrisburg, there are twelve norms that establish and govern the function of a Parish Pastoral Council. They are:
1. Every Parish is to have a Parish Pastoral Council that unites clergy, those in consecrated life and laity in a community of leadership and service.
2. The Parish Pastoral Council is to have a formal and visible structure with established by-laws, regular meetings with an established agenda and at least 50% of its membership elected by the Parish at large. Only Catholics in good standing are eligible for membership.
3. The Parish Pastoral Council must be concerned with the fullness of the Church’s mission, particularly the evangelization and spiritual renewal of the communities of which they are a part.
4. The Parish Pastoral Council must understand and support the relationship of the Parish to the Diocesan church.
5. The Parish Pastoral Council must provide initial information and continuous training to the council members.
6. In union with the Pastor, the Parish Pastoral Council shares responsibility for the life and welfare of the Parish.
7. The Parish Pastoral Council is preeminently responsible for the advancement of the pastoral mission of the Parish.
8. The Parish Pastoral Council must respect the day-to-day operation of the Parish which is clearly the responsibility of the Pastor and staff.
9. The Parish Pastoral Council reaches its conclusions by a process of prayerful discernment and consensus sharing while respecting the canonical authority of the Pastor.
10. As the chief coordinating and unifying structure, the Parish Pastoral Council must seek constantly to draw forth the talents, energies and insights of the parishioners and channel this “variety of gifts” for the building up of the whole Body of Christ.
11. The Parish Pastoral Council must communicate regularly with the Parish at large and the civic community of which it is a part.
12. The Parish Pastoral Council must discern the needs of the Parish and community, and advise the Pastor on parish direction by prayerful reflection and a continual process of pastoral planning.