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Conference for Pastoral Planning and Council Development (CPPCD)


This organization is the result of a merger in 1989 to 1990 between members of the National Pastoral Planning Conference (NPPC) and the Parish and Diocesan Council Network (PADICON). At least since the 1960s, when some dioceses in the United States began opening pastoral planning offices, coordination and development of accurate research data on parish life in the local church was needed on a national scale. Under the sponsorship of the Diocese of Pittsburgh and the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), representatives of 17 dioceses met at Duquesne University on May 16 to 17, 1971, to address this concern. Those gathered issued a document, "Planning for Planning: Perspectives on Diocesan Research and Planning," which helped launch the idea for the collection of empirical data on trends in ecclesial life.

Meanwhile, in a seminar on Pastoral and Parish Councils at Catholic University, another group recognized the need for outreach to diocesan personnel who minister to parish councils. Participants took the name Diocesan Parish Council Personnel in 1974, then PADICON in 1983. Its first annual meeting took place the following year in conjunction with the NPPC. Beginning in 1984, the two groups met simultaneously. Formal discussions for joining the two groups began in 1986, though a vote among members to unite did not occur until 1989. The present CPPCD met for the first time from March 4 to 7, 1990 in Orlando, Florida. Arthur Deegan chaired and eventually became the first Executive Director of the CPPCD (19921997).

A coordinating committee functions as the governing board. There are several standing committees, including one for awards. The CPCCD administers the Yves Congar award for distinguished service to the Church by a member of the CPPCD and the Lumen Gentium award for an outstanding contribution by a group or person outside the ranks of the CPPCD. Past recipients have included Sharon Euart, RSM, The Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Bishop Kenneth Untener, and Monsignor Philip Murnion.

Since 1992, the CPCCD has published a quarterly newsletter, Conference Call. In 2001, the CPCCD was engaged in research on parish reorganization. It also participated in ecumenical research projects, including surveys on various types of faith communities together with an examination of international church life, particularly congregational vitality, in order to obtain a portrait of the American religious landscape. CPPCD is presently based in St. Louis, Mo.

Bibliography: National Pastoral Planning Conference. Proceedings (1974); Resource Bulletin (1977); Conference Call (1992). Building a Vibrant Parish Pastoral Council (Mahwah, New Jersey 1995). Conference for Pastoral Planning and Council Development, Laity, Parish & Ministry (New York n.d.). There is archival material for the NPPC at Marquette University.

[p. j. hayes]

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