Parish Council

In American Roman Catholic parishes, the parish council arose after Vatican II in the new era of lay participation in parish decision making. It was a response to the Vatican II Decree on the Apostolate of Lay People (Apostolicam actuositatem, par. 26). This decree, published in 1965, recommended the establishment of councils at all levels of the Catholic Church (including the parish) with one purpose, namely, to assist in the Church’s “apostolate” or mission.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parish_council_%28US_Catholic_Church%29