OK, I was all brewing up a great intermezzo post with a provisional definition of PT, then I got this anonymous comment that blew me away:
Practical theology is that theological discipline which is concerned with the Church’s self-actualization here and now – both that which is and that which ought to be. That it does by means of theological illumination of the particular situation in which the Church must release itself in all its dimensions.
This practical theology is a unique, independent science, a fundamental one in essence in spite of its reciprocal relationship with other theological disciplines, since its business of scientifically critical and systematic reflection is a unique quantity and its nature is not deducible. For it is reflection oriented towards committal.The task of practical theology as an original science demands a theological analysis of the particular present situation in which the Church is to carry out the especial self-realization appropriate to it at any given moment.
Practical theology challenges the other theological studies to recognize the task which inheres immanently in them, oriented to the practice of the Church; the second demand it makes is that they should apply themselves to this task.
Anonymous practical theologian, reveal thyself.