SAINT ALPHONSUS PARISH COUNCIL
Article I: NAME
The name of this organization shall be SAINT ALPHONSUS Parish Council, hereinafter referred to as the “Council.”
Article II: PURPOSE
Section 1: The Council shall be a vehicle by which each parishioner gives expression to those gifts of the Holy Spirit, uniquely granted at baptism, and necessary to accomplish the mission of the Church.
Section 1a: The Council shall be a vehicle for fulfilling the pastoral mission of the parish by nourishing growth among the parish family, by the sharing of spiritual gifts and talents and by encouraging positive relationships among all members of the parish and between the parish and the community.
Section 2: The Council formulates parish policy, fosters good communication, and provides leadership by clarifying parish vision, establishing goals and witnessing the gospel message in the larger community and the world.
Section 3: The Council shall cooperate with other parishes and with archdiocesan offices and agencies to carry out its work. The Council shall contribute to the formation of archdiocesan goals and policies.
Section 3a: The Council shall initiate and support those activities and programs which foster the spiritual, intellectual, moral and temporal well-being of the parish and shall make a contribution to archdiocesan goals and policies.
Article III: SCOPE
Section 1: The Council shall be the policy-formulating body in all matters of the parish, including but not limited to the spiritual, educational, social and financial, except to the extent limited by faith and morals, church or civil law or archdiocesan policy/norms.
Section 2: In any case where any member of the Council interprets an action of the Council or any of its committees to be outside the limits set forth in Section 1, such member shall present such interpretation no later than the next meeting of the Council and ask for reconsideration. Pending consideration, the effect of the action shall be suspended.
Section 3: In any case where reconsideration has failed to resolve the matter, any Council member may then take the matter to the Office of the Archbishop or one appointed by him, for clarification or arbitration. Any decision resulting from such an appeal shall be final. In the meantime, the effect of the action shall remain suspended.
Article IV: MEMBERSHIP
Section 1: The Council shall be comprised of twelve (12) at-large members, all of whom must be baptized, practicing Catholics at least 18 years old, registered members of the parish including employees, and participants in the parish worship life, especially Mass and the sacraments. The Council shall also have one (1) youth representative, who must be a baptized, practicing Catholic at least 14 years old but not yet 18 years old, a registered member of the parish, and a participant in the parish worship life, especially Mass and the sacraments.
Section 2: The Council shall have the following ex-officio members: the pastor/administrator, the associate pastor,and the two lay trustees.
Section 3: Twelve (12) at-large members shall be discerned from the membership of the parish, through a process of communal discernment.
Section 4: The term for the at-large members shall be three years. At-large members shall be limited to two (2) consecutive terms at a time. The members discerned each year shall begin their terms on July 1, following discernment.
Section 5: One (1) youth representative shall be discerned annually from and by the youth members of the parish.
Article V: OFFICERS
Section 1: The officers of the Council shall be chairperson, a vice chairperson, and a secretary. They shall be discerned from and by the Council after the annual discernment and shall serve for a one (1) year term beginning July 1.
Article VI: MEETINGS
Section 1: Regular Council meetings shall be held monthly unless a 2/3 vote of the Council members determine a meeting is not necessary.
Section 2: Special meetings may be called by the chairperson, pastor, or a quorum. A quorum consists of a majority of the members.
Section 3: A transition meeting shall be held at the next regular Council meeting following the annual selection of Council members. At this meeting the newly selected members shall join the existing Council for the purpose of selecting Council officers for the following year.
Section 4: The Council shall have the right to exclude any member from deliberation on any issue due to a conflict of interest.
Article VII: RELATIONSHIP OF PASTOR TO COUNCIL
Section 1: The pastor presides at the Council by:
A. making certain that the scope of the Council’s concerns reflects the entire mission of the Church;
B. enabling the Council to build a community of faith and an atmosphere of trust among Council members;
C. making certain that parish council members have adequate training;
D. assisting in formulating the Council agenda;
E. sharing in the dialogue that leads to the formulation of policy;
F. serving as chief administrative officer of the parish; and
G. executing the policies formulated by the Council.
If the pastor judges that a decision is contrary to Church teaching or discipline, or violates an archdiocesan norm, the pastor may withhold execution, giving to the Council the reasons. In such case the Council may appeal to the Office of the Archbishop or one appointed by him for clarification or arbitration. Any decision resulting from such an appeal shall be final. In the meantime, the effect of the action shall remain suspended.
Section 2: The pastor does not chair Council meetings.
Section 3: For acts of extraordinary administration, a proxy must be obtained from the Archbishop, according to a formula specified by him. Prior to requesting a proxy from the archbishop, the pastor will consult with the Council. The decision of the Council shall be represented in the request for a proxy.
Article VIII: MANNER OF OPERATION
The Council’s manner of operation shall be communal discernment which includes prayerful reflection, the gathering of information and shared wisdom. The usual method through which the Council implements discernment is consensus. If no consensus can be reached, the majority will rule.
Article IX: STANDING COMMITTEES
The Council shall have the following standing committees:
1. Building and Grounds
2. Christian Formation
3. Communications/Marketing/New Life
5. Human Concerns
7. Long Range Planning
8. Human Resources
The Council shall select from its at-large members a liaison to each of its standing committees at the annual transition meeting following the selection of new officers. Liaisons shall serve for a one year term beginning with the conclusion of the transition meeting. Ex-officio members and officers of the Council are ineligible to serve as liaisons.
Article X: AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS AND ENTITIES
The Council shall have the following affiliated organizations and entities that fall under one of the standing committees:
1 Athletic Association
2 Endowment Fund Development
3 Home and School Association
4 Outreach (Human Concerns)
5 New Life (Communications)
6 Other ad hoc committees as appointed by the Pastor and Council
Article XI: AMENDMENTS
This constitution may be amended at any regular or special meeting by a two-thirds vote of the Council and thereafter by a majority of the parishioners at a special meeting of the parish.
Such amendments shall become effective when approved by the Office for Parish Councils.
Date of Approval by the Archdiocese: ___________________________________
Date of Approval by the Parish:
Date of Most Recent Amendment:
Date of Next Full Review: _____________________________________________
BY-LAWS OF ST. ALPHONSUS PARISH COUNCIL
ARTICLE I: MEMBERSHIP: VACANCIES, REMOVALS, APPOINTMENT
Section 1: Any member of the Council may resign by filing a written resignation with the chairperson. At any meeting of the Council, an elected member may be removed for good cause by a vote of three-fourths of the Council. Any member whose removal has been proposed shall be given an opportunity to be heard at the meeting. Good cause includes physical or mental incapacity; or failure to perform duties as a Council member without good reason.
Section 2: A vacancy among the at-large elected members shall be filled for the unexpired term by appointment by the chairperson, subject to approval by the Council. Consideration should be given to persons who participated in the orientation and discernment process.
Section 3: All Councilors shall attend all meetings. If a Councilor is unable to attend a scheduled meeting, he or she must notify the Chairperson or Secretary of his or her absence in advance of the meeting. Any Councilor who is absent for three consecutive Council meetings without notification is removed from the Council.
ARTICLE II: ORIENTATION, NOMINATION AND DISCERNMENT
Section 1: Not later than six months prior to each annual discernment, the Council chairperson shall appoint a nomination and discernment committee of at least three
members whose responsibilities shall be the following:
a. Develop a parish-wide nomination process to surface candidates for each at-large position to be filled at the annual discernment; the slate of candidates shall be as representative as possible of the parish community.
b. Determine the names of such candidates at least 45 days prior to the date of the discernment.
c. Accept additional nomination if submitted in writing up to the orientation and discernment process.
d. In no event shall any persons be deemed nominated unless an expression of willingness to serve if discerned is received by the committee.
e. Sponsor, in coordination with the archdiocese, an orientation program for all nominees prior to the discernment.
Section 2: All Council members are to be adequately prepared for their role as Christian leaders by being provided with the opportunities for spiritual growth, appropriate theological foundation and the skills required for assuming Council responsibilities.
Section 3: Members specified herein to be discerned by special groups shall be nominated and discerned in accordance with rules adopted by their group.
Section 4: The discernment of at-large members of the Council shall be held at the parish during the last two months of the fiscal year. The pastoral staff, the Council, and all the nominees will participate in the discernment process.
Section 5: At each annual discernment, one-third of the at-large members shall be chosen for a term of three years to fill the vacancies caused by the at-large members whose terms are due to expire.
Section 6: The youth member shall be discerned in the last two months of the fiscal year. The term will be for one (1) year and limited to one term.
ARTICLE III: OFFICERS
Section 1: The Council chairperson, vice chairperson and secretary will be discerned annually at the first meeting following the annual discernment. In filling these positions, each office will be considered singly in the following order: chairperson, vice chairperson, and secretary. Members will offer for consideration by nomination the names of other members suited for particular offices. Discernment will continue until officers are determined. Each of the three offices shall be filled by the same procedure.
Section 2: No council officer may serve more than two (2) consecutive terms in any one office.
Section 3: The chairperson shall:
a. Organize and coordinate the activities and processes of the Council and assist in preparing the agendas.
b. Conduct all meetings of the Council and of the parish.
c. Appoint, with Council approval, the chairperson of each committee when necessary.
d. Be an ex-officio member of all committees of the Council.
e. Perform such duties as the Council may direct, consistent with this office.
f. Supervise implementation of all decisions of the Council and its effective operation.
g. Call and preside at monthly meetings to plan the agenda for Council meetings.
h. Coordinate the formulation of the Parish Council’s portion of the annual parish budget.
Section 4: The vice chairperson shall:
a. Assume all duties of the chairperson in his/her absence.
b. Become chairperson in the event of the chairperson’s death, disability, resignation or removal.
c. Be fully informed about all Council activities.
d. Perform such duties as the chairperson or Council may direct, consistent with this office.
e. Participate at monthly meetings to plan agendas for Council meetings.
Section 5: The secretary shall:
a. Keep an accurate record of the minutes of all Council and parish meetings.
b. Provide a copy of the previous meeting’s minutes and the forthcoming meeting’s agenda to all Council members at least five days prior to the next regular meeting.
c. Be responsible for posting in a conspicuous place in the church lobby, a copy of the minutes as promptly as possible after each Council meeting.
d. Maintain the official list of all Council members and their terms of office, the list of committees serving the Council, the names of the officers of the Council, and the names of the committee chairpersons.
e. Keep a current record of attendance of members at Council meetings.
f. Be responsible for advance notification to all members of the Council of both regular and special meetings.
g. Report to the Council all communications; handle all correspondences as directed by the Council.
h. Perform such duties as the chairperson or Council may direct, consistent with this office.
i. Participate at monthly meetings to plans agenda for Council meetings.
ARTICLE IV: MEETINGS
Section 1: Regular meetings of the Council shall be held at such time, place and date as the Council may designate.
Section 2: The agenda shall be decided upon in advance by the Council officers, the pastor/administrator and assigned members, based on written committee reports received from each standing committee and on an understanding of the ongoing needs and concerns of the parish. Parishioners may submit items for the agenda to the agenda committee for its consideration. The agenda shall be submitted to Council members no less than five days in advance. A portion of each meeting shall be spent in prayer, reflection, or study.
Section 3: Notice of special meetings shall be sent to all members within a reasonable time prior to the meeting, stating its time, place and purpose. No other business than that stated as the purpose shall be conducted at that meeting.
Section 4: Advance notice of the time and place of meetings of the Council shall be published in the parish bulletin, and all members of the parish shall be entitled and welcome to attend. All Council meetings are open to discussion by parish members on such subjects and under such rules as the Council may announce.
ARTICLE V: COMMITTEES
Purpose: Each standing committee implements the Council’s priorities and goals in its own areas of responsibility in the collaborative spirit of working together to accomplish the parish’s stated mission. All committee work leads to building a faith community, proclaiming the Word of God, calling people to prayer and motivating people to serve others.
Scope: All committees are accountable to the Council. Committees make decisions in their areas of responsibility following the principle of subsidiarity, which means making decisions at the most appropriate level in the parish committee structure. The basic functions of each Council standing committee are to:
a. to identify the needs of the parish in an aspect of the parish mission;
b. to communicate these needs to the Council, discerning with them which needs can realistically be addressed and where inter-committee collaboration might be effective;
c. to formulate long range goals and objectives after prioritizing needs;
d. to develop means to implement the goals;
e. to submit the proposed means (programs) to the Council for approval and support;
f. to communicate with the pastoral team about the implementation;
g. to maintain communication with the parish concerning programs, encouraging active support and involvement;
h. to maintain communication with the respective archdiocesan offices for guidelines and resources;
i. to provide ongoing formation of committee members in areas of concern through workshops, study, spiritual formation, etc…
Section 2: Standing Committees:
The Council shall have the following standing committees:
1. Building and Grounds
2. Christian Formation
3. Communications/Marketing/New Life
5. Human Concerns
7. Long Range Planning
8. Human Resources
Section 3: The responsibilities of the Standing Committees of the Council are:
Building and Grounds: to monitor and make recommendations to the Council with respect to the proper upkeep of the physical facilities and properties of the parish.
Christian Formation: to consult and coordinate with the Directors of Christian Formation in the design, implementation and evaluation of lifelong religious education/formation programs of the parish in the areas of Child Formation, Youth Ministry, Family Ministry, Sacramental Programs, Adult Ministry and the Catechumenate (RCIA and RCIC).
Communications/Marketing/New Life: to work in an advisory capacity to help promote the parish in a unified and positive manner, and to assist in identifying and prioritizing project needs for the parish at large, including assisting the communication efforts of the pastoral staff, Parish Council and all other standing committees.
Finance: to monitor parish administration in service to the people and make recommendations to the Council with regard to parish finances, budget development, stewardship of resources, church support and fund-raising coordination. The pastor/administrator and lay trustees shall be members of this committee.
Human Concerns: to discern the human needs of persons in the parish community and to identify resources to meet these needs, enlisting the active cooperation of each parish member in this effort, to work with community groups and other parishes to help solve social problems which impact on people in the community, and to keep
parishioners aware of issues relating to justice and peace on local, national and international levels, so that appropriate Christian action on such issues can be determined.
Liturgy: to nourish and give direction to the liturgical aspect of parish life; to provide opportunities for parishioners to deepen their faith through a variety of prayer experiences and liturgical celebration, particularly the Sunday liturgy and to identify the spiritual growth needs of parishioners; and to maintain an ongoing program of education and training for liturgical ministers.
Long Range Planning: to assist the parish in planning for long range parish needs; to develop a vision for the long range use of parish facilities; and to oversee the formation of a parish five year plan.
Human Resources: to provide a framework and guide for all employees of the parish in matters pertaining to employment, working conditions and fringe benefits.
School: to coordinate and shape policy with the School Principal for the operation of the Parish School in accordance with Archdiocesan Guidelines. The School Committee compiles its own by-laws to define its mode of governance and operational procedures, subject to approval of the Council.
Stewardship/Development: to provide the specifics of planning and promoting the Annual Parish Commitment Appeal for Time, Talent and Treasure. Also to provide support to the Development Director in and fund-raising coordination.
Section 4: All standing committees operate under a set of common Standing Committee Guidelines established by the Council and reviewed by the Council every five years.
Each committee chairperson shall meet with the Council on an as needed basis. A committee is able to make decisions only if a quorum is present which means a majority
of its members. There may be majority and minority reports to the Council if agreement cannot be achieved. All standing committees shall meet on the designated Common Meeting Night, which is the third Tuesday of the month and may be changed as necessary.
Section 5: Membership of standing committees shall be established and approved by the Council not later than the June meeting of the Council. The chairperson of each committee shall be chosen from the membership of the committee, for leadership ability, competence and knowledge of the committee’s area of ministry. One member of the Council shall be designated as liaison and a member of each standing committee.
Section 6: Other committees may be created as needed by a majority vote of the Council. Liaisons can be designated as needed to these committees by a majority vote of the Council.
ARTICLE VI: AMENDMENTS TO BY-LAWS
The by-laws may be amended by the Council by a vote of two-thirds of all members of the Council at two successive regular meetings of the Council.
Date by-laws last amended: January 10, 2000