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Parish Pastoral Council Constitution Parish Pastoral Council Constitution

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Parish Pastoral Council Constitution

Posted on Mon, Aug 1, 2011

Parish Mission: To create a spiritual atmosphere, with a prophetic vision, that educates, empowers and challenges the community to build the Kingdom of God.

St. Brendan on the Lake Parish Pastoral Council - Constitution


Article I. Name

The name of this organization is St. Brendan on the Lake Parish Pastoral Council.


Article II. Function and Purpose

The council is charged with prayerfully discerning parish needs, setting pastoral priorities, and empowering people to participate in the mission of Christ. It is the responsibility of the pastor to lead the council in prayerful consideration and consensual recommendation. The parish pastoral council is a consultative body that plans and coordinates the life of the parish under the leadership of the pastor.


Article III. Membership

  1. Size: The council will have between 13 and 18 members.
  2. Types of membership: There are three types of members:
    1. Ex officio – pastor, pastoral staff, lay trustees (e.g., diocesan pastoral council or vicariate representative)
    2. Selected – 9 to 12 members nominated from the faith community.
    3. Appointed – members named by the pastor to insure necessary competencies or the broadest possible representation from the congregation.
  3. Eligibility: Eligibility for service is limited to baptized Catholics who are registered with the parish and who are active in support of the parish, supportive of church teaching, and open to prayer, study and dialogue. Once a council member has served two terms, they are not eligible to be nominated for one year. If appointed to fulfill a vacant seat, that person would be eligible for selection as a full-term member.
  4. Term of Service: The normal term of service is three years, with staggered replacement to insure continuity.
  5. Vacancies and forfeitures: The seat of a vacancy of any type shall be filled for the remainder of the term by pastoral appointment. Selected and appointed members will forfeit their seat after five absences in any church year. Notification will be provided in writing by the council president after four absences. The executive committee (pastor, president, secretary and trustee) may in exceptional circumstances excuse the absent member from a fifth absence if such request is made to the executive committee by the councilor in question.


Article IV.Selection

Choosing selected members is done through nominations from parishioners in October.Names would be drawn during Mass on the first week of Advent for the number of open positions.


Article V.Officers

Selection of President:The pastor presides over the pastoral council.The pastor can allow the president to be selected from among the council membership or can name a president.The president helps to develop meeting agendas and insures leadership for all regular meetings.The committee chairs report to the council president.

Selection of other officers:The pastor can allow officers to be selected from among the council membership or has the right to name an officer. If more than one person is nominated for a position, a simple vote of the selected and appointed members would be taken.Officers would include a secretary and vice-president.At the discretion of the pastor, the officers may constitute an executive committee that is responsible for setting meeting agendas and arranging for the annual selection process.The vice-president can take a leadership role for meetings and is considered president in training.The secretary submits all minutes for approval, and manages formal correspondence.


Article VI.Committees

Standing committees are formed around the major areas of parish life.Each councilor will be appointed to act as liaison for a committee.The committees are represented on the council through the regular reports of the liaisons.

Ad hoc committees can be proposed and established at a general meeting for a specific purpose or event.Ad hoc committees are automatically dissolved at the completion of the assigned task.


Article VII.Meetings

Frequency of meetings - Meetings are normally held monthly.

Record – Meeting minutes are shared with the parish after they are approved by the council and then posted on the web and at each site.

Decisions – Decisions are made by consensus and Roberts Rules of Order are used when appropriate.

Quorum - Normally all meetings are consultative and general consensus is sought for approvals.When formal decisions are needed, a quorum of 2/3 of the selected and appointed members is needed.




Article VIII.Amendments

Proposed amendments to constitution shall be presented to each councilor at least seven calendar days prior to the scheduled meetings at which the question will be decided.

Number of members needed to amend the constitution will be ¾ of the selected and appointed members.


Article IX.Relationship to other parish persons and groups

The pastor administers the parish and presides over both the pastoral council and the finance council.The pastoral council works in collaboration with the pastoral staff committees and various parish organizations in setting priorities and developing plans of action.The finance council considers the financial implications of pastoral council plans and proposals.



Sample Meeting Agenda



  1. Opening Prayer


  1. Review of previous meeting minutes


  1. Committee reports
    1. Parish Life
    2. Liturgy
    3. Finance
    4. Building and Grounds
    5. Faith Formation
    6. Youth Group
    7. Communication
    8. Vicariate


  1. Parish Unity


  1. Council Formation


  1. Pastor’s Report


  1. Old Business


  1. New Business


  1. Next Meeting


  1. Closing Prayer