PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL CONSTITUTION
January 24, 2018
Section 1 Interpretation
1.0 The Parish Pastoral Council shall be referred to as St. Mark Parish Pastoral Council and is herein referred to as “the council”.
1.1 The parish priest is the person mandated by the bishop to provide pastoral care for the parish.
1.2 As mandated by particular law, every parish is to have a parish council.
Section 2 Purpose and Mission
2.0 The council shall have three main purposes:
- to build the parish as a living Christian community.
- to bring the Gospel message to all people and places in the parish community and beyond.
- to serve as the structure through which the objectives and activities of the parish committees are coordinated, unified and directed towards our common mission and the strengthening of the parish community.
2.1 To achieve its primary purpose, the council shall direct itself to share in the threefold mission of Christ, that is, in the Priestly, Prophetic and Shepherding mission.
Priestly – celebrate our faith
Prophetic – proclaim our faith
Shepherding – service and stewardship
Section 3 Scope, Authority and Responsibility
3.0 The Parish Pastoral Council shall be the central coordinating and unifying body of the parish community. It is charged with assisting the Parish Priest with overall parish pastoral development through the identification of goals and the formulation of policy.
3.1 The council shall act as a consultative body to assist the Parish Priest in carrying out his duties and responsibilities to the Bishop, the faith community and the civil authorities.
3.2 The council shall, at all times, relate its deliberations regarding the needs of the parish community to the purpose and mission of the parish, as stated in the Parish Mission Statement.
3.3 The council shall strive to obtain a consensus in its decision making process. Such consensus is to be taken seriously by the pastor.
Section 4 Membership
4.0 Members of the council shall be:
- Registered as parishioners of St. Mark Parish
- In full communion with the Catholic Church (Baptized and Confirmed!)
- At least 18 years of age. (An exception may be made for a youth representative)
- Interested and active parishioners
- Persons who strive to be examples of Christian commitment.
4.1 The composition of the council shall represent, as much as possible, the whole parish while trying to represent its present state and future possibilities.
4.2 The council shall consist of:
- The Parish Priest is the President of the council.
- The Chairperson, Vice-chairperson and Recording Secretary
- DPC Rep
- The coordinator of each standing parish committee, elected at large
- One member of the Ladies of St. Mark appointed by the ladies.
- One member of the Knights of Columbus Council #5543, appointed by the K of C
- Members at large (Number at the discretion of the Parish Priest)
- The Finance Chair (Or a representative from Finance) shall sit on the Parish Council as a representative of the Finance Council
4.3 Persons employed by the Parish shall not be eligible to serve as voting members on the council.
4.4 All persons serving on the Parish Pastoral Council shall serve without remuneration. Council members may be reimbursed, in accordance with diocesan guidelines, for expenses incurred while carrying out the business of council provided that said business and expenses were approved by the council prior to their being incurred.
Section 5 Terms of Office
5.0 The term of office for elected members shall be two years; they may be elected for three consecutive terms (for a maximum of six years) after which they will be required to step down for a minimum of one year.
5.1 The consecutive terms of office for representatives of the Knights of Columbus and the Ladies of St. Mark shall not exceed six years.
5.2 All terms shall commence on September 1 in the year of election or appointment, as the case may be, and end on August 31 at the end of the term.
Section 6 Elections
6.0 Elections shall be held each year in May, or, when necessitated by circumstance, on a date agreed to by council.
6.1 All baptized and confirmed members of St. Mark Parish, aged 18 and older, shall be eligible to nominate candidates and to vote for members of council.
6.2 The council shall appoint a nomination committee of no more than 5 persons to solicit nominations and conduct elections using procedures as set forth by the council. Members of the council who are ineligible for re-election shall be the first persons asked to serve on the nomination committee. If a member of the nomination committee accepts a nomination for a parish council position, that person must withdraw from the nomination committee.
6.3 The call for nominations shall be announced during the Sunday services and printed in the parish bulletin at least two Sundays prior to the close of nominations.
6.4 In the event that there are insufficient nominations to hold an election, all nominees will be acclaimed and the remaining positions shall be declared vacant and filled in accordance with Section 7.
6.5 In the event that, and only when, there is no vice–chairperson to take over as chairperson, the position of chairperson will be filled through the election process. Persons seeking the office of chairperson shall be designated as candidates for chairperson.
Section 7 Vacancies
7.0 Any vacancy of an elected seat on council shall be filled by appointment by the Parish Priest to complete the unexpired term of office of the vacant position. Where such a vacancy involves the chairperson of a standing committee, that committee will be encouraged to suggest an appointee from amongst themselves.
7.1 In cases where insufficient members are elected to form a council, the Parish Priest shall appoint members to form the council.
7.2 Members of the council who wish to resign from the council prior to the end of their term are asked to submit a letter of resignation to the chairperson who will present the letter to the pastor and council at its next meeting. No seat shall be declared vacant until a resignation has been officially accepted by the council and ratified by the pastor.
7.3 Any member who is absent from three consecutive regular meetings without notice shall be deemed to have resigned from the council. However, and before the seat is officially declared vacant, a reasonable attempt to contact the member shall be made to inform him/her of the intent of the council.
Section 8 Meetings
8.0 Regular meetings of the council shall be held monthly, except in July and August when meetings will be at the call of the Parish Priest or chairperson. The date of the regular meeting shall be set at the first meeting of the new council. Regular monthly meetings may be changed by council if necessary and with sufficient notice to all members.
8.1 Notices of regular meetings shall be published in the bulletin on the Sunday preceding the meeting. Members of the parish are welcome to attend any regular meeting.
8.2 Prior to meetings, members of the council are encouraged, as part of the process of forming their own position, to seek the opinions of their fellow parishioners on matters before council. However, statements of hearsay shall not be considered in the deliberations at the council table.
8.3 Members of the parish wishing to address the council on matters are asked to let their intentions be known one week prior to the meeting so that they can be included on the agenda. Members of council may also, in the process of setting the agenda, request to hear a parishioner.
8.4 Minutes of the meetings of the council shall be made available on request to the parish secretary after they have been officially approved by the council. Minutes of the meeting may also be posted on the bulletin board.
8.5 The chairperson and/or Parish Priest may call special meetings of the council when:
- it is requested, in writing, to the Parish Priest or chairperson, by at least three members of the parishioners
- when a matter arises that requires deliberation prior to the next regular meeting and
- after proper notification, the date of the meeting does not fall in the seven day period immediately preceding the regular meeting.
- All special meetings shall require a minimum notice of one day’s notice of all council members.
8.6 Emergency meetings may be called by the chairperson and/or Parish Priest without the required notice and business may be conducted provided:
- there has been a reasonable attempt to contact all members
- a quorum is present.
a) At regular and special meetings of the council, a quorum is needed at all times. A quorum shall be 50% plus one of the voting members. Vacated seats shall not be included in the calculation of a quorum.
b) In the event that an elected committee coordinator is unable to attend a meeting, it will be his/her responsibility to designate a member of said committee to attend in his/her place.
a) All votes called by the chairperson shall require a simple majority (51%). All votes shall be by show of hands unless otherwise requested by a member of council.
b) The chairperson will always encourage the council to come to a consensus.
c) All motions of the council are to be in the form of recommendations to the Parish Priest.
d) All recommendations of the council, after being voted on, shall be deemed as the recommendation of the council and not of any portion thereof. There will be no provisions for recorded votes.
e) If a position is co-chaired there is only one vote.
Section 9 Annual Meeting
9.0 There shall be an Annual Meeting during each calendar year, not later than the end of March, on a date and at a time determined by the council and announced during the Sunday services and in the Sunday bulletin for at least two Sundays prior to the meeting. All notices in the bulletin shall include proposed amendments to the constitution.
9.1 The agenda for the Annual Meeting, which should include reports:
- from all committees of the council,
- the chairperson of the council,
- the chairperson of the Finance Committee and
- the Parish Priest
The agenda will be determined by the chairperson in consultation with the Parish Priest and shall be posted, along with all proposed amendments to the constitution, on the bulletin board at least two weeks prior to the Annual Meeting.
9.2 Any additions to the agenda of the Annual Meeting, must receive a simple majority approval by the members in attendance.
9.3 It shall be the duty of all council members to encourage attendance at the annual meeting by the members of the parish.
9.4 Any decisions made at the Annual Meeting, for all matters except constitutional amendments, will be passed with a 51% majority, constitutional amendments which will require a two-thirds majority.
Section 10 The Executive Positions
10.0 The position of chairperson, vice-chairperson and recording secretary shall be referred to as executive positions. All persons holding executive positions shall be referred to collectively as the Executive Committee but shall have no privileges others than those afforded to all other council members. The Parish Priest is always the president of the council.
10.1 In the absence of the Parish Priest this position will be filled by an individual mandated by the bishop to provide pastoral care for the parish.
10.2 The Parish Priest shall preside over the meetings of the council. It should be noted that any motion of the PPC is a recommendation to the Parish Priest.
10.3 It is the Parish Priest’s role to acknowledge and promote the mission which the laity, each for his or her part, exercises in the church and in the world (Canon 275, paragraph 2). The Parish Priest’s responsibility shall be to recognize and promote the dignity as well as the responsibility of the laity in the church (Dogmatic Constitution of the Church) through the stimulation, encouragement and spiritual guidance of the initiatives of the council in fulfilling the mission of the church.
10.4 The chairperson shall be responsible for calling, setting the agenda, and chairing all meetings
10.5 The chairperson may serve no more than three consecutive terms as chairperson. This shall be inclusive of terms served in any other capacity on the council. (Except for the situation which may arise in 10.11)
10.6 Anytime that the position of chairperson becomes vacant, it shall automatically be filled by the council’s vice-chairperson. Only when there is no vice-chairperson to take over as chairperson shall the position of chairperson be filled through the election process.
10.7 If, in an election process that includes the election of a chairperson, there are no nominees for the position, the position shall be filled by the person elected as vice-chairperson. In such cases, the position of vice-chairperson shall be filled by voting members of the council at its first meeting following the vacancy.
10.8 The chairperson and/or the Parish Priest shall be the spokesperson for the council and shall serve as a member ex-officio of all committees of the council.
10.9 The chairperson will be responsible for ensuring that the procedures used in the deliberation of all matters before the council are fair, equitable and respectful of the roles of each member of the council.
10.10 The chairperson will/may be assigned specific duties, as approved council and included in the appendixes hereto attached.
10.11 The vice-chairperson shall attend all meetings and shall assume the roles and responsibilities of acting chairperson in his/her absence. In the event the chairperson vacates the position, the vice-chairperson shall assume the position of chairperson for the balance of that term. If the vice-chairperson assumes the position of chairperson in the first year of the chairperson’s term, he/she may run for one more two year term. If the vice-chairperson assumes the position of chairperson in the second year of the chairperson’s term, he/she may run for two more two year terms. If either of these situations arises the vice-chair/chairperson cannot serve more than a total of six years.
10.12 The vice-chairperson may serve no more than three consecutive terms which shall be inclusive of terms served in any other capacity.
10.13 The vice-chairperson may be assigned specific duties, as approved by the council and included in the appendixes hereto attached.
10.14 The recording secretary, may, or may not be, the Parish Secretary, if it is not the parish secretary, he/she shall be elected to council and will have full voting privileges.
10.15 The recording secretary shall be responsible for recording and maintaining accurate and up-to-date records of the transactions and business of the council including:
- recording the minutes of the meetings,
- writing and sending acknowledgements, notes of appreciation and special cards on behalf of the council and in accordance with the policies of the council, and
- when required, to inform the Parish Priest and parish secretary about the operations and activities of the council.
10.16 Copies of the minutes of the meetings, whenever possible, shall be circulated to all council members at least one week prior to meetings.
10.17 The minutes of council meetings shall not be made available to persons other than council members until they have been officially adopted by the council.
Section 11 Role of Council Members
11.0 All members of council shall participate fully in the activities of the council with the right to speak and the right to vote freely without recrimination from others. (the ability to agree/ to disagree)
11.1 All members of council, including members acting as representatives of a group, shall regularly attend meetings of the council and act for the service of the parish community as a whole and not just the group they represent.
Section 12 Additional Seats at the Council Table
12.0 Employees of the parish (i.e. the parish secretary, the caretaker…) make be asked to regularly or occasionally attend parish council meetings for the purpose of providing information and giving advice, but will not have voting privileges.
12.1 The past chairperson may be invited by the incoming chairperson to remain on the council in an advisory capacity (non-voting) for a term not to exceed one year following the completion of his/her term.
Section 13 Procedure
13.0 In all matters of parliamentary procedure, the latest edition of Robert Rules of Order shall be the authority.
Section 14 Standing Committees
14.0 The council shall be responsible for the coordination of the activities of its standing committees.
14.1 The Council may, from time to time, in matters requiring additional attention, establish Standing Committees. The mandate of all standing committees must be clearly defined and included in the appendixes hereto attached.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the following shall be the standing committees of the Council.
Liturgy Protocol Youth
Adult Faith Education Community Life Social Justice
14.2 The coordinator of each committee shall be one of the voting members of the council.
14.3 All activities and expenditures of the committees must be reviewed and approved by the Finance Council. Prior to setting the budget, the Finance Committee will ask the different committees what their proposed budget will be.
14.4 Standing Committee chairpersons shall be responsible for identifying and soliciting the assistance of people whose interests, gifts and strengths are most likely to enhance the chances of achieving the objectives of the committee.
a) The Executive Members of the council shall be called the Executive Committee
which will have the responsibility of preparing for, planning and coordinating the work of the council. Except where otherwise approved by the council, the Executive Committee will have no authority outside of council meetings other than to receive information and make recommendations to the council.
b) Meetings of the Executive Committee may be called by the chairperson and/or the Parish Priest.
Ad Hoc Committees
14.6 The Parish Priest and/or Parish Pastoral Council may, from time to time, establish ad hoc committees to meet special needs of the parish. The establishment of ad hoc committees shall include a clearly defined mandate and term.
Section 15 Constitutional Amendments
15.0 Articles of the constitution may only be amended as follows:
a) The Parish Pastoral Council may propose amendments to the constitution.
b) Any parishioner wishing to amend the constitution shall serve notice in writing of the proposed amendment to the parish pastoral council for approval at least six weeks prior to the annual meeting. The parishioner will be invited to discuss the amendment with the council. The parishioner will be informed of the council’s recommendation concerning the amendment and the reasons why.
c) All parishioner initiated amendments approved by council shall be included as proposed amendments in the agenda and notices of the Annual Meeting and shall be credited to the parishioner(s) that submitted them.
d) All parishioner initiated amendments that are not approved by council shall be presented at the Annual General Meeting where the membership will be asked whether or not they would like the amendment(s) included as an addition to the agenda of the annual meeting. (To be included, the vote must be a simple majority.)
e) Where urgency requires it, a special meeting of the members of the parish may be called for the purpose of amending the constitution. Otherwise, all amendments to the constitution shall be ratified at the annual meeting.
f) Notice of proposed amendments to the constitution shall be published in the parish bulletin and posted on the bulletin board at least two weeks prior to the annual meeting.
g) A two thirds majority of those in attendance at the annual meeting will be required to adopt an amendment to the constitution. Any parishioner may request that the vote be by secret ballot, otherwise the chairperson will conduct the vote using a show of hands.
h) No amendment to the constitution shall take effect until ratified at the annual meeting or a special meeting of the members called for that purpose.
i) In addition, no amendment to the constitution shall take effect until it has been ratified by the diocesan bishop or his delegate; i.e. Chancellor, Vicar-General, Episcopal Vicar.
Section 16 Fealty
16.0 a) Notwithstanding any of the foregoing constitutions, the Council and its activities. Shall be subject to the Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church and the Regulations of the Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Prince Albert.