An advisory body whose primary charge is the financial health of the parish. It monitors income and expenses on a monthly basis. It reviews and makes recommendations on major expenditures. These are the current members of the Finance Council:
Helen McKinstry, Chair
The primary advisory body to the pastor on all aspects of parish life. The Pastoral Council reflects on the mission/vision of the parish and sets priorities for the parish. These are the current memebers of the Pastoral Council:
Barbara Shallue 657-0661, Chair Rodney Cox 431-4841
Vanita Thomas 267-2705 Karen Karr 267-3002
Don Zschoche 215-2002 Melissa Callan 638-3389
Jose Ortiz 422-2623 Joaquin Urtado 469-607-6991
Richard Castillo 797-1260
Operational Guidelines and Norms for the Pastoral Council of
Saint Mary “Our Lady of the Lake” Parish
Purpose, Scope and Role of the Council:
to be a representative voice of the faithful whose focus is on the whole Parish and the surrounding community.
to read and reflect the “signs of the times” to those planning or implementing pastoral activities in the parish.
to provide a means for uniting the parish community in expressing its collective wisdom concerning pastoral plans and activities.
to encourage and support the pastor / pastoral team and council chairperson, respond to their call and questions, and offer the best consultation possible.
to advise the pastor / pastoral team regarding the general policies that guide the programs and services of the parish.
to prepare and periodically review a statement of the parish’s mission.
to develop and maintain a long range plan to implement the mission statement of the parish.
Role of the Pastor:
The Pastor, as the chief governing person and accountable to the Bishop, must preside at the Pastoral council meetings and participate in its activities. The pastor is called to consultation by the Church. In this call, he must:
in turn call the Pastoral Council and seek counsel on pastoral matters affecting the life of the parish;
experience and participate in the interaction that follows;
be open, respectful and receptive to the voice or voices of the parishioners;
weigh seriously and respond appropriately to the collective wisdom or consensus of the Pastoral Council;
make every effort to ensure that the membership of the council is truly representative of the whole parish community;
assist in the proper formation, training, and orientation of all council members;
insure that the council’s concerns reflect the whole Church (diocesan and universal) and its mission;
facilitate council members building their own community of faith, trust, and respect;
assist in the preparation of council agenda; and
support, encourage, and work diligently toward implementation of Synod recommendations.
The pastor should consider carefully the decisions of the council and provide proper explanation to the council when acting contrary to its recommendations. However, in matters that violate Church teachings or discipline, or in matters contrary to diocesan policy, the pastor, after appropriate explanation to the council, must withhold acceptance. In cases of nonacceptance of counsel, for whatever reason, the pastor’s position and reasons for it shall be presented to the council in writing. Appeals may be made to the diocesan bishop or his designee for clarification, consideration or arbitration. The bishop or his designee will provide a written response to the appeal.
In the absence of the Pastor, the Pastoral Council can discuss matters, but cannot make final decisions. When a pastor leaves a parish through transfer, retirement or death, all formal activity of the Pastoral Council ceases until the new pastor or assigned administrator reconvenes the council. A new pastor would be wise to seek counsel from existing council to become more informed about the nature of the community. He should be very reluctant to dissolve the council, even though it is his prerogative to do so.
Membership on the Council is open to all registered Catholic members of Saint Mary “Our Lady of the Lake” parish (exception to this rule can be made with the approval of the pastor in rare circumstances) who are willing and able to commit their time and talent to this important ministry and their own and the parish’s spiritual growth.
Method of Selection;
Membership shall consist of the pastor, associate pastor(s) when assigned, deacon(s), parish administrative staff as determined by the pastor, and eight (8) parishioners. Of these eight, no more than two (2) of those serving at any time may be appointed by the pastor with the remaining members chosen through the discernment process. Pastor’s appointments will be primarily for the purpose of maintaining appropriate representation for all segments of the parish. Members selected through the discernment process will normally serve for a three (3) year term. Members selected through the pastor’s appointment will normally serve for a two (2) year term. If an unplanned vacancy occurs, the unexpired term will be filled at the next called discernment process. A discernment will be conducted at least once every eighteen (18) months (if necessary) to fill any vacancy of members selected by the discernment process. If the vacancy is one of the pastor’s appointments, he may simply appoint a new member to fill that vacancy when it occurs. New council members shall begin service at the first council meeting after they have been selected and become qualified through the diocesan EIM requirements.
Consecutive Terms of Office:
Members who have served a full term shall (not succeed themselves nor shall they be succeeded by their spouse). Any person may serve again after one (1) year has elapsed since his / her last term of office.
Removal of Council Members:
Council members who fail to uphold their responsibilities as pastoral council members (for example: by failure to participate in three (3) consecutive council meetings without properly excused absence, failure to respect the work and authority of the council, or by failing to maintain registration and participation in Saint Mary “Our Lady of the Lake” parish) may be asked to resign or be terminated from the council by the joint action of the pastor and the chairperson of the council.
The council leadership shall consist of a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and a Recorder.
The duties of the Chairperson are:
Coordinate and facilitate the work of the council and preside at council meetings.
Coordinate, as directed by the pastor / pastoral team, the parish’s standing commissions.
Other items / considerations desired by the pastor or council.
The duties of the Vice-Chairperson are:
Assist the Chairperson in carrying out his / her duties
Act as the Chairperson in his / her absence.
Other duties as assigned.
The duties of the Recorder are:
Working with the parish administrative staff as required, publish information and agendas for up-coming council meetings.
Ensure agendas and any supporting / read ahead papers are distributed to council members at least one week prior to scheduled meeting.
Prepare and distribute as required an official record of council meetings.
Working with the parish administrative staff as required, ensure that a reasonably complete summary of council meetings is published / posted for the parishioners to read as soon as reasonable after the meeting.
Selection of Council Leadership and Term of Office:
Council leadership positions will be selected by consensus of the council, considering personal willingness to take on the responsibilities of the position being appointed to. Terms of office will normally be for one (1) year.
Normal Meeting Schedule, Time, and Length:
Normally, council meetings will be held monthly, on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, in the Parish Activity Center, beginning at 6:30 PM and closing by 8:00 PM. Special meetings of the council may be held on other occasions as required when called by the pastor or council leadership to address time sensitive or other urgent matters.
Pastoral Council Agenda:
Council agendas will be developed by the pastor and the council chairperson based on business at hand, input from the pastoral team and council members, and input from members of the parish at large. Every effort will be made to publish upcoming agendas for the information and preparation of those parishioners who might wish to provide input to the council or even attend the meeting at least one week in advance. Council meetings, to the extent possible, will be open to parishioners who may wish to attend as observers unless their direct input is requested from the council. However, active participation in the consensus building process during the meeting is reserved for the Pastoral Council members. There may arise occasions when, due to the sensitivity of the subject matter to be discussed, the council meeting may have to be restricted to the pastoral team and council only.
Council Decision Making:
The council will, to the extent feasible, make its decisions based on consensus. Noting the intention stated above, there may arise occasions where voting, simple majority rules, or direction by the pastor or chairperson is required to resolve a particular matter. It is to be expected that these prerogatives be exercised in only the rarest situations.
Amendments to the Pastoral Council Guidelines:
The council will review and make proposed amendments considered necessary / desirable to the Operational Guidelines and Norms at least once a year. Should a consensus by the council not be attained, a simple majority of those members present and voting will prevail. The revised guidelines and norms shall be promulgated throughout the parish community and shall take effect after review by the dean or the bishop’s designee.
If any parishioner feels strongly that the pastor and/or the council are not following the intent of the diocesan norms for parish councils, they may appeal through the procedures outlined in the document listing the Diocesan Pastoral and Finance Council Norms which is available in the parish office.
Proposed new ministries or significant changes to existing ministries should initially be brought to the pastor for discussion and consideration. Based on his determination, the proposal may be referred to the Pastoral Council for consultation and advice.
The Operational Guidelines and Norms for the Pastoral Council of Saint Mary “Our Lady of the Lake” Parish shall take effect immediately upon the signature of the Pastor and the members of the Pastoral Council.