Council By-Laws

ST. ISIDORE CATHOLIC PARISH

COUNCIL BY-LAWS

May, 2015

Desiring to structure our parish community so that all of us, with our diverse talents and needs, may be encouraged to exercise our responsibilities and to embrace the duties of full-fledged members of this ecclesiastical family, we do ordain and establish these by-laws for the Parish Council of St. Isidore Parish of the Diocese of Toledo.

ARTICLE I – PARISH COUNCIL IS AN ELECTED BODY ESTABLISHED

To involve the complete parish membership in a common effort to foster the wellbeing of the entire parish, spiritually and materially, inspired by a willingness to serve its needs.

  1. To assist the pastor in his responsibility to shepherd the people committed to his care by acting as a recommending and evaluating body to the pastor.

ARTICLE II – ELIGIBILITY

All those who meet the canonical requirements for parish membership and who are members in good standing shall be eligible for membership to the Parish Council. Any member eighteen (18) years of age can vote or be elected to the Council.

ARTICLE III – COMPOSITION

  1. The Parish Council shall consist of no more than sixteen (16) or fewer than eight (8) members – all elected by the parish.
  2. Term of office: Two years with no more than eight (8) people being elected each year.
  3. The elected members are not eligible for re-election for at least one (1) term (minimum of two (2) years).
  4. Elected members are expected to attend monthly meetings. Three (3) consecutive unexcused absences will be considered as a vacant position to be filled as outlined in Article IV (B). Notification to either the President or Vice president of an expected absence will constitute an excused absence.

ARTICLE IV – ELECTION OF COUNCIL MEMBERS

Procedure:

  1. The entire parish will serve as a nominating committee. Each parishioner will nominate no more than six (6) fellow parishioners. No more than sixteen (16) names will be voted upon.
  2. Nominations shall take place over two (2) weekends in early February.

 

  1. A committee comprised of Parish Council members will meet in February to tally the nominations.
    • The nominations are listed as read from the ballot. The names will then be listed from top to bottom with the most votes to the least votes. In the event two (2) members of the same household receive the same number of votes, the names will be listed in alphabetical order.
    • Each name listed, starting at the top of the list, will be contacted by the officers of the Council to receive acceptance of the nomination. This shall continue down the list.
    • Each person selected will have a photo taken and a summary written about them by the council secretary.
    • The summaries and pictures are to be displayed in the vestibules two (2) weekends before election.

 

  1. There shall be no two (2) members of the same immediate family (household) on the Council.

 

  1. Elections will be held any weekend following the first weekend of March and before the April Parish Council meeting by an open parish secret ballot vote.

 

  1. The newly elected members shall attend the regular April meeting to understand the procedures, elect officers and reorganize committees. They shall assume their responsibilities at this meeting.
  2. The by-laws will be distributed at the April meeting and be reviewed at the May meeting.
  3. Unexpired term of a Council member: If the remaining service is less than a year, a replacement is selected by the Pastor with the consent of the Council and he/she shall serve the remaining term. He/she shall be exempt from Article III, paragraph B and C. If the unexpired term is over a year, it shall be put before the nominating committee (composed of four (4) senior presiding members) and voted upon by the parish. He/she will fill the unexpired term and be subject to limitations of Article III, paragraph C.

 

ARTICLE V – COUNCIL MEETINGS

 

  1. Regular meetings will be held monthly with the time to be decided by the newly-elected Council.

 

  1. Special meetings shall be held at any time the pastor and a member of the parish council recognize the need for such a meeting.

 

  1. All Parish Council meetings should be open to all parishioners who may attend as observers. Once a year, preferably in April, the Parish Council will call a special open meeting for all parishioners. At that time all those present shall be given an opportunity to voice their opinions.

 

ARTICLE VI – OFFICERS AND COMMISSIONS

 

  1. The Council shall elect its officers from within its membership; both outgoing and incoming members shall attend the April meeting. The former officers will preside until “old business” is concluded. At this time, the Council shall reorganize with the former president presiding over the election of the new president. The new president shall preside over the rest of the meeting.

 

  1. The presiding officers shall be:

 

  1. President
  • Must be a senior member of the Council.
  • Conducts meetings according to the Roberts Rule of Parliamentary Procedure.
  • Prepares an agenda prior to the meeting.
  • Notifies members of special meetings.
  • Asks for officers’ reports and standing commissions at each regular meeting.
  • He/She shall not serve on any commission, only direct and provide assistance to other members.
  1. Vice-President
  • Will be elected from the new members.
  • Shall fulfill obligations of the President in his/her absence.
  • May serve on a committee, but not act as chairperson.
  •  
  1. Secretary
  • Keeps full record of proceedings at each meeting.
  • Presents minutes at each meeting.
  • All proceedings will be prepared and displayed in the bulletin following each regular meeting.
  • Shall be responsible for summary and photo of newly-nominated council members.
  • May serve on a committee, but not act as chairperson.

ARTICLE VII – STANDING COMMITTEES

  1. Each committee may be composed of at least three (3) parishioners, one of which must be an elected Council member, who shall serve as chairperson. Each chairperson will volunteer to serve on the committee of his/her choice or be appointed by the President. The chairperson will present a report on his/her area of responsibility at each Council meeting.
  2. These committees may include:

 

  1. Finance:
  • Shall be responsible for raising funds on parochial and diocesan level, for expenditure of funds, for auditing the parish financial records, and assisting with building and maintenance when necessary.
  • Shall present a detailed financial report at least once per quarter.
  •  
  1. Maintenance:
  • Shall be responsible for the maintenance and repair of all Parish facilities and grounds.
  • Custodians and groundskeepers shall be members of this committee.
  1. Christian Formation:
  • Shall be responsible, with the collaboration of the Pastor, for the education of all parishioners in the Catholic faith.
  • At least one (1) participant in the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) program shall be included on this committee.
  1. Liturgy and Spirituality:
  • Shall be responsible with the collaboration of the Pastor for:
  • 1. Diocesan directives concerning liturgy.
  • 2. Education of parishioners in public worship.
  • 3. Encouragement of community participation.
  • 4. Preparation of greeters’ list.
  • 5. Preparation of liturgies when needed.
  • This committee shall consist of: 
  • 1. Choir Director
  • 2. Organist
  • 3. Person responsible for Commentator, Lector, Lay and Cup Ministers schedule.
  • 4. Person responsible for Servers’ schedule.

 

  1. Youth:
  • Shall be responsible for non-catechetical programs, both spiritual and recreational, for the benefit of the youth of the parish, including vocations. This category shall include all those who have not graduated from high school.
  • It is recommended that a member of the CYO be a member of this committee.
  1. Communication and Service:

 

  • Shall keep parish census up to date.
  • Plan parish programs which relate to and unite efforts of existing parish organizations and societies.
  • Inform the parish about parish activities by means of formal addresses or other news media.
  • Relate to the area at large in terms of community needs, particularly as they affect the poor and underprivileged, or suggest ecumenical activity in accordance with the guidelines of the Diocese.
  1. Family Life:
  • Shall be responsible for the preservation of Christian principles in those areas which pertain to the welfare of all families, including marriage, parenthood, and aging.
  • Shall support members of our parish families in various times of personal crises, such as death, divorce, loss of a job, etc.

 

ARTICLE VIII – VOTING PROCEDURES

  1. A quorum shall consist of not less than a simple majority of the entire Council.
  2. No business requiring a vote shall be conducted without a quorum of the Council present.
  3. All voting members of the Council shall have equal voting rights on all matters brought to the floor for general discussion.
  4. A simple majority shall decide the outcome of all voting.
  5. Any member of the Council may call for a secret ballot on any issue, if such member is able to prove to the President that the request is supported by a simple majority of the members present.

ARTICLE IX – POWER OF THE COUNCIL

The Council shall have a consultative vote with the Pastor on any item of material business of St. Isidore Parish. Since a council may not assume canonical responsibilities of a pastor, its decisions or conclusions shall become recommendations to the pastor-recommendations which are to be considered serious and weighty by him. Consequently, a pastor shall not lightly or arbitrarily dismiss such recommendations on a regular basis. If such a practice should occur, the Council, by reason of collective responsibility of the membership to their fellow parishioners, shall be duty bound to reveal this matter to the Dean of the respective deanery. This obligation rests on the elected officers, but it may be pursued by a majority of the elected members when they judge that the situation warrants such action. The Dean shall meet with the Pastor to try to resolve the issue. If that is not possible, the Dean shall then meet with the Council to try to reach an agreement. If that also fails, the Dean shall present the issue to the appropriate Diocesan office for resolution.

ARTICLE X – AMENDMENTS

 

  1. Amendments can be made with a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the Council.
  2. Because the Council is a representative of the parish membership, any parishioner may submit additions, corrections, or changes to the By-Laws to the council members or the Pastor. Any additions, corrections, or changes to the By-Laws will be considered for adoption by the Council. If there is an adoption of major importance, a revised copy of the By-Laws will be presented to the parishioners.