Saint Gabriel Pastoral Council Constitution ARTICLE I NAME This organization shall be called "Saint Gabriel Parish Pastoral Council," hereinafter referred to as "Pastoral Council."
Article II Mission Statement The Pastoral Council serves as the consultative body for the Parish and provides counsel to the Pastor; to help envision, establish, plan and monitor the mission and activities of the Saint Gabriel Parish.
Article III Role of Council The role of the Pastoral Council is to assist the Pastor in his role as leader of the parish and to do so in a formal setting. The Pastoral Council acts as a sounding board for the Pastor to discuss his vision for the parish and, because the Pastoral Council is made-up of parishioners, provides the vehicle to help ensure that a congregational perspective is brought to these discussions. Council members are asked to investigate different aspects of the church, reflect on them, and recommend their conclusions. In brief the role of the Pastoral Council is pastoral planning.
Goals and Objectives of the Council
The intent of the Pastoral Council shall be:
To continuously develop and articulate a deep and mature understanding of the identity and purpose of the parish.
To provide the opportunity for spiritual formation for Pastoral Council members
To provide a forum for communication among all members of the parish community.
To encourage and facilitate the participation of all parishioners in the educational, service, and community building activities of the parish.
5. To provide for the periodic evaluation of the Parish Vision Statement, involving the total parish as much as possible.
To institute processes which provide for the development of long-range goals and short-term objectives for the parish as a whole and for the various groups ministering within the Parish.
The Pastoral Council is bound by diocesan policy and is accountable to parishioners, the Pastor, and the diocesan officials for its decisions.
STRUCTURE AND INTERNAL FUNCTIONS
The Pastor shall serve as President of the Pastoral Council and preside over all meetings of the Pastoral Council. Additionally, the Pastoral Council shall consist of Term and Ex-officio Members.
Term: Nine (9) members from the Parish who are self-nominated, and appointed by the Pastor in such a way as to ensure that the Parish community is reflected with due regard for its diverse regions, social conditions and professions.
Ex-officio: One (1) or no more than three (3) additional members selected by the Pastor to ensure that any special or technical skills will be available to the Council as a whole.
Term members shall serve a three (3) year appointment on the Pastoral Council. Terms shall be so arranged so that three (3) new members will be appointed each year. No Term member may serve more than two (2) full consecutive terms.
Ex-officio members will be selected and serve at the discretion of the Pastor.
A member may resign his/her position on the Pastoral Council by notifying in writing the chairperson of the Pastoral Council. The resignation shall be effective upon such notification and acceptance by the Pastoral Council.
Any member may be replaced at the discretion of the Pastor during the Pastoral Council year.
When a vacancy occurs among members serving Term appointments, the Pastor shall fill the vacated position for the unexpired portion of the term by appointment. When a vacancy occurs among Ex-officio members, the Pastor may designate a replacement at his discretion.
REQUIREMENT FOR MEMBERSHIP
Nominees for Pastoral Council must be registered members of the Parish and be in full communion with the Catholic Church.
ROLE OF MEMBERSHIP
The Pastoral Council’s role is to help the Pastor form a vision and direction for the parish and then to help the Pastor implement that vision and direction by support, encouragement, and enabling others to use their gifts for the benefit of the community, both the local church community and the larger civic community. Pastoral Council members must be willing to serve the faith community, setting long-range goals and short-term objectives. This is achieved by being open to the concerns and needs of the parish and by being aware of and using the gifts and talents of the members of the Body of Christ. (Reference to "Called To Serve".)
ADMINISTRATION OF PASTORAL COUNCIL
The Pastor shall serve as President of the Pastoral Council and select the chairman and vice-chairman of the council. The Pastoral Council shall be administrated by an Executive Committee which shall consist of the Pastor, chairperson, vice-chairperson, and any other Pastoral Council member appointed by the chairperson. The Executive Committee shall prepare the agenda prior to the bi-monthly Pastoral Council meeting, and handle the business of the Pastoral Council between meetings. It will be the responsibility of the Executive Committee to provide orientation for the new members of the Pastoral Council, propose changes to the Pastoral Council’s Constitution and By-Laws as appropriate, evaluate effectiveness, encourage ongoing religious education, and prepare for the retreat/renewals as determined by the Pastor or Pastoral Council.
The chairperson conducts the meetings of Pastoral Council and of the Executive Committee and makes such appointments as are provided in this constitution. The vice-chairperson acts in place of and on behalf of the chairperson during the chairperson's absence from meetings, and assists the chairperson in any task assigned by the Pastoral Council. The vice-chairperson shall be selected from among the membership at the annual organizational meeting of the Pastoral Council. The vice-chairperson will succeed the chairperson and the newly selected vice-chairperson will assume their new position. The chairperson shall appoint a recording secretary each year to take minutes of the meetings of the Pastoral Council.
8. DECISION MAKING Recommendations of the pastoral council shall be determined using the process of member consensus whenever possible. The method for voting on Pastoral Council issues should be that of consensus whenever possible by the members and the Pastor.
This article describes the various relationships that exist between Pastoral Council and the other Committees and Councils in the parish, as well as with the pastor and staff.
1. THE ROLE OF THE PASTOR In the Parish community entrusted to him under authority of the bishop, the Pastor has a vital, challenging role in proclaiming the Gospel and in presiding at liturgy. He teaches the message of Jesus as it comes to us through the Church and initiates efforts in Christian service. As a visible focus for unity, he calls forth the charisms of the members of the Parish and nurtures them in sharing the mission and ministry of the Parish.
2. THE ROLE OF THE PARISH STAFF
St. Gabriel's is a large, growing, suburban parish that has, over a period of time, chosen to respond to the needs of the parish by seeking out a number of salaried, lay professionals to minister within the parish. These members of parish staff share in the responsibility with the Pastor and Pastoral Council and the other ministries of the parish, to achieve the goals outlined in Article IV. Each member of parish staff will normally have a special concern for one area of parish life and will focus most of their time and energy in that area; but they also share in the broader responsibility for the parish as a whole.
Parish staff positions are established by the Pastor following discussion with the the recommendation of Pastoral Council. Each staff member will work with Parish Ministries and implement new directives approved by the Pastor and Pastoral Council.
Parish staff on Pastoral Council provides the communication link between staff and the Pastoral Council. All parish staff on Pastoral Council are expected to keep the Pastoral Council informed of major plans and programs, and to assist in the education formation of the Pastoral Council when appropriate.
3. PARISH MINISTRIES, STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL & FINANCE COUNCIL
Parish Ministries are the major channels through which the Pastoral Council implements specific goals and from which additional parish programs and procedures are recommended. Minutes of the meetings of the Pastoral Council, as well as those of the Finance Council and Stewardship Council, shall be posted and available to the parish on the website.
ARTICLE VII MEETINGS
Pastoral Council shall meet bi-monthly unless otherwise decided by the Pastor, or Executive Committee. Pastoral Council decisions will be arrived at whenever possible by consensus.
Pastoral Council shall establish a set of by-laws for conducting meetings and other business.
If decided by the Pastor or Pastoral Council, the Pastoral Council may opt to return to an elected body. At that time they are to return to that portion of the 1999 Charter Constitution document (Article III, Structure and Internal Functions) for guidance and direction.
If the need for Parish Coordination Committees is deemed appropriate by the Pastor or the Pastoral Council, any review and action will be guided by the provisions of Article IV of the 1999 Charter Pastoral Council Constitution document.