By-laws of

St. Mary Church

Parish Council


1.      Role:The role of the Parish Council is to recommend parish policies, while identifying priorities for the St. Mary Parish Community.This role does not include the administration of the parish, nor any of its programs.To help the Council fulfill its responsibility, members of the pastoral staff, committee chairmen, and those responsible for parish programs will be invited to periodically and regularly (e.g. annually) reportto the Council. These reports shall be for information purposes since all committees and staff members are accountable to the pastor rather than the Council.


2.      Meetings:The parish council will meet on the 2nd Monday of January, March, May, August, October and November.The Executive Committee will meet on the 2nd Monday of February, April, June, and September. There will be no meetings in July and December, unless deemed necessary by the pastor or Executive Committee. The meeting dates of the Council and Executive Committee may be changed at the discretion of the Executive Committee. A quorum shall consist of a simple majority of the current members.


3.      Council Membership:The Parish Council shall consist of nine(9)Ė five (5)elected by the parish community, two (2) appointed by the pastor, and two (2) parish trustees, who shall serve as ex officio, voting members.


4.      Qualifications:Those elected and appointed to the Parish Council shall be at least 18 years of age, confirmed, registered (at least one year) members of St. Mary Parish who are practicing Catholics in full communion with the Church.Parish employees and their spouses may not serve on the Parish Council.The pastor shall be responsible for determining eligibility of candidates.


5.      Council Member Terms:The elected and appointed members of the Parish Council shall serve a four-year term, and shall not eligible for reelection or reappointment to an additional term of service on the Council for at least two years.


6.      Council Elections:The method of election shall be determined by the Council Executive Committee.

         Elections shall be held between February 1 and April 30.

         All candidates of the Parish Council shall be elected at-large.

         Registered, confirmed members of the parish are eligible to vote.

         In 2008 the five members elected and two appointed shall begin their term May 1, 2008 thru April 30, 2011.

         Future councils shall be elected and appointed one year before taking office, attending regular meeting for a year before taking office to insure continuity.


7.      Appointments:The purpose of the appointed positions is to insure as broad representation as possible (e.g. age, etc.) The pastor shall appoint three (2) members of the Parish Council at his discretion for four year terms to correspond with those elected. Eligibility and length of terms shall be the same as elected members.


8.      Officers:†† The pastor shall serve as President of the Council. The Council shall elect a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, and Secretary to serve two year terms. Officers may be elected to consecutive terms.Election of officers will take place at the May Council meeting, the same year that elections of Council members take place.


9.      Executive Committee:†††† The Executive Committee shall consist of the Pastor, Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, and Secretary.


10.  Subcommittees:Subcommittees will be created as necessary by the Parish Council president.Members of the Council will serve on subcommittees as named by the Parish Council chairperson.Subcommittees will be utilized to provide information and research, as determined by the Council or the pastor.


11.  Responsibilities of Officers:†††††††

††††††††††† President:†††††† The pastor shall


††††††††††† Chairperson: The Chairperson shall


††††††††††† Vice Chairperson The Vice Chairperson shall


††††††††††† Secretary:†††††† The Secretary shall


The Executive Committee may appoint a recording secretary.The recording secretary shall not participate in deliberations of the Council.


12.  Terminations:††††† In the case of two (2) consecutive unexcused absences on the part of an elected or appointed Council member, membership on the Council ceases. Before being informed of this termination by the Chairperson, the Executive Committee shall be consulted.


11.  Uncompleted Terms:††††† Any elected or appointed member who cannot complete his or her term is replaced for the unexpired portion of his or her term by appointment.The Executive Committee shall make the appointment of elected members (or their replacement) and the pastor shall appoint the replacement of appointed members.


12.  Amendments to By Laws:††††††††† These By Laws may be amended by a 2/3 vote of the entire Council with approval of the pastor and bishop.


Recommended by the Interim Advisory Council on March10, 2008.

Approved by Bishop Michael Jarrell, March 18, 2008