St. Mary’s Pastoral Council Bylaws
We the people of the Catholic community of St. Mary’s Parish, Grand Forks, North Dakota, declare that by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have been set free to live as a worshiping, ministering community which proclaims the Good News of Jesus. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we strive to be responsible witnesses to His presence among us, thus enriching the spiritual life of the community, creating a sense of obligation and passing along Christian values and traditions to our children. By being living signs of God’s Love and by being of service to one another and to the world, we reach out to spread Gospel values and bring God’s kingdom to fulfillment.
Pastoral Council Mission
We the designated members of St. Mary’s Parish, in union with each other, with our pastor, and with the bishop of the Fargo Diocese are united to form the Parish Pastoral Council.
We acknowledge that we are called upon to use our God-given talents in order to support and empower the members of the parish community to grow in faith, hope, and charity.
ARTICLE I: NAME
The name of this body shall be St. Mary’s Parish Pastoral Council, herein after referred to as the “Council.”
ARTICLE II: PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES
SECTION 1: The purpose of the Council shall be:
(a) to collaborate with the pastor in all matters affecting the life and ministry of St. Mary’s Parish, hereinafter called the “Parish.”
(b) to provide representation in the decision making process on behalf of the parish members.
(c) to promote faith formation and spiritual growth of the Parish members
(d) to coordinate the efforts of Parish organizations, boards, and committees.
(e) to foster and promote harmony, unity, and understanding among Parish members.
SECTION 2: The objectives of the Council shall be:
(a) to obtain input from Parish members, committees, and groups in order to review programs and plan short and long term goals for the Parish.
(b) to work with the Finance Council to promote responsible stewardship in the Parish.
(c) to provide for the religious education needs of all Parish members.
(d) to assist in meeting the health and social needs for all Parish members.
(e) to encourage participation in the liturgical functions of the Parish.
(f) to promote activities to enhance Parish family life.
(g) to promote the growth of the youth in our Parish.
(h) to report to the Parish members annually.
(i) to complete a self evaluation on the Council annually.
ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP
SECTION 1: Membership in the Council is open to all adult Parish members in good standing.
SECTION 2: The Council will have nine voting members, seven elected by the Parish community and the two lay directors.
SECTION 3: A term will be three years limited to two consecutive terms. A member may be reelected to the Council for two additional successive turns after an absence of three years.
SECTION 4: The business manager, associate pastor, and deacon serve as ex officio members with voice but no vote.
ARTICLE IV: NOMINATION AND ELECTIONS
SECTION 1: After September 1 each year, the Council chairperson shall identify qualified parishioners as candidates for open Council positions or shall appoint a nominating committee to identify candidates. Consent from each candidate shall be obtained before being placed on the ballot.
SECTION 2: The names and information for all candidates shall be printed in the parish bulletin for two consecutive Sundays prior to the election.
SECTION 3: Election by ballot for the open positions shall be held no later than the last Sunday in November. The person(s) with the highest number of votes shall be elected. In the event of a tie, the winner will be decided by a coin toss unless one of the candidates voluntarily withdraws.
SECTION 4: Any vacancy shall be filled by the pastor through appointment. This individual will fill the vacant position until the next scheduled election.
ARTICLE V: OFFICERS
SECTION 1: The officers of the Council shall be Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, and the Secretary. These officers will be elected annually by the members of the Council.
SECTION 2: Each officer will serve a term of one year and may be re-elected to subsequent terms as long as they serve on the Council.
SECTION 3: The Chairperson shall preside at all meetings of the Council.
SECTION 4: The Vice Chair shall preside in the absence of the Chair and shall assist the Chair as requested. In the absence of both the Chair and Vice Chair, any other member may preside at the request of the Council.
SECTION 5: Should any officer resign or be unable to fulfill his/her term of office, the Council shall elect a replacement.
SECTION 6: Nomination and election of the officers shall occur at the January meeting. Election for each office will be by unanimous consent or by secret ballot.
SECTION 7: The secretary shall be responsible for having the minutes recorded at all regular and special Council meetings. These minutes shall be summarized in writing, preserved in a permanent record, and shall be sent via mail or electronic means to all members of the Council at least one week prior to the next scheduled Council meeting. The Parish business manager may fill the Secretary’s position without election at the request of the Council.
ARTICLE VI: THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE:
SECTION 1: The executive committee shall be composed of the pastor, the officers of the Council, and the lay directors. This committee may act in the capacity of the full Council.
ARTICLE VII: COUNCIL COMMITTEES
SECTION 1: The Chairman of the Council in consultation with the pastor may appoint ad hoc committees as needed.
ARTICLE VIII: PARISH COMMITTEES
The following Parish standing committees, Parish entities, and organizations are recognized:
SECTION 1: Parish Standing Committees
(a) Liturgical Committee: The Liturgical Committee shall inspire and initiate programs so that all members of the parish community may participate in the Liturgical celebrations of the Community. The committee will oversee the church art and environment needs and all other matters Liturgical in nature.
(b) Religious Education Committee: The Religious Education Committee shall promote religious education and spiritual growth for the Parish through CCD and adult programs. Membership shall include the pastor, associate pastor, religious education coordinators, and other parish members appointed by the pastor or Council.
(c) Social Concerns Committee: The Social Concerns Committee shall inspire and initiate programs so that all members of the parish may participate actively in the life of the community.
(d) Health Ministry: The health ministry consists of nurses and volunteers who use their health education and spiritual maturity to promote wellness of body, mind and spirit for the parishioners of St. Mary's Church.
(e) Parish Family Life Committee: The Parish Family Life Committee shall promote fellowship within the parish community through picnics, festivals and family events.
(f) Youth Advisory Board: Youth Advisory Committee is established as a call to
make ministry with adolescents a concern for the entire Church community,
especially for leaders in parishes, and dioceses. It is a call to empower young
people for the mission they have been given by the Lord Jesus.
SECTION 2: Parish Ad Hoc Committees
Ad hoc Parish committees will be appointed as needed by the pastor
SECTION 2: Parish Entities
(a) Altar Society
(c) Holy Family/St. Mary’s School Board
(d) St. James Board
SECTION 3: National Organizations
(a) Catholic Daughters of the Americas
(b) Knights of Columbus
SECTION 4: Related Organizations
(a) St. Vincent’s
(b) Calvary Cemetery Board
SECTION 5: The Chairperson of each parish committee, in consultation with the pastor, shall appoint the committee members.
SECTION 6: A representative of each committee, entity, or organization is expected to report at least quarterly (verbally and/or in writing) to the Council.
ARTICLE IX: MEETINGS
SECTION 1: The Council will meet monthly from September through May of each year
SECTION 2: Special meetings of the Council may be scheduled by the Chair, pastor, or at the request of any three members of the Council. These meetings may be held face-to-face, by conference call, or by other electronic means. The purpose of any special meeting shall be stated in the notification of the meeting.
SECTION 3: Notice of all regular meetings and the agenda shall be sent by mail or electronic means to each Council member at least prior to the meeting.
SECTION 4: Minutes of each Council Meeting shall be made available to all Parish members..
SECTION 5: At least five members of the Council shall constitute a quorum and a simple majority vote of those voting members attending shall pass a motion unless otherwise specified..
SECTION 6: Attendance and active participation at Council meetings by each member is expected. If a member misses three consecutive meetings he/she will be asked by the Chair to justify the absence or be replaced.
SECTION 7: Roberts Rules of Order shall govern all meetings.
ARTICLE X: VOTING
The preferred method of making a decision will be by consensus. When general agreement cannot be reached, a motion will be made and decided by a simple majority of the voting members present.
ARTICLE XI: AMENDMENTS
These Bylaws may be amended by a two-third majority vote. Amendments must be submitted to the Council for review at least one week prior to the vote to amend the Bylaws.
Approved date October 7, 2010