American Martyrs and St. Patrick's Catholic Church
Monday, December 18, 2017
 
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
           THE AMERICAN MARTYRS PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL IS ORGANIZED TO PROMOTE AMONG THE PEOPLE OF THE PARISH A SPIRIT OF RESPONSIBILITY, COOPERATION, AND MUTUAL HELP IN THEIR COMMON EFFORT TO PROVIDE A FULL AND PRODUCTIVE LIFE FOR THE PARISH. 
 
           THE PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL IS THE UNIQUE FORM IN WHICH THE LOCAL CONGREGATION (PASTOR AND LAITY) MAY ACHIEVE UNITY OF PURPOSE AND ACTION. THE EFFORTS OF THE MEMBERS OF THE PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL MUST BE DIRECTED TOWARD REACHING A CONSENSUS. 
 
 
SECTION 1.  The name of the organization shall be American Martyrs Parish Pastoral Council (hereinafter referred to as “Council”).
 
SECTION 2. To fulfill its purpose, the Council shall:
a. Prayerfully discern the needs of the parish community;
 
b. Be a voice by which the wishes of the Parishioners concerning matters of parish welfare might be made known to the Pastor and each other;
 
c. Serve as a consultative body to the Pastor, Parish Life Coordinator, or Administrator (hereinafter referred to as “Pastor”;
 
d. Collaborate with the Pastor in attaining the fullness of spiritual and temporal welfare of American Martyrs Parish;
 
e. Identify and call forth the gifts and talents of the members of the parish community;  
 
f. Develop and maintain a mission statement which embraces the total life and mission of the parish;
 
g. Establish clear and concise goals and objectives based on the parish mission statement and the emerging needs of the parish community; 
 
h. Coordinate the projects and activities of all its committees and of all groups or organizations under parish sponsorship to share its common responsibility to make the Gospel message known;
 
i. Promote collaboration with our sister parish St. Patrick in Salem. 
 
j. Support the activities of the deanery council by assuring our parish’s membership on the council and cooperating with the deanery council’s efforts to fulfill its responsibilities. 
 
 
SECTION 1. Every member of American Martyrs Parish who is confirmed and who is eighteen (18) years of age or older shall be eligible to serve as a member of the council – except that only one member of a family living in the same household may serve at the same time. 
 
SECTION 2. The Pastor shall enjoy ex-officio non-voting membership. 
 
SECTION 3. Ex-officio members - An appointee or designee of the Parish Board of Education and the Chairperson of the Parish Finance Committee are ex-officio, voting members of the council. 
 
   There may be up to three (3) voting members appointed by the pastor, with the advice of the Executive Committee, to the council to insure adequate parish representation. 
 
   The council may increase its membership as deemed necessary.   
 
 
SECTION 1. Term length - The six (6) members elected by the parish shall serve for three (3) year terms with two (2) being elected each year. No member may be elected to more than two consecutive terms. 
 
Members appointed by the Pastor shall serve a two (2) year term. 
 
SECTION 2. Vacancy coverage - If a vacancy occurs during the Council year, it shall be filled by an individual chosen by a vote of the remaining Council members. The person will be elected to fill out the remainder of the vacated member’s term. The council may look to the previous election for likely candidates. 
 
SECTION 3. Disqualification -The council shall have the right to remove any member upon a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote of the total voting membership of the Council. Due notice in writing must be given to the person of the proposed disqualification and the reason thereof. (Ex. Not fulfilling the duties of the office, absence from two(2) consecutive regular meetings, or on-third (1/2) of the regular meetings during a fiscal year without having been excused.) The Council may reinstate a disqualified member if adequate cause is presented and two-thirds (2/3) majority of the Council members vote affirmatively for reinstatement. 
 
 
SECTION 1. The Pastor presides over the Council. All decisions and actions of the Council are subject to his ratification.  
 
SECTION 2. The officers of the Council shall consist of Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary, all of whom shall be elected annually by the Council membership. Any elected member of the Council is eligible for any office. 
 
   The officers shall serve no more than two consecutive terms. 
   They shall be elected at the annual June meeting and shall take office in July and serve until their successors are duly elected and qualified. 
 
   If a vacancy exists among the officers, the Council will elect someone from the present membership at the next regularly scheduled meeting. 
 
SECTION 3. Executive Committee - The elected officers, Finance Committee Chairperson, and Pastor shall serve as Council Executive Committee. 
 
   The Executive Committee may meet between regular council meetings to: prepare the agenda for the forth-coming meeting of the Council or; when special assistance or decisions are required on urgent parish business. 
 
SECTION 4. Duties of the chair - The chair shall have the following duties: 
a. call and chair all regular and special meetings of the Council
b. oversee all activities of the Council
c. convene the Executive Committee in order to prepare Council meeting agenda and when special assistance or decisions are required on parish business. 
 
SECTION 5. Vice Chair Duties - The Vice-Chair shall have the following duties: 
a. perform all the duties of the Chair when the Chair is absent or unable to act;
b. Assist the Chair I overseeing Council activities;
c. succeed the Chair in case of resignation or disqualification;
d. represent the Parish on the Deanery Pastoral Council. 
 
SECTION 6. The secretary shall have the following duties:
a. record minutes of Council meetings;
b. publish all Council minutes in parish bulletin;
c. maintain an attendance record of all Council members;
d. maintain a current record of the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all Council members
e. receive and dispose of all correspondence as directed;
f. preserve all Council minutes, reports and documents committed to his/her care;
g. provide packets of material for the new members of the Council, including a current copy of this Constitution and By-Laws. 
 
 
SECTION 1. Areas of Ministry - The Council is assisted in its duties by parish committees, boards and organizations which are categorized within five (5) areas of ministry: 
 
a. SPIRITUAL LIFE MINISTRY – which provides individual and communal opportunities for spiritual growth for the parish community;
 
b. ADMINISTRATION MINISTRY – which carefully utilizes and monitors the human and material resources necessary to accomplish the parish mission;
 
c. EDUCATION MINISTRY – which encompasses all aspects of ministry that can be termed educational;
 
d. FAMILY LIFE AND SOCIAL CONCERNS MINISTRY – which is to inform and involve the parish community in service to one another and to the larger community of city, state, nation and the world;
 
e. COMMUNICATIONS MINISTRY – which is to promote a positive image of the parish as a community of faith. 
 
SECTION 2. Committees - In each Area of Ministry, committees are established to assist in accomplishing the objectives for each ministry area. 
 
SECTION 3. Committee Objectives - Committees, boards and organizations within a particular area of Ministry shall determine their specific objectives in accord with the goals and directives of the Council and Archdiocesan policy-making bodies. Each committee shall maintain a written log of schedule, activities and projects to pass on to the next year’s committees. 
 
 
SECTION 1. Amendments and revisions to the constitution may take place at any regular or special meeting of the Council by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members of the Council. Amendments must be presented in writing to all members of the Council at least ten (10) days prior to any meeting. Any amendments submitted should be discussed at the meeting at which it is presented but not voted on until the next regular meeting. 
 
 
 
 
SECTION 1. SPIRITUAL LIFE MINISTRY
 
   Liturgical Committee shall consist of a member of the Council with a minimum of two (2) additional members of the parish. It shall assist in promotion of knowledge and participation in all divine services and inter-faith activities: including the roles of commentators, choir members, etc.  
 
SECTION 2. ADMINISTRATION MINISTRY
 
   Finance Committee shall consist of a Chair, and a minimum of two (2) other members of the parish. It shall approve budgets and report to the Council its recommendations concerning income received from offertory collections and expenses of Parish excepting those relating to the Pastor. It shall also review and make recommendations and approve all audits, financial statements and extraordinary fund raising activities. 
 
   Property and Physical Improvements Committee shall consist of a member of the Council with a minimum of two (2) other members of the parish. It shall study and make recommendations to the Council on proposed capital improvements and major repairs and conduct periodic inspection of all parish property. 
 
   Parish Hall Committee shall consist of a member of the Council with a minimum of two (2) other members of the parish. It shall be the function of this committee to keep a calendar of hall rental and usage, to notify users of rules, to collect fees for rentals, and to provide such inspections and maintenance of the hall before and after events as is necessary. 
 
SECTION 3. EDUCATION MINISTRY
 
   Board of Education shall share the Pastor’s and the Parish Pastoral Council’s responsibility for that aspect of total ministry called education ministry. It shall be run according to its constitution. 
 
SECTION 4. FAMILY LIFE AND SOCIAL CONCERNS MINISTRY
 
   Parish Liaison Committee shall consist of a member of the Council with a minimum of two (2) other members of the parish. It shall be the function of this committee to inform parish members of the Parish Council activities and provide means for parishioners to communicate to the Council direct questions, grievances, suggestions, etc., to the proper committees. This committee shall keep current a directory of the parishioners and exercise such personal contact as welcoming new families, sponsoring parish recreational and social events, and performing tasks to promote parish community life. 
 
SECTION 5. COMMUNICATION MINISTRY
 
   Evangelization Committee shall consist of a member of the Council with a minimum of two (2) other members of the parish. It shall be the function of this committee to promote within the parish a sense of faith outreach to the community-at-large. 
 
SECTION 6. Reports - All parish committees, boards and organizations shall submit a monthly, brief, written report on their activities and proposals to the Council. 
 
SECTION 7. Special ad hoc committees may be established from time to time by agreement of the Council membership to meet specific objectives. Such ad hoc committees may be established as defined by the Council. 
 
 
SECTION 1. Calendar - The Council shall meet once each month at the time, date and place to be agreed upon by the Council members and published in the parish bulletin. 
 
SECTION 2. Parishioner appeal - The Council will formally hear suggestions and petitions from members of the parish under the following conditions: 
 
   a) Suggestions or petitions from members of the parish shall be submitted in writing to one of the Council members who will introduce them at the regular meeting. 
 
   b) Under order of “Questions by and For Council Members.” Suggestions will be heard from the floor to be acted upon at the discretion of the Chair. 
 
   c) If the agenda precludes consideration of the item at the meeting at which it is presented, the Secretary of the Council will notify the parishioner when the proposal will be on the agenda and ask the parishioner to attend the meeting to give further information if necessary. 
 
   SECTION 3. Tabled Items - Items before the Council are not to be tabled more than two (2) months. 
 
   SECTION 4. Meeting Length - Regular Meetings may not run over two (2) hours in length without the consent of three-fourths (3/4) of the members present and voting. 
 
   SECTION 5. Minutes of the Council meeting shall be placed in the Parish bulletin after each Council meeting. 
 
   SECTION 6. Open to parishioners - All regular meetings of the Council shall be open to members of the parish. Official action of the Council normally takes place in public meetings, except in the following cases: 
 
   a) The Chair may declare a portion of a meeting closed when deemed necessary. 
 
   b) Special meetings may be called by the Chari to deal with: 
     (i) business the Council cannot table until the next monthly meeting;
     (ii) matters needing immediate action. 
 
              Special meetings of the Council may be called by the Chair upon written or verbal notice being given to all members of the Council at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the date o the meeting. 
 
              Five (5) parishioners with a common concern may request a special meeting. Upon recommendation of the Executive Committee the Chair can call a meeting to take place within fifteen (15) calendar days of the request. 
 
   c) Executive Committee meetings may be called by the Chair to deal with: 
            (i) Council agenda planning;
            (ii) matters needing immediate action;
            (iii) matters which in a public meeting could be a source of serious disadvantage to the parish or individuals. 
 
SECTION 7. ORDER OF THE MEETINGS
   a) Prayer/Reflection
   b) Attendance
   c) Acceptance of minutes
   d) Pastor’s report
   e) Chair’s report
   f) Unfinished business
   g) Reports of committees and organizations: in writing.
   h) New businesss
   i) Communications and petitions.
   j) Questions by and for Council members.
   k) Designation of next meeting date and time. 
   l) Adjournment.
   m) Prayer.
   n) Evaluation of Meeting
 
 
SECTION 1. The decision-making process of the Council shall be by consensus.
 
SECTION 2. non-consensus process - If consensus cannot be reached by the Council, the following voting procedures shall be followed:
   a. A simple majority of the voting members of the council constitutes a quorum.
 
   b. Each elected member and each ex-officio voting member shall be entitled to one vote.
 
   c. Actions of the Council require a two-thirds (2/3) majority vote if a vote is necessary – unless otherwise specified in this constitution.
 
SECTION 3. Ratification by the pastor of decisions made or actions to be performed will ordinarily be made at the council meeting. If ratification is deferred or if the Pastor is absent from a meeting, his ratification will be presumed upon his knowledge of the decisions or actions, unless he indicates otherwise to the Council within thirty (30) days. Ratifications will be included in Minutes. 
 
   If the Pastor withholds ratification, he should present to the council his reasons fiving evidence that the action is contrary to:
           a. Faith or morals
           b. General Church Law
           c. Archdiocesan policy as established by the Archbishop and the duly recognized Boards and Commissions with which he shares responsibility. 
           d. The pastoral and administrative needs of the parishioners.
           e. The general good order of the parish.
   And recommend that the decision be reconsidered by the Council.
 
   If the Council again votes by a majority of its membership passage of the measure, the Council may appeal the decision to the Archbishop or his delegate. The purpose of the appeal shall be to determine whether there is sufficient probable cause to declare the Pastor’s action unjustified. 
    
 
ADOPTED: July 1, 1975
REVISED: November 10, 1980
REVISED: June 21, 1994