Pastoral Council Bylaws

With newly elected members of the Pastoral Council having taken their seats, and with new officers having been appointed, now is a good time to review the statutes of the PPC:

Article I. Name of Organization
A. The name of this organization is “The Parish Pastoral Council of Saint Mary Parish” and is located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. It will be referred to as the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC).

Article II. Purpose and Aim
A. The purpose and aim of the Parish Pastoral Council is to advise the pastor for the growth and betterment of the parish and to assist the pastor in formulating programs and policies. The members of the council should be a praying community and by their example lead the parish to a fuller life of prayer. They should be sensitive to the movement of the Spirit among the people of God in the parish and be truly representative of all members of the parish in their advice. They are to support the pastor in his role as shepherd of the parish. They should foster unity in the parish, encourage full participation of parishioners in parish life, and promote ongoing dialogue among the staff, parishioners, and the various parish organizations.

Article III. Membership
A. Number and Status
1. The pastor, whose advisory council this is, other clergy assigned to the parish by the bishop, and the Parish Finance Council chairperson, are ex officio members of the Parish Pastoral Council.
2. Parishioners shall elect six representative members.
3. Elected members of the council shall serve three year terms.
4. Members appointed to fill vacancies of elected members shall serve for the duration of the vacating member’s term.
5. After consultation with the PPC, the Pastor may appoint one or two youth members for a term to be determined by the Pastor.
6. No paid staff shall be members of the Parish Pastoral Council.
7. The Pastor may, after consultation with the PPC, permit an elected member to serve for a third consecutive term.
8. Annually, two council members shall be elected to fill vacancies created by members whose terms are due to expire.
9. Members of the council receive no compensation for their service. They may be reimbursed only for expenses directly related to carrying out their council duties.
B. Qualifications
1. A registered parishioner who has reached his/her 18th birthday by the day of installation and is a confirmed Catholic in good standing may be elected to the Parish Pastoral Council.
2. A registered parishioner who has reached his/her 15th birthday—but not yet his/her 18th—by the day of installation, and is a Catholic in good standing, may be appointed to the Parish Pastoral Council as a youth member.
3. Members must remain in full compliance with the Charter and Norms of the Diocese of Knoxville’s Safe Environment policy.
4. Members must be capable of assisting the Pastor in strategic planning, study of pastoral situations, and providing constructive pastoral advice.
5. Members must be outstanding in faith, morals and prudence, and take care to represent the needs of all parishioners.

Article IV. Elections, Vacancies, Resignations and Removals
A. Elections
1. An announcement requesting candidates shall be placed in the parish bulletin on two consecutive Sundays, beginning the first Sunday of September.
2. Each potential candidate shall arrange a meeting with the Pastor or his clergy-delegate, to take place before the end of September. The Pastor shall review the qualifications of the potential candidate. If the Pastor or his designee rejects the application, he shall state his reasons in writing.
3. The names of approved candidates shall be listed in the bulletin on two consecutive Sundays in October.
4. The elections shall be conducted in the month of November and according to a manner determined by the Pastor after consultation with the PPC .
5. Terms for the elected members shall begin at the first scheduled meeting of the new calendar year.
B. Vacancies
1. Vacancies occurring outside the scheduled term may be filled by appointment of the Pastor after consultation with the PPC.
C. Resignations
1. Any member of the council may resign by submitting a written letter of resignation to the Pastor.
D. Removals
1. The pastor may remove a member of the PPC for just cause without consultation with the other members of the council. The Pastor shall state his reasons in writing to the affected member.

Article V. Responsibilities of the Pastor and Council Officers
A. Pastor
1. The Pastor shall schedule meetings of the PPC, or allow others to do so, only when he intends to be present for the meeting.
2. The Pastor may personally preside at meetings, or entrust that responsibility to the chairperson.
3. The Pastor bears the responsibility to ensure that Parish Pastoral Council recommendations are in accordance with the laws and teachings of the Church and diocesan policy.
4. Recommendations of the Parish Pastoral Council are made to the Pastor. They are not binding on him; however, he is not to act contrary to the recommendation without an overriding reason which should at least be communicated to the council.
5. The Pastor, shall, after consultation with the PPC, provide means for parishioners to voice their opinions.
B. Chairperson
1. The chairperson is appointed by the Pastor for a one year term after consultation with the PPC.
2. The chairperson assists the Pastor in preparing for and leading meetings of the PPC. The proposed agenda must have the Pastor’s approval.
C. Secretary
1. The Parish Pastoral Council secretary is appointed by the Pastor for a one year term after consultation with the PPC.
2. The secretary performs those duties assigned by the Pastor after consultation with the PPC.

Article VI. Committees
A. The Pastor may, after consultation with the PPC, establish standing committees that address various aspects of the life of the parish which are continual in nature.
B. The Pastor may appoint special committees as the need arises.
C. The Pastor shall, after consultation with the PPC, provide written guidelines governing the activities of each committee.

Article VII. Meetings
A. Meetings shall be held at such time, and place, and date as the pastor may designate.
1. The Council may never meet or act as a council without the pastor’s presence and consent.
2. A quorum shall be the Pastor and a simple majority of the members. A quorum is required to conduct a meeting. The quorum is established so as to ensure balanced opinions and advice.
B. The council shall meet at least four (4) times a year. Special called-meetings may be considered as part of the minimum requirement.
C. Notice of council meetings shall be announced in the bulletin at least ten days in advance. Notice of intended absence from any meeting should be given to the pastor or any officer of the council.
D. The pastor may call a meeting at any time for any reason keeping in mind due consideration of those who are to attend.
E. All topics and discussions occurring during the meetings are confidential, except for those exact details listed in the approved minutes. Any invited speakers shall be informed of the confidential nature of the meetings.

Article VIII. Dissolution
A. When the pastor leaves the parish through transfer, retirement, or death the council is dissolved.
1. Should an administrator be named, the PPC will continue to advise him until such time as a pastor is named.
B. Should the pastor find the PPC to be in need of dissolution, he is to request permission from the Bishop before he may do so.

Article IX. Amendments to These By-Laws
A. Amendments may be recommended by a two-thirds vote of the membership of the Parish Pastoral Council.
B. Amendments may be implemented only after approval of the pastor and the bishop or his representative in these matters.
C. A copy of the amended by-laws shall be sent to the Office of the Chancellor of the Diocese of Knoxville for archival purposes.