Constitution of the Parish Pastoral Council of St. Leo the Great

Mary Molloy: Social Committee

David Reid: Ecumenical Representative

1. Introduction

Purpose and Objective of the Parish Pastoral Council The Parish Pastoral Council is a representative body of Christ’s faithful in the community of St. Leo the Great, Dumbreck.  Its purpose is the promotion of the mission of the Church in all its aspects within the parish.

It carries out this purpose by assisting and advising the parish priest in matters relating to his work of pastoral ministry, working at all times work in close collaboration with the parish priest with him. Its work shall be informed by the word of God, the teachings of the Church and the directions of the Archbishop.

The objectives of the Parish Pastoral Council are (a) to assist the parish priest in establishing long, medium and short term aims and objectives for the Parish (including the areas of liturgy, faith formation, evangelisation and developments of community) and  developing and implementing plans for the achievement of these aims and objectives; and (b) to foster and increase a sense of community in the parish and to co-ordinate all parish activities in a manner which will best serve the interests of the parish.
2. Membership Nomination and Election of Members The following are ex-officio members of the Parish Pastoral Council:- The parish priest ” One representative from each of the following parish committees and groups: Liturgy Committee Fabric and Finance Committee St. Vincent de Paul Committee Catechesis Group Social Committee Justice and Peace Group Church support workers

There shall be 6 members nominated and elected from the parish community.  Nominees for elections shall be proposed by one parishioner,  must be fully initiated Catholics and must be approved by the parish priest. Nominees must indicate their willingness to serve. In the event that there are more nominees than places to be filled, an election shall be held for the vacant places, those receiving the highest number of votes being elected. The vote will be conducted by secret ballot at a meeting of those entitled to vote.

In addition there shall be two youth members (16- 25 years of age) who shall be nominated for election in the same way as other elected members and elected, where an election is required, by the votes of the young people of the parish.  This brings the membership of the Parish Pastoral Council to [16] plus the parish priest.

Term of Office
The normal term of office shall be three years for elected members. Members may offer themselves for re-election for a further term. One half of the initial Parish Pastoral Council elected membership will demit office after two years and be replaced by new members, who will serve the normal term of three years.  Those who will demit office will be chosen by lot at the first meeting of the Parish Pastoral Council.
Office Holders
The Parish Pastoral Council will elect as officers of the Parish Pastoral Council a Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary at its first meeting each year. The office holders shall be responsible for: notification of meetings, drawing up of agendas, chairing the conduct of meetings, and communicating the work of the Parish Pastoral Council to the parish.

3. Meetings Frequency of Meetings No meeting shall take place unless the parish priest or his delegate is present. The Parish Pastoral Council will meet at least four times a year and at other times if the parish priest deems it necessary. A meeting towards the end of the pastoral year will evaluate the pastoral life of the parish during the past year and will set the pastoral priorities, aims and objectives for the coming pastoral year. (The pastoral year will run from Advent to Advent). A meeting of the Parish Pastoral Council will be scheduled mid-way through the pastoral year to undertake an interim evaluation of the pastoral life of the parish in view of the aims and objectives that have been set for the year and to consider any issues that may require the attention of the Parish Pastoral Council.

A report from the Finance and Fabric Committee on parish finances and property shall be submitted to the Parish Pastoral Council within [3] months after the end of the financial year (January – December) for consideration at the first meeting held after their receipt.

Attendance

Members of the Parish Pastoral Council are expected to attend meetings in person.  Absent ex-officio members are required to find a replacement from the parish body they represent.  Elected members are required to submit apologies for non-attendance.

If the attendance of any elected member is below 50% over the period of a [pastoral year] without reasonable cause, the parish priest may require the member to resign, and a replacement shall be elected.

Conduct of Meetings

The Chair will moderate the conduct of the meetings of the Parish Pastoral Council. In the absence of the Chair the Vice-Chair will stand in. In the absence of both the parish priest will appoint someone to chair the meeting. A quorum is constituted by the parish priest and one half of the members. Meetings will be open to all parishioners who may attend but not speak unless invited to do so by the Chair, and may not vote.

Minutes

The Secretary shall be responsible for the taking of the minutes of each meeting.  The minutes will be submitted to the meeting subsequent to the one to which they apply and once they have been approved by the members of the Parish Pastoral Council, they will be published by placing copies in the church porch and on the parish website. A copy of the approved minutes will be sent to the dean.

4. Sub-committees

At the discretion of the Parish Priest, the Parish Pastoral Council may set up sub-committees or working parties from time to time to look into particular matters affecting the pastoral life of the parish.

5. Relationships with Parish Committees/Organisations The Parish Pastoral Council shall have a close working relationship with parish committees and organisations.  Reports from parish committees and organisations shall be presented by their representatives on the Parish Pastoral Council at each Council meeting, to enable the Parish Pastoral Council to give advice and support to the parish organisations and committees, and to take account of their work in setting aims and objectives for the parish and evaluating progress.

6. Alterations to the Constitution A newly appointed parish priest will not alter the membership or constitution of the Parish Pastoral Council without the approval of the Archbishop for six months after taking up his appointment. Any subsequent change to this constitution will require the approval of the Archbishop.

7. Initial and On-going Formation To ensure that the Parish Pastoral Council is capable of fulfilling its role adequately every meeting will begin with a time of prayer and reflection.

Every year from time to time members of the Parish Pastoral Council will be given opportunities to deepen their understanding of their role by periods of prayer, study and reflection, either as members of the Parish Pastoral Council or along with other members of the parish, deanery or diocesan community.