Parish Council Constitution and By-Laws

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Preamble

We, the clergy, religious and laity of the Church of Saint John and Saint Mary, in response to the Second Vatican Council hereby unite to form a Parish Council to further the mission of Christ among us all in a coordinated and unified manner, to unite ourselves into one community as members of the Body of Christ, to recognize and exercise our responsibilities and duties as members of this council of God.

 

Article I

 

The name of the organization shall be “The Parish Council of the Church of Saint John and Saint Mary of Chappaqua, New York.”

 

Article II

 

Section 2.01. The Parish Council shall assist the Pastor in the administration of the Parish by recommending to him courses of action concerning matters pertaining to the temporal and spiritual welfare of the Parish and to give the Parish an organized way of sharing in the teaching, sanctifying and governing of the people of God; and

 

Section 2.02. To provide a continuous and integrated study of the spiritual and temporal needs of the Parish, the community and the Archdiocese of New York; and after determining priorities to develop and implement programs aimed at meeting these needs; and

 

Section 2.03. To cooperate with and to effectively follow the guidelines and direction given by the Archbishop, Archdiocesan Commissions and other higher Church authority.

 

Article III

 

Authority and Powers

Section 3.01. The Parish Council shall exercise all those rights and powers and shall assume all the authority conferred upon it by the members of the Parish of St. John & St. Mary, and given to it by the Archbishop of New York and, where not inconsistent with such Church authority, by Federal, State and local law.

Section 3.02. The Parish Council shall have the power to:

 

A. Adopt By-Laws, consistent with the terms and provisions hereof;

B. Designate committees; prescribe the duties and functions of each; appoint a member of the Parish Council as chairperson and approve members of the Parish Council or Parish at large to serve on such committees.

C. Have access to Parish records, through properly designated officers, except where it is determined by the Pastor that privacy of personal matters must be safeguarded.

D. Have such other powers as are necessary and appropriate to effect the Purposes as set forth in Article II hereof.

 

Article IV

Membership

Section 4.01. Membership in the Parish Council shall be open to all Catholic members of registered families who have passed their eighteenth birthday, including clergy and religious assigned to the Parish.

Section 4.02. The Parish Council shall be composed of 12 - 15 persons. The membership shall consist of designated members and elected members.

 

A. The designated members shall be:

 

1. The Pastor;

2. The Assistant Pastor or a clergyman designated by the Pastor;

3. The Director of Religious Education Programs;

4. The Youth Minister;

5. The past President of the Women’s Association; and

 

B. There shall be  at least 6 members elected /appointed by the members of the Parish.

 

Article V

Term of Office

Section 5.01. The term of office for each elected member shall be for a period of two years.

Section 5.02. No person shall serve on the Parish Council for more than two consecutive terms. A person who has served on the Parish Council for two consecutive terms shall again become eligible for election to the Parish Council after a period of two years from the completion of his or her second consecutive term.

 

Section 5.03. The Parish Council has the right to dismiss or request the resignation of any elected member for failure to attend meetings, participate in Council activities or general disinterest in Council matters by a vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the entire Parish Council.

 

Section 5.04. Whenever a vacancy shall be deemed to exist due to the death, resignation, removal or other inability of an elected member to complete his or her term of office, the vacancy shall be filled by the candidate receiving the next highest vote tally in the previous annual election. If such candidate declines to fill the vacancy, then the following candidates in order of votes shall be requested to fill the vacancy. If no candidate from the previous election is available or willing to fill the vacancy, the vacancy shall be filled by a member of the Parish by a vote of two-third (2/3) of the entire Parish Council. Any member of the Parish Council may nominate a member of the Parish for a vacancy.

 

Article VI

 

Offices and Duties

Section 6.01. The Pastor shall annually designate at the first meeting of the Parish Council following the annual election of members a President, Vice President and Secretary. The term of each office shall be for one year.

Section 6.02. The duties of the elected officers shall be:

A. The President shall preside over and conduct all meetings; be an ex-officio member of all committees except the Board of Elections; prepare the agenda for each Parish Council meeting; and nominate chairpersons of committees with the approval of the Parish Council members.

B. The Vice President shall assist the President in conducting the meetings, conduct meetings in the absence of the President, and preside over the rules of all regular Council meetings.

C. The Secretary shall record accurate minutes of all Parish Council meetings and transcribe and file complete sets of minutes; maintain an official list of the members of the Parish Council; and keep an accurate record of the attendance of the members at all meetings of the Parish Council.

Section 6.03. An Executive Committee shall be established consisting of the Pastor, President, Vice President and Secretary. The Executive Committee shall be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Parish Council and shall have such other powers and duties as may be delegated to it by the Council.

 

Article VII

 

Operations of the Parish Council

 

Section 7.01. All questions and matters considered by the Parish Council shall be determined, except as otherwise herein provided, by a majority of the eligible votes cast at any duly convened meeting of the Parish Council.

Section 7.02. Except for questions and matters considered pursuant to Sections 5.03, 5.04, 11.02 and 12.03, only elected members of the Parish Council shall be eligible to vote.

 

Section 7.03. Each member eligible to vote on a question or matter shall have one vote.

 

Article VIII

 

Parish Council Meetings

 

Section 8.01. The Parish Council shall hold regular monthly meetings during the months of September through June. The meetings shall be closed to the Parish and considered working sessions. The Council shall set forth in its By-Laws a procedure by which a parishioner may be permitted to bring a matter before the Council.

 

Section 8.02. Special meetings may be called by the President when he or she deems necessary or when requested to do so by the Pastor. Notice of seventy-two (72) hours prior to such special meeting shall be given to all members of the Parish Council. Such notice requirement may be waived by a simple majority of the elected members of the Parish Council.

 

Section 8.03. A simple majority of the total membership of the Parish Council shall constitute a quorum for purposes of holding a meeting. A simple majority of the elected members of the Parish Council shall be required to conduct a vote at any meeting of the Parish Council.

 

Section 8.04. Minutes of the Council meetings shall be made available to all members of the Council.

 

Article IX

 

COMMITTEES

 

Section 9.01. The Parish Council may designate committees including, without limitation, the following:

 

A. Buildings & Grounds

B. Communications