ARCHDIOCESE OF WASHINGTON
BYLAWS OF THE PARISH COUNCIL OF SAINT COLUMBA CHURCH
WE, THE PARISHIONERS of St. Columba Catholic Church, in response to the call of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to work together as baptized Christians to build up the Kingdom of God on earth, pledge and dedicate ourselves as follows:
1. To get involved more actively in the apostolic work of the Church in sharing the priestly mission of Christ and in responding to God’s universal call to holiness;
2. To work with our pastor, our Archbishop and other Church leaders in evangelical, social, charitable and educational efforts as commanded by our Lord and as emphasized in the proclamations of the Second Vatican Council, the Papal Encyclicals and other Church guidelines;
3. To use our God-given talents, time and treasure to serve one another and make our parish a true community of faith, love and service, a part of the Mystical Body of Christ, pleasing to the Lord;
IN ORDER TO HELP US FULFILL these pledges, we hereby ordain and establish these Bylaws for the Parish Council of Saint Columba Parish, in the Archdiocese of Washington.
The name of this organization is “The Parish Council of Saint Columba Parish,” hereinafter called the “Parish Council.”
The purposes of the Council are:
a) To provide assistance and support to the Pastor in creating, inspiring, and demonstrating leadership and enthusiasm in all matters relating to the spiritual and temporal growth of Saint Columba Parish;
b) To serve as a forum whereby any and all members of the Parish may make known their views and ideas on how to spread the Gospel, the good news of Christ’s love, and make it alive and relevant in the life of all members of the Parish;
c) To promote the best interests of the Parish and to make recommendations for good management and support structures for Parish projects and goals;
d) To provide advice, assistance, and leadership in the management of the physical plant and the spiritual, social, and educational programs of the Parish;
e) To recommend to the Pastor appropriate representatives to serve as members of the Parish Council and as delegates to inter-Parish and Archdiocesan Councils.
Membership on the Parish Council is open to all practicing Roman Catholics duly
registered at Saint Columba Parish and who have passed their eighteenth birthday.
Section One: Composition
The Parish Council is a body that provides advice and assistance to the Pastor in the pastoral care of the Parish.. The Parish Council shall be composed of members of three categories: Ex-Officio Members, Appointed Members, and Members-at-Large.
Section Two: Ex-Officio Members
Ex-Officio Members will automatically hold office based on the position they hold in the Parish and will be non-voting members of the Parish Council. Ex-Officio members are the Pastor, Associate Pastor and permanent Deacons, Business Manager, School Principal, Catechetical Leader, Youth Minister, and any additional members as determined by the Pastor.
Section Three: Appointed Members
The Pastor, or Parochial Administrator, shall appoint six (6) members to the Parish Council with voting rights. The Appointed Members shall serve for a full term of two (2) years.
Section Four: Elected Members
There shall be nine (9) Members-at-Large elected to serve.
Each Member-at-Large will serve for full term of two years, or until his or her successor is duly elected.
Section Five: Activity Year
The Council shall meet in an activity year which will extend from September 1 through the following June 30.
Section Six: Vacancies
Vacancies shall be filled for the remaining term of any Member who, is prevented from serving for the duration of his or her term. The Pastor, at the recommendation of the Chair, shall fill the vacancy.
Section Seven: Elections
An announcement shall be made at the end of each Mass on the last three (3) Sundays in April requesting applications from parishioners interested in serving as members of the Parish Council. A photo and brief write-up of the candidate shall accompany the application.
Candidates’ photos and brief write-up shall be on display for the first three weekends prior to elections. Candidates elected shall attend the June meeting and participate in the election of officers for the following activity year.
Section Eight: Rite of Installation
During a Mass on the 2nd Sunday of September, the incoming Parish Council shall be introduced to the Parish and shall participate in the Rite of Installation.
Section Nine: Resignations
The office of a Member shall be deemed vacated when such a member ceases to be a member of the Parish or a written notice is delivered to the Pastor that such member resigned.
Section Ten: Removal
Any member may be removed from office for cause by a two-thirds affirmative vote of the Parish Council Members-at-Large and appointed Members present and voting. A Parish Council member shall not vote upon his/her own proposed removal. Seven days written notice must be given to the involved Council member of such intended action.
Section One: Regular Meetings
Regular meetings of the Council shall be held at least once in the months of September, October, November, February, March, April, May, and June, in each activity year, unless otherwise determined by the Parish Council. The Pastor may invite representatives of parish organizations to attend and participate in the regular meetings.
Section Two: Special Meetings
A special meeting of the Parish Council may be held at any time at the call of the Pastor, the Chair, or by petition of any ten (10) Members. A notice specifying clearly the business to be transacted at such meeting shall be sent to all members.
Section Three: Notice of Meetings
Notices of all regular and special meetings of the Council shall be sent electronically or through other hard copy media by the Secretary to each member of the Council at least seven (7) days prior to the date of the meeting.
Section Four: Waiver
The seven-day notice of meetings requirement in Section Three may be waived by a majority of the members of the Council.
Section Five: Votes
All matters proposed for consideration at a meeting of the Council shall be determined by a majority of the votes cast.
Section Six: Quorum
Fifty percent of all voting Parish Council members shall constitute a quorum at any meeting of the Council.
Section Seven: Parliamentary Authority
“Robert's Rules of Order” (revised) shall govern in all cases except where they conflict with Articles of these Bylaws.
Section One: Executive Committee
The Executive Committee of the Council shall be composed of the Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary.
Section Two: Chair
The Chair shall be the chief executive officer of the Council and shall preside at all meetings of the Council. He or she shall sign all documents and instruments which require the signature of the Chair and shall have the powers and the duties usually vested in the office of Chair and shall have such other powers and duties as may from time to time be assigned to him/her by the Pastor.
Section Three: Vice Chair
The Vice Chair shall be vested with all the powers of the Chair and shall perform all the duties of the Chair when the Chair is, for any reason, unwilling or unable to effectively act.
Section Four: Secretary
The Secretary shall issue or cause to be issued notices for all meetings of the Council and its committees; have charge of the minutes of the meetings and the minute books of the Council; sign with the Chair or other signing officer or officers of the Council such documents and instruments requiring the signature of the Secretary; and shall perform such other duties as the Pastor may from time to time properly require of the Secretary.
Section Five: Consecutive Terms of Office
Officers shall serve not more than two (2) consecutive years in one office.
Section One: Committees
The following standing committees are hereby established: Administration and Planning, Parish Life and Social Concerns, and Spiritual Life and Christian Formation.
Section Two: Reports to Council
All standing committees shall be subject to the guidance and direction of the Parish Council and the Pastor. Prior to each regular meeting of the Council, each committee shall submit to the Council Secretary via e-mail, or through the mailboxes located at the Usher’s room in the narthex, a report of their committee meetings and matters they wish to discuss at the Council meeting.
Section Three: Other Committees
The Parish Council may establish and appoint other committees with such powers and duties and for such length of time as it shall determine.
Section Four: Confirmation by Council
The actions of all committees shall be reported at the next regular meeting of the Council.
Section One: Composition
Each standing committee shall consist of three or more persons from whom the Chair, Vice-Chair and the Secretary should be elected for a term of one (1) year. The Chair, who must be chosen from the Council members, may appoint other persons from the Parish as may be necessary to carry on the business of the committee.
Section Two: Limitations of Committee Participation
No Parish Council member may be appointed to more than one standing committee at any one time. However, he or she may take part in other special committees or subcommittees created by the Council.
Section Three: Additional Members
Each committee may invite any member or any number of members to assist it in its work and may constitute one or more subcommittees, provided, however, each subcommittee shall have as its Chair a member of the standing committee. Subcommittees shall report only to the standing committee and the standing committee shall report all its actions to the Council at the next regular meeting of the Council.
In addition, at least once a year, members of the Parish shall be invited and encouraged to join in the work of the committees through announcements in the Bulletin and sign-up sheets in the narthex between Masses on Sunday.
Section Four: Minutes
The Secretary of each standing committee shall keep minutes of all proceedings and meetings of the committee and shall have such minutes available for review at each meeting of the Council.
Section Five: Vacancies
Vacancies in any standing committee shall be filled from among the members of the Council.
Section Six: Quorum
Two members holding office present in person shall constitute a quorum for meetings of each standing committee.
Section Seven: Votes
All matters proposed for consideration at a meeting of a committee shall be determined by a majority of the votes cast.
Section Eight: Notice
The Secretary of each standing committee shall give to each member of such standing committee not less than forty-eight hours notice for the time and place of the meeting, provided, however, a simple majority of the members may waive the need for the written notice of the time and place of any meeting.
Section Nine: Resignation
A member of any standing committee may resign by delivering a written resignation to the Secretary or Chair of the committee or Parish Council.
Section Ten: Duties of Committee Officers
The Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary of each standing committee shall discharge the duties usually associated with such office and any other duties assigned to them by the Council or committee members.
Section Eleven: Representation
All organizations and ministries that come under each committee Chair shall have their views and concerns represented by their respective Chair or designee. Each organization or ministry may provide a report to their Chair at least one week prior to the Parish Council meeting to be presented by their Chair.
(Duties of Committees)
Section One: Administration and Planning Committee
The Administration and Planning Committee shall act as the administrative service group both to the Council and the other committees. It has the responsibility of planning for, recommending, and coordinating with other parish groups and ministries, projects and activities related to the Church building and other facilities;
The Committee shall carry out its objectives by:
a) Determining the needs of the Parish in relation to providing the physical facilities and other logistics required to be used by the different ministries to achieve the goal of making the parish a vibrant community of faith, love and service.
b) Developing and maintaining a current Parish profile to help the parish and parish workers to reach out to parishioners and invite them to more active participation in parish life.
c) Determining the need for parish meetings and gatherings focusing on how to meet the operational requirements of the parish, and to plan for and facilitate the conduct of said meetings;
d) Periodically inspecting parish properties and facilities and ensuring that they are kept in proper repair and condition to serve the needs of the parish Community;
e) Offering to help in the review and study parish operations, both church and school, with the view to making recommendations for more efficient and effective operations, if needed;
f) Leading in the review and updating of the five-year plan for the Parish;
g) Assisting in all approved fund-raising activities in the Parish;
h) Recommending to the Parish Council the expansion of the parish facilities and to better serve the needs of the parish community;
i) Reviewing periodically the Constitution and Bylaws to ensure that they are in conformity with the mission and goals of the parish as part of the Archdiocese and the Universal Church;
j) Updating and maintaining the Council’s Photo Frame, the narthex Bulletin Board, and the Parish Photo Directory.
Section Two: Parish Life and Social Concerns Committee
The Parish Life and Social Concerns Committee shall concern itself with enhancing the sense of community within the Parish and promoting the social teachings of the Church, especially respect for life, social justice, preferential option for the poor, protection of the environment, and family life. The Committee shall carry out its objectives, focusing in these areas:
a) Strengthening current programs to welcome newly registered parishioners to the Parish family and conducting campaigns to encourage other residents within the parish boundaries to join the St. Columba Parish community;
b) Promoting active participation in parish life and ministries, especially in pro-life activities such as the Annual Prayer Vigil for Life, Pro-Life Pilgrims, and annual commemoration of Roe vs. Wade events among lay ministries and parishioners;
c) Advocating for social justice and environmental protection through legislative networks and other activities;
d) Encouraging parishioners to actively participate in the political process through non-partisan voter registration and education efforts, and the discussion of issues affecting the life of individuals, the Church, the nation and society as a whole. Announcements and discussions associated with this activity will be integrated with on-going parish activities, weekly bulletins and meetings of parish organizations.
e) Planning, coordinating and implementing short-term efforts and long-term programs to assist the poor and the needy whose situations are deemed desperate and urgent;
f) Planning and implementing activities that would enhance parishioners’ understanding of issues that may be facing the Church in general and St. Columba Parish in particular;
g) Offering mediation when needed. Helping to maintain harmony among the entire Parish family whenever it may be appropriate.
Section Three: Spiritual Life and Christian Formation Committee
The Spiritual Life and Christian Formation Committee shall be involved in promoting and coordinating the work of the various lay ministries in the areas of liturgy and worship, religious education for children, youth and adults, the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) program and the enhancement of family life in accordance with Church guidelines and doctine. The committee shall endeavor to meet its objectives by:
a) Supporting and assisting the Liturgy Committee in the planning and preparation of Parish liturgies and celebrations. The Chair of the Spiritual Life and Christian Formation Committee shall serve as a liaison between this committee and the Liturgy Committee;
b) Promoting understanding and active participation of parishioners in the celebration of the liturgy, thereby instilling unity among parishioners and promoting their spiritual growth;
c) Engaging in education and training activities of participants in liturgical celebrations to ensure compliance with the pertinent guidelines and norms. To support this objective, the Committee will:
i) Promote the publication and dissemination of religious worship practices in the parish;
ii) Establish and train liturgical teams composed of acolytes, sacristans, lectors, music ministers, choir members, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, hospitality ministers and ushers for Sunday and holy days to help ensure that liturgies, especially the Holy Eucharist, are celebrated fittingly as acts of worship of the people of God.;
iii) Encourage lay ministry leaders to conduct regular meetings and workshops to promote uniformity in practices and efficient coordination during liturgical celebrations.
d) Assisting the Pastor in organizing programs for catechetical instructions;
e) Assisting the Pastor and Director of the Parish School of Religion in organizing catechetical programs and in facilitating the training of instructors for religious education;
f) Undertaking any task assigned by the Pastor in promoting religious education in the parish;
g) Sponsoring ad hoc training programs, lectures by qualified practitioners and clergy, workshops and mini-retreats with the aim to strengthen the Christian family;
h) Supporting the training and evangelization activities of the RCIA.
(Order of Business)
The order of business at all meetings shall normally be as follows:
a) Call to order
b) Invocation and Intentions
c) Roll call
d) Review and approval of Minutes from prior meeting
e) Pastor’s remarks
f) Reports of officers, committees, and others
g) Announcements and correspondence
h) Old business
i) New business
k) Remarks for the good of the Council
The order of business may be amended by the Pastor or the Chair, or suspended by a majority of the votes cast upon a motion thereon.
Section One: Nothing in this Constitution and Bylaws shall prohibit or in any way prevent the Pastor, Associate Pastor, Deacons, and Religious, who are canonically assigned to the Parish, from full participation in the business of the Council, or any of its standing or special committees.
Section Two: The Pastor and Associate Pastor, charged with the primary canonical responsibilities for the pastoral ministry and care of souls, shall encourage and inspire the Council and committee members in their work. The Parish Council’s role and responsibilities, as defined by these bylaws, are subject to the final approval of the Pastor. The Parish Council’s responsibilities should be shared together by the clergy and the laity. Therefore, the Parish Council shall not set policy independent of the Pastor. The Pastor shall seek the opinion and views of the Parish Council in establishing new parish policies.
Section Three: In any case where the Pastor interprets an action of the Parish Council, or any standing or special committee, as being contrary to faith or morals, Canon Law, other Church Law, or Archdiocesan policy, his interpretation, which he will make known to the Parish Council as a mere protocol, shall be binding, final and conclusive. In that event, such prior action of the Parish Council shall be null and void and forthwith terminated.
Section Four: No decision or resolution of the Parish Council, or any standing or special committee, shall be effective unless and until the Pastor expressly assents thereto. The Pastor shall have the authority to suspend, dissolve or terminate the Parish Council and any or all of its activities if he should find that the interests of the Parish, as a whole, would best be served by such dissolution.
a) The Pastor shall consult with the Parish Council prior to making appointments to the Parish Finance Council.
b) The Parish Council shall receive periodic reports on the financial status of the Parish from the Parish Finance Council.
Section One: Amendments of Bylaws
These Bylaws may be amended at any given meeting of the Council by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting, provided due notice detailing the proposed changes or amendment(s) has been given at the preceding regular meeting and a quorum is present.
Section Two: Interpretation
For all questions of interpretation or construction of the Bylaws, the decision of the Council once made shall be final and binding until rescinded by the Pastor or the Parish Council.
Section Three: Effective Date
THESE AMENDMENTS AND BYLAWS SHALL BE EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY.
Section Four: Review
Parish Council Bylaws have been revised and approved January 21, 1993.
Parish Council Bylaws have been revised and approved February 16, 1995.
Parish Council Bylaws have been revised and approved March 11, 1999.
Parish Council Bylaws have been revised and approved September 2003.
Parish Council Bylaws have been revised and approved February _, 2007.