ARTICLE I – NAME
This organization shall be known as the Parish Council of St. Mary, Mother of the Church, Fishkill, New York 12524.
ARTICLE II – PURPOSE
The Parish Council shall serve as a permanent body that renders decisions, formulates general guiding policy and conducts constructive dialogue for the entire parish community so that all can work in close cooperation as a Christian community in fulfilling the mission of Christ.
ARTICLE III – AUTHORITY
After ratification of the Constitution by the Parish members, all decisions made by the Parish Council are forwarded to the Pastor for his consideration and approval. The Council recognizes that it is bound to observe norms established by the Archdiocese in such areas as Ecumenism and Liturgy.
ARTICLE IV – MEMBERSHIP
Any adult member of the Parish, eighteen (18) years of age or older, will be eligible to serve on the Parish Council.
The membership of the Council shall be as follows:
1. EX OFFICIO MEMBERS – Ex Officio members of the Council will include the Pastor, Parochial Vicars, Deacon, School Principal, Director of Religious Education, Chairperson of the Finance Council and two Parish Trustees. Ex Officio members, with the exception of the Pastor, will have the right to vote on all issues brought before the Council.
2. ELECTED MEMBERS – A maximum of fifteen (15) members at large will serve on the Parish Council. They should be representative of all ages, geographic areas of the Parish, ethnic groups and interests.
3. NON-VOTING MEMBERS – Non-voting delegates should be appointed by any recognized Parish organization (e.g., CYO, Marian Guild, Holy Name Society, etc.). Representatives of outside organizations may be invited to future meetings by a simple majority vote of the Council.
4. REMOVAL – Any member missing three (3) consecutive meetings is subject to removal from the Council by a majority vote. Any Council member can be removed for “just cause” by two-thirds (2/3) majority vote.
ARTICLE V – OFFICERS
The officers of the Parish Council will be the President, First Vice-President, Second Vice-President, and Secretary.
- The President will conduct the meetings of the Parish Council, prepare the agenda for the meeting and bring any pertinent information to the attention of the Council. He/she may also assume other duties as directed by the Parish Council.
- The First Vice-President will conduct the Council meetings in the absence of the President and will attend any useful meetings or forums conducted that contain information important to the Council and report back to the Council. He/she may also assume other duties as directed by the President or the Parish Council.
- The Second Vice-President will assist the President initiating and/or directing special activities. He/she may also assume other duties as directed by the Parish Council.
- The Secretary will record the minutes of the Parish Council meetings, see that notification of the meeting is made in the Parish Bulletin, or, in the event of a special meeting, call all the members and advise them of the special meeting. He/she will also initiate and maintain a Parish Council Directory containing the name, address and telephone number of all persons serving on the Parish Council and on Council Committees. He/she may also assume other duties as directed by the President or the Parish Council.
ARTICLE VI – MEETINGS
The Parish Council will meet monthly, except for July and August. Dates and times for the next session will be agreed to by two-thirds (2/3) majority vote at the final meeting of the previous year.
- A quorum for the monthly meetings, and any special meetings shall consist of a majority of the Parish Council voting members, including Ex Officio members.
- A special Parish Council meeting can be called by the President or initiated by a petition signed by five (5) elected council members-at-large.
- All Council members shall receive copies of the minutes of the previous monthly meeting prior to the current month’s meeting.
- Council meetings are open to all Parishioners. Non-members must be recognized by the President if they wish to speak.
ARTICLE VII – NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS
- The term of elected Council members will be for three (3) consecutive years, renewable based on a Nominating Committee recommendation and subsequent election.
- Yearly elections shall be held to elect one-third (1/3) of the members-at- large on a rotating basis to conform to Article VII, Section 1, of this Constitution.
- Nomination of Council Members-at-large – The Nominating Committee shall be composed of three (3) parishioners appointed by the Parish Council as provided in the By-Laws. It shall solicit nominees for election to the Parish Council.
- Election of Council Members-at-large – The election of the members-at-large shall take place once each year in a manner to be determined by the Pastor in conjunction with the Parish Council. The determined manner and the publication of the results will be as provided in the By-Laws.
ARTICLE VIII – COMMITTEES
All committees shall be subject to the control of and shall report to the Parish Council.
- The Standing Committees of the Parish Council shall be:
- CHRISTIAN SERVICE AND COMMUNITY LIFE COMMITTEE is concerned with the social services provided by the Parish
- SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE is concerned with the worship and prayer life of the parish Community.
- EDUCATION COMMITTEE is concerned with education and catechesis in all the various forms they take in the Parish.
- ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE is concerned with all aspects of Parish administration and maintenance of all facilities.
- The Standing Committee Chairperson is responsible for recruiting and organizing his/her committee from Council members and other interested parishioners.
- Standing Committee Chairpersons shall be elected from among the members of the Parish Council at the June Council meeting.
Ad Hoc Committee
- The Parish Council may establish from time to time other committees deemed appropriate for achieving specific needs as they arise.
- The Chairperson of an Ad Hoc Committee may, but need not, be a member of the Parish Council.
ARTICLE IX – RATIFICATION
Adoption of this Constitution shall be by two-thirds (2/3) majority of the votes cast by a constitutional referendum by Parish members. A publicized public hearing on the Constitution shall be provided at least two (2) weeks before such a referendum.
ARTICLE X – AMENDMENTS
- Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed by a written petition signed by thirty (30) registered parishioners or by a resolution passed by two-thirds (2/3) of the Parish Council.
- Proposed amendments shall be published in the Parish Bulletin at least two (2) weeks prior to a date set for ratification vote by the Parish members.
- Adoption of an amendment shall be by two-thirds (2/3) majority of the votes cast at a referendum held for this purpose.
Approved: ______original signed by:_______________ 9/27/03
Marcia A. Pullar Date
Parish Council President
Approved: ______original signed by________________ 9/29/03
Monsignor Joseph A. Martin Date
Pastor – St. Mary, Mother of the Church
EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS CONSTITUTION September 2003