Parish Finance Council
The Parish Finance Council is a consultative body of laypersons established to advise the pastor in matters pertaining to the financial affairs of the parish. The Code of Canon Law, as well as Diocesan Statutes, requires that every parish have a finance council. The applicable canon and statute are as follows:
“In each parish there is to be a finance council which is governed, in addition to universal law, by norms issued by the diocesan bishop and in which the Christian faithful, selected according to these same norms, are to assist the pastor in the administration of the goods of the parish, without prejudice to the prescript of can. 532.”
Members of the Finance Council should have special competence in financial matters and possess prudent judgement. The Finance Council has a life of three years so that original appointments and subsequent appointments to fill vacancies would terminate simultaneously at the end of the three-year period. Members may be reappointed to provide continuity, but no individual should serve for more than six(6) years without at least an interim of one year.
The membership of the Finance Council cannot include anyone who could have a conflict of interest from such affiliation nor can any close relative of the pastor be a member of the Finance Council.
The Parish Finance Council is a consultative body which helps the pastor to act justly and prudently in the administration of the parish’s temporal goods. It is to be informed and inspired by the vision of the Church exemplified in the teaching of the Second Vatican Council.
The responsibilities of the Finance Council are:
- The spiritual enrichment and growth of the members;
- Formation of financial policies, including the devising and regular monitoring of a parish budget, and of policies for the proper maintenance of the buildings and grounds of the parish;
- Long-range financial planning;
- Preparation of an annual financial report; and
- Attention to civil law pertaining to the administration of the temporal goods of the parish.
Typical Functions of the Finance Council
- To assist the Pastoral Council committees in preparing and submitting annual budget requests.
- To study parish revenues and make recommendations to the pastor and Parish Pastoral Council for maintaining or increasing revenues and controlling expenses to meet parish objectives and priorities.
- To educate parishioners to the need for Church support.
- To assist the pastor in overseeing the maintenance of the parish physical plant.
- Complete and accurate books on all financial transactions must be maintained and a report sent to the Diocesan Office annually.