PARISH FINANCE COMMITTEE GUIDELINES
We are IC. We, as members of the IC Parish Finance Committee, are charged with supporting the Pastor in his stewardship of Parish resources, accountable to the Parish and the Diocesan Bishop. As stewards for the financial care of Immaculate Conception, we recognize our responsibilities of promoting the financial health of the Parish, assuring accountability and assisting the Pastor with his temporal responsibilities. We ask the Holy Spirit for the gift of wisdom, patience and temperance in the exercise of our duties, not for our own glory and not because it is “our Parish” but because this Church and this Parish is given to our care from its true owner, Jesus Christ, who has established his Church through the Authority of Peter and his Successors. (See
“The Pastor represents the Parish in all juridical affairs in accord with the norm of the law; he is to see that the goods of the Parish are administered in accord with the norms of canons 1281-1288.” (Canon 532)
“Each Parish is to have a finance council which is regulated by universal law as well as by norms issued by the diocesan bishop; in this council the Christian faithful, selected according to the same norms, aid the Pastor in the administration of Parish goods with due regard for the prescriptions of canon 532.” (Canon 537)
- Every Parish is required by Canon Law to have a Parish Finance Committee that serves in an advisory and consultative role to the Parish. The Finance Committee is to assist the Pastor in the administration of the temporal goods of the Parish. In this regard, the Finance Committee should assist the Pastor in keeping financial administration of the Parish in harmony with the mission of the Parish.
- The Pastor is the final authority on all matters at the Parish level. (Code of Canon Law, “CCL” 532)
- The Parish Finance Committee, governed by norms issued by the Diocesan Bishop, is to assist the Pastor in the administration of the goods of the Parish. (CCL 537)
- As a consultative body, the Parish Finance Committee shall strive to do the following during its meetings:
- Share information amongst the Parish Finance Committee members;
- Listen to other members of the Parish Finance Committee with open and respectful hearts;
- Contribute to the discussion amongst the Parish Finance Committee members in a respectful manner;
- Promote consensus amongst the Parish Finance Committee members for the benefit of the Parish as a whole; and
- Maintain flexibility of position in light of changing needs in the Parish.
- The prudent Pastor will not ignore the advice of the Finance committee unless there is a serious reason to do so (Diocese of Joliet “DOJ” D3) and may provide an explanation to the Finance Committee regarding the reasons for his decision to act contrary to its recommendations.
- After consultation with the Parish Pastoral Council, members are appointed by the Pastor for a three year term and may be reappointed for one additional term or removed in this role by the Pastor.
- Members of the Parish Finance Committee should be drawn from the Parish community and be chosen based on demonstrable skills or expertise in management and/or finance. The requirement of membership in the Parish community may be waived in the event of special expertise if all other conditions of membership are met.
- Membership should consist of no less than three members and no more than seven members. Additionally, the Finance Committee shall contain an ex officio member of the Parish Council and the Grade School Board, as well as the Pastor, Associate Pastor, Director of Administration and Facilities, and Parish Accountant.
- Members of the Parish Finance Committee may serve in other volunteer service roles in the Parish on other committees or boards, such as the Parish Pastoral Council or Administration Commission if, in the judgment of the Pastor, such dual service will not create conflict of interest situations.
- Officers of the Parish Finance Committee, specifically a chairperson, may be chosen as determined by the Pastor in consultation with the Parish Pastoral Council.
- Member of the Finance Committee shall observe strict confidentiality concerning all matters discussed at committee meetings. Members shall always speak and act in a manner supportive of the Parish and respectful of the Pastor and his juridic authority. (DOJ D6, CCL 532).
- Once the Pastor has exercised his juridic authority and made a decision after consultation, the Finance Committee shall not discuss disagreements with the decision outside of Finance Committee. All discussions are to be held by the committee members present at the meetings. Unless otherwise agreed by the Finance Committee and the Pastor, no discussions of Finance Committee business shall be held outside of official meetings. Members shall show public support of the decisions made as a result of meetings, even though the individual member may disagree with the decisions.
- The Parish Finance Committee shall meet on dates determined by the Pastor, with minimum of 4 meetings per fiscal year. (DOJ D5)
- Good communication between the Parish Finance Committee and the Parish Pastoral Council is essential for the growth and wellbeing of the Parish. The Parish Finance Committee should be aware of the mission and goals established annually by the Parish Pastoral Council.
- The Pastor is obligated to consult with the Parish Finance Committee in the following matters, although he remains the juridic authority for final decisions:
- Review any commitment of Parish resources in excess of $20,000 before permission for such expenditure is requested of the Chancery. (DOJ C1)
- The Pastor shall secure the signature of the chairperson of the Finance Committee and the signature of the chairperson of the Pastoral Council for all expenditures in excess of $20,000.00.
- The sources for such expenditures shall come from the Pastor and staff upon consultation with others.
- Review the annual budget and annual Parish report before submission to the Chancery. To the extent practical, they should be involved in the preparation of both reports.
- The budget shall be presented to the Parish Council at its June meeting for its recommendation to the Pastor
- Provide assistance and review of the annual Parish financial report to parishioners, as required by canon 1287.2.
- Review Church financial operations versus the Parish budget.
- Review Grade School and Religious Education financials as they pertain to Parish Budget.
- Review and process other commission requests for allocation of Parish resources during budgeting process.
- Duties shall also include the review of Parish audits conducted by the Diocese and participation in the review of the response to the Diocese. Also, the Chair is requested to sign the response along with the Pastor.
- OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
- The Pastor is not obligated to consult with the Parish Finance Committee in the following matters:
- Immaculate Conception High School is under the governance of a board of trustees granted limited jurisdiction by the Pastor. This board is responsible for the financial oversight of the school. Since ICHS has such oversight and does not receive any financial contributions from the Parish, the Finance Committee has no advisory capacity regarding the High School.
- Fundraising efforts, particularly ones that involve cash, from the 1900 Club and the Parents Club from the Grade School shall be under the financial policies as put in place by the Finance Committee. Oversight of these actions will be the responsibility of the Pastor and staff.
- The Dean shall be consulted for items not covered by this document. (DOJ D8)