Ss. Simon & Jude Parish Finance Committee 2015-2016
- Jim Andrews (President)
- Jeff Finley (Secretary)
- Keith Keebler
- Steve Heil
- Chris Tax
Financial Report for January 2016
- Mr. Phil Lester, Cathedral Administration
- Very Rev. Fr. John Lankeit, Rector
The PARISH FINANCE COMMITTEE is ordered by the law of the universal Church as a way of ensuring accountability and for showing concern that the free-will offerings of the faithful are administered justly.
Foundations in Canon Law
The Code of Canon Law (Codex Juris Canonici, issued by His Holiness, John Paul II, promulgated May 1983) provides a basis for the establishment and operations of parish finance councils.
§ Canon 532: “The Pastor (Rector) represents the parish in juridic matters. He is the person ultimately responsible and accountable in ordinary matters for all spiritual and temporal (financial) actions of the parish.”
§ Canon 1287: “All… administrators are to render an account to the faithful concerning the goods offered by the faithful to the Church…”
§ Canon 537: “Each parish is to have a Finance Council, and its authority, its policies, and its procedures, are regulated by norms… issued by the diocesan Bishop.”
Norms Established by the Most Reverend Bishop
The following norms are issued by the Bishop of Phoenix, after consultation with his Presbyteral Council (Council of Priests) and Diocesan Finance Council. Any exceptions to these policies are to be approved by the Vicar General/Moderator of the Curia; these requests would ordinarily be in writing.
Members of the Parish Finance Council are to exercise prudent judgment with regard to the confidentiality of any church/school financial records to which they may have access. Failure to observe this requirement, in the opinion of the Pastor, would result in immediate termination of membership on the Finance Council.
Parish Finance Councils must have at least three members, and ordinarily not more than seven. These members are freely appointed by the Pastor. The Pastor may form a nominating committee to assist him in selecting Parish Finance Council members. Appointments are to be for a term of three years. Initially, the terms are to be staggered to provide continuity. These appointments and their terms must be recorded in the minutes. During his/her term of office, a member may be replaced at the discretion of the Pastor, for just cause. No member may serve more than three consecutive terms.
Ordinarily, members of the Parish Finance Council may not serve simultaneously on the Parish Pastoral Council. It is recommended, though, that one member of the Parish Finance Council be designated as a liaison to the Parish Pastoral Council, or vice versa.
Following a change in pastor, it is the prerogative of the Pastor to replace existing Parish Finance Council members with new members. However, it is advisable, when prudent, to retain as many Parish Finance Council members as possible.
- Being a member of the parish and in full communion with the Catholic Church
- Having expertise in regard to temporalities (e.g. finance, accounting, management, law, human relations, etc.).
- Being endowed with an overall knowledge of parish life and sensitivity to pastoral values.
- Being free from any conflicts of interest arising from his/her occupation, or relationship to the Pastor; or any condition in which membership in the Parish Finance Council might be perceived to bring an inappropriate benefit to the individual, his/her family and/or business.
Officers of the Parish Finance Council:
- The Pastor will appoint or the members of the Parish Finance Council will elect annually a Chair to preside over all meetings, as well as a Vice-Chair to preside in the absence of the Chairperson, and a Secretary to be responsible for recording and maintaining minutes for each meeting of the Parish Finance Council. Copies of the minutes are kept in a secure location in the Parish Office. Paid staff may attend Parish Finance Council meetings, but are not considered voting members.
- Because the Parish Finance Council is advisory to the Pastor, the Pastor is not a member of the Parish Finance Council per se and does not have a vote. At his discretion, he may choose not to accept the advice of the Parish Finance Council. In this event, he must explain his reasoning to the Council. The Pastor must be present at all meetings.
III. Duties of the Parish Finance Council
- The Pastor must consult with the Parish Finance Council prior to committing to any extraordinary expenditure or alienation of stable patrimony (selling or transferring goods) of the parish (cf. Canon 1291) in excess of $10,000.
- Extraordinary expenditures relate to non-budgeted expenditures, construction projects, real estate and property lease issues, and fundraising efforts. The stable patrimony of a parish is its imperishable goods, i.e. real estate, buildings, furniture, fixtures, artwork, etc. In emergency situation, the Pastor may wish to call a special Parish Finance Council meeting for immediate consultation.
- The Pastor and the Parish Finance Council must seek the prior approval of the Most Reverend Bishop for any extraordinary expenditure as defined above in excess of $20,000. All real estate and property transactions and leases and proposed changes to the sanctuary must be approved by the Bishop or his designee. Replacement type purchases such as for a vehicle or furnishings do not have to be approved by the Bishop or his designee unless the purchase requires a loan or significantly diminishes the parish’s financial capability.
- Any gifts or contributions greater than $5,000 to a non-diocesan entity require the permission of the Bishop.
- The Pastor must consult with the Parish Finance Council when faced with expenditures which exceed the approved budget by 10%.
- The Pastor must seek the advice and counsel of the Parish Finance Council to buy or sell any property which requires the permission of the Most Reverend Bishop.
- The Parish Finance Council must approve the annual parish budget. The parish budget includes the school budget, either inclusive or delineated separately.
- The Parish Finance Council is responsible for overseeing the preparation of the annual finance report to the Most Reverend Bishop (req. by Canon 1287) by 31 July of each year (i.e. 30 days after the end of each fiscal year) and the publication of an annual financial report to the faithful (within 120 days of the end of each fiscal year). The report to the faithful is to be in the parish bulletin. The report to the Bishop must be certified by the Pastor and by the Parish Finance Council Chairperson on behalf of the Council; this is done by providing each signature in the annual report.
- A member of the Parish Finance Council must review the bank account(s) reconciliation monthly.
- The following matters are generally the purview of the Parish Finance Council: construction projects, cash flows and accounts payable, fundraising, internal control (including proper handling of Sunday collection), Charity and Development Appeal, other related matters deemed appropriate.
- The Finance Council must meet as needed, ordinarily, monthly, but at least quarterly. These meetings include a detailed review of financial statements, i.e. balance sheet, income statement, bank records.
- The Parish Finance Council may conduct its meetings, or any part of them, in “executive session” when matters necessitate it. During executive session only Parish Finance Council members and the Pastor are present. No minutes are taken.
V. Conflict Resolution
In the event of grave conflict between the Pastor and the Parish Finance Council, an effort must first be made to resolve the issue in a spirit of fairness and justice. If such conflict is not resolved, then the Pastor and/or the Parish Finance Council Chairperson may, in writing, notify and seek assistance from the Dean, the Diocesan Chief Financial Officer, or the Vicar General.
- Members of the Finance Council, as well as the Pastor, are obliged to familiarize themselves with all diocesan financial policies and best practices.
- In order to ensure this familiarity, new Pastors, members of Parish Finance Councils, as well as parish staff members concerned with finances, will be required to attend educational seminars appropriate to their separate duties and responsibilities provided by the Finance Department of the Diocese of Phoenix. These seminars will be provided annually, or whenever sufficient need for training exists in parishes. Parish Finance Council members would ordinarily attend a training seminar during the first year of their initial appointment and then once every three years thereafter.
- The Pastor in collaboration with the Parish Finance Council has the responsibility to see to it that these norms and other finance policies are implemented.
- Each year in July, the Parish Finance Council Annual Report is sent to the respective Dean with a copy to the Chief Financial Officer of the Diocese.
Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted,
Bishop of Phoenix