Pastoral Council


  St. Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary Parish


St. Mary’s Parish under God, with the protection of our Blessed Mother, is a unified Roman Catholic community of caring people who share our faith with others.  Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we set out to accomplish this by loving, forgiving, helping, and sharing our faith.



Article I – NAME

The name of this organization is The Parish Pastoral Council of St. Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Jewett City, hereafter referred to in this document as “Council” or “Parish Council.”

Article II – ROLE AND FUNCTION                 

The role and function of the Council is:

  • To advise, assist, and collaborate with the Pastor for the good of the Parish and the pastoral staff.
  • To assess the needs of the whole Parish and its members.
  • To promote programs and activities recommended by the diocesan offices and agencies.
  • To serve as a point of contact for all members of the Parish to feel welcome in making known their views on spiritual and temporal matters concerning the Parish.

Article III – MEMBERSHIP                

The Parish Council will be composed of selected members and ex-officio members.

Ex-officio members:

The Council shall have seven ex-officio members.  These consist of the assigned clergy of St. Mary Church, the lay trustees (2), and a representative of the major committees:  the Liturgy Committee and Faith Formation.

Ex-officio members may participate in Council meetings as consultants and/or as resource personnel.  Their duties do not include motions or voting.

Selected members:

The Council shall consist of nine adult members selected by lot, one youth member, and two members appointed by the Pastor – for a maximum voting Parish Council membership of twelve, not including ex-officio members. 

  •  Qualifications:

o      A Catholic, in good standing, who is registered and active in the Parish.

o      A desire for spiritual growth in oneself and in the Parish.

o      A willingness to listen, to speak honestly, and to work toward consensus.

o      The ability to inspire and empower others.

  • Youth Member:

o      One youth member may be selected by lot as a separate category.

o      Youth members serve one year terms.

o      Youth members may be in the same family as an adult selected or ex-officio member.

  • Term of office of selected members:

o      Selected members may serve a maximum of two consecutive three-year terms, but may qualify for Council nomination after a period of one year. 

o      Three (3) selected Council memberships will be open for selection annually.

o      For the sake of diversity, only one selected member per household may serve at any time.  An exception is made for the youth member. 

  • The nomination process for selected members:

o      A Nominating Committee will be formed consisting of two to four representatives from the Parish Council.

o      Preceding the nomination of candidates for Council membership, the Nominating Committee will conduct a process of education of parishioners on the role and functions of the Council and the criteria for service.  The process should begin by the first Sunday in May.

o      Upon completion of this procedure, the Nominating Committee will seek written nominations from parishioners on the third and fourth Sundays in May, through an open invitation seeking potential Parish leaders:  both self and others.

o      Those nominated will be asked by a member of the Nominating Committee if they accept the nomination and are willing to serve.

o      Only one member per family or household can serve at the same time.  An exception is made for the youth member.  If two adult members of the same household are nominated, the first family member selected can serve.  The second member would be ineligible.

o      The Nominating Committee will then compile a list of all nominees who have indicated a willingness to serve and assume the responsibilities of Council membership.  The list will be given to the Pastor for review.

o      Should there be less than five nominees on the final list, the Nominating Committee shall seek willing candidates to supplement the list.

o      The names of the candidates will be posted in a visible place preceding the selection of candidates.

  • Selection of new members:

o      The selection of new members should take place by the third Sunday in June.

  • The selection process:

o      Selection by lot:

§       The names of new members will be selected from the list of nominees.  The Pastor will lead the    congregation in prayer over the names.  The Pastor will then select members to fill all current vacancies.

§       A Nominating Committee member will be present to record the selections. 

§       The remaining non-selected nominees will constitute alternates, who later may be appointed by the Pastor to fill Council

§       When a vacancy occurs, the unexpired term will be filled by the Pastor praying over the names of the       non-selected nominees.  He shall select one, or alternatively appoint one with the advice of the Parish Council.


o      Selection by appointment:

§       To promote a balanced parish representation, the Pastor may appoint members to fill two vacancies in the membership set aside for this purpose.  Appointed members serve a one year term, and may serve up to three consecutive one year terms.


Parish Council members shall nominate all Council officers from the floor at the September meeting.  Immediately following the nominations, the chairperson, vice-chairperson and secretary will be elected by secret ballot.  These three positions constitute the Executive Board.

Only selected and appointed Council members are eligible for Council offices.

Two-thirds of all selected and appointed Council members must be present to vote for election of the Council officers.

Officers are elected by a simple majority of voting members

The chairperson shall conduct the meeting in an orderly manner.  The agenda will be set by the Chairperson in consultation with the Pastor.

The vice-chairperson assumes the role of the chairperson or secretary during meeting in the absence of the either.

The Council secretary will issue notices and minutes of the last meeting prior to all meetings of the Council.  The Council secretary records and maintains minutes of meetings and will forward such minutes to the parish secretary and all Council members.

In the absence of the Pastor, the Council may not undertake any official business.

Article V – MEETINGS                 

Only the Pastor may call a non-scheduled meeting of the Council.

A simple majority of voting members must be present at a meeting to conduct business.

Decisions will be made by the process of consensus.  In the event that a consensus is not reached on a matter of decision, the matter shall be tabled for re-consideration at a later meeting as agreed to by the members.

The Council will hold regular monthly meetings September through June, excluding the month of December.

If a Council member is unable to attend a Council meeting, he/she should notify the chairperson before the meeting.

An agenda should be forwarded to all members prior to the meeting.

Parish ministry representatives are encouraged to attend.

Members of the parish may attend Council meetings and be recognized to speak, but do not partake in any decisions to be made.

Rules of order for the conduct of meetings shall be adopted.  These rules must reflect a true Christian spirit of concern for all members of the Council and the Parish.

During a vacancy of the Pastor, the members of the Council assist in any way possible for a smooth transition.  The members of the Council also help welcome the new Pastor

Should a member need or choose to resign, the Pastor or the chairperson must be notified of this decision as soon as possible to facilitate the smooth operation of the Council.


  • Prayerful:

The Council devotes time to reflective prayer at each meeting and makes provision at least once a year to have some special time or meetings spent together solely in prayer, reflection, and spiritual sharing.

  • Pastoral:

The Council’s purpose is to assist in the development of an overall mission plan for the Parish in order to make Christ evermore present to the parishioners and to the wider community.

  • Representative:

The Council members represent the entire parish community and exercise their responsibility with a concern that includes all parishioners.

  • Discerning:

Through a prayerful consensus process, the Council merges the diverse experiences, skills, and gifts of all the Council members, and having listened to the parishioners’ needs and ideas, discerns recommendations concerning the direction and priorities of the Parish. 

  • Responsive:

The Council has a responsibility to be sensitive to and cognizant of justice and peace issues at the local, national, and international levels.

  • Facilitating:

In the spirit of God’s love, the members of the Council strive to recognize and support each other’s gifts and seek ways in which each parishioner’s gifts may surface, grow, and flourish for the good of the Church.


St. Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary Parish sponsors and supports many activities.  Activities can be grouped into at least six categories. 

  • Liturgy & Prayer Life

o      Music Ministry

o      Altar Society

o      Retreats

o      Prayer Line

o      Lay Ministries

§       Eucharistic Ministry

§       Lectors

§       Ushers

§       Altar Servers

  • Religious Education

o      Religious Education Program

§       Safe Environments

o      Right of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA)

o      Sacrament Preparation

  • Administrative
  • Buildings, Grounds & Maintenance
  • Stewardship & Resources
  • Sponsored Outreach

o      Knights of Columbus

o      Scouts

o      St. Mary’s Food Pantry

o      Alcoholics Anonymous

o      Parish Community Suppers

o      Ministry to the Sick

New Parish sponsored activities can be established with the approval of the Pastor in communication with the Parish Council.


The Council may add, repeal, or amend any article of the By-laws of the Council.

A two-thirds vote of the selected members is required to repeal or amend an article of the By-laws.  All members must be notified in advance of the meeting via the meeting agenda.


Sacred scripture provides sound guidance for resolving conflicts.  In the event that an impasse occurs between the Pastor and the Parish Council, and/or the parishioners in general (e.g. total breakdown of communication or serious decline of the Parish, etc.), the chairperson of the Parish Council, one other Council member, and at least one of the trustees will attempt to resolve the situation with the Pastor.   If this is not successful, then the chairperson and the trustees may contact the Diocese for assistance. 


The responsibility for providing counsel to the Pastor concerning the administration of the Parish finances, budget, and property is vested in the Parish Finance Council.

A representative of the Parish Finance Council is invited to attend meetings of the Parish Council to maintain effective communication and cooperation between the two councils.  In lieu of a representative at the meeting, the Pastor can report to the Parish Council on the Parish finances. 


The Bishop has linked St. Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary, St. Thomas the Apostle, and St. Catherine of Sienna parishes with a common Pastor.  This relationship creates opportunities to work together toward common goals and interests.  To this end, the Executive Board of St. Mary Parish Council will meet at least once per year with the Pastor and chosen representatives from the other parishes.  It is also suggested that the Parish Councils of all three parishes meet once a year for a social event.