The Diocese of Sacramento requires every parish to establish and maintain a Parish Pastoral Council, a Parish Finance Council, and a Parish Vocations Committee. Further, parishes which operate a Catholic school must similarly ensure that the school establishes and maintains a Catholic School Advisory Commission.
Sample Bylaws: The sample guidelines and bylaws are provided to assist the various councils as they develop in accordance with Diocesan Statutes 58-60.
The pastor identifies his Parish Pastoral Council and presides over the Council, which serves in an advisory capacity. The Parish Pastoral Council assists the pastor in serving the parish community by exploring the needs of the parish and responding appropriately. This is accomplished through prayer, listening and dialogue.
The pastor determines the size and membership of the council through a selection process of his discretion. Structure of the Council is formalized through bylaws with an elected Chairperson and a regular meeting schedule.
Parish Pastoral Council Guidelines were approved and promulgated by Bishop William K. Weigand on November 21, 2005 and revised by Bishop Jaime Soto on October 2, 2013. Please use the following links to download the Guidelines in English or Spanish:
For Parish Pastoral Council resources, click here.
Parish Finance Council
The Parish Finance Council functions as a consultative body to the pastor. It consists of selected professionals to advise the pastor in these areas:
- Preparation of the annual operating budget
- Long-term financial planning
- Annual parish financial report, which is submitted to the Diocesan Bishop
- Annual and periodic financial reports to the faithful
The Council ensures that an adequate system of internal controls is in place to guide the parish in caring for and managing financial resources and temporal goods. The Parish Finance Council observes all policies and procedures outlined in the Parish Financial Management Handbook (refer to Section 102, Page 100-6)
For more information about the Parish Finance Council, refer to Section 102, Page 100-6 of the Parish Financial Management Handbook.
The Parish Vocations Committee exists to promote vocations to the priesthood and religious life, guiding and encouraging the parish community in prayer and education about vocations, and facilitating the launch of a vocation campaign in the parish. The Committee also works to encourage promising candidates.
Committee members receive training and resources from the Diocesan Director of Vocations and Vocations Promoters.
While the school Principal remains directly responsible for his/her school’s curriculum, programs and personnel, and reports directly to the Pastor, Director of Catholic Schools or the Assistant Director with respect to those matters, the school Principal will work interactively with his/her Catholic School Advisory Commission to fulfill the Catholic School Advisory Commission’s (CSAC) responsibilities in the school’s Catholic Identity, parent engagement, strategic planning, facilities, marketing and development activities.
Goals, strategies or tasks related to the CSAC’s regular responsibilities are assigned to standing committees. Standing committees provide continuity for the ongoing support and stability of the school. It is recommended that each school has the following five standing committees (or similar):
- Mission Effectiveness
- Development/Long Range Strategic Planning
- Community Relations/Marketing
- Parent Engagement