The parish finance council is mandated by canon law. Canon 537 states: “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 the parish goods with due regard for the prescription of Canon 537.”The role of the Finance Council is to advise the pastor, pastoral administrator, or school administrator and Parish Council or School Board in matters of finance and in decisions involving the temporal goods of the parish or school. It is separate from the Parish Council. The Parish Council is a consultative body to the pastor in deciding how to meet the needs of the parish as a whole. Both councils are directly accountable to the pastor.
- Appointed by the Pastor
- Active, tithing member of St. Gabriel Parish
- To minimize the possibility of conflicts of interest, Finance Council members do not hold office in parish or school organizations or serve on the Parish Council or School Board, at the same time.
Meetings of the Finance Council are held monthly or as determined by the pastor. Each member is required to maintain confidentiality on those matters designated as confidential.
The Secretary of the Council is responsible for recording minutes of the meetings. These minutes are forwarded to the pastor for approval and for distribution to the other members. Copies are maintained in a permanent file in the parish office.
Duties and Responsibilities
The basic functions that are to be performed by the Parish Finance Council in consultation with the pastor are the following:
- Ensure adherence to Archdiocesan financial policies and procedures.
- Review parish or school and parish/school organizations monthly financial reports compared to budget.
- Review six-month and year end reports that are submitted to the Chancery for the periods ending December 31 and June 30.
- Review fundraising, charitable gaming, and cafeteria financial reports and bank reconciliations for the general account, charitable gaming account, cafeteria account and all imprest accounts.
- Periodically, or on a regular basis, request presentation of reports from representatives of other committees such as building and maintenance, special projects, school board, cemetery board, etc.
- One member of the Parish or School Finance Council should also serve on the Parish or School Audit Committee. Ensure the Internal Control Audit is conducted each year. See Audit Committee Policy for more information.
- Ensure communication of financial information to all parish members and school families at least on a regular basis, no less than annually. See Reporting Requirements Policy for more information.
- Prepare parish or school annual budget in collaboration with the pastor, pastoral administrator, school administrator, Parish Pastoral Council, School Board, and other appropriate parties.
- Be involved in long-range planning, including making recommendations based upon economic climate and financial trends with regard to parish investments, insurance, or other fiscal matters.
- Assist in the ongoing oversight of maintenance of all physical plant facilities and all expansion and renovation or demolition projects.
- Ensure inventory of parish goods is up-to-date and that insurance coverage is adequate.
- Review all unbudgeted expenditures over $5,000.
- Ensure that bequests/gifts with restricted purposes that are received by the parish or school are administered in accordance with the donor’s wishes. Ensure that a permanent file on such gifts is being maintained.
- Ensure that parish or school tax-exempt status is maintained through compliance with federal, state and local laws, statutes, and regulations.
- Ensure that employment and personnel policies conform to church and civil law.
- Ensure that collections mandated for the Archdiocese are announced in advance in the parish bulletin or advertised in other ways, taken-up and forwarded to the Archdiocese within 30 days.
The Finance Council must be kept informed by the pastor, pastoral administrator, or school administrator and bookkeeper of all parish financial matters and be provided with copies of the Archdiocesan Financial Policies and Procedures Manual.