1. As individuals parishes begin to work together as an area faith community, the pastoral ministry of the area faith community will be guided by the Area Pastoral Council (APC). This body is to be primary consultative body for the pastoral leader(s) of an area. The APC, for all intents and purposes, replaces the Parish Pastoral Council.
2. While the pastoral ministry of an area faith community is to be guided by the APC, there will still be a myriad of purely parochial concerns that need attention. Pastoral leaders will still need to consult the faithful on these issues and concerns. The life of the parish would also be enriched and strengthened by a formal and regular process of consultation.
3. To achieve that goal of giving pastoral leaders an opportunity to consult the faithful on parochial concerns, each parish’s Financial Council will become an Administrative Council.
B. Formulation of the Council and Membership
1. According to Canon Law, each parish is to have a Financial Council to advise the pastor on the financial well-being of the parish and assist with other temporal needs. The guidelines for Finance Council can be found in the Diocesan Policies Book
2. The Finance Council will continue to fulfill its present duties, but the scope of its responsibilities will be expanded to include consultation on parochial matters. The name of the Finance Council will be changed to the Administrative Council to reflect the change in its responsibilities.
3. There should be at least five and not more than ten members on the administrative Council, depending on the size of the parish and its needs. At least half of the members should be skilled in financial affairs or civil law in order to carry out their responsibilities as a consultative body on the temporal affairs of the parish. The remaining members should reflect a cross-session of expertise and knowledge of parish life and ministry. The members of the Administrative Council are selected from the community and appointed by the pastoral leader. At least one member of the Administrative Council should also be a member of the Area Pastoral Council to facilitate communications and coordination with the area faith community.
4. The pastor/pastoral administrator is an ex officio member of the Administrative Council. A staff position, such as business manager or financial officer, would also be ex officio.
5. The Administrative Council is a consultative body that advises the pastoral leader of the parish. It does not meet in the absence of the pastoral leader or an appointed representative.
C. Duties and Responsibilities
1. The Administrative Council is to fulfill all of the duties of the a Finance Council.
2. In addition to the duties of the Finance Council, The Administrative Council also advises the pastor on other parochial matters. As the faith community evolves so will the work fo the Administrative Council. Many issues presently discussed by Parish Pastoral Councils will be handled by the Area Pastoral Councils. Some issues involving local activities and pastoral decisions which affect the local parish will need to be made on the parish level. The Administrative Council will begin to advise the pastoral leader on these issues as will.
3. Some of these issues may include the planning of special parish events, the maintenance of buildings and grounds, cemetery administration, the recruitment and support of local volunteers, the review of any local programs and ministries. A general practice in deciding the scope of the work of the Administrative Council is to ask the question: “Is this an issue, program or decision that pertains only to our parish?” If the answer is “yes,” then it is the work of the Administrative Council. If the answers is “no,” it is the work of the Area Pastoral Council or one of its committees.
4. The members of the Administrative Council should be familiar with and support the mission statement, goals and objectives of the area faith community. They should not proceed with their business and work in any way that would isolate the parish from the broader area faith community.
D. Relationship with the Area Pastoral Council
1. The administrative Council is responsible to the pastoral leader of the parish and it work in financial matters is not subject to review by the Area Pastoral Council. However, cooperation between these groups is essential to the well-being of the area faith community.
2. Formal structures for communications and reporting are necessary to development of the area faith community. The sharing of information, schedules, and plans for local parish with the Area Pastoral Council will help to avoid conflict and competitions with events and will promote understanding of the entire area’s needs.
E. The Changing Role of the Administrative Council
1. When the Area Pastoral Council begins functioning and the Parish Pastoral Council is dissolved, there may be issues to be dealt with which were formally handled by the Paris Pastoral Council. Some of these issues may need to considered by the Administrative Council. The duties and responsibilities of each Council will be come clearer in time.
2. As the identities of area faith communities develop, so will the guidelines for Area Pastoral Councils and Administrative Councils. Each parish, in consultation with the Committee on Parishes and the bishop, may need to adapt these guidelines to the particular situation.