Parish Pastoral Council Constitution


The vision of the Church of the Precious Blood is to be a place where God will be experienced and where all will live as a Community of Disciples of Jesus Christ.


In support of the Parish Vision, the purpose of the Council is to aid the pastor in nurturing the spirituality of the Parish Community by sharing responsibility with the Pastor for the growth of Christian life.  The Council will also aid in determining and addressing the long-range needs of the Parish Community.

The purpose of the Parish Pastoral Council will be full filled by observing, perceiving and gaining insights into ways of involving the Parish Community in its Ministries,programs and organizations as they relate to enhancing spirituality. Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Council shall seek to create optimum opportunities towards attainment of that goal.

The Parish Council is an advisory body to the Pastor. The Parish Council enjoys a consultative vote, Canon 514.1




Church of the Precious Blood Parish Pastoral Council herein referred to as the “Council”.


The Council exists and is organized pursuant to Canon 536 of the Code of Canon Law and Statute 156 of the Fourth Synod of the Diocese of Trenton.


A.  To advise, assist and support the Pastor in the growth of Christian life in the parish and the Community.

B.  To nurture growth of spirituality in the Parish by:

1). Identifying issues, challenges and opportunities for spiritual growth;

2). Developing and recommending goals, strategies and programs to promote, support and encourage spiritual growth;

C.  To represent the laity of the Parish by being in touch with the life of the Parish and to reflect that life to the Pastor.


The Council shall be composed of the Pastor, ex-officio, a chair and thirteen members: nine representing the standing committees, three the Parish at-large and one the youth of the Parish who shall all serve for a term not to exceed three years.

A. Chair:

The Council Chair, usually with experience serving on a standing committee, shall be elected by the council members.  The Chair shall be responsible for coordinating the meetings to include agendas, dates and ground rules for each meeting.  The Chair shall also facilitate or appoint a facilitator for each meeting as needed.   The Chair shall serve as a primary liaison to the Pastor.

B. Recorder:

The representative of the Communications Committee shall also be the Recorder. The Recorder shall be responsible for recording and publishing the deliberations, actions and decisions for each meeting.  The Recorder shall act in the absence of the Chair and appoint a Recorder for that meeting.

C. Standing Committee Representatives:

Each of the following Standing Committees shall have a representative on the Council.  The representatives shall coordinate their activities in a unified manner to accomplish the Council’s purpose as stated above.

Building & Grounds               Liturgy

Human Concerns                   Spiritual Life

Finance                                Communications

Education                             Stewardship/Fund-Raising

Youth                                   Social

D. Council Members at Large

There shall be three members selected to represent the Parish at-large and fully participate in all council decisions.


A. Initial and subsequent terms:

The original members of the Council shall serve initial terms of one, two, or three years to be determined by lots.  Each year, one-third of the members representing the standing committees and the members at-large will be replaced.  Their replacements shall be given three-year terms. The terms shall be from January to December.

B. Qualifications of Council Members:

Any registered member of the Parish, who is at least 18 years of age, with the exception of the youth representative, may be appointed or selected for membership on the Council. In addition, each member is to be a person of faith, integrity and good moral character.  He or she must be willing to accept responsibility, to support and work for the purposes of the Council and to serve for a full three-year term.

C. Nomination of Members to be Selected:

Any person meeting the qualifications may, by self-nomination or nomination by another registered member of the parish be considered for selection as a member at-large of the Council.  Other positions will generally be selected from the appropriate committee if the Chair of the Committee is unable or ineligible to serve.

D. Selection of Members:

All nominees for membership on the Council shall be reviewed by the Pastor and the Parish Council.  They shall screen the nominations and obtain additional information about and interview the nominees, if deemed necessary. When there are multiple nominees for a position, the position will be chosen by lottery (“then they drew lots between the two men…” Acts 1:26). Those not chosen will be notified.

E. Limitations:

No member of the Council shall serve consecutively for more than one term.  A retiring member will eligible for appointment or selection to the council three years after the conclusion of his or her last term. The pastor and council may make exceptions.

1. No paid employee of the Parish shall be eligible for the Council.

2. Not more than one family member shall serve on the Council at the same time.

F. Meeting Requirements:

All Council members and the Pastor shall be expected to attend and actively participate in a minimum of two-thirds of the Council meetings each year.  In addition, members shall participate in special retreats and development an training sessions to promote the spiritual and operational growth of the Council as a whole.  Any member who is unable to attend at least two-thirds of the meetings is expected to resign for the good of the Parish and the Council.

G. Vacancies:

Any vacancy occurring among the members of the Council shall be filled either by previously screened nominations or a new nomination depending on whether the vacancy is for a member at-large or a committee representative.  The selected member(s) shall serve out the current term of member(s) replaced.   If the vacant term is for two years or less the member filling the vacancy shall be eligible for a follow-on three year term.


A.  The council shall meet monthly.  The date, time and place shall be published in the parish bulletin two weeks in advance. The Chair or the Pastor, for extraordinary matters, may call a special meeting of the Council.

B.  A quorum shall consist of fifty per cent of the members including the Pastor, Chair and /or Recorder. Business can be conducted without a quorum but any actions authorized must be approved at the next regularly or special meeting with a quorum present.

C.  Parishioners shall be invited to regular meetings and to other special meetings, as appropriate, to offer their input and recommendations.

D.  All meetings shall include a time for prayer and reflection at the beginning, throughout the meeting as necessary and shall conclude with a prayer.

E.  All Council decisions shall be a by consensus of the members present (provided there is a quorum) and shall be abided by all members present or absent.

F.  All Council decisions shall be within the general scope of its “purpose” and shall constitute recommendations to the Pastor.

G.  The Pastor shall provide a timely response to the Council and its recommendations.



The Council shall develop long range and annual strategies and plans.  The Council shall also develop resource and budget needs to support the plans.  These plans and the budget shall be submitted to the Pastor annually at a time established with the Pastor.



The Council shall:

a)  Plan for its continual Spiritual Growth and Development.

b)  Provide for other developmental and training opportunities such as Retreats, Workshops, Days of Prayer and Readings. These shall be part of the Council’s annual plan.

c)  Foster an ongoing growth and learning environment.


The Constitution and by-Laws of the Council may be amended by consensus of the Council, and upon approval by the Pastor and in accordance with ARTICLE II.  Amendments will be submitted to the Diocese for approval, if required. All approved amendments will be communicated to the parishioners and Parish Organizations.


It is essential that with the formation of the Parish Pastoral Council and approval of same by the Pastor and the Diocese of Trenton that the Pastor  provide full support both in concept and participation and with attendance at Council meetings.  Without this level of support the Council will be ineffective.


The Parish Pastoral Council shall cease to exist at the death or transfer of the Pastor.

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