St. George - Hartford Councils
St. Ann - Humboldt Councils
Guidelines for non-member attendance at parish council meetings:
The Parish Council and Finance Council represent the whole parish. The role of the councils is to provide the Parish Priest with a means for consultation, advice and to assist in the administration of the parish’s finances.
The councils cannot meet in the absence of the Parish Priest. According to Canon Law the Parish Priest is to preside over both councils but the chair and vice-chair will act as advisors in preparing the meeting’s agenda and in helping to lead the councils and meetings. The Council Chair should sit at the head of the table flanked by the Vice-Chair and Secretary; the Parish Priest should occupy the seat at the other head of the table. The Parish Council meeting is a private meeting that may on occasion be held in public; however, it is normally a strictly private meeting so as to allow the Parish Priest to consult the Council about potential ideas, questions or problems. These can include confidential financial and budgetary issues or personnel issues (staff and volunteers who have a right to the respect due their persons).
Due to the delicate nature of issues that are discussed at the Finance Council and the ease with which they may be misrepresented, the Finance Council meetings are not open to non-council members. If parishioners have questions or comments, they may speak to any member of the Finance Council who can ask to include the question as an agenda item or bring it up at the end of the meeting.
Parish Council meetings are normally reserved to Parish Council members only. The minutes of the Parish Council meetings are published on the parish website after being approved by the Parish Council. Parishioners may meet with the Parish Priest or a Council member in advance of the meetings that then may be included in the Council agenda. They may also submit their interventions in writing to be shared with the members of the Council.
Individuals or groups who would like to address the Parish Council may ask the Parish Priest, Council Chairman or Council members to do so and be scheduled as a specific agenda item so as to speak to the Council. The specific topic of the presentation must be set out at the time of the request. In that case they would be welcomed into the meeting for the part of the agenda set aside for them, and not for the rest of the meeting. Such requests are to be made by the Sunday prior to the meeting; the presentations are to be brief, and are followed by a brief time for questions or comments by Council members. The Council is not obliged to respond to the comments or questions raised by the presentation. The chair is obliged to intervene if comments are long or contentious.
The council is not obliged to respond to questions or comments at the meeting. The chair is obliged to intervene if comments are long or contentious.
The meeting begins with a prayer led by the priest only.