Pastoral Council Bylaws


The name of this organization shall be “Saint Mary’s Church Pastoral Council.”


The purposes of the Pastoral Council shall be to speak on behalf of fellow parishioners and share the wisdom of the parish community; to advise the Pastor with respect to pastoral concerns; to promote the deepening of faith and prayer in our parish and our community; to promote hospitality and build community within the parish; and to strengthen our parish’s relationship with other faith communities, both within and outside the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany.


The membership of the Pastoral Council shall consist of the Pastor; the Deacon; and at least nine, but no more than twelve, members of the parish.

A. Selection Process

In January of each year, the then-current members of the Pastoral Council shall review and approve a selection process, to include a program of discernment by which potential candidates may be identified and volunteers may be solicited. After approval of the selection process, members of the Pastoral Council will be asked to identify potential candidates and parishioners will be encouraged to volunteer for service on the Pastoral Council.

B. Criteria

Candidates for service on the Pastoral Council should exhibit a desire for spiritual growth; a working knowledge of parish and diocesan life; an ability to listen to the needs of parishioners; an eagerness to assist the parish in carrying out its mission; a desire to work in a collegial manner; and an availability of time and energy.

C. Discernment

Candidates will be asked to participate in a program in conjunction with the Pastoral Council to assist in the selection process following which the Pastor will approve candidates.



With the exception of the Pastor and Deacon (who shall be members ex officio), membership on the Pastoral Council shall be for a term of three years, beginning on June 1 of the year. No member may serve more than two consecutive terms. For purposes of the terms of members of the Pastoral Council holding office at the time these Bylaws are adopted, three members’ terms shall expire on June 1, 2015; three members’ terms shall expire on June 1, 2016; and three members’ terms shall expire on June 1, 2017.


All Pastoral Council members are expected to be visible and active in parish life by participating in liturgy and parish activities.


Failure of a member of the Pastoral Council to honor his or her responsibilities, including meeting attendance, shall constitute grounds for termination of membership, with the termination decision resting with the Pastoral Council upon the advice of the Pastor.


A vacancy resulting in an uncompleted term may be filled by an appointment by the Pastor in consultation with the Pastoral Council. A member appointed in such manner shall be eligible for two successive three-year terms.



The roles of the Pastoral Council shall be selected by the Pastoral Council at the meeting immediately following June 1 of each year.



Meetings will be convened on a monthly. Dates and times will be published in the parish bulletin and distributed to members in advance of the meeting.


Special meetings may be called by the Pastor or the chair, or upon request of at least three members of the Pastoral Council.


Minutes of meetings shall be posted for review by parishioners upon their approval by the Pastoral Council.


These Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the Pastoral Council then in attendance at any regular meeting. Notice of proposed amendments shall be provided to parishioners at least 30 days prior to vote.