207 – Parish Finance Council Requirements

Last Updated: 11/6/2012

November 6, 2012
Volume XIX, Number 1, Revised1

Parish Finance Councils

Reverend and dear Fathers,

Each of us shares the goal of being good stewards of the many and varied resources entrusted to us. As pastors and administrators of parishes, you bear the ultimate responsibility for the financial well-being of your parish community. However, canon law requires that each parish have a Parish Finance Council to assist and support the pastor in his stewardship of parish resources. The Parish Finance Council is accountable to the parish community and to the Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis in fulfilling this role.

An active, well-formed Parish Finance Council is a key element for promoting the financial health and integrity of a parish, of assuring accountability, and of assisting the pastor with his temporal responsibilities. Therefore, while most parishes in this Archdiocese have strong and effective parish finance councils, I have decided to accept the recommendations of United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Budget and Finance in adopting a standard Parish Finance Council Constitution and Bylaws, which is to be the governing document for each parish finance council in this Archdiocese. I am also adopting the recommendations of the Accounting Practices Committee by requiring each Finance Council to submit an annual representation letter each year2.

Most of the requirements of the new charter will probably be familiar to you as standard practice, effectively and successfully used by many for profit and non-profit businesses, while others, such as the annual representation letter, are requirements already that had previously been imposed on dioceses, but not required of parishes. While I understand that the changes might require additional efforts by pastors and council members, I am confident that the changes and the effort towards standardization will contribute to the efficient management of our parishes and a greater safeguarding of the temporal goods that have been entrusted to us. Therefore, I ask that each parish, quasi­ parish, and chaplaincy implement these new requirements by July 1, 2013.

Given at Saint Paul, Minnesota, this 6th day of November, in the year of Our Lord 2012. All things to the contrary notwithstanding.

The Most Reverend John C. Nienstedt

Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

Jennifer Haselberger

Chancellor for Canonical Affairs

1 Implemented by Most Reverend John R. Roach, D. D., Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis Clergy Bulletin Vol. XIX, No. I, August 5, 1993 and amended by Most Reverend Harry J. Flynn, D.D., October 2003.

2 See the standard Constitution and Bylaws template and annual representation letter template.