316 – Residence Policy – For Priests and Seminarians

Last Updated: 1/31/2020

I. Purpose

To clarify who is allowed to reside in a Parish Rectory and to indicate the expectations for priestly residence in general.

II. Definitions

“Archdiocese” means that certain corporate entity formed, maintained and existing under Minnesota Section 315 .16 with Minnesota Business Name: “The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis”.

“Archbishop” means the sitting Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis ( or the appointed Apostolic Administrator).

“Compensation Schedule for Priests” means the annual schedule approved by the Archbishop that establishes ordinary income, benefits, and compensation for priests serving in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis for the fiscal year.

“Institution Provided Housing” means housing for those priest not assigned to a parish which housing is provided by the institution where the priest is assigned or by the Archdiocese and meets the other requirement of this policy.

“Long-term Residents” means residents whose stay at the Parish Rectory exceeds two weeks.

“Pastor” means a Parish Pastor or a parochial administrator, as the case may be.

“Parish” means a Parish within the Archdiocese Territory that is Archdiocese-recognized as Catholic.

“Parish Corporate Board” means the Archbishop, the Vicar General, the Pastor, and two lay members constitute the members of the corporation and, according to the Certificate of Incorporation, have the power to transact all business of the corporation.

“Parish Finance Council” means the canonical consultative body established in a Parish in accordance with canon 53 7 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law and the policy of the Archdiocese, which provides consultation o the Pastor from a cross-section of parishioners to share their thoughts and insights in service to the mission of a specific Parish.

“Parish Pastoral Council” means the canonical consultative body established in a Parish in accordance with canon 536 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law and the policy of the Archdiocese, which provides consultation to the Pastor from a cross-section of parishioners to share their thoughts and insights in service to the mission of a specific Parish.

“Parish Rectory” means the Parish-owned or Parish-rented residence designated for occupancy by the Pastor or other priests.

“Parochial Vicar” means a priest appointed as parochial vicar by the Archbishop.
“Seminary” or “Seminaries” means the St. Paul Seminary, St. John Vianney Seminary, or both.

“Vicar General” means the priest or auxiliary bishop appointed by the Archbishop as Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia.

III. Policy

A. Priestly Residence in General

  1. Generally, priests and seminarians assigned to parochial ministry are to reside in a Parish Rectory. Priests and seminarians assigned to non-parochial ministry within the Archdiocese are to reside in the Institution Provided Housing, or at a Parish Rectory as directed by the Archbishop, unless some other provision has been made and approved in writing by the Archbishop (for priests) or the rector of the Seminary (for seminarians).
  2. Food, laundry, internet, cable TV, household help, etc. shall be provided by the Parish or institution for those priests living in Parish Rectory or Institution Provided Housing. Priests not living in the Parish Rectory or Institution Provided Housing will be reimbursed for the above expenses according to the Annual Compensation Schedule for Priests.
  3. To maintain equity among assigned priests and compliance with IRS obligations, Parishes or institutions shall not provide payments for priest’s personal property.
  4. A housing allowance or similar method of additional payment to a priest may not be provided as a form of supplemental salary or to offset unauthorized expenses.
  5. Pastors who permit long-term residents to stay in a Parish Rectory must notify the Parish Corporate Board in writing.[1]
  6. Priests may not permit any person to reside or stay overnight at a Parish Rectory or Institution Provided Housing if to do so would have the appearance of, or give rise to, scandal under Canon Law.[2]
  7. Minors, unless they are relatives of one of the assigned residents, are not permitted to stay overnight in a Parish Rectory or Institution Provided Housing. Minors may never share the same sleeping room with a priest or seminarian.
  8. Retired priests may reside at the Byrne Residence, in a Parish Rectory or Institution Provided Housing, or in housing they arrange. This policy applies to all of those living arrangements.
  9. Priest residents in a Parish Rectory or Institution Provided Housing are encouraged to make an inventory of any personal property of value and have this inventory on file at the Archdiocese. This will facilitate a claim in the event of any loss or destruction of personal property.
  10. Priest residents are responsible for paying for damage caused by themselves, their pets and visitors.

B. Alternative Residences for Priests

  1. Any proposal by a priest to use a residence other than the Parish Rectory or Institution Provided Housing must receive the approval of the Archbishop as well as the unanimous consent of the members of the Parish Corporate Board. The proposal for alternative residence must be submitted in writing to the Vicar General for review. The proposal must include: a) the location of the residence; b) arrangements for availability by telephone or other means; and c) financial arrangements.
  2. Approval of an alternative residence will be based on consideration of the pastoral needs of the Parish Rectory or Institution Provided Housing and proximity to the location of the Parish Rectory or Institution Provided Housing.
  3. Financing for the residence must be arranged in consultation with the Parish Finance Council and the Parish Pastoral Council, and, in the case of a parochial vicar, with approval of the Pastor. Financing by a Parish or institution for an alternative residence is not to exceed the amount established in the Compensation Schedule for Priests. Exceptions require written approval from the members of the Parish Corporate Board and must be included in the request for an alternative residence.
  4. A priest who lives in an approved alternative residence is subject to the general policies on priestly residence that apply to a Parish Rectory or Institution Provided Housing.[3]

[1]See Settlement Agreement dated December 12, 2015 between the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and Ramsey County Attorney. Ramsey County District Court File No.: 62-JV-15-1674; County Attorney File No.: 2138749.
[2]See 1983 Code of Canon Law, Canon 277.
[3]See 1983 Code of Canon Law, Canon 533 §1, Canon 550.