318 – Deanery Structure Policy

Last Updated: 12/29/2017

I. Purpose

Define the Deanery Structure in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, which has existed in the Archdiocese since 1974.

II. Definitions

Dean: A presbyter, either incardinated in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis or an extern in residence for at least a year who holds stable ministerial faculties, who is elected as Dean through a legitimate election held by presbyters with active voice in the Deanery, and whose election is confirmed by the Archbishop.

Deanery: A geographic grouping of neighboring parishes, a grouping of priests assigned to specialized ministry, or a grouping of retired priests. Deaneries are established to help in the coordination of pastoral care, common pastoral action, mutual support in the implementation of diocesan policies, sharing of pastoral concerns, and facilitation of communication. The Archbishop, after consultation with the Presbyteral Council, may establish, modify, combine or suppress Deaneries according to circumstances and pastoral needs. Deaneries are known in universal canon law as a “vicariate forane.” Deanery membership for priests is governed by the Constitution and Bylaws of the Presbyteral Council.

Deanery Structure: The Deanery structure is determined by the Archbishop. Deaneries are grouped into three geographic regions that are each served by a Regional Vicar, who is a priest appointed by the Archbishop.

III. Policy

  1. Parishes are assigned to a geographic Deanery by the Archbishop. The Archbishop may make changes to the Deanery structure after consultation with the Presbyteral Council. In making alterations to the structure, several factors will be considered, including: the homogeneity of the population; shared topographical characteristics; historical and geographical proximity of parishes; and facility in organizing regular meetings of the clergy.
  2. A parish may petition to be assigned to another Deanery by the pastor making a written request to the Archbishop.
  3. A priest is a member of only one deanery.
  4. Attached to this policy is the most recent configuration of the Deanery structure.