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In accord with canon 537 of the Code of Canon Law, and as directed for implementation by the Bishop of San Diego, this Finance Council Charter is hereby established for St. Richard Catholic Church, 611 Church Lane, P.O. Box 1128, Borrego Springs, CA 92004.

Article I - Purpose
The purpose of the Parish Finance Council is to assist the pastor in the administration of the temporal aspects of parish life.

Article II - Authority and Areas of Concern
The Parish Finance Council is consultative. Its areas of concern include:
1. Stewardship of Treasure/Annual Catholic Appeal/Special Collections
2. Diocesan Assessment
3. Annual Financial Reports and Quarterly Financial Reviews
4. Fund-raising & Development
5. Human Resources (personnel)
6. Internal Controls & Procedures
7. Risk Management (avoidance of claims for damages)
8. Buildings & Grounds

Article III - Responsibilities

Responsibilities of the Parish Finance Council include:
1. Providing guidance for parish accounting and computer systems;
2. Reviewing income and expenses to determine that the parish is operating
            within its budget;
3. Providing the diocese and parishioners with an annual financial report;
4. Promoting the principles and practice of Christian stewardship;
5. Coordinating all major fund-raising projects within the parish;
6. Reviewing periodically the inventory of parish property, and making an annual
            inspection of parish buildings and grounds;
7. Reviewing all bank accounts of the parish and the method by which funds are
            disbursed from these accounts to make sure that they comply with diocesan guidelines;
8. Addressing important administrative matters such as the sale or purchase of
            parish property and construction or renovation of parish facilities;
9. Assessing internal controls and procedures for compliance with diocesan
            policies (who has access to keys, control of weekly collection, counting
            collection, access to accounts);
10. Following up on recommendations which result from diocesan directed
            financial reviews.

Article IV - Membership and Officers
Membership on the Parish Finance Council includes the pastor or administrator, who is ex-officio the president of the council, and no less than six (6), nor more than ten (10) others who are parishioners and/or staff members with expertise in temporal affairs, e.g. financial management, business administration, construction, real estate or law. Without sacrificing this expertise, as much as possible various elements of the parish population (such as age,
gender, and cultural and economic background) should be reflected in the membership of the council.

In addition to the pastor who serves as council president, there should be a secretary who records the minutes of meetings. There may be other officers such as a chairperson and vice-chairperson appointed by the pastor/president.

While there is no specified term of office, council membership shall be reviewed every three years.

Article V - Committees
The Parish Finance Council may establish committees, either standing or ad hoc, to assist in carrying out its responsibilities.

Article VI - Voting

When voting is necessary for the pastor to get the sense of the council, council members enjoy a consultative vote except when consent is required by canon law.

Article VII – Meetings and Agenda
The Parish Finance Council shall have a minimum of four (4) regular meetings annually which generally are not public sessions. As a general rule, the regular meetings are to be held on the first Sunday of May, August, November and February, 4-5 pm, in the Parish Hall. The presence of the Pastor and a majority of the members constitute a quorum.

The pastor may call special meetings of the Finance Council.

The pastor sets the agenda for all meetings and presides at them. He may ask the members what they would like to include in the next meeting.

Insofar as possible, the agenda and appropriate material should be communicated to the council members five (5) to seven (7) days prior to the regular meetings.

The secretary is responsible for taking minutes at each council meeting. The minutes are to be kept as a permanent record.

Article VIII - Charter Review and Change

This charter is to be reviewed annually and adjusted as may be beneficial to the temporal welfare of the parish. It is subject to review and change following the appointment of a new pastor or administrator.

Signed:      Fr. George “of the desert” Decasa
                   Fr. George Decasa, Pastor                                       Date: April 30, 2017

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