Constitution of the Kilmore Diocesan Pastoral Council
(Approved 27 April 2016)
- The Kilmore Diocesan Pastoral Council was established in February 2001 and meets approximately 4 times a year.
- It is a representative body of the faithful which works in close partnership with the bishop to further the mission of the church in the diocese of Kilmore.
- It is concerned primarily with people and with building up the faith, hope and love that cements them into a real, living and caring Christian community.
- The role of the Diocesan Pastoral Council is consultative and advisory in nature.
- The Diocesan Pastoral Council will work in partnership with other existing structures in the diocese including the College of Consultors, the Council of Priests, other diocesan committees and the Pastoral Area Teams.
The purpose of the Diocesan Pastoral Council is described in Canon Law as follows:
‘Its function, under the authority of the Bishop, is to study and weigh those matters which concern the pastoral works in the diocese and to propose practical conclusions concerning them’. [Can. 511]
- The Diocesan Pastoral Council will consist of not more than 21 people with voting rights including:
- The bishop of the diocese;
- The vicar general(s);
- The deans of the four deaneries;
- One lay person from each of the twelve pastoral areas in the diocese; and
- The Diocesan Vicar for Religious who shall be an ex-officio member and shall represent the religious of the diocese
- The members of the Diocesan Pastoral Team shall attend meetings in an advisory capacity only without voting rights. [At the moment, the Diocesan Pastoral Team comprises of the following: Diocesan Director of Pastoral Services, Director of the Diocesan Pastoral Centre, Diocesan Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry, and Diocesan Safeguarding Director].
- The bishop may, in consultation with the Diocesan Pastoral Council, co-opt an individual or individuals if this is deemed necessary in a particular situation or to address any imbalance in membership.
- The Diocesan Pastoral Council shall operate within the norms laid down in the Code of Canon Law as per Appendix 1.
- The Bishop, or in his absence, the Vicar General will preside over the meetings of the Diocesan Pastoral Council.
- The Chairperson is to be elected from among the lay and/or religious representatives who are full members of the Diocesan Pastoral Council. His/her main function will be to facilitate the smooth running of the meetings.
- The Secretary is also to be elected from among the lay and/or religious representatives who are full members of the Diocesan Pastoral Council. His/ her name main function will to be to ensure that the administration of the Council is smooth and effective and to take minutes of each meeting.
- The Pastoral Council will meet a minimum of 4 times each year.
- The Secretary will send notification of and an agenda for each meeting to the members of the Diocesan Pastoral Council at least seven days in advance of each meeting.
- The minutes of each meeting will be sent to each priest in full-time ministry in the diocese, to the secretary of each Parish Pastoral Council and Pastoral Area Council, and each Religious Community.
- Each meeting will include a period of reflective Scripture based prayer and each meeting will conclude with a brief prayer.
- The Diocesan Pastoral Council will serve for four years from its first meeting, after a new council is appointed.
- A member may serve for a maximum of two consecutive terms.
- Any member failing to attend four consecutive meetings without a reasonable explanation will be deemed to have resigned. Any vacancy arising during the term of the Diocesan Pastoral Council will be filled by co-option and approved by the bishop.
- A quorum will consist of half the members of the Diocesan Pastoral Council plus one.
- Whenever possible, however, any decisions will be reached by consensus.
- Meetings will be conducted in a spirit of true listening and genuine dialogue.
- The Diocesan Pastoral Council will establish a Standing Committee comprising of the Bishop (or his nominee), the Chairperson and the Secretary, a representative from the Diocesan Pastoral Team and a representative of the general membership of the Council. The main function of the Standing Committee will be to prepare the agendas for meetings, review minutes and make recommendations in relation to Council deliberations and activities.
- The Diocesan Pastoral Council will have the power to appoint such sub-committees as may be deemed necessary.
- Any such sub-committee will report back to the Diocesan Pastoral Council and the Council will have full power to implement or discard any advice or recommendation received from such sub-committees.
- Any such sub-committee will be empowered to co-opt persons from outside the core membership of the Diocesan Pastoral Council to assist in their work.
- Any such sub-committee will consist of not less than two members of the Diocesan Pastoral Council, including observers, one of whom will chair the sub-committee. The sub-committee will be given clear terms of reference by the Council.
- The Constitution of the Kilmore Diocesan Pastoral Council should be reviewed as often as is necessary to reflect developments or changes in pastoral practice in the diocese or to address other issues. Alterations to this Constitution must receive the assent of not less than 2/3 plus one of all the members of the Diocesan Pastoral Council with voting rights. The Bishop – or the Vicar General as his nominated representative – must preside at any meeting when amendments are proposed. The Bishop also reserves the right to propose changes to this Constitution on the advice of other relevant diocesan bodies.
Appendix 1 –
Norms governing Pastoral Councils from the Code of Canon Law
Can. 511. In each diocese, to the extent that pastoral circumstances recommend it, a pastoral council is to be established whose responsibility it is to investigate under the authority of the bishop all those things which pertain to pastoral works, to ponder them and to propose practical conclusions about them.
Can. 512. §1. The pastoral council consists of Christian faithful who are in full communion with the Catholic Church, clerics, members of institutes of consecrated life and especially lay persons, who are designated in a manner determined by the diocesan bishop.
- §2. The Christian faithful who are appointed to the pastoral council are to be so selected that the entire portion of the people of God which constitutes the diocese is truly reflected, with due regard for the diverse regions, social conditions and professions of the diocese as well as the role which they have in the apostolate, either as individuals or in conjunction with others.
- §3. No one except Christians of proven faith, good morals and outstanding prudence are to be appointed to the pastoral council.
Can. 513. §1. The pastoral council is to be established for a period of time according to the prescriptions of the statutes which are issued by the bishop.
- §2. When the see is vacant the pastoral council ceases to exist.
Can. 514. §1. It pertains exclusively to the diocesan bishop to convoke the pastoral council according to the necessities of the apostolate and to preside over it; the pastoral council enjoys only a consultative vote; it is for the bishop alone to make public what has been done in the council.
- §2. The pastoral council is to be convoked at least once a year.
Members of the current Diocesan Pastoral Council.
The Chairperson of the current Diocesan Pastoral Council is Mr. Christy Dooley (Castletara Parish)
The Vice-Chairperson is Mr. John Paul Feely (Killinagh-Glangevlin Parish)
The Secretary is Mrs. Bronagh Prunty (Knockninny Parish)
The Assistant Secretary is Ms. Mary Corby (Ballinamore and Drumreilly Lower Parish)