1.1 Mission: We are the Catholic Parish Community of St. Philip Neri, answering Christ’s call to discipleship through word, sacrament and service. We proclaim God’s hope and love to all.




2.1 Name and Location: The organization shall be known as the Parish Pastoral Council of St. Philip Neri Parish, Pennsburg Pennsylvania hereinafter referred to as “Parish Council”. 




3.1 Role: The Parish Council role is to act as an advisory body to the Pastor in his governance over the affairs of the parish and to assist the Pastor in supporting the parish community. The Council shall serve as the voice of the parish and shall become the means by which the needs of the parish community will be identified, discussed and responded to through the formulation of priorities, goals and policies.


3.2 Responsibility: The Parish Council shall be responsible to help build and maintain a strong parish community by facilitating the coordination and oversight of all functioning ministries within the parish. The Parish Council will also serve as a platform to afford all parishioners a voice and opportunity to participate in the parish. However, the Council shall not have any independent authority without the express consent and approval of the pastor. The Council will seek to: (1) Understand the needs of the parish; (2) Promote communications and facilitate dialogue among parish leaders, ministries, organizations and parishioners, where and when needed; (3) Support the ministries of the parish and (4) set priorities, goals and policies that are responsive to the needs of the whole parish community.




4.1 Composition: The Parish Council membership shall be comprised of both voting and non voting members and shall total seventeen (17) members in addition to the Pastor.


4.1.1 Voting Members: The voting members of the Council shall consist of three (3) elected officers (President, Vice President and Secretary) of the Council; three (3) elected At-Large representatives of the general parish and; five (5) appointed Ministry Coordinators or their alternates representing the current five (5) Ministries of the Parish. The total number of voting council members will be adjusted to reflect the current number of Ministries active within the Parish.


4.1.2 Non-Voting Members: The non-voting members of the Council shall be comprised of the following six (6) members, all of who will be appointed by the Pastor:

(i)                   The Parish Business Manager or a member of the Parish finance   Ministry;

(ii)                The Parish Legal Advisor;

(iii)              The Principal of the Parish school

(iv)              One (1) Parish Deacon

(v)                The Director of Religious Education

(vi)              The Coordinator of Parish Social Services 


4.3 Modus Operandi: The Parish Council will function on a consensus basis with all voting members of the Council having an equal voice.  All efforts will be made to reach common and full agreement on issues. In the event a two-third 2/3 consensus of all members present at any official meeting is not reached, the president will submit the majority and minority opinions to the pastor for final direction/decision.


4.4 Calendar Year: The calendar year for the Parish Council shall begin on the first day of September of each year and end on the last day of August.


4.5 Meetings:  All Parish Council meetings will be authorized by the Pastor and convened at the call of the President or by request of two or more voting members of which one must be an officer. Council will convene at least six times a year. For any meeting to be considered official, a quorum must be present.


4.5.1 Regular Meetings:  Regular meetings will be held at least monthly, except during the months of July, August and December when no regular meetings will be scheduled. The schedule of all regular meetings will be established at the beginning of the Parish calendar year (September) and notices of such meeting will be published in the parish bulletin. All regular meetings will allocate a time for any parishioner to speak to the Council.  Beyond such allocated time meetings will be open to Council members only.


4.5.2 Special Meetings: Special meetings may occur at any time and without general notice to the parish. Such meetings can be convened by the call of the President or upon the request of two or more members of Council, with one (1) being an officer, subject to the approval of the Pastor. Such meetings will be limited to discussions solely related to the purpose of the special meeting. No other general business will be conducted. Such special meetings will be restricted to members of the Council and any other invited persons relative to the issue or matter for which the meeting had been called.


4.6 Notices: Notices, whether delivered verbally, US mail or through email, will be issued by the Secretary to all members of the council at least 5 days in advance of all regular meetings and at least 24 hours in advance of any special meetings.


        4.7 Quorums: A quorum for any regular or special meeting will require the presence of two-thirds (2/3) of the voting members of which one (1) member must be either the President or Vice President and one (1) must be an At-large member.


        4.8 Official Meetings: the Parish Council in its authorized capacity can only take actions during a regular or special meeting in which appropriate notice has been issued and a quorum present.





5.1 Ministries: There shall be five (5) Ministries, as is more fully defined below, plus an undefined number of Associate Ministries incorporated under or within each Ministries.


5.1.1     Liturgical Ministry:  The Ministry is formed to help support joyful and meaningful celebration centered on the Eucharistic Celebration of Mass within our Parish Community. The Ministry is responsible for supporting the planning, organization and coordination of all liturgical activities. Associate Ministry leaders must adhere to the Church’s documents on liturgy, as well as diocesan liturgical norms.  The Liturgical Ministry consists of those associate ministries listed herein under Exhibit 5 (A).


5.1.2 Faith Formation and Faith Programs Ministry: (Parish Catechesis): The Ministry is formed and responsible for the development and structuring of formational activities for all members of the parish. The ministry shall develop, organize, initiate support and provide catechetical resources and programs for Christian education. Members must adhere to Church teachings, documents of the Church, and Diocesan policies concerning Christian formation.  Faith Formation and Faith Programs Ministry consists of those associate ministries listed herein under Exhibit 5 (B).


5.1.3 Hospitality Ministry: The Ministry is formed to create a gracious atmosphere, a warm environment and a deep spirit of joy, inviting and drawing all people to God’s banquet of love, forgiveness and grace. The ministry serves to greet and support church celebrations and to organize and run various community functions and events. The Hospitality Ministry consists of those associate ministries and functions as listed herein under Exhibit 5 (C).


5.1.4     Parish Life Ministry: The Ministry is formed to promote and foster fellowship beyond our liturgies, to create opportunities for participation in the parish and to help maintain vitality within our parish family.  The Parish Life Ministry will oversee and support the various associate ministries and parish groups that are listed herein under Exhibit 5 (D).


5.1.5     Parish Outreach Ministry (Human Concerns): In recognition of the dignity of each individual in Christ, we commit ourselves to take action on issues of peace and justice on behalf of our sisters and brothers in Christ.  Parish Outreach recommends to the Pastor strategic policies and programs, which address the social mission of the Church.  The Ministry shall engage in a careful study of Church teaching and monitor the social needs present in the area. The Ministry recommends ways in which the parish family can minister to the needs of others, both those in the parish and in the wider community, and ways in which the parish can become involved in the social justice issues of society. Through its deliberations, through consultation and educational efforts and through social action, this Ministry promotes a deeper understanding of each individual’s baptismal commitment and the communal call of service to the poor.  The Parish Outreach Ministry consists of the various associate ministries that are listed herein under Exhibit 5 (E).


        5.2 Ministry Coordinators and Alternates:  All Ministries will be assigned a coordinator and an alternate appointed by the pastor. The coordinator and alternate will serve to insure communications among all associate ministries and will act as a liaison between the Parish Council and the associate ministries. The Ministry Coordinator will be appointed in accordance with the process defined in 5.2.1 below. The alternates will be appointed in accordance with the process defined in 5.2.2 below.


5.2.1 Ministry Coordinator(s) - Appointment Process: When a vacancy develops the Vice President in consultation with the Pastor will determine if the alternate is willing and able to assume the vacated coordinator’s position. If approved by the Pastor, the alternate will be appointed as the Coordinator. If the alternate for any reason is not approved, the President in consultation with the Pastor will appoint a Nominating Chair who will form a committee to identify and develop a list of nominees. The Nominating chair will then directly present the un-edited list of nominees to the Pastor for his consideration, selection and confirmation. When the Pastor confirms an appointee, the name will be given to the nominating chair for reporting back to Parish council. In the event that none of the names forwarded to the Pastor are accepted or confirmed, then the process will repeat itself until replacement is obtained.


5.2.2 Ministry Coordinator Alternate – Appointment Process:  When a vacancy occurs, the Ministry Coordinator, Vice President and the Pastor will meet to consider possible successors and upon developing a list of approved candidates, the Ministry Coordinator supported by the Vice President will interview and select the alternate. When such selection is made and confirmed, the Vice President will notify the Secretary of the new alternate’s name.


5.3 Associate Ministries: Within and under each Ministry an unlimited number of Associate Ministries may form and exist upon review of Parish Council and by approval of the Pastor.  Each Associate Ministry will function collaboratively under the auspices of one of the Ministries.


5.3.1 Associate Ministry Leaders:  Each associate ministry will be led by an associate ministry leader who will be responsible for guiding and overseeing the activities of the associate ministry and will normally serve for a term of three (3) years. Upon expiration of the term, the Ministry leader’s term may be extended for subsequent terms, subject to the confirmation of the Ministry Coordinator and Vice President and approval of the Pastor. The leader will be expected to meet with members of the ministry at least twice during each calendar year and also avail them to meet and/or communicate with the Ministry coordinator quarterly.


5.3.2 Associate Ministry Leader Selection /Confirmation Process: 90 days prior to the expiration of a term the Ministry coordinator will determine if the leader wishes to remain in that position for another three (3) year term. If so, the process identified in 5.3.1 above will be followed. In the event the Ministry Leader vacates the position, the Ministry Coordinator in collaboration with the active members of the ministry, will be responsible for identifying prospective successors. The Ministry coordinator will present such names to the Pastor for review and upon consultation with the Vice President of council, the Pastor will appoint a successor.


5.3.3 Associate Ministry Formation: Any member of the Parish who wishes to form an Associate Ministry may do so by presenting their concept in person or in writing to the Parish Council. The presentation should include: (1) who the ministry would serve; 2) goals and objectives of the ministry; and 3) the proposed ministry leader.  Upon receipt of such presentation, the Parish Council will take the matter under consideration, forward its recommendations to the Pastor and obtain final direction on the matter. The President of the Council will then communicate the decision back to the presenter(s). If a new Associate Ministry is approved, it will be assigned to an existing Ministry for implementation and ongoing support.


5.4 Decommission/Consolidation: If for any reason an Associate Ministry completes its purpose, is no longer required, or becomes unable to maintain adequate functionality, the Parish Council can take action to either decommission or consolidate the affected ministry. Such actions will require approval by the Pastor.





6.1 Responsibilities and Duties: All members of the Council are responsible to faithfully and earnestly fulfill all of the responsibilities and duties that are associated with their individual role on council, in ministry and parish life. Additionally, each member, in accordance with their respective position, will be responsible to perform the following duties: 


6.2 Officers: The officers of the Parish Council will consist of the position of President, Vice President, and Secretary and will be selected from within the voting membership of the Parish council.


6.2.1      President: The President is central to the effectiveness of the Parish Council and shall act as its official spokesperson and serve as the liaison between the Parish Council and the Pastor. The President will assume the main responsibility for organizing, directing, and guiding the activities of the Council and will be the chairperson over all meetings. The President will also act to encourage all Ministries and their members to fulfill their specific responsibilities and duties, guide the members in collaborative decision making and establish an ongoing process of evaluation of the Council’s effectiveness.  In this capacity the President will lead and serve the Council by promoting inclusion and participation and assist the members in finding resolution to conflict and consensus on issues.


6.2.2     Vice President: The Vice President shall assist the President and assume the duties of the chair in the President’s absence.  The Vice President may also facilitate designated agenda items during the Council meetings and conduct special studies as requested by the President. The Vice President shall also serve as the designated council officer to directly support all Ministry Coordinators.


6.2.3       Secretary: The Secretary shall advise Council members of meeting dates, times and proposed agenda, and publish notice of all regular Council meetings in the Parish Bulletin the Sunday before the meetings. Moreover, the Secretary shall maintain the Council correspondence files, and shall prepare and process correspondence as directed by the Council President. The Secretary shall record and maintain the records and minutes of all official meetings of the Parish Council and shall provide copies for distribution. The Secretary shall also witness as necessary to any correspondence or documents executed by the President in behalf of the Parish Council. Additionally the secretary shall maintain a current listing of all addresses and telephone numbers of the members of the Parish Council.


6.3. At-Large Members:  The three (3) At-Large members shall act as general representatives of the parish and shall be the main communications link between the Parish Council and Parish community. The At-Large members shall be responsible to solicit input from parish members, for maintaining the suggestion box and reporting to the Parish Council any and all issues, concerns, needs and desires which any member of the parish community has risen. Moreover the senior At-Large representative will be responsible for preparing and placing approved communications and responses into the parish bulletin and web page.


6.4. Ministry Coordinators: Each Ministry Coordinator shall be responsible to report on the goals, activities, needs and concerns of the individual Associate Ministries within the scope of their ministry. The Coordinators shall hold at least two meetings per council year with all of the leaders of the Associate Ministries to collect comments, needs and suggestions for presentation to Parish Council. Moreover, the Coordinator shall provide assistance, guidance and direction to the individual ministries as requested. The Coordinator need not attend Associate Ministry meetings, but should ensure that such meetings regularly occur to promote full participation and input from all members of the parish community.





7.1 Eligibility: As a general condition, to hold any position on Parish Council, an individual must be a registered member of the Parish for at least one year, a practicing Catholic and additionally meeting the specific eligibility requirements set forth for each position to include any mandatory hiatus periods.


7.1.1      Officers: Eligible candidates are any current members on Parish Council who will have been on Council for a period of two (2) years or more when measured back from the point when first elected or appointed to council.


7.1.2     At-Large Members: Eligible candidates are persons who have either (A) been a regular member of any parish ministry for a period of at least one (1) year or (B) has actively participated in any recognized parish function, i.e. Carnival, PREP, Boys Scouts etc., for a period of at least two years.


7.1.3     Ministry Coordinators and Designated Alternates: Eligible appointees are persons who are currently involved in at least one of the associate ministries that are a part of the Ministry for which the appointment is being made.


7.2. Term of Parish Council Positions:  All voting Parish Council positions shall be a term of three (3) years, except in the case of a special election or appointment to fill a vacancy. In such cases the elected or appointed individual shall remain in the position for the period of the un-expired term. The starting and ending dates for each of the Parish Council positions shall be as follows:


7.2.1     Officers:  All officer terms will begin on September 1 of even numbered year (i.e. September 1 2010, 2012. 2014 etc.) and shall run continually for a two-year period ending on August 31 of the subsequent even year.


7.2.2     Ministry Coordinator:  Appointments or re-appointments of Ministry Coordinators will occur between September and December during the last year of the appointed term. The terms of any new or reconfirmed appointees will take effect on January 1 of the subsequent year in which appointments were made. Appointments will be for a three (3) year term, limited to two (2) consecutive terms.


7.2.3     At-Large Representatives: At-Large Representative’s terms will be for three (3) years taking effect on April 1 of the election year. Elections will be staggered with one (1) new At-Large election occurring each year. The process for nominations will begin in January and be completed by the end of March. On the adoption of the newly formed By-laws, all three elections will take place immediately with the person gathering the highest number of votes assigned to initially a three (3) year term, followed by the second assigned to a two (2) year term and the third a one (1) year term. Even though the appointment to council will occur immediately upon the completion of the election process, the start date for the determination of their first year on council will not be calculated until beginning on April 1, 2011. Therefore the first election process will begin January 2012.


7.3 Term Restrictions: No person shall remain in a voting position on Parish Council for more than six (6) consecutive years, unless elected to and currently holding an officers position. Under no circumstances can any voting member remain on council for a consecutive period of ten (10) years. In such circumstances a council member must take a mandatory two (2) year hiatus. Moreover, no member may hold two positions simultaneously, except for any transitional period when a Ministry Coordinator or At large member has been newly elected or appointed and the vacated position has yet to be filled.


7.4 Removal from Parish Council: Any member of Parish council can be removed at the discretion of the Pastor, with or without cause and upon reasonable notice.


7.4.1 Any voting member of Parish Council can be removed from Council conditioned upon the following process being followed: A written request seeking the removal of a voting member of Council must contain the signature of at least two (2) members of the Parish Council. The petition must be transmitted to an officer of the Council who upon receipt will call for a special meeting of Council. At said meeting, the petition of removal will be discussed and brought to a vote. If removal is recommended, the matter will then be presented to the Pastor for final authorization. The President will be responsible for issuing notice of removal to said member. The entire proceedings and the subject of discussion will remain confidential and within the confines of the Council meetings.


7.4.2 Removal Due to Repeated Absence: The Council may declare vacant the position of any voting member of Council, if the member is absent for a total of one third of the regular scheduled Council Committee meetings in any twelve (12) month period.


7.5 Vacated Council Positions:  When a vacancy of any elected member of council develops, the nominating process described in Article VIII will be followed to fill the vacancy.






        8.1 Nominations and Election Procedures: Any registered member of the parish may nominate themselves or submit the name or names of any person(s), for any one or as many of the open positions that are up for election. Upon completion of the nomination process, elections will occur at the council level with all voting council members having a single vote. Voting will be done by private ballot with all ballots being tallied by the Nominations Chairperson/Committee. In order for a nominee to be elected a two-third majority must be obtained. In the event the first round of voting does not yield a two-third majority, a second round of voting will occur against the two nominees who obtained the highest votes. If a second round of voting does not yield a two-third majority, the Pastor will cast the deciding vote.  


        8.2 Nominating Committee: The Nominating Committee will oversee the recruitment, qualification and selection/election process for all voting council positions. The Nominating Committee will consist of no less than three (3) and no more then five (5) persons with the chair being selected by the Pastor. The remaining members of the committee shall be selected by the chair and may include any (voting and non-voting) members of council that will be retiring or will not be eligible to run for any position in which the Nominating Committee is formed. The Nominations Chairperson shall be responsible to develop and oversee the processes of notifying, publishing, collecting, qualifying, listing and presenting all nominees. The Nominations Chairperson shall not remove any submitted name from the proposed nominations lists with the exception of those names that do not meet the eligibility requirements of the position. The nominations and election process will proceed as follows:


8.2.1: Open Elections: Three (3) months prior to an election to fill either planned or un-planned positions, the Nominating Chair will be appointed and subsequently the Nominating Committee will be formed. The Nomination Chairperson will be responsible to compose and issue a written notice of the upcoming elections for Council. The notice will contain information regarding which positions are up for election, eligibility and position responsibilities. The notice will then be issued to all current members of Council and all active members of all ministries and will also be published in the church bulletin at least ten (10) weeks in advance of the parish council date in which the election will occur. 


8.2.2: Closing of Nominations: Not less then six (6) weeks prior to the election date, nominations will close. The Nominations Committee will then screen all submitted names for eligibility and place all eligible names onto the nominations list. The Chair of the Nominations Committee will then confidentially present the list of nominees to the Pastor. The Pastor will then review the list of names and return to the Chair the approved list of nominees. The Chair will then contact all approved parishioners to confirm their willingness to accept the nomination. Upon confirmation, the approved nominations ballots will be prepared.


8.2.3   Nomination Slate: No later than three (3) weeks prior to the scheduled Council meeting when an election will occur, the approved nominations slate will be issued and mailed to all members of the Parish Council.


8.3 Officers Election Process: The election process for all Officer Positions shall in addition to following the stipulations in 8.2 above, follow the order and sequence hereafter: The election for the position of President will occur first, using the approved ballot. Following the election of the President, the sequence of elections will be the Vice President followed by the Secretary. In the event none or only one (1) nominee remains for the Vice President or Secretary position, the nominations chair will open a secret nomination process and a ballot will be privately reviewed and subsequently authorized by the Pastor.  The ballot will then be used to elect the remaining officer positions.





  9.1 Amendments:   The By-Laws may be altered, amended or repealed by a vote of the members entitled to vote thereon at any regular or special meeting duly convened. In order for any amendments to be made, they must first be presented in writing to the Parish Council in the form of a first reading. The requested amendment will then be issued to all members of Council at least three (3) weeks prior to the meeting in which the matter will be discussed and voted on. In order for any amendments to be considered, at least eight (8) voting members of the Council must be present and a total of at least six (6) votes in the affirmative will be needed to pass.














        We, the undersigned members of St. Philip Neri Parish Council, confirm our desire to further the goals of our faith community and hereby affix our signatures below attesting to the heretofore Parish Council By-Laws, as written.


Approved this      day of             , 2009






__________________________            ___________________________

Patrick J. Kennedy, President                                           Rev. Robert A. Roncase, Pastor

St. Philip Neri Parish Council                       St. Philip Neri Parrish



WITNESS: Members of Parish Council

































        The Liturgical Ministry consists of the following associates ministries: 


·            Adult Altar Servers

·            Youth Altar Servers

·            Children’s Liturgy of the Word

·            Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

·            Lectors

·            Music

·            Greeters

·            Ushers

·            Liturgical Environment








Faith Formation and Faith Programs Ministry consists of the following associate ministries:


·            PREP (Parish Religious Education Program)

·            Adult Faith Formation

·            SPN Rosary Society

·            ALPHA

·            Scriptural Studies

·            Charismatic Prayer Group

·            Little Flower Girls Club

·            Little Church

·            Parish Youth Ministry

·            Pre-Cana

·            Pre-Jordan

·            R.C.I.A. (Right of Christian Initiation of Adults)

·            Vacation Bible School







The Hospitality Ministry consists of the following associate ministries:


·            BINGO

·            Craft Guild

·            Garage Sale

·            Parish Breakfast

·            Parish Carnival

·            Car show

·            Silver Spirits Travel Club.






The Parish Life Ministry consists of the following associate ministries:


·            Scouting Programs

·            CYO

·            Garden Club

·            Knights of Columbus

·            Lawn Care

·            SCRIP Program.

·            Library





The Parish Outreach Ministry consists of the following associate ministries:


·            Bereavement Support

·            Blood Drive

·            Elizabeth Ministry

·            Friendly Visitors

·            H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People Enthusiastically)

·            Hospital Visitation

·            Martha Ministry

·            Parish Outreach

·            Pennsburg Manor

·            Respect Life Ministry

·            Welcome Ministry. 

·            Shawl Ministry

·            Prayer Ministry