The Parish Finance Council assists the pastor with the wise stewardship of the material gifts entrusted by God to the parish in support of the mission of the parish and broader church.
Canon Law states “In each parish there is a Finance Council which is governed by norms issued by the diocesan bishop and in which the church faithful, assist the pastor in the administration of the goods of the parish. The Finance Council is required by civil law and operates in compliance with civil laws.”
Minutes are taken for each meeting and archived at the parish office. To facilitate communication and transparency, minutes should be posted and shared with all members of the Finance Council and appropriate church leaders. This may include Pastoral Council and key parish committee and organizational chairs, trustees and staff.
Specific Responsibilities of the Finance Council are:
- Accounting system. Using the diocesan chart of accounts and overseeing the accounting system for the parish and keeping final records:
- Collection and security of revenue, safekeeping, and use
- Recording and paying of debts and expenditures, in accord with approved budget
- Maintain accurate and up to date records of parish assets and liabilities
Preparation– Oversee creation of annual budget in line with mission, goals and priorities, and plans as recommended by the Pastoral Council and approved by the pastor. The budget creation should be a collaborative process involving those responsible for parish programs and organization. Once parish and diocesan obligations (e.g. Bishops Appeal) are met, the budget may include charitable donations to worthy causes not contrary to Church teaching.
Planning– The Finance Council should create a 3-5 year financial plan for operation of the parish. The plan takes into account projected income and expenses based on past experience, as well as a review of current and future facility needs.
Financial Reporting– Prepares a monthly analysis of income and expenditures in comparison to budget projections for the pastor, parish leader, finance council, trustees, and other appropriate staff and leaders
Annually– Assures a complete and understandable annual financial report is made available to parishioners that includes an income statement and a balance sheet.
Diocesan– Ensures that required reports are sent to the diocese in a timely manner, including the Annual Financial Information (AFI) due August 31 for the previous fiscal year ending June 30. This report satisfies the legal oversight responsibilities of the diocese, and is in accordance with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops guidelines for fiscal accountability.
Internal Controls– Follows diocesan guidelines, ensures financial procedures for internal controls for the oversight of cash and financial accounts, including petty cash management, offertory collections and counting systems.
Permission must be obtained from the diocese for any loan or building project in excess of $100,000, property sale, acquisition lease, or change to a liturgical space.
Fundraising & Management
- Revenue enhancement- Works with parish stewardship committee in making recommendation for the generation of revenue in support of overall mission of the church.
- Fundraising- Oversees and coordinates all the fundraising in the parish. Includes all fundraising done by service organizations and educational entities. Oversight for authorization and use of parish sales tax exempt number is included.
- Funds collected for all special collections are to be remitted to Catholic Foundation within 60 days of collection.
- Monitors investments within diocesan norms. All parish long-term endowments should be with the Catholic Foundation.
- Diocesan permission or proxy must be obtained before embarking on any funding in excess of $100,000 or equal to 2 1/2 times the amount of the parishes annual offertory collection.
Property Management & Safekeeping
- Oversees the day-to-day and long-range maintenance of parish buildings and grounds.
- Safety- Develops and communicates risk management policies and procedures.
- Building & Renovation- Ensures the following of diocesan policies, and secures necessary approvals for building and renovation projects.
Cemetery– Oversees the fiscal management of the day-to-day and long- range maintenance of parish cemeteries
Inventory Goods– Monitors accurate, detailed inventory of parish goods and reserves including Scrip, furniture, fixtures and equipment, along with a description and appraisal.
Insurance– Annually reviews the diocesan insurance package of parish properties and liabilities.
Personnel– Monitors the observance of diocesan personnel policies pertaining to labor and conduct of business in employment, and compensation of workers.
Finance Council– Jean Pautz (Chair), Scott Wallenfang (Financial Trustee), Bruce Unterbrunner (Parish Council Trustee Secretary), Charlene Borghese (Secretary), Mardell Wirtz (Member), Allen Blaser (Member), Mike Dercks (Member). To contact a member of the Finance Council, phone or e-mail the church office with your request.
Finance Council Meeting Minutes are unapproved drafts pending approval of the Council at their next meeting. Minutes listed below are approved.