SJN Parish Pastoral Council By-Laws

Revised September 2010


As members of Christ’s Body, the parishioners of St. John Neumann live the Gospel through worship, prayer, evangelization, teaching, and service while guarding the deposit of faith as handed on to us by the Apostles and their successors.
(adopted September 14, 2006)


The mission of St. John Neumann Parish is to build up the kingdom of God in the name of Jesus Christ through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit by the proclamation of the Good News and in the evangelical service that flows from it. (adopted September 14, 2006)


This organization shall be called the Parish Pastoral Council of St. John Neumann Church. It shall be referred to herein as Council.

ARTICLE II – Purpose and Goals:

  1. To cooperate with the pastor and parish staff to formulate programs and policies to guide pastoral action and ministry within the parish.
  2. To cooperate with and effectively carry out the guidelines and directives given by the Bishop, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and the Universal Church.
  3. To coordinate parish activities.

ARTICLE III – Powers of the Council:

  1. The members of the Council are selected and appointed representatives of their parish constituencies. They represent those who selected them and act as consultants in policy making concerning the pastoral ministry of the parish. The administrative staff and the Council are two separate entities which function in virtue of two kinds of authority.
  2. The powers of the Council will be in accordance with those constituted by the Statutes for Parishes of the Diocese of Knoxville, the USCCB, and the Code of Canon Law.

ARTICLE IV – Powers of Pastor and Appeal of Council:

  1. The actions of the Council are subject to the approval of the pastor.
  2. The Council, by a 2/3 majority vote of its members, may appeal any disapproval by the pastor through appropriate procedures established by the diocese.
  3. In the event the Council votes to appeal any disapproval, the pastor’s obligation to state in writing the grounds for disapproval is recognized.

ARTICLE V – Membership:

Section 1: Number and classes of members

The Council shall be composed of the following voting members:

    1. Seven members selected by constituencies (ministries)
    2. Three members appointed by the Pastor
    3. The Pastor of St. John Neumann Parish
    4. The Associate Pastor of St. John Neumann Parish
    5. Deacon Representative of St. John Neumann Parish

Section 2: Qualifications of Selected and Appointed Members

Any Parish member who has reached the age of 16 years and who is a practicing Catholic may serve on the Council.

Section 3: Definition

The term “parish member” whenever used in this document means any practicing Catholic associated with St. John Neumann Parish as indicated by being listed in the Parish Register.

Section 4: Terms of Members

    1. The Pastor, Associate Pastor, and Deacons shall serve for the duration of their assignments in the parish.
    2. The members of the Council shall be chosen in three groups and those in each group shall hold office for a period of three years, except for the initial term of 2010-2011. These will be staggered to provide continuity. Each Committee Representative is eligible for a second three-year term. A replacement representative should be selected one year before the expiration of a Representative’s term. This provides a “learning period” and smooth transfer of knowledge, duties and responsibilities.
    3. No member shall serve more than six (6) consecutive years.
    4. Terms commence on June 1st and end May 31st three years hence.

ARTICLE VI – Responsibilities and Duties of Officers and Committees

The Council shall select the Executive Committee from its’ members after the June meeting following the selections. The officers of the PPC Executive Committee will be:

  • Chair
  • Vice Chair
  • Secretary

The duties of the officers and committee representatives are:

  1. Pastor – ex-officio president
  2. Chair – shall be responsible for planning and conducting meetings, coordinating council activities, and implementing Council decisions. The Chair shall be the representative for the Council when and as occasions demand. The Chair shall preside at all Council meetings.
  3. Vice Chair – shall assist the Chair in the performance of his/her duties and will assume the responsibilities of the Chair in their absence and/or at the request of the Chair.
  4. Secretary – shall maintain necessary and appropriate records of Council activities and ensure that minutes of regular meetings are published.
  5. Administration Committee – The purpose of the Administration Committee is to provide liaison between the Parish Pastoral Council and the Parish Finance Board. This Committee Representative represents the Council on the Parish Finance Board. The Committee also oversees the care of the buildings and grounds of the Parish.
  6. Communications Committee – The purpose of the Communications Committee is to help bring the messages within our mission statement “Proclamation of the Good News” to the parishioners and those outside the parish. This includes the coordination of information through the use of the weekly bulletin, monthly newsletters, parish census, parish calendar, bulletin boards, diocesan newspaper and all forms of media.
  7. Parish Life Committee – The purpose of the Parish Life Committee is to broaden the church’s outreach in the enhancement of the spiritual, physical, psychological, and social well being of the adult members of the parish and to promote community fellowship, hospitality, and welcome through organized parish social events. This would encompass coordination with groups such as Marriage Encounter, Engaged Encounter, Divorced and Separated, Newcomers Welcome, Sunday coffee and donuts, and special celebrations.
  8. Education and Faith Formation Committee – The purpose of the Education and Faith Formation Committee is to help parishioners to fully develop their faith through lifelong conversion to Christ and his teachings revealed in the Church, and by responding to our universal call to holiness by loving God and neighbor in living these faith-filled relationships. Activities within this committee include the Adult Education, RCIA, Sacramental Preparation, CCD program, Scripture Study Groups, Vacation Bible School, Library, liaison with St. John Neumann School and Knoxville Catholic High School, and the Diocesan Education Office.
  9. Social Action Committee – The purpose of the Social Action Committee is to foster community service and community action. Ministries include the St. Vincent de Paul Society, peace and justice issues, Ladies of Charity, TN Right to Life, and Catholic Charities.
  10. Spiritual Life Committee – The purpose of the Spiritual Life Committee is to enable each parishioner to grow in faith and love of Jesus through planning, promoting, and coordinating programs that will enhance the spiritual life of the parish and support the celebration of the Eucharist. Support for the celebration of the Eucharist includes those who serve in ministries as altar servers, lectors, choirs, ushers, Extraordinary Ministers, and planning art and environment. Events/devotions that enhance spiritual life include Stations of the Cross, Benediction, Eucharistic Adoration, prayer groups, retreat opportunities, and other related events.
  11. Youth and Young Adult Committee – The purpose of the Youth and Young Adult Committee is to focus on the goals of empowering young people to live as disciples of Jesus Christ in our world today, to draw young people to responsible participation in the life, mission, and work of the faith community, and to foster the personal and spiritual growth of each young person. This includes coordination with the Youth Center, Search and other retreats, liaison to the Diocesan Youth & Young Adult Ministry, and church and community service opportunities.

ARTICLE VII – Duties of the Parish Pastoral Council

The primary responsibility of the Council is to address parish wide concerns and promote parish involvement in special events while supporting the ongoing missions of the various Committees.

The Committee Representatives will interface with their respective constituencies and will furnish reports and budgetary information as required by the Council By-Laws. Notice of all committee, committee, and organizations meeting will be given to the respective Committee Representative, the Chair of the Council, and the Pastor.

The Council will perform duties in accordance with the Statutes for Parishes of the Diocese of Knoxville. The Council shall:

  1. Maintain an Education Committee.
  2. Participate in the preparation of, and approve by consensus, an annual budget for the parish. (May of each year)
  3. Ensure that an annual report of the financial status of the parish, and a statement of revenues and expenses, is made available.
  4. Form committees to meet the needs of the parish community.
  5. Post monthly committee reports and minutes.
  6. Provide orientation and training for all Council members and Committee Representatives.


The Council shall meet for an organizational meeting in June when officer elections are held. Regular Council meetings are held in September, November, January, March, and May. Special meetings of the Council may be called by the Pastor, the Chair, or three members of the Council. All Council meetings shall be open to parish members.

ARTICLE IX – Interpretation

In questions of interpretation of these By-laws or its amendments, the decision of the Council shall be final and binding until rescinded by the Council, the Episcopal Vicar, the Bishop, the USCCB, or the Canon Law.

ARTICLE X – Amendments to By-Laws

A proposed amendment shall be posted one month prior to the meeting in which it will be voted on by the Council. Two-thirds of the Council shall be required to adopt the proposed amendment(s). Prior to the vote, any objections or concerns of the parish family will be addressed/discussed by the Council.

EXCEPTION – Whenever the Code of Canon Law or the Diocesan statues of the Diocese of Knoxville are amended, the By-Laws and Operating Procedures of St. John Neumann Parish Pastoral Council will automatically be amended, if necessary, to reflect compatibility with the Diocesan Statutes and Code of Canon Law.

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