The parish Finances Council serves as an advisory body to the pastor in the administration and stewardship of parish finances, budget, parish facilities and long-range financial development. The council offers expertise on the prudent use of resources in conformity with civil law, diocesan policies, and canonical (diocesan) requirements. It looks to the Parish Pastoral Council for a statement of the mission of the parish as a whole, a pastoral plan, and priorities set for the parish.
The parish finance council will meet at least quarterly to consider matters pertaining to parish revenues and expenses, staff salaries, use of facilities, any major payments to be made as well as budgeting and fundraising ventures. The council takes an active role in the preparing the annual budget along with the annual summary of the financial health of the parish that is reported to the parishioners early in the year. Accordingly, it aims to monitor expenditures in relation to that budget. The council assists the staff in preparing the semi-annual financial report to the diocese (cathedraticum), in accordance with procedures determined by the bishop and diocesan Finance Committee.
All changes to the worshipping space that are of a major consequence to the life of the parish are to have the approval of the bishop. Expenditures over a certain substantial amount need to be reviewed by the diocese before permission is granted to proceed. In other words, no formal contract may be entered into without the prior consultation necessary with diocesan authorities, ultimately the bishop himself. This includes meetings with architects, designers, and suppliers; no formal drawings, bids or proposals are to be sought without permission. Any such request must include an indication of how the funding for the project will be covered financially. All contracts with architects or contractors require input from an insurance consultant and an attorney of law.
Membership on the parish Finances Council is open to anyone who feels he or she can contribute to the discussion, whether or not they have expertise in financial dealings, they may be concerned parishioners who have the welfare of the parish at heart.