CONSTITUTION OF THE PRIESTS' COUNCIL

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1 APPENDIX 9 DIOCESE OF MARQUETTE CONSTITUTION OF THE PRIESTS' COUNCIL PREAMBLE The bishop and priests of this diocese share in the one priesthood of Jesus Christ by their baptism, and, in a special way, by their call to Holy Orders. While all members of the Church belong to the one Body of Christ, priests, by their ordination, are called to a unique ministry in the Church. The bishop and priests are called to the same purpose: to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to build the Body of Christ. The Priests' Council will be a place for mutual, open reflection and fraternal dialogue between the bishop and the priests of the diocese. Conscious of our responsibility to the diocese and the universal Church; aware of the bonds of fraternity among all priests of this diocese, diocesan and religious; seeking to strengthen and promote the bond of unity and affection among all the people of God of this diocese, mindful of the call of the Second Vatican Council, and in conformity with the revised Code of Canon Law, the bishop of the Diocese of Marquette hereby establishes the Priests' Council of the Diocese of Marquette. ARTICLE I: NAME The name of this body shall be The Priests' Council of the Diocese of Marquette, hereinafter called the Council. The purpose of the Council shall be: ARTICLE II: PURPOSE 1. To aid the bishop in the governance of the diocese according to the norm of law so that the pastoral welfare of the people of God committed to the bishop with the cooperation of the priests may be carried forward as effectively as possible. 2. To provide a forum for the full and free discussion of all issues of pastoral concern in the diocese. 3. To search for and to propose ways and means for effective pastoral ministry. 87

2 4. To strengthen the unity and be representative of the diversity of the priests of the diocese by promoting open communication between the bishop and the priests, and among the priests themselves. Page 2 ARTICLE III: MEMBERSHIP The membership shall consist of: a) the bishop b) seven elected members c) ex-officio members as named in Section 9 d) no more than three members appointed by the bishop Section 4 Section 5 Section 6 Section 7 The elected members shall be chosen by mail ballot by and from among the priests of the seven vicariates of the diocese, one member from each vicariate. The term of office for elected members shall be three years. Election shall be held during the month of August, being staggered so that members are elected from each region of the diocese (eastern, central, western) every three years. A majority of the votes cast shall elect. Newly elected members shall take office at the first regular meeting following the election. Newly elected members shall be informed of their election in writing by the Chairman of the Council. Newly elected members desiring not to serve on the Council shall address a letter to the Chairman of the Council indicating their refusal to accept election. Should this be the case, the priest receiving the next highest number of votes shall be considered elected to the Council. An elected member may be elected only to two consecutive terms. After an interim period of one year, he will again be eligible for election. Each priest of this diocese residing in the diocese, and each priest of another diocese or religious order priest living in this diocese and exercising some office for the good of the diocese, shall be eligible to vote and to be elected, each in his respective vicariate. 88

3 Section 8 The vacancy of an elected member's seat shall be filled by a special election in his vicariate for the unexpired portion of the term. Page 3 Section The ex-officio members shall be: the Vicar(s) General and the Diocesan Director of Priest Personnel. The appointed members shall be appointed by the bishop for a term of one year, which can be renewed on expiration, at the discretion of the bishop. After hearing the recommendations from the international priests (nonincardinated priests serving in the diocese from another country) the bishop shall appoint an international priest to the Priests Council on a yearly basis. Ex-officio members of the Council shall not be eligible for election to the Council. Letters of resignation from the Council shall be addressed to the Chairman of the Council. ARTICLE IV: OFFICERS The officers of the Council shall be the President, the Chairman, the Vice- Chairman, and the Secretary. The President of the Council shall be the bishop. The President shall have the right to call meetings of the Council, to preside over meetings of the Council, to place matters of concern on the agenda of the Council, to accept or reject (except where otherwise provided by canon law) the results of the Council's deliberations, and to promulgate officially decisions arising therefrom. The Chairman shall preside at meetings of the Council not presided over by the President, shall be the chief executive officer of the Council, and shall have the duties prescribed for this office by the parliamentary authority, and by such standing rules as the Council shall adopt. 89

4 Section 4 The Vice-Chairman and the Secretary shall have the duties prescribed for their respective offices by the parliamentary authority, and by such standing rules as the Council shall adopt. Page 4 Section 5 Section 6 The officers other than the President shall be elected by and from among the members of the Council at the meeting following the regular elections, for a term of one year, and until their successors are elected. No member shall hold more than one office, or be re-elected to the same office for more than three consecutive terms. In the event of a vacancy, the Council shall elect an officer to fill the unexpired portion of the term. ARTICLE V: MEETINGS Section 4 Regular meetings of the Council shall be held on an annual schedule to be adopted by the Council. Special meetings of the Council may be called by the President, the Chairman, or any five members. A simple majority of the members, including a majority of the elected members, shall constitute a quorum. The rules contained in the current edition of Roberts' Rules of Order Newly Revised, shall govern the Council in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with canon law, this, and any special rules of order the Council may adopt. ARTICLE VI: COMMITTEES The Council shall have an Executive Committee and such other standing or ad hoc committees as shall be necessary to carry on the work of the Council. The Executive Committee shall consist of the officers of the Council. This committee shall prepare the agenda for meetings of the Council, and shall coordinate where necessary the work of the other committees. The 90

5 Executive Committee shall not have the power to act in the name of the Council except as specifically authorized by the Council. Other committees created by the Council shall have the rights and duties that the Council shall specify. The Chairman shall appoint a liaison from the Council for each committee. The liaison, in turn, shall select the Page 5 membership of the committee. Committee chairmen may be any member of the committee. All appointments by the Chairman of the Council will be made annually no later than the next meeting after the election of Council officers. ARTICLE VII: FINANCES The operating budget for the Council shall be prepared by the Diocesan Director of Priest Personnel and approved by the bishop. The budget shall be funded by the U.P. Catholic Services Appeal. ARTICLE VIII: AMENDMENTS This may be amended by a vote of two-thirds of the members of the Council, provided that the amendment has been submitted in writing at the previous meeting of the Council, and subject to the approval of the Bishop. This shall be adopted by a two-thirds vote of those responding by mail ballot of the priests of the diocese and the subsequent approval of the bishop, and shall become effective immediately upon such approval. Revised: May 2, 1988 Approved by the Priests' Council: September 12, 1988 Amended and Approved by the Priests Council: August 26, 2003 Revised and Approved by the Priests Council: December 10,

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