Definition: A consultative body, composed of three to five persons, which supports the Pastor and administrator and administration of the parish in church property and finances.
As “co-stewards of temporal goods for the parish, finance council members must present a clear picture of parish goals and current financial information to parishioners on a regular basis, not less that annually. There have been a number of changing factors in our society and parish life that have affected the necessity for change in the parish management structure. The increasing complexity of management requirements, fewer available priests, and larger congregations are but a few of these factors.
Another major factor is the Church’s call for an expanding role of the laity in the total mission of the parish, especially as expressed in the documents of Vatican II. Conciliar texts stress the collaboration of and the co-responsible leadership of both clergy and laity in promoting the continuing vitality of our Church.
There has been increasing awareness that the pastor’s ministry is a ministry of teaching, sanctifying and governing or pasturing with the cooperation of other presbyters and deacons, and in consultation with the laity. Three of the key leadership groups in a parish are in the pastoral council, the finance council, and the pastoral staff or team.