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General Best Practices:


  • A Pastor should spend most of their time on ministry activities as compared to business/operations functions.

  • A Business Manager and related staff should effectively handle daily operations and business functions in order to assist the Pastor and allow the Pastor to focus more on ministry activities.

  • All key business, operations and ministry decisions should be brought forward to the Pastor for final decision making.

  • If negative issues are identified within the Parish they should be fleshed out first at the Parish level (Pastor and/or Councils) before they are potentially brought forward to the Diocese. A resolution process starts with an employee taking an issue to their supervisor. If the supervisor cannot resolve the issue in a satisfactory manner, the issue is taken to the Pastor. The Pastor should utilize his councils as a resource for advice.

  • A Pastor is free to travel in the normal course of their duties for vacation, professional development and retreats subject to Diocesan guidelines.

  • Each Pastor has the right to implement their own management style in the Parish where they are assigned. Some Pastors may use a “hands-off” management style while others feel more comfortable with a “micro- management” approach to running the Parish.  Perhaps some Pastors might elect to use portions of both styles of management depending on the situations and the people involved.

  • All employment by a parish is at will.

  • Attached on Exhibit A are the key responsibilities of a Pastor’s position role broken down by ministry and business categories.

  • Attached on Exhibit B are the key responsibilities of a Business Manager.

  • Attached on Exhibit C is a description of how the Parish Councils interact with the Pastor and the Business Manager. 



Exhibit A- Key Responsibilities of a Pastor (Best Practices):

General Responsibilities:

  • The Pastor reports to the Diocese.

  • The Pastor seeks and listens to the advice provided by the Business Manager and Parish Councils before making key decisions.

  • The Pastor is the ultimate decision maker at the Parish.

  • The Pastor ensures that systems, practices and policies of the Parish support the ministry activities as our Parish exists to provide such ministry activities.

  • The Pastor is focused on making sure the Parish is adhering to universal Catholic doctrine and Diocese regulations and policies.

  • Guiding the strategic planning process (goals and visions).

  • Ensuring that staffing, facilities and programs are in alignment to meet the strategic goals.

A Pastor’s Ministry Responsibilities:

  • Making all key ministry decisions while working closely with the Pastoral Council (note Exhibit C below).

  • Preparing meaningful homilies and preaching effectively.

  • Overseeing Faith Formation and the related programs in conjunction with the Faith Formation Leader.

  • Providing leadership in the design and implementation of Parish ministries.

  • Providing pastoral care including hospital and home visits to the sick and dying.

  • Providing counseling services to people with all kinds of personal and/or religious issues.

  • Administrating the sacraments: marriages, First Communion, Confirmation, Anointing of the Sick, etc. and funerals.

  • Performing social outreach activities on a local, national and global level.

  • Praying for the Parish and its members.

  • Performing community service activities.

  • Taking time for personal growth and renewal (reading, attending seminars, etc).

  • Oversight of ministerial staff.

A Pastor’s Business Responsibilities:

  • Making all key business/operational decisions after seeking the advice from his Business Manager and Finance Council.

  • Conducting staff meetings.

  • Managing the Business Manager position (the Business Manager is a direct report to the Pastor).

  • Taking action on any pertinent issues brought forward to him by the Business Manager or others.

  • Makes decisions on all new hire and termination decisions.

  • Makes decisions on all compensation, legal and other matters.

  • Defining and approving the responsibilities of each Parish job role.

  • Maintaining effective communication with staff, Councils and parishioners.

  • Performing fundraising activities when appropriate.

  • Ensuring compliance with all regulatory entities associated with the local, state, national, Church and Diocese.

  • At least an annual review of staff performance.



Exhibit B- Key Responsibilities of a Business Manager (Best Practices):

General Responsibilities:

  • Reports to the Pastor and regularly provides suggestions to the Pastor to assist his decision making.

  • He/she has a goal to maximize the Pastor’s time spent on ministry activities.

  • Bringing to the Pastor and Finance Council (proactively) key business planning, financial, human resource, maintenance and operational issues for final decisions (note below in Exhibit C the types of information the Business Manager needs to provide the Finance Council and Pastor).

Financial Responsibilities:

  • Oversight of all accounting activities including financial statement creation and integrity, accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, cash flow analysis, etc.

  • Performing regular reviews of budgeted revenues and expenses to actual dollars and reporting to the Pastor and Finance Council key issues on a timely basis.

  • Overseeing the collecting, depositing and posting of all income from Mass donations, hall rentals, weddings, funerals, cemetery sales, etc.

  • Overseeing all purchasing.

Human Resource Responsibilities:

  • Presenting to the Pastor for his review and approval annually updated employment personnel policies (and document them in an employee personnel manual).

  • Making sure all office personal are adhering to the Parish’s employment policies and practices.

  • Maintaining personnel records.

  • Evaluating staff personnel reporting to him/her.

  • Maintaining vacation/time off schedules.

  • Assisting the Pastor with hiring and terminations.

  • Encouraging Parish members to volunteer their services for the Parish.

Communication Responsibilities:

  • Assisting the Pastor with written communication and telephone messages.

  • Assisting the Pastor with overseeing the Parish web-site, magazines and bulletin creation.

  • Assisting with printed publications (directories).

Facilities Responsibilities:

  • Managing the Facilities Manager and Cemetery Sexton.

  • Overseeing Parish Hall rentals and tenancy.

  • Coordinating maintenance and repairs internally performed or using outside contractors.

  • Maintaining insurance on the properties and equipment.

  • Managing the use of energy.

  • Maintaining an inventory of Parish property and equipment.



Office Responsibilities:

  • Supervising the staff personnel assigned to them. Monitors their work and gives assignments when appropriate.

  • Training new personnel on the use of office equipment and systems (or delegates this to other staff personnel).

  • Ensuring that office equipment is in good working order including all information technology.

  • Overseeing Parish computer networks, security and infrastructure.

  • Maintaining a proper level of office supplies.

  • Managing the schedules of all staff personnel.

  • Assisting the Parish with special projects as required.


Exhibit C- The Interaction between the Pastoral Council and Finance Council with the Pastor and Business Manager (Best Practices).


  • The Pastoral Council and Finance Council are to be consultative bodies which make recommendations to the Pastor.

  • The Pastoral Council should provide the following kinds of information to the Pastor: providing the feelings, thoughts and ideas of members of the Parish; providing advice on the spiritual and pastoral needs of the Parish; recommending goals and objectives for the Parish both short and long term.

  • The Finance Council working with information from the Business Manager should provide the following kinds of insights to the Pastor:

  • advising the Pastor on all major expenditures or contracts in accordance with Diocesan policy;

  • advising the Pastor on any possible acquisition or sale of any Parish properties or on any proposed construction or renovations of Parish facilities;

  • advising the Pastor on the projected annual Parish income and recommending annual final budgets tied to the pastoral goals;

  • advising the Pastor on a regular basis about actual revenues and expenses compared to budgeted amounts in order to identify issues that need attention;

  • assisting the Pastor with a review of the annual report provided to Parishioners and the Diocese of the financial position of the Parish;

  • providing the Pastor with the Diocesan personnel policies and providing an opinion whether such policies are being observed in the Parish;

  • reviewing the security procedures for handling cash on hand to make sure they are in compliance with Diocesan policies and giving the Pastor an update;

  • reviewing the maintenance and upkeep of Parish property and buildings and providing updates to the Pastor;

  • developing long range planning with regard to the operational and capital needs of the Parish and informing the Pastor.

  • The Pastor is to consult his Pastoral Council on matters of important pastoral and spiritual concerns of the Parish.

  • The Pastor is to consult his Finance Council on matters of important financial concerns of the Parish.