Sacred Heart at 219 E. Rockwood Blvd., Spokane, WA 99202 US -
Sacred Heart Parish Corporation
Sacred Heart Parish Corporation
SACRED HEART CATHOLIC PARISH—SPOKANE
One of the outcomes of the Diocese’s Chapter 11 process and the settlement that was achieved through mediation was the incorporation of parishes throughout the Diocese as non-profit corporations in the State of Washington. The legal title of Sacred Heart Parish is SACRED HEART CATHOLIC PARISH—SPOKANE.
The Articles of Incorporation and bylaws of the Corporation clarify the legal status of the parish in civil law, assuring that the assets of the parish are separate from the assets of the Diocese, or as it is civilly titled, The Catholic Bishop of Spokane, a Corporation Sole. The Board of Directors of the Parish Corporation consists of the Pastor, the Chair of the Parish Financial Council and a Regional Priest Representative. This Board must meet annually. The unanimous consent of the Directors is necessary for certain specified actions, especially the sale of parish real estate. The Corporation and its Board of Directors cannot act in contravention of canon law. This is clearly specified in the Articles and bylaws.
There will be a time of uncertainty with respect to understanding and action as we operate under this new structure. In point of fact, most fiscal procedures have not been substantially impacted. In the Chapter 11 process, parishes had produced extensive documentation concerning their fiscal separateness from the Diocese. Now, a civilly recognized structure is in place to make this separation clear in civil law as well as in canon law. The uncertainty or lack of understanding may result from supposing something like: “Now that we are separately incorporated, we are autonomous; we are independent from the Diocese; we can manage our own affairs without reference to diocesan policies; the Bishop can’t tell us what to do.” This kind of thinking is neither healthy nor helpful. Our Articles of Incorporation specify that “This Corporation is organized to give legal status to a Roman Catholic Parish…in conformity with the tenets, laws, regulations and polity of the Roman Catholic Church.” (Articles n. 3). By analogy, you might consider your home or your business. You don’t think: “This is my property, so I can do with it as I choose.” We recognize that we are bound by a multiplicity of laws and regulations at the city, state and federal levels. There are zoning regulations, environmental standards; workplace regulations, minimum wage laws—and on and on. Suddenly, your supposed “autonomy” and “independence” look very different. Nonetheless, the mere fact that our parish has its separate legal status changes the way we think and feel about ourselves, and gives us a greater sense of ownership and responsibility for our parish.
Now, by means of the Parish website, we can keep you informed in a timely manner about the fiscal management of the parish through publication of the minutes of the Finance Council and the minutes of the Board of Directors of the Parish Corporation. The Finance Council minutes and the annual financial report appear on other pages. The minutes of the Board of Directors' annual meeting appear below.
Sacred Heart Parish—Spokane
Board of Directors Annual Meeting
September 28, 2010
The corporate board of Sacred Heart Parish--Spokane met at 7:00PM on September 28, 2010 in conjunction with the meeting of the Sacred Heart Parish Finance Council. All three members of the Board of Directors were present: Fr. Mark Pautler, Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish and Corporation President; Fr. Tyrone Schaff, the Regional Presbyteral Representative and Board Director, and Jon Andrus, Chair of the Sacred Heart Finance Council and Secretary/Treasurer of the Corporation’s Board.
The first order of business was to affirm that this meeting of September 28 constituted the required annual meeting of the Board of Directors. The Board then confirmed the aforementioned Corporation Directors as continuing in office as Directors.
The second item of business was a review of the Parish’s annual financial report. The report was accepted as an accurate reflection of the fiscal status and financial activity of the Parish for F/Y 2009-2010. The report will be submitted to the Bishop of Spokane. [The report had previously been made available to the Parish, and is now available on the parish website.]
The second item of business was a discussion of the state of the Diocese related to the future claims fund. The board affirmed that any current and future funds collected for the settlement fund by Sacred Heart Parish, including those funds currently on hand, should be held and applied towards any future settlement issues.
Due to the uncertainty of the situation and the lack of direction at the present time, the board recommended that Sacred Heart Parish carry on existing activities and proceed with maintenance activities to address safety hazards and any repairs necessary to preserve and protect the current state of the facilities. The planning for major improvements and repairs will continue, however it was recommend that the Parish not proceed with major items until there is less uncertainty about the direction the Diocese is taking related to the future claims issue.
The meeting of the corporate board was adjourned at 7:30 PM.
Jon M. Andrus,
Secretary/Treasurer Sacred Heart Parish—Spokane
Chair, Sacred Heart Parish Finance Council