Policies and Protocols


March 9, 2020

To the People of God of the Diocese of St Paul in Alberta,

When Pope St John Paul II introduced the Code of Canon Law in 1983 he wrote:

“Christ the Lord, indeed, did not in the least wish to destroy the very rich heritage of the Law and of the Prophets which was gradually formed from the history and experience of the People of God in the Old Testament, but He brought it to completion (cf. Mt 5:17) in such wise that in a new and higher way it became part of the heritage of the New Testament. Therefore, although St Paul, in expounding the Paschal Mystery, teaches that justification is not obtained by the works of the Law, but by means of faith (cf. Rm 13:28), he does not thereby exclude the binding force of the Decalogue, nor does He deny the importance of discipline in the Church of God (I Cor. chapters 5 and 6).”

He then observed that the New Testament itself helps us understand the importance of discipline and its connection with the work of Salvation in the world.

In our diocese a Diocesan Handbook of Policy was first presented in 1998 by the then Bishop Thomas Collins and in 2011 it was presented in a revised and expanded form by Bishop Luc Bouchard.

Today I am pleased to promulgate this new revised and up-dated Policy Handbook of the Diocese of St Paul in Alberta. In doing this I wish to thank, particularly the priests of our Priest’s Council who have made important contributions to this work.

May this Policy Handbook be an instrument through which we may more effectively serve and evangelize the People of God of our diocese.

In the Good Shepherd,

†Bishop Paul Terrio

Bishop of St Paul in Alberta

Fr Michael Ngo

Chancellor of the Diocese


The YOUCAT or Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church poses an interesting question:

“Why does God want there to be a Church?”

It then gives this answer:

“God wills the CHURCH because he wants to redeem us, not individually, but together. He wants to make all mankind his people. No one gets to heaven by the a-social route. Someone who thinks only about himself and the salvation of his own soul is living a-socially. That is impossible both in heaven and on earth. God himself is not a-social: he is not a solitary, self-sufficient being. The triune God in himself is “social”, a communion, an eternal exchange of love. Patterned after God, we also are designed for relationship, exchange, sharing and love. We are responsible for one another.” (cf. YOUCAT, p. 78)

Another interesting question is:

“Why can there be only one Church?”

Its answer is:

“Just as there is only one Christ, there can be only one Body of Christ, only one Bride of Christ, and therefore only one CHURCH of Jesus Christ. He is the Head, the Church is the Body. Together they form the “whole Christ” (St Augustine). Just as the body has many members yet is one, so too the one Church consists of and is made up of many particular churches (dioceses).” (cf. YOUCAT, p. 81)

The Diocese of St Paul in Alberta is just such a particular Church, formed “after the model of the universal Church” (Lumen Gentium, no. 23) and entrusted “to a bishop to be guided by him with the assistance of his clergy” (Christus Dominus, no. 11, a).

Responsible for the spiritual development of his flock in truth and holiness, the bishop has a sacred right and duty of legislating for his people and regulating everything that concerns the good order of divine worship and the apostolate (Lumen Gentium, no. 25). Therefore, the policies presented in this Handbook, are anchored in the teachings of the universal Church, and will serve to strengthen our ties of communion among parishes, faith communities and other Catholic institutions of the Catholic Diocese of St Paul in Alberta.

The Bishop

Within the diocese entrusted to him, the Bishop of St Paul in Alberta, under the authority of the Supreme Pontiff, is “the visible source and foundation of unity” (Lumen Gentium, no 23) with “all the ordinary, proper and immediate power required for the exercise of his pastoral office.” (c. 381, no. 1)

Pastors of the Diocese

The pastoral governance of the Diocese of St Paul in Alberta is conducted under the authority of the Bishop with the assistance of:

the Vicar General

the Episcopal Vicar(s)

the Chancellor

Pastors, Parish administrators, Associate pastors organized into deaneries

The Deaneries

There are three deaneries:

  1. North

St John the Baptist, Ft McMurray and Missions; St Paul, Ft McMurray and Missions; St Isidore, Plamondon and Mission; St Catherine, Lac La Biche and Missions; St Gabriel, Athabasca; St Alphonse, Boyle.

2. South

St Paul Cathedral, St Paul; St Michael, Elk Point; St Louis of France, Bonnyville; St Dominic, Cold Lake; St Raphael, Le Goff and Missions; St-Jean-de-Brebeuf, Maillag; St Laurence, Brosseau and Missions.

3. West

St Jean Baptiste, Morinville; St Emile, Legal; St Anne, Thorhild and Missions; St Mary, Westlock and Missions; St Anne, Barrhead and Mission; St Joseph, Whitecourt and Mission.

Diocesan Curia

The Curia consists of those persons and/or offices who assist the Bishop in the governance of the entire Diocese in guiding the pastoral activities, in caring for the administration of the Diocese and in exercising judicial power.

The Curia, in the service of the Bishop, is coordinated by a Moderator.

The Council of Priests

The three Deans of the Diocese are elected from their deaneries for five year terms renewable and are members of the Council. As well, two other priests are appointed to the Council by the Bishop. As the “senate of the bishop”, they discuss pastoral programs, issues arising from parish ministry and clergy appointments.

The College of Consultors

Because the number of clergy is still relatively small and also because of the geographical extension of the Diocese the College of Consultors consists of the three Deans as well as the Vicar General.

The Diocesan Finance Committee

The Committee is established according to Canons 492-3 and therefore “composed of at least three of the faithful, experts in financial affairs and civil law, of outstanding integrity and appointed by the Bishop”. The Committee has a membership of: the Bishop, two Chartered Accountants, the Vicar General, the Chancellor, a Permanent Deacon, an investment broker and the Financial Officer of the Diocese.

The Diocesan maintenance Committee

As the owner of all properties and their contents, the Diocese promotes the appreciation of and respect for our churches and properties as gifts but also requires the services of experts in managing and maintaining such assets. The committee provides expertise and oversight about maintenance issues for both diocesan and parish properties as well as Catholic cemeteries. It is presided over by a Permanent Deacon.

Section II: CLERGY

PASTORAL CONDUCT for CLERGY engaged in ministry


Priests, transitional and permanent deacons in our parishes must uphold Christian values and conduct as they minister to, or work with the People of God. Imitating Christ, the servant-leader, all who serve in these ministries must follow practices that meet the needs of God’s people and promote the highest respect for the dignity of individuals and especially for the most vulnerable members of the community.

All who minister on behalf of the Church must recognize that their public and private good conduct can inspire others but also that their misconduct can lead to scandal which could seriously undermine the faith of the people they serve. With the help of the Holy Spirit, our clergy must be constantly aware of the responsibilities that accompany their ministry in the Church.

This policy provides clear directives to protect our clergy and those with whom they interact.


Living Arrangements

Residence in rectories and buildings operated by the Diocese of St Paul is limited to pastors, associate pastors, retired priests, visiting priests, transitional deacons and seminarians.

With the Bishop’s written permission, close family members may reside in rectories together with the pastor.

Guests of the pastor may stay in the rectory no longer than one month. Unless accompanied by a parent or guardian, minors may not stay overnight in a rectory.

Work Environment and Boundaries

Clergy are to provide a work and ministerial environment that is free from physical, sexual, psychological, verbal intimidation, bullying or harassment.

Harassment encompasses a broad range of physical, written or verbal behavior including the following:

Physical or mental abuse;

Belittlement or criticism of personal attributes;

Derogatory racial or ethnic comments. ‘jokes’ or insults;

Sexual advances or touching;

Display of offensive materials.

Harassment can be a single severe incident or a persistent pattern of milder behavior where the purpose or effect is to create a hostile, offensive or intimidating environment.

Allegations of harassment should be taken seriously and reported immediately to the appropriate person in the parish or the diocese.

Clergy assume the full burden of responsibility for establishing and maintaining clear, appropriate boundaries in all relationships, including spiritual direction and counselling-related ministry.

Electronic/Online Conduct

How clergy represent themselves to the public reflects their identity as Disciples of Christ in the service of the Church. The standards of ethical conduct and personal integrity extend to all forms of written, verbal and electronic communication.

Clergy using social networking sites and websites, including “blogs”, for personal use, should be aware that any information displayed therein, including links, third-party postings and comments, may be evaluated by readers in light of that priest or deacon’s position in the Church.

Clergy’s personal accounts or sites, such as those on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or other platforms, must NOT be used for Diocesan or parish programs nor to communicate directly with people to whom they minister.

Separate official or clearly authorized sites should be created and used to provide parish, Diocesan or program information.

Clergy should not telephone, text, communicate via messages, chat or email people to whom they minister from a number or account which hides their identity.

Spiritual Direction/Counselling

To avoid confusion about the nature of the relationship, spiritual direction, pastoral sessions such as interviews or counselling, etc. must be conducted in appropriate settings and at appropriate times.

The priest or deacon must take care to set definite time lengths and frequency for such sessions to avoid inappropriate attachments or perceptions of the same.

In counselling and spiritual direction, a priest or deacon must not exceed his competence. He should be ready to refer people to other professionals when necessary. However, the essential distinction between spiritual direction and clinical psychological therapy is not to be lost from view.

Well-Being of Clergy

Clergy are to be responsible and attentive to their own spiritual, physical, emotional well-being. Consequently, they:

Should be attentive to their spiritual needs. Accompaniment and guidance of a spiritual director is highly recommended.

Should be self-aware and watch for any signs that indicate potential problems with their spiritual, physical or emotional health;

Should contact the bishop immediately whenever they notice behavioral or emotional warning signs in their own lives;

Should use prudence whenever engaging in activities that may become compulsive, additive or negatively affect their well-being.

Must avoid all inappropriate use of alcohol, controlled or non-controlled narcotic or other drugs and pornography.

Annual Vacations

Canon Law (Can 533, no. 2) specifies that a priest’s annual vacation is a period not exceeding one month, taken continuously or incrementally.

Pastors and associate pastors are asked to submit their vacation plans to the bishop’s office for approval in order to avoid too many priests being absent at a given time.

The bishop’s office will both approve the requested vacation whenever there is no obstacle and find the priest replacement.

The vacationing priest is to always provide his parish office and the diocesan chancery with the information coordinates where he can be contacted while away.

Priests may opt to take a vacation every second (2nd) year in which case they may, with the approval of the bishop, take six (6) to eight (8) weeks of vacation.

Financial Directives

Ministry is pastoral service and clergy must neither ask for, nor expect, financial compensation other than that outlined in other Diocesan policies and protocols.

A priest or deacon must not solicit in any way, directly or indirectly, by word or action any gift, bequest, loan or endowment for his personal benefit from a person with whom he has or has had, a pastoral relationship.

A priest or deacon must not act as a financial advisor, take on the responsibility of power of attorney or serve as the executor for a will for a vulnerable person without the explicit permission of the bishop.

Pastors and parochial administrators must manage and maintain Church property and assets with prudence and diligence, including attention to the safety of people using or near the same.

Clergy who are involved in the financial administration of a parish must review and know that financial and administration policies of the diocese.

Incardination of an extern priest into the St Paul Diocese

Canon 268 states:

“A cleric who has lawfully moved from his own particular Church to another is, by virtue of the law itself, incardinated in the latter Church after five years, if he has declared this intention in writing to both the Bishop of the host diocese and his own diocesan bishop, and neither of the two bishops has indicated opposition in writing within four months of receiving the cleric’s written request.”

An application for incardination should not be made until a priest has served for three consecutive years in the diocese of St Paul.

A priest is to make his request for incardination in writing to the bishop.

The bishop will forward the request to the Priest’s Council of the diocese.

On the recommendation of the diocesan Priest’s Council the incardination process will begin.

Last Will and Testament

The diocese of St Paul requires all incardinated priests to have a Last Will and Testament to provide the diocese and the priest’s family direction for the administration of the priest’s estate in the event of death. When a diocesan priest dies without a Last Will and Testament a legal probate process for his estate is required which is costly and detrimental to the diocese as well as any family members.

The Will and Testament is a legal document which is duly executed and valid in civil law.

The priest’s Last Will and Testament, or a copy conform of it, is to be placed in a sealed envelope and sent to office of the chancellor for safe keeping.

The name(s) and phone number(s) of the executor(s) are to be indicated on the outside of the sealed envelope. If the executor is someone other than the bishop or his delegate or the chancellor of the diocese, then “Permission to Open in the Event of Death” is also to be indicated on the outside of the envelope.

Personal Directive

The diocese of St Paul encourages all priests to write a personal directive which states his wishes about non-financial decisions, including medical care, should he no longer be able to make decisions on his own.

The personal directive designates a substitute decision maker to act on his behalf.

The personal directive is a legal document which may, but does not require, the services of a lawyer.

Leave of Absence

In the case where a priest, for reasons deemed justified by the bishop and in accord with canon law, is given a leave of absence from ministry, the following will apply:

The priest granted a leave of absence will receive the current salary of priests in active ministry.

However, since the parish/diocese contributes to vehicle expenses for pastoral ministry, the priest on leave will not receive any payment of vehicle expenses.

The diocese will continue to pay the employer portion of the Canada Pension Plan, Employment insurance and federal and provincial taxes as regulated.

If the financial status of the priest on leave changes (he is employed elsewhere) this policy is annulled and no longer applicable.

If a priest chooses to leave his ministry without the permission of the bishop, he will not receive any salary of benefits from the diocese.


Priests are eligible for retirement, according to Canon 538, at the age of seventy-five (75) years.

A retired priest is one who no longer holds an office and who has received written permission from the bishop to retire.

Priests are to offer their resignation from office in writing to the bishop during their seventy-fifth (75th) year prior to the 75th birthday.

Illness or some other circumstance may require a priest to request retirement before he reaches the age of seventy-five (75th).

The place of retirement will be determined on a case by case basis with the bishop who according to Can Law 384 continues to oversee the well-being of his priests even when they no longer have an assigned pastoral ministry.


The Diocese of St Paul in Alberta has both international seminarians and seminarians who are Canadian citizens.

Canadian born seminarians shall undertake their philosophy and theology studies normally at St Joseph Seminary and Newman Theological College in Edmonton.

Seminarians attending St Joseph Seminary/Newman Theological College have their study costs and room and board paid by the diocese. They also receive a monthly stipend of $200.00

International seminarians without philosophy/theology studies will either study in Edmonton at the above mentioned institutions or they shall undertake or complete such studies in the native country.

Each seminarian’s program of formation and studies will be individually elaborated in consultation with the chancellor before being approved by the bishop.

All seminarians must complete a yearlong pastoral internship in a parish of the diocese under the supervision and guidance of the parish pastor.

The support of seminarians on internship is as follows:

A seminarian on internship but returning to the seminary for completion of studies will receive a monthly stipend of $500.00 while on internship.

An international seminarian, not under direction from the seminary, shall receive a ‘pastoral worker pay’ (including room and board deduction) at $15.00/hour or $1950.00 per month.


Specific directives for the Diocese of St. Paul in the light of the Revised GIRM and Missal

The following directives are highlighted here in this protocol in order to assure a consistent practice in the Diocese of St. Paul and conformity with the universal law of the Church. The oneness of our faith is to be apparent in the unity of our gestures and postures at the Sacred Liturgy (cf. GIRM, 96).

· In addition to what has been said regarding kneeling at the Consecration, the following is to be observed:

1. Standing from the invitation Pray, brethren before the Prayer over the Gifts.

2. It is not necessary for all to remain standing throughout the entire Communion rite until all have received. Paragraph 43 is intended to ensure within broad limits a certain uniformity of posture within the congregation for the various parts of the celebration of the Holy Mass, but this is not to be interpreted so rigidly that people wishing to sit or kneel immediately after receiving the Lord in Holy Communion are not free to do so.

· The text of the Gloria must not be replaced by another text. Musical settings of the Gloria with words other than the official text are not to be used.

· The sign of peace is given by a handshake or a bow only to those nearby and in a dignified manner.

· The breaking of the Eucharistic Bread is reserved to the Priest, who may be assisted by a Deacon or a concelebrant. This reservation of function is to apply as well to the apportioning of Hosts among ciboria prior to their distribution to the faithful.

· The Communion chant begins as the Priest receives the Sacred Host. This means that music ministers will receive Holy Communion after all others have received.

· Note the important distinction made between instituted readers and acolytes, on the one hand, and deputed lay ministers on the other. In our Diocese, the only duly instituted readers and acolytes are those in preparation for Holy Orders.

· The altar is to be covered with a white cloth (cf. also 304).

1. The altar candles are to be lit prior to the beginning of Mass. They are to remain lit until after the recessional.

2. The number of lighted candles can vary in accordance with the nature of the celebration, but there are to be at least two lit candles in any celebration of the Mass.

3. On the altar or near it is to be a Cross adorned with a figure of Christ crucified. If the processional Cross is placed near the altar then a Cross need not be placed on the altar.

4. The processional Cross is to be adorned with a figure of Christ crucified.

· Only the Book of the Gospels, not the Lectionary, may be carried in the procession. The Lectionary is to be placed on the Ambo prior to the beginning of Mass (cf. 118). The Book of the Gospels is not carried out in the recessional.

· When about to proclaim the Gospel, the Priest greets the people with hands joined. Of course, this holds as well when a Deacon proclaims the Gospel (cf. 175).

· At the Consecration, a small bell is to be rung by the server at each elevation by the Priest.

· When the Host and Chalice are shown to the people, incense may also be used.

· The memorial acclamation is to be taken from one of the approved formulas. Substitutions are not permitted.

· The Priest is to remain in the sanctuary when giving the sign of peace.

· At Communion, the Priest now has the option of holding the host above the paten or above the chalice when he says Behold the Lamb of God.

· The distribution of Holy Communion.

1. The lay faithful are not to take the Host or the chalice by themselves. Neither may they pass the paten or chalice among themselves. They are to receive Communion from the Priest, Deacon, or deputed lay minister.

2. The posture for receiving Communion is standing. Allowance is made in the GIRM for those who wish to receive kneeling to do so.

3. While standing before the minister of Communion, the recipient makes a bow of the head before reception.

4. Reception of the Host may be either in the hand or on the tongue.

5. When receiving on the hand, one hand is to be placed over the other, so that the Host may be placed by the minister in the hand. The practice of the recipient taking the host from the minister is to be discontinued. The Host is to be consumed immediately upon receiving it.

6. When receiving on the tongue, the recipients' hands are to be reverently joined.

· If deputed lay ministers are necessary to help in the distribution of Holy Communion, they approach the altar after the Priest has communicated and stand at the side of the sanctuary. After they have received Communion themselves, they then receive from the hands of the Priest the vessels containing the Sacred Hosts or Precious Blood for distribution to the faithful.

· The Priest consumes at the altar any Precious Blood remaining after the distribution. In the case of Mass with a Deacon, it is the Deacon who consumes the remaining Precious Blood at the altar, assisted, if necessary, by other Priests or Deacons (cf. 182) or by an instituted acolyte (cf. 284, b).

1. It is the Priest or Deacon who carries any remaining hosts to the tabernacle.

2. It is the Priest who purifies the vessels. This may occur at the altar immediately after Holy Communion or at the credence table after the conclusion of Mass. In the case of Mass with a Deacon, it is the Deacon who purifies the vessels (cf. 183).

· This now outlines clearly the liturgical functions of the Deacon.

1. Note that the Deacon may minister at the altar as regards both the chalice and the book. The Priest may decide to attend to the book himself at the altar, in which case he need simply let the Deacon know beforehand.

2. The practice of having the adult server stand at the altar and turn the pages of the Missal is to be discontinued. He or she takes their place with the other servers at the side of the sanctuary.

3. It is the Deacon who prepares the altar, assisted by a server(s). In the absence of a Deacon, a server prepares the altar.

4. The Deacon kneels at the epiclesis until the elevation of the chalice. If he is not attending to the Missal, he kneels at the same time as the congregation.

5. When a Deacon is exercising his functions at the altar, he receives Holy Communion under both kinds immediately after the Priest has communicated and before Holy Communion is given to deputed lay ministers.

· In concelebrated Masses, once Mass is begun, a Priest may not afterward join in concelebration or be admitted as concelebrant.

· Concelebrants give themselves Communion. Note: if it is necessary to present the Eucharist to a concelebrant, one presents the vessel from which the concelebrant takes the Host himself. In this case, the one holding the vessel does not say "The Body of Christ" (or "The Blood of Christ").

1. This describes the distribution of Holy Communion by intinction. In the Diocese of St. Paul permission is not given for the distribution of Holy Communion to take place in this manner.

2. The bread used from the celebration of the Eucharist must be made from wheat. Please note that so-called "gluten-free" hosts, if they are, in fact, entirely gluten free, are not valid matter for the Eucharist. To be valid matter such hosts must have at least a small amount of gluten. People unable to receive hosts with even a small amount of gluten due to celiac disease may be invited to receive solely the Precious Blood according to the doctrine of concomitance (cf. 282).

· In the Diocese of St. Paul, all acolytes and altar servers, including any adult servers, are to be vested in an alb and cincture.

1. The albs worn by servers exercising their function in the same Mass should be uniform in design insofar as possible.

2. Readers and lay ministers of Holy Communion do not wear albs. Their clothing should be modest and dignified, in keeping with the sacred nature of the Eucharistic celebration.

· The substitution of other chants for those of the Order of Mass is not permitted.

†Bishop Paul Terrio

Bishop of St Paul in Alberta

Deacons’ Guide for Eucharistic Celebrations

(see GIRM #171-186)


1. The Deacon gives the instructions regarding a uniformity of gestures and postures to the people. (GIRM #43 & 94)

Introductory Rites:

1. The Deacon walks at the side of the Priest during the Procession, unless he is carrying the Book of Gospels in which case he may precede the Priest. (GIRM #171 & 172)

2. The Deacon may lead the Penitential Rite form III following the introduction by the Priest. The Priest says the absolution. (OM #6)

Liturgy of the Word:

1. The Deacon proclaims the Gospel. He greets the people with hands joined and may incense the book. (GIRM #175 & OM #14)

2. If the Bishop is presiding, after reading the Gospel, the Deacon brings the Book of Gospels to the Bishop who then kisses the book. He then places the book on the credence table or another dignified place. (GIRM # 175 & CB #141)

3. If the Deacon venerates the Book of Gospels, he leaves it closed on the AMBO.

4. The Deacon may preach the Homily. (GIRM #66 & OM #17)

5. The Deacon announces the Universal Prayer of the Faithful from the ambo. (GIRM #71 & 177)

Incensation: (GIRM #178)

1. The Deacon receives the thurible from the thurifer.

2. The Deacon assists the Priest during the incensation of the offerings, the cross and the altar.

3. The Deacon incenses the Priest and then, the people.

Liturgy of the Eucharist:

1. The Deacon prepares the altar with the assistance of the acolyte. (GIRM #178)

2. The Deacon assists the Priest in receiving the people’s gifts. (GIRM #178)

3. The Deacon prepares the chalice. (GIRM #178; 215 & OM #24)

4. The Deacon stands near the Priest for the Eucharistic Prayer and usually kneels with the congregation from the epiclesis until the Priest shows the chalice. (GIRM #179)

5. The Deacon may assist with the Roman Missal during the Eucharistic Prayer with the consent of the presider. (GIRM #179 & 215)

6. The Deacon elevates the chalice at the doxology. (GIRM #180)

Communion Rite:

1. The Deacon says the invitation to the Sign of Peace. (GIRM #181 & OM #128)

2. The Deacon may assist with the breaking of the Eucharistic Bread. (GIRM #83)

3. The Deacon distributes Communion as an ordinary Eucharistic minister along with the Priest. When Communion is given under both kinds, he normally administers the chalice to the communicants. (GIRM #182)

4. The Priest himself is to carry the remaining hosts to the place of reposition. (GIRM #163)

5. The Deacon clears the altar and may purify the vessels. (GIRM #183)

Concluding Rites:

1. The Deacon may say “Bow down for the blessing.” if the formal blessing is used. (GIRM #185 & OM #142)

2. The Deacon says the dismissal with hands joined. (GIRM #185 & OM #144)

GIRM = the General Instruction of the Roman Missal

OM= the Order of Mass

CB= Ceremonial of Bishops

Readers’ Liturgy Guide

(see GIRM #194-198)


All readings will be proclaimed in English, unless decided otherwise by the Bishop.

Preparation Prior to the Celebration:

1. All ministers should properly know the readings that they are to proclaim for any given Mass. There should be no last minute improvisation where at all possible. (GIRM #352)

2. Everyone who exercises the ministry of reader must not only be prepared technically but also spiritually, which includes biblical and liturgical preparation. Please see Introduction to the Lectionary [LM] #55 quoted below.

3. The Lectionary should be placed on the ambo before Mass begins. (GIRM #118b)


1. Ministers should wear an alb or other lawfully approved attire. (GIRM #119c)

2. In the Diocese of St. Paul, albs are not required.

3. It is a praiseworthy practice to maintain an atmosphere of prayerful silence in the sacristy and vesting room prior to the celebration so as to allow ministers to properly dispose themselves for their ministry. (GIRM #45)

The Procession:

1. The reader, in the absence of a Deacon, processes with the Book of Gospels, slightly elevated. If the reader is carrying the Book of Gospels, he/she walks in front of the Priest, otherwise he/she walks with the other ministers. The Lectionary is not to be carried in procession. If the Book of Gospels is not used then no book is brought up in procession. (GIRM #118b, 120d & 194)

2. If the Book of Gospels is carried in procession, it is to be placed on the altar; (flat on the altar, on the front side, the side of the people, if possible). (GIRM #117,122, 273 & 306; IL #17)

3. The reader takes his/her place in the sanctuary with the other ministers. (GIRM #195)

4. The Book of Gospels is not carried in the procession at the end of Mass (IBG #22)

The Liturgy of the Word:

1. The readings are always to be read from the ambo. (GIRM #58)

2. The function of proclaiming the readings is by tradition not presidential but ministerial. Therefore the readings are to be read by a reader, but the Gospel by the Deacon, or, in his absence, by a Priest. (GIRM #59)

3. Periods of silence help to foster a spirit of meditation and should be exercised at the beginning of the Liturgy of the Word, after each of the readings and at the end of the Homily. (GIRM #56, 128 & IL #28)

4. In the absence of a psalmist, the reader may also proclaim the Responsorial Psalm after the First Reading. (GIRM #196)

5. When there is more than one reading, it is better to assign the readings to different lectors, if available. (IL #52)

6. In the absence of a Deacon, the reader may announce the Universal Prayer of the Faithful from the ambo. (GIRM #197 & IL #53)

7. The Book of Gospels is to be left on the ambo or brought to the credence table or to another suitable place.

The Importance of Preparation:

“‘It is necessary that those who exercise the ministry of lector … be truly suited and carefully prepared, so that the faithful may develop a warm and living love for Sacred Scripture from listening to the sacred readings.’

“Their preparation must above all be spiritual, but what may be called a technical preparation is also needed. The spiritual preparation presupposes at least a biblical and liturgical formation. The purpose of their biblical formation is to give lectors the ability to understand the readings in context and to perceive by the light of faith the central point of the revealed message. The liturgical formation ought to equip the lectors to have some grasp of the meaning and structure of the Liturgy of the Word and of the significance of its connection with the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The technical preparation should make the lectors more skilled in the art of reading publicly, either with the power of their own voice or with the help of sound equipment.” (IL #55)

GIRM = the General Instruction of the Roman Missal

IL= the Introduction to the Lectionary

IBG= the Introduction to the Book of Gospels

Liturgy Guide for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

For Pastors and Eucharistic Ministers.

“In the absence of an instituted acolyte, there may be deputed lay ministers to serve at the altar and assist the Priest and the Deacon; these carry the cross, the candles, the thurible, the bread, the wine, and the water, or who are even deputed to distribute Holy Communion as extraordinary ministers.” (GIRM #100)

Preferred Order of choosing Extraordinary Ministers:

· Bishop,

· Priests,

· Deacons,

· Instituted Acolytes,

· Instituted Readers/Lectors,

· Major Seminarians, Religious (Men & Women),

· Catechists,

· Catholic Men & Women. (Immensae Caritatis)


1. Ministers should wear an alb or other lawfully approved attire. (GIRM #119c)

2. In the Diocese of St. Paul, albs are not required.

3. It is a praiseworthy practice to maintain an atmosphere of prayerful silence in the sacristy and vesting room prior to the celebration so as to allow ministers to properly dispose themselves for their ministry. (GIRM #45)

The Ministry:

1. Eucharistic ministers are to go in procession after the altar servers and before the Deacon or reader carrying the Book of Gospels. (GIRM #120)

2. Eucharistic ministers are not to approach the altar until after the Priest has received Communion. (GIRM #162)

3. The breaking of the bread is reserved to the Priest and Deacon. (GIRM #83)

4. The Priest himself is to go to the tabernacle to bring the hosts to the altar. (see GIRM #160, 162) However, the practice of using hosts consecrated at another Mass is to be avoided. The faithful should receive hosts consecrated at the same Mass at which they attend. It is also desirable that they also partake of the chalice so that the signs of Communion stand out more clearly as a participation in the sacrifice actually being celebrated in their presence. Therefore, the distribution of hosts that have already been consecrated at a previous Mass should be avoided, or at least limited, as much as possible. (GIRM #85)

5. The Priest himself is to distribute the Body and Blood of Christ to the extraordinary ministers of Communion. They are not to take the host or the chalice for themselves. (GIRM #160)

6. Care should be taken to ensure that the music ministers are able to receive Communion with ease. (GIRM #86)

7. If a host or any particle should fall, it is to be picked up reverently; and if any of the Precious Blood is spilled, the area where the spill occurred should be washed with water, and this water should then be poured into the sacrarium* in the sacristy. (GIRM #280)

8. The Priest himself is to carry the remaining hosts to the place of reposition. (GIRM #163)

9. The vessels are to be purified by the Priest, the Deacon, or an instituted acolyte after Communion or after Mass, insofar as possible at the credence table, otherwise the vessels are to be purified at the altar. (GIRM #270 & 279, see also #163, 192, 247, 249, 284b)

GIRM = the General Instruction of the Roman Missal

Music Ministers’ Liturgy Guide

Diocesan Liturgies:

Unless decided otherwise by the Bishop, the readings are proclaimed in English. All hymns, the psalm and the Gospel acclamation are proclaimed in English. The “Our Father” is to be recited.

The Church places great importance on liturgical singing. (GIRM #39-41)

If you want to introduce a new song or mass part, a good rule of thumb is to take the five minutes or so before the liturgy begins to teach the congregation. This will allow for the full participation of the congregation. The goal of Catholic music ministry is congregational singing, and, therefore, try to use songs that are found within your hymnals. If you use something from another source, please take extra care to teach it to the congregation, especially the refrain. These songs should be easy to sing. Please also ensure that your parish has the proper copyrights for the music that is used.

Mass Setting:

For Diocesan Masses, the Mass setting B, by John Dawson, in Celebrate and Song is to be used.

Gathering Song:

Its purpose is to open the celebration, foster the unity of those who have been gathered, introduce their thoughts to the mystery of the liturgical time or festivity, and accompany the procession of the Priest and ministers. (see GIRM #47-48)

Lord Have Mercy:

Please check with presider as to which form of the penitential rite will be used. This will allow you to know when you ought to begin singing, if at all. (OM #4-7)


The Gloria is omitted during Advent and Lent and may not be replaced by any other text. (GIRM #53 & OM #8)


The psalm ought to be sung from the ambo or another suitable place. It is preferable for the Responsorial Psalm to be sung. (GIRM #61 & IL #20) While it is preferred that the psalm found in the lectionary for a specific Sunday be used, it is possible to choose a seasonal psalm that may be used several times throughout the course of a particular liturgical season. (IL #89) Choosing a seasonal psalm can ease the difficulty of learning a new piece of music each week and provide a level of familiarity with the congregation. Seasonal Psalms are found in your Sunday Lectionary.

· Advent: p. 44

· Christmas: p. 107

· Lent: p. 251

· Easter: p. 433

· Ordinary Time: p. 768-769

Gospel Acclamation:

Keep singing the acclamation until the Priest/Deacon is at the ambo to proclaim the Gospel. At special celebrations, when incense is used, we would need to sing it longer. The Alleluia is sung every time of the year outside of Lent. During Lent, use the verse from the Lectionary. (GIRM #62)

Preparation of the Gifts:

Continue singing until just before the preparation of the gifts or until just after the washing of the hands. Instrumental music can be played if the song finishes early. (GIRM #74) The offertory song should be reflective and a link between the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.

Mass Parts during the Eucharistic Prayer:

It is good to have a similar setting of the “Holy, Holy”, the “Memorial Acclamation” and the “Great Amen” because it helps give a sense of unity to the whole Eucharistic Prayer. We are asked to only use settings that have been written for the new translation. The use of Canadian sources is to be preferred.

The Lord's Prayer:

It is better for everyone to recite the “Our Father” than to have only a few people sing while the rest listen. (GIRM #41 & 81) If you wish to sing the Lord’s Prayer, please check with the presider and make sure that everyone can sing along.

Lamb of God:

Begin the “Lamb of God” when the Priest begins to break the bread. The singing of the “Lamb of God” is meant to accompany the breaking of the bread and is not a conclusion to the sign of peace. Continue singing until the breaking of the bread is finished. That might mean singing “Lamb of God ... have mercy on us” three or four times before “grant us peace”. (GIRM #83 & OM #130)

Communion Hymns:

Please begin the communion hymns when the Priest is receiving Communion. Do not wait until all of the Eucharistic ministers have received from the cup and have gone to their places to begin singing. This hymn is meant to express the spiritual union of all those who receive Communion from the one table. (GIRM #86-88)

Note: For ease of receiving Communion for yourselves, you may wish to take turns going up for Communion while others remain behind to lead the singing or wait until after everyone else has received to go up yourselves.

Recessional Hymn:

Its purpose is to send out the faithful in mission and service. It should affirm the call of God that we are to preach the Gospel with our lives.

Other notes:

1. In Advent, the use of musical instruments should be marked by a moderation suited to this time of year so as not to express the full joy of Christmas. (GIRM #313)

2. In Lent, the playing of musical instruments is allowed only in order to support the singing, except on the Fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetare Sunday), Solemnities and Feasts. (GIRM #313)

3. It is not permitted to substitute other chants for those found in the Order of Mass, for example, the Gloria, or the Lamb of God (Agnus Dei). (GIRM #53 & 366)

GIRM = the General Instruction of the Roman Missal

OM= the Order of Mass

IL= the Introduction to the Lectionary

Sacristans’ Liturgy Guide

(GIRM # 117-119 & 288-351)

A guide for Pastors and Sacristans

The sacristan arranges all that is necessary for the celebration of the Mass. (GIRM #105a)


The Altar (GIRM #117)

1. The altar is to be covered with a white cloth. This does not exclude the possibility of using colors that are seasonally determined, this only prescribes that at least one cloth be white. Therefore, it is possible, for instance, to have a white altar along with another cloth indicative of the liturgical season.

2. At least two candles are to be placed on or near the altar. If the processional candles are to be placed on or near the altar than this preparation is not necessary.

3. A crucifix is to be placed on or near the altar. The processional cross (adorned with Christ crucified) may serve as the altar cross and be placed near the altar. If the processional cross is used for this purpose, it should be the only cross at the altar. Otherwise, if another cross is used, it is to be put away in a dignified place. (GIRM #122 & 188)

4. The Book of Gospels is placed on the altar (flat on the altar, on the front side, the side of the people, if possible). It may be placed on the altar before the beginning of Mass if it is not carried in the Entrance Procession.

NOTE: If Mass is to take place outside of a sacred space (i.e. church or chapel), it may take place on a suitable table, always with the use of a cloth, a corporal, a cross and candles. (GIRM #297)

The Presider’s chair (GIRM #118a)

The following items should be placed near the chair:

1. The Roman Missal

2. A hymnal (if appropriate)

The Ambo (GIRM #118b)

The Lectionary should be placed on the ambo prior to the celebration.

The Credence Table (GIRM #118c)

1. The following items ought to be placed on the credence table:

2. The chalice (or chalices for communion under both species)

3. The corporal

4. The purificator (or purificators for communion under both species)

5. The pall (or palls for a larger number of chalices), if appropriate. (For example, they should be used when there is a potential risk of flies and other insects getting into the chalices during Mass.

6. Water, towel and wash bowl for the washing of the Priest’s hands.

7. The paten and ciboria with the bread for communion and the wine may be on the credence table if they are not to be brought up in procession at the Offertory. It is preferable that these be brought up in procession. This includes the main host of the presider.

A Table at the back of the Church (GIRM #118c)

The items mentioned above (ciboria, wine cruet) are to be placed on a table at the back of the church rather than on the credence table if they are to be brought up at the Offertory procession.


The decor of the church should bring about a close and coherent unity that is clearly expressive of the unity of the entire holy people, while acknowledging the hierarchical structure and the diversity of functions. The nature and beauty of the place and all its furnishings should foster devotion and express visually the holiness of the mysteries celebrated there. (GIRM #294)

The Altar (GIRM #296-308)

The altar should occupy a place where it is truly the centre toward which the attention of the whole congregation of the faithful naturally turns. It is desirable that each church has an unmovable altar rather than a movable one. (GIRM #298-299)

The altar should be covered with at least one white cloth whose shape, size and decoration are in keeping with the altar’s structure. (GIRM #304) Altar cloths with the color of the liturgical season may be used along with the white altar cloth.

Moderation should be observed in the decoration of the altar. During Advent the floral decoration should be marked with moderation so as not to express the full joy of Christmas. During Lent it is forbidden to decorate the altar with flowers, except on the Fourth Sunday of Lent (Laetare Sunday), Feasts and Solemnities. Floral decorations should be arranged around the altar rather than on the altar table. Plastic flowers should not be used to decorate the altar. (GIRM #305)

Only what is required for the celebration of the Mass may be placed on the altar table. (GIRM #306)

The Ambo (GIRM #309)

1. It is appropriate that the ambo be stationary and not simply a movable lectern. (GIRM #309)

2. From the ambo, only the readings, the Responsorial Psalm, and the Easter Proclamation (Exsultet) are to be proclaimed; likewise it may be used for giving the Homily and for announcing the intentions of the Universal Prayer of the Faithful. (GIRM #309)

3. Announcements are made from the lectern.

The Priest’s Chair and Seats in the Sanctuary (GIRM #310)

1. The chair of the Priest must signify his function of presiding over the gathering and directing the prayer. However, it should not appear as a throne. (GIRM #310)

2. The seat for the Deacon should be placed near that of the celebrant. (GIRM #310)

3. Seats for other ministers should be arranged as to distinguish them from seats of the clergy and to allow them to easily carry out the function entrusted to them. (GIRM #310)

Sacred Images (GIRM #318)

Sacred images should be displayed for the veneration of the faithful but in a proper order so as not to take away from the celebration itself


All ritual books, vestments and sacred vessels should be stored in a dignified place in the sacristy. The sanctuary is not to be used as a place of storage. The altar is a sign of Christ, the Living Stone. (GIRM #298) The ambo is the place reserved for the proclamation of the Word of God and should not be used as a convenient place for storage.


The Bread and Wine for celebrating the Eucharist

1. The bread to be used at Mass ought to be large enough for the Priest to be able to break into parts and share with at least some of the faithful. Small hosts may be used when distributing communion to a large number of people or for pastoral reasons. (GIRM #321)

2. There should be enough hosts prepared for consecration as there people receiving communion. “It is most desirable that the faithful … receive the Lord’s Body from hosts consecrated at the same Mass … so that even by means of the signs Communion may stand out more clearly as a participation in the sacrifice actually being celebrated.” (GIRM #85) Distributing Communion from the tabernacle is to be avoided whenever possible.

3. Care ought to be taken to ensure that the bread and wine intended for the Eucharist are kept in a perfect state of conservation. (GIRM #323)

Sacred Vessels

1. Sacred vessels should be made from precious metal. Ceramic vessels must be disposed of. (GIRM #328-329)

2. The water that has been used for the washing of sacred vessels and linens ought to be poured into a sacrarium*.

Sacred Vestments and Liturgical Colors

The various colors used throughout the liturgical year and in various celebrations are explained and listed in GIRM #346-347 The ORDO also indicates the liturgical colors.


It is a praiseworthy practice to maintain an atmosphere of prayerful silence in the sacristy and vesting room prior to the celebration so as to allow ministers to properly dispose themselves for their ministry. (GIRM #45)

GIRM = the General Instruction of the Roman Missal

*Sacrarium - a sink in the sacristy whose drain leads directly into the earth reserved solely for the cleaning of the sacred vessels.




When a deacon is attending, please refer to the St. Paul Diocese Liturgical Guidelines “Deacons’ Guide for Eucharistic Celebrations”.


Should be celebrated in the parish church. However, if it is not feasible, Mass can take place in a suitable place within the school: i.e.: the chapel, the auditorium, the gymnasium. If Mass is to take place outside the church, all in attendance must be made aware of the sacredness of the place.


Proper church etiquette should be observed whether Mass is celebrated in a church or in a school. One should behave reverently as though one was in the parish church. One should show respect for the sacred space/place by:

· Maintaining silence. If one needs to speak with someone, one can whisper so as not to disturb others in the church.

· Walking. Running is not appropriate.

· Disposing of his/her gum before entering the church.

· Removing his/her headgear upon entering the church.

· Avoiding eating or drinking during mass with the exception of Holy Communion.

· Turning off and putting away his/her cell phone or any other electronic devices before the commencement of Mass. (with the exception of students requiring the use communication devices).

· Making the sign of the cross after dipping his/her fingers in the holy water fonts at the entrance of the church.

· Genuflecting towards the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle as one enters the pews.

· Maintaining appropriate posture.


The liturgical norms are to be respected.

· Prepare the Mass in consultation with the parish priest who will be presiding at the Mass.

· Active participation by all in attendance should be encouraged as they are not spectators. It is of the utmost importance that the staff members and other adults in attendance lead by example.

· Review the appropriate responses and prayers with the students days prior to the Mass. This will encourage the students to be active participants.

· Teach the Eucharistic fast of one hour prior to the celebration of Mass.

· Prepare the students chosen for any prominent role in the Mass – The Choir, The Lectors, The Gift Bearers, The Altar Servers should be selected from among those who have been properly trained and commissioned with the parish where the Mass will be celebrated.


· All copyrights must be obtained if publishing and/or projecting the lyrics for the hymns, for the mass parts and/or the readings, even if the books are available in the church.

· If singing from the hymnals available in the church, no copyrights licenses are needed.


· It is sung or said on Sundays outside Advent and Lent, and also on Solemnities and Feasts, and at particular celebrations of a more solemn character. (GIRM #53)


· The readings are always read from the ambo. (GIRM #58)

· In the Lectionary for weekdays, readings are provided for each day of the week throughout the entire course of the year. However, outside of the Advent, Christmas and Lent-Easter seasons (or in Ordinary time), other Biblical texts may be chosen but in consultation with the priest or bishop celebrant. For a Solemnity, a Feast or Memorial fixed or set proper readings occur. (IL #82)

· The Responsorial Psalm corresponds to each reading and is to be taken from the Lectionary. It is preferable that it be sung at the ambo. (GIRM #61) Seasonal Psalms may be used except on Feasts and Solemnities. The Psalm cannot be replaced by a hymn.

· The Acclamation before the Gospel:

1. The Alleluia is sung in every time of year other than Lent. The verses are taken from the Lectionary. (GIRM # 62a)

2. During Lent, instead of the Alleluia, the Verse before the Gospel as given in the Lectionary is sung. (GIRM #62b)

3. If the Alleluia is not sung, it and the Verse are omitted.


· The series of intentions is usually to be:

1. for the needs of the Church;

2. for public authorities and the salvation of the whole world;

3. for those burdened by any kind of difficulty;

4. for the local community.

Nevertheless, in particular situations, the series of intentions may be concerned more closely to the particular occasion. (GIRM #70)

They are announced from the ambo by a reader. (GIRM #71)


If there is a monetary collection:

· Permission must be obtained from the Bishop;

· The collection is to be submitted to the Parish Office.


· The bread and wine are brought up during the procession of the gifts.

· Gifts for the poor of the Church can be brought by the faithful. (GIRM #73)

· [ie: non-perishable food, clothing – mitts, socks, tuques, etc.]

· Symbols such as books, sports equipment, jerseys, etc. are not to be brought up during the procession of the gifts.


· Because wine (or its appearances) are unfamiliar to most children, we distribute only the Body of Christ to the Catholic Faithful.

· Have supervisors observe the distribution of the Holy Communion ensuring that the Catholic students receive the Communion appropriately and consume it immediately.

· Teach the importance of reverence for the presence of Christ in the Eucharist, days prior to the Mass.

· Select Eucharistic Ministers who have been properly trained and commissioned by the parish. They may be staff or other adults present. High School Students who have been trained and approved by the parish may also distribute Communion.



· Should be of liturgical nature, offering praise and glory to God.

· Must be approved by the priest celebrant.

· Should be familiar to the students and staff. If not, they should be taught to the students days prior to the Mass.

· Provide the lyrics of all hymns. If preparing a booklet/sheets or projecting the lyrics, copyrights licenses must be obtained.

· Should be led by a music minister.


· Should be taught/reviewed with the students days prior to the Mass.

· Should be sung. If unfamiliar to those present at the Mass, the Mass parts are then recited rather than sung.

· Provide the responses for all Mass parts. If preparing booklets/sheets or projecting the responses and/or the readings, the copyright policies MUST be respected.


A. DEACON(S): When a deacon is attending, please refer to the St. Paul Diocese Liturgical Guidelines “Deacons’ Guide for Eucharistic Celebrations”.


· The pastor is always invited to participate in liturgies that take place at the school.

· Readings are introduced as in the Lectionary. However, a priest is allowed to replace readings, choosing texts more particularly suited to a particular celebration, provided that they are taken from the texts of an approved Lectionary. (GIRM #359)

· There is only one reader for each reading.

· The Gospel is usually proclaimed by a priest or a deacon. (In their absence, a lay person may read the Gospel. However, the greeting, “The Lord be with you.” is omitted.)

· Those present are to stand during the Gospel.

· The “Alleluia” is not used during any liturgies during Lent.

· Hymns are to be used.

· Provide the lyrics of all hymns. If preparing a booklet/sheets or projecting the lyrics, copyrights licenses must be obtained. If the readings are projected, copyright permissions must also be obtained from the CCCB.

· Other activities such as the dramatic readings using more than one voice, use of stories in addition to the Scripture passage are permitted in as long as it does not contradict the teachings of the Catholic Faith.


· One of the most repeated statements from Vatican II is, “the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life (L.G.15). The fact that many of our fellow Catholic do not understand or appreciate this, is especially evident during some “Graduation Masses” where the popular culture’s ideas about completing initial schooling and reaching legal age set the tone for the Mass as well as the whole weekend. And while it is natural and only to be expected that young people have a fun time for their graduation, we cannot let the Eucharist be marginalized or manipulated for less than faith reasons. As Catholics for whom the ‘Eucharist is indeed, the source and summit’, we, priests and committed parishioners and Catholic educators, cannot passively allow the Eucharist-Mass to be treated as an “add-on” or a mere ‘nice traditional event’ before the real party begins.

· In the diocese of St. Paul, we have quite a variety of schools among which high school graduation celebrations can be very different from each other. For some Catholic schools, the Eucharist for the graduating class is a faith filled and religious experience to acknowledge an important step in the journey of faith and life. For others, this has not been the case.

· Therefore, after prayer and consultation, as your Bishop, I have decided, to not ban totally graduation Masses but rather permit them on a case by case basis. In other words, each graduation Mass requires permission from the bishop.

†Bishop Paul Terrio

Bishop of St Paul in Alberta

GIRM = the General Instruction of the Roman Missal

Treaty Land Acknowledgments in Churches and at Liturgical Events

Recently the practice has arisen of making a public acknowledgement of Treaty land at the beginning of civic events. The motivation generally seems to be the desire to reach out to the Indigenous peoples of Canada in reconciliation and friendship through an acknowledgement that the territory they now share with non-Indigenous people is their ancestral land.

The question of the appropriateness of making such acknowledgments in a church, or at liturgical events hosted in Catholic institutions, has been raised. In response, the Bishops of Alberta offer the following direction.

We must recognize that, for the Indigenous peoples, “land is not a commodity but rather a gift from God and from their ancestors who rest there, a sacred space with which they need to interact if they are to maintain their identity and values” (Pope Francis, Laudato si, n. 146). Furthermore, they understand treaty as a solemn covenant, entered into between equal and sovereign peoples, to confirm and preserve the respective rights of each party.

The Church’s discernment on this issue is governed by theological principles. Of particular relevance are the Church’s doctrine pertaining to the sacred liturgy and its language, and its theology of creation as the gift of God the Creator to all peoples. Fidelity to these principles, and respect for the profound significance attributed to both land and treaty by the Indigenous peoples, means that great care must be exercised not only in determining the formulation of any treaty land acknowledgement, but also in ascertaining the fittingness of its use in any particular instance or venue. We wish also to insist that a verbal land acknowledgement must be reflective of genuine respect for the Indigenous peoples, and of earnest efforts to walk with them toward lasting reconciliation; words alone are insufficient.

Many of the acknowledgements used in our day are forms of political speech. While they have their place, such formulations would not be appropriate at a Catholic liturgy, whose ritualized language aims uniquely at the praise of Almighty God. Neither would they be fitting for use in a church, since it is sacred space, solemnly consecrated for the worship of God.

To be suitable for use in a church, outside of the sacred liturgy, or at a liturgical event in a Catholic institution, the formulation of acknowledgement must be not a political but a theological statement. In this regard, we recognize that the Church’s theology of creation finds an echo in the Indigenous respect for the land as gift of the Creator. Acknowledging God as giver of the gift is in itself an act of praise. Therefore, where it is deemed appropriate to offer a treaty land acknowledgment at an event held in a Catholic church or at a liturgical event hosted in a Catholic institution, the following formulation is to be used:

“We acknowledge that [Treaty N.] territory, on which we stand, is the ancestral land of the Indigenous peoples, and is common home to everyone in virtue of God, our Creator’s, gracious gift.”

Oct 28, 2019

Guidelines for Confirmation Celebrations

In December 2006, the original order of the Sacraments of Christian Initiation was restored: Baptism, Confirmation and First Communion. However, in order for the children “to have sufficient time to assimilate the preparation for Holy Communion and therefore appreciate the great gift of the Eucharist (Bishop Paul Terrio – Pastoral Letter May 1, 2017), it was decided that the celebration of these two sacraments would no longer be together in one liturgy.


If the candidates for Confirmation are children who have not received the Most Holy Eucharist and are not being admitted to First Communion at this liturgical celebration, Confirmation should be conferred outside Mass. Whenever Confirmation is conferred without Mass, a celebration of the word of God should precede it. (The Order of Confirmation #13)


The presider will wear during:

· Advent Season – purple

· Christmas Season – white

· Ordinary Time – green


If there are Deacons in the parish, it is normal that they assist the Bishop during the Confirmation.


· During Advent and the Christmas Season, the readings must be the readings of the day.

· During Ordinary Time, readings with the theme of the Holy Spirit may be selected from the attached list


· Gathering Hymn: on the Holy Spirit

· During Confirmation: on the Holy Spirit

· Final Hymn: A sending forth hymn


The Baptismal Candles will not be used by the candidates during the Profession of Faith.


The names of those confirmed, the minister, the parents, the sponsors and the place and date of the confirmation are to be recorded in the register of the parish of the place of baptism. The parish priest must notify the parish of the place of baptism that the confirmation was conferred, so that it be recorded in the baptismal register, in accordance with can. 535 § 2. See also can. 895.


The Godparents usually are to be the same as at Baptism (for questions of other circumstances refer to the parish priest). The option of choosing a special sponsor for Confirmation is in no way excluded. (O.C.)


The children should wear a name tag. The children are to use their baptismal name.


The children are to be seated in their pews before the celebration starts. Children should be seated on the side of the pew with parents and the godparents in the same pew.


The Bishop will be available after the celebration for group and individual photos with each of the confirmands. Therefore photos during the celebration are not necessary.


Certificates and any other gifts should be handed out after the photo session.


Policy Regarding Funerals, Burials, Cemeteries in the Diocese of St. Paul


At the funerals of its children, the Church confidently celebrates Christ’s paschal mystery. Its intention is that those who by baptism were made one body with the dead and risen Christ may with him pass from death to life. In soul, they are to be cleansed and taken up into heaven with the saints and elect; in body, they await the blessed hope of Christ’s coming and the resurrection of the dead.

(quote from 2016 Rituals XIV)

All arrangements for Funeral celebrations:

Vigil Service, Funeral Mass, Funeral Liturgy outside Mass or Memorial Mass is to be made through the pastor of the parish by the family.

1. Time

Funeral Mass are to be celebrated any day except Sundays, Holy Days of Obligation, Holy Thursday, and during the Easter Triduum.

2. Place

Generally, funerals are to be celebrated in the parish church of the deceased. However, another parochial church may be chosen. In such cases, permission must be sought from the pastor of the parish where the funeral is to be held and the pastor of the parish to which the deceased belonged must be notified.

3. Presiding Minister

The Funeral Liturgy is entrusted to the parish priest (pastor) and he presides at the Funeral Rites, especially the Mass. When no priest is available. the deacon assigned to that parish may preside at the Vigil, the Funeral Liturgy outside Mass or the Rite of Committal. When no priest or deacon is available for the Vigil, Funeral Liturgy outside Mass or the Rite of Committal, a lay minister may preside.

It is the pastor of the parish, where the funeral is held, who is to give permission to another priest, deacon or lay minister to preside at the Funeral Rites.

4. Funeral Rites

Through the Funeral Rites, the Church commends the dead to the merciful love of God and pleads for the forgiveness of their sins.

4.1. Vigil Service

A Vigil for the deceased may be held, where the faithful, joined together, can listen to the scriptures and pray.

The usual place for this service is the church. However, it may be celebrated in some other suitable place such as a funeral home or in the home of the deceased. When the Vigil is celebrated in the church, it begins with the reception of the body. This service is held the evening before the Funeral Liturgy.

4.2. Funeral Mass

The Church encourages celebrating the Mass for its members. The celebration of the Holy Eucharist gives the faithful an opportunity to be nourished with the Word of God and the Bread of Life as they express the belief in the communion of saints.

The usual place to celebrate a Funeral Mass is in the church. However, if there is a good pastoral reason, the funeral service may be held in other suitable place.

The Funeral Mass is to include:

· Receiving of the body if it did not take place at the Vigil

· Liturgy of the Word

· Liturgy of the Eucharist

· Final Commendation and Farewell.

4.3. Funeral Liturgy Outside Mass

This Rite is to take place when the Funeral Mass is not permitted (for example on Holy Days of Obligation, etc.) or when, for pastoral reasons, the pastor and the family judge that this is a more suitable form of celebration. In special circumstances, (for example when presided by deacons or lay ministers) the celebration may also include Holy Communion.

4.4. Memorial Mass

In some circumstances, in the absence of the Body or Ashes, a Memorial Mass without the greeting and Commemoration Rites may be celebrated in the church.

5. Symbols

Christian symbols may be used during the Funeral Liturgy and during the Vigil when they are celebrated in the church.

· Paschal Candle: it recalls Christ’s resurrection and His victory over sin and death. By having the Paschal Candle lit we acknowledge the presence of Christ among the faithful, who gather to pray for the deceased person expressing the faith and hope for eternal life. Christ is our light who leads us through the darkness.

· Holy Water: it reminds the faithful of their baptism. When it is used in the reception of the body at the church – it is to recall that through baptism the deceased was welcomed into the community of faith. It is also used in the rite of commendation.

· Incense: it is a sign of honor of the body of the deceased which through baptism became the temple of the Holy Spirit. It is also the sign of farewell and prayer for the deceased.

· The Pall: it is the reminder of the white baptismal garment that the deceased received in baptism as a sign of Christian dignity. It signifies also that all are equal in the eyes of God. The pall may be placed over the coffin when it is brought to the church as a sign that in Baptism the believer “clothed himself/herself in Christ” by sharing the new life and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

· A Book of the Gospel (or Bible): it is a sign that Christians live by the word of God and that faithfulness to that word leads to eternal life.

· A cross: it is a reminder that the Christian receives the sign of the cross at Baptism and that through Jesus’ suffering on the cross we are invited to share in His victory and resurrection. These symbols are very meaningful and can help the faithful to celebrate more deeply the Funeral Liturgy.

Other Symbols:

Only Christian symbols may rest on or be placed near the coffin during the Funeral Liturgy. Any other symbols, that can be meaningful to the family and show the dedication and service of the deceased, for example, national flags, or flags or insignia of associations, may be placed on the coffin, except during the Funeral Liturgy when the coffin is brought into the Church. Family members may wish to be involved in placing these symbols or flowers on or near the coffin. If so, this should be arranged during the planning.

6. Eulogy

If the family wishes to speak a few words of remembrance and give thanks to God for the life of the loved one, they may do so. The wake service at the funeral home or somewhere else is a very good place for a eulogy as is the reception after the Funeral Mass. To include a written text in a funeral program itself could be a satisfactory way to share words of remembrance.

There may sometimes be provision for someone to speak of the deceased at the church, but this does not form part of the Funeral Liturgy. In such cases, the eulogy shall be held immediately prior to the specified time of the service to allow the priest and the faithful to begin the liturgical celebration at the scheduled time.

PowerPoint presentations, videos and slideshows are not to be shown within the worshipping space of the church effective January 1, 2012. (cf. Pastoral Note dated Dec 16, 2011)

7. Right to Ecclesiastical Funerals

Funeral rites can be held for the following:

· any baptized Roman Catholic;

· catechumens;

· infants who died before baptism;

· with the permission of the Chancery Office; baptized persons belonging to other Christian faiths may be granted that privilege.

8. Other Special Circumstances

If a Catholic has made arrangements to donate his/her body to science, there should be reasonable assurance that the donor’s body will be treated with respect and disposed of in a reverent manner. A Memorial Mass should be held for the deceased as soon as possible.

The presence and participation of another Christian minister is acceptable, and they must follow the norms of participation in Roman Catholic liturgies.

Traditional native rites can be added to the liturgy with the approval of the priest.

9. Cremation

Although cremation is permitted, Catholic teaching continues to stress the preference that the body be present for the Funeral Rites. This is done in imitation of the burial of Jesus’ body. The faithful then are encouraged to delay cremation after the Funeral Rites have been celebrated.

If cremation has taken place, cremated remains may be brought to the church and Funeral Mass may be celebrated.

It is important that the cremation be not inspired by motives that are contrary to Christian teachings.

It is most important that cremated remains be treated with respect and are not left at the funeral home or in the home of a family member. The ashes are to remain intact and are not to be divided or mixed with the remains of another person, or scattered on the land, but are in a timely manner to be reposed in the ground in a cemetery.

10. Fees

Fees to be charged for these rites are two-fold: fees for the actual church that is used for the service and fees for the one providing the service.

a. Fees for the church

· $250.00 for the church if the church use for the Prayer Vigil and / or for the Funeral Mass

b. Fees for the priest, deacon or lay minister providing services

· $150.00 for the priest, deacon or lay minister who performs the Prayer Vigil.

· $150.00 for the priest who celebrates the Funeral Mass; deacon or lay minister who presides over the Funeral Liturgy outside Mass.

For a graveside service, an offering can be accepted.

Note that all fees may be collected by the Funeral Home and remitted to the parish where the services are held. This has to be done prior to the services.

In some cases, this may not be possible; therefore the parish will collect the fees from the family.

11. Burials

Burial services will be provided to any Catholic of the parish or to any Catholic from other parishes that because of historical or family reasons wish to be buried in a cemetery in our Diocese.

If the funeral for the deceased was celebrated in his/her parish, but the burial is to take place at the catholic cemetery in another parish, that parish must be notified prior to the burial. If the family wishes to be assisted with the burial service at the gravesite, the pastor of that parish must be notified in order to either be present or make sure someone else is there.

12. Conditions of Burials

· that the burial permit has been granted and transmitted to the parish

This is required for a burial of body or cremated remains. It is to be retained in the parish archives on file in perpetuity.

· that all information has been given in order to fill the parish Cemetery Register

· that the usual fee for the plot has been paid.

· note that in order to meet the conditions of burial, everyone also has to obtain the permission from the parish for the burial of a body or cremated remains in its Catholic cemetery.

Other Special Circumstances

· A non-Catholic spouse can be buried in our cemeteries with his/her spouse. This is also applicable to their children.

· Even though, as a general rule, the body or the cremated remains of the faithful Catholics should be buried in a Roman Catholic cemetery, the mortal remains of a Roman Catholic in some circumstances may be buried in a non-Catholic cemetery or in a civil cemetery. In such cases, the priest or deacon can bless the grave.

· The Church urges that stillborn and fetuses be given reverent Christian burial in a Catholic cemetery, or another cemetery that the parents choose.

· Similarly, it is recommended that amputated limbs be treated in the same way and be buried in a blessed place.

13. Rite of Committal

This Rite is the conclusion of the Funeral Rites. Whenever possible, this Rite is to be celebrated at the site of committal: at the grave, tomb or crematorium.

14. Register

Funerals shall be inscribed in the parish register where they are celebrated.


A. Introduction

“We prepare the living for the life to come; we bury the dead in the Catholic tradition; and we comfort the living with compassion and care.”

The Catholic funeral provides courage and comfort for those mourning the death of a loved one. The Mass of Christian Burial especially expresses our faith in Jesus’ victory over death and our personal share in the resurrection. This is done through prayers and blessings, through scripture readings and music, through rituals and symbols. The more actively a family plans the ceremony, the more they are able to participate in the ceremony and therefore experience its consolation and strength.

“A Catholic cemetery is also a visible sign of our belief in the in the resurrection and recalls the unity of the living and the dead. Within this blessed environment, the love of Christ is manifested for all to see.”

In our mainly rural Diocese we have nineteen (19) parish communities with resident priest/pastors (three of them also have a priest/associate pastor). However, chancery documents indicate that we have some eighty (80) Catholic cemeteries within the territory of the Diocese.

Some of these cemeteries belong to larger parishes and are pastorally and administratively well managed from either the parish office or parish volunteer cemetery committees. But there is a majority of these cemeteries which were connected to small rural mission chapels which no longer exist. Therefore their usage for Catholic burials and their maintenance devolves to, either the nearest active parish or in some cases, the Diocese.

B. Cemetery Specific Policy:

1. Church Ownership

Cemeteries remain under the control of the parish, which remains in general charge of the land. All Catholic cemeteries are blessed so that all graves are considered to be in blessed grounds. Individual graves in a municipal or rural cemetery should be blessed if no portion of the land has been designated as a Catholic burial ground.

2. Plot size and encasements

As a general rule, the burial plot should be at least four feet six inches by nine feet six inches (137x290cm) and a plot for the burial of ashes should be at least two feet by two feet (60x60cm). Two sets of ashes may be buried on top of an existing grave with the permission of the family of the deceased. Ashes should be buried a minimum of eighteen inches (46cm) below the surface level of the soil. However, note that some families may choose to buy a plot for the burial of ashes.

Encasements are required for the burial of the body of the deceased. They may be available for the burial of ashes.

3. Decorations and Memorial Items

Families may place flowers, wreaths or other memorial items near the grave of a loved one. These should not interfere with the maintenance of the cemetery. Real or artificial flowers in good condition will remain at the graveside or the tombstone until such time as family members determine that they should be removed. However, flowers, wreaths or other memorial items that are a detriment to proper grass cutting or maintenance or are faded will be removed as a regular part of cemetery maintenance. All artificial flowers that are to be permanent should be affixed to the monument where it will be the responsibility of the family should these have to be removed or replaced.

4. Markers and Monuments

Markers are owned and are the responsibility of the family of the deceased. The markers may be re-aligned or leveled by the cemetery maintenance staff but the family must do any repairs or modifications. Unsafe markers may be removed only after the deceased’s family has been contacted and has refused to correct the situation.

The only markers allowed in most our cemeteries are the type known as pillow monuments or the flat types that must fit on the runner or sidewalk at the head of the graves. These markers are the safest and require minimum maintenance over the years and families should be encouraged to use these. Monuments may be up to a maximum height of 40 inches (100 cm.). These do not encourage vandalism and facilitate the care and maintenance of our cemeteries. However, the monuments must at all times be assessed for safety and should not present any hazard to those who may visit the cemetery. If the parish council so desires, it may allow other markers or monuments.

5. Cemetery Register

Each cemetery is to have a complete cemetery record, which should include a map of the plots, the names and owners of grave easements, notations of the amount paid and entries of burials (indicating the physical location where the deceased is buried and the plot number of the grave).

It is the parish priest (pastor) or his delegate who is responsible for maintaining cemetery registers and maintaining plot maps of the cemetery in order to identify burial plots. Note that cemetery plots are not sold, but the cemetery owner grants the right of burial to the owner of the easement.

6. Exhumation

No disinterment from the grave or removal of a body or cremated remains from a Catholic cemetery may be allowed without the consent in writing of the surviving husband, wife, or next to kin. Also required is the written permission or order from the owner of the easement of the grave, or his lawful representative, the approval of the Bishop or Vicar General or Chancery Office and the proper documents required by civil law.

7. Fees

There shall be no fee charges for plots that had already been reserved and paid.

Each parish is to set the fees. A suggested minimum for a burial plot in a cemetery that may no longer be attached to a church (e.g.: Therien, Warspite) will be $400.00 per burial.

The suggested minimum for plots in a cemetery attached to a parish (such as St. Paul, Morinville or Bonnyville) will be $300.00.

A suggested price for a plot for cremated remains will be $100.00.

These fees do not include the opening and closing of the plot.

However, if a new plot is sought, the price for the plot should remain the same as that charged for a burial of a body.

If a cemetery has a reserved area where smaller plots are available for the burials of ashes only, a minimum fee of $50.00 should be charged.

These fees will vary from parish to parish and may be much higher in newer cemeteries and may be dependant on the local price structure.

8. Perpetual Care Fund

Half of the fees collected from the sale of the plots are for the perpetual care of the cemetery and should be set aside in a Perpetual Care Fund, the interest of which shall be used only for the maintenance of the cemetery.


More information and guidance in regards of Funerals can be found in the Order of Christian Funeral published by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. Further regulations regarding the sale of cemetery supplies, disposition of remains, operation of cemeteries, mausoleum or columbarium can be found in the Cemeteries Act available at the diocesan offices or through the Queen’s Printer.



1. The following policy has been determined concerning the offerings of the faithful in the Diocese of St. Paul.

1.2 Ordinary collections:

1.2.1 It is through the Sunday collections that the diocesan and parish church draws the resources necessary to meet all its needs.

1.2.2 Therefore all the faithful who receive any revenue are encouraged to contribute as a minimum offering to the parish church, the first hour of each week from all sources of revenue. This represents approximately 2.5% of their revenue.

1.2.3 This request is addressed to all those earning a salary, to those retired and/or pensioned and to those receiving interest on their investments. It includes young single adults working either full-time or part-time, seasonally or permanently.

1.2.4 It is from the ordinary funds of the parish that monies are withdrawn to meet emergencies and special projects as well as the care of pastoral responsibilities.

1.3 Prescribed collections:

1.3.1 These collections are established to permit help to the Universal Church, and the Canadian and Diocesan Church. They are the means by which people express their response to special needs beyond those of the parish.

These are:

· Catholic Missions in Canada

· Needs of the Church in the Holy Land

· Pope’s Pastoral Works

· Needs of the Canadian Church

· World Mission Sunday or Propagation of the Faith

· Youth Camp

· St Paul Diocesan Caritas

· Vocations – Collection for seminarians (Good Shepherd Sunday)

· Northern Mission Support

· Youth Ministries / Camp St Louis / Vocations

2. The biblical attitude of giving the first fruits of one's labour (revenue) goes far beyond the duty of giving towards the administrative needs of the parish. It flows from the duty of ADORATION (acknowledging that God comes first in one's lives) and from one's RELIGIOUS DUTY (returning to God a part of the 100% one has received from Him). The cooperation of everyone, clergy and laity, is needed to become knowledgeable regarding our indebtedness to God and to his church.

3. This rule well applied in one's life, will not normally require other contributions. It is in giving regularly the required portion that the faithful fulfill their duty to support the church in all its aspects.

4. A yearly budget, would demonstrate the anticipated expenses and revenues; and to appeal to one's Christian sense of belonging, ought to suffice to arouse a generous response to these needs.

5. The members of the Parish Pastoral Council and of the Parish Finance Committee, with their pastor, will plan to renew in January of each year, the task of educating the faithful in their stewardship responsibility.


1. Some parish revenues are subject to diocesan assessment, others are exempt.

1.1 Taxable revenues:

1.1.1 All revenues received from the parishioners through ordinary Sunday collections and dues, no matter where or when these contributions are made. This includes Christmas, Easter and New Year collections.

1.1.2 All general donations received from the parishioners.

1.1.3 The diocesan assessment is calculated at 12% of all general collections and non-specific donations.

1.2 Non-taxable revenues:

1.2.1 All other revenue is exempt from imposition. The parish is encouraged to set up a building/maintenance fund. All maintenance fund spending in the excess of $5,000.00 are to be approved by the Bishop.

1.3 Exceptions:

1.3.1 The parishes authorized in writing by the Bishop to raise non-taxable funds to realize capital projects, contribute in diocesan assessment for the current year, an amount not less than the amount paid the preceding year.

1.3.2 When donations are requested from outside of the parish, a written approval from the Bishop must accompany the request.



All priests, pastoral agents and all parishioners involved in the administration of finances and Sunday collections in the Diocese of St. Paul are to be reminded that, with respect to soliciting, receiving and disbursing funds for charitable purposes, beyond regular and special Sunday collections already approved, the explicit and written permission of the diocesan Bishop is absolutely required before undertaking any such solicitation or reception of funds. A written indication of the purpose of each collection, with the name of the charity and its administrator, address, telephone and fax numbers, and any other pertinent information that may be required, are to be included with all such requests.

All funds collected are to be sent directly to the Diocesan Financial Office. These directives are in conformity with canon 1265-1267 quoted for your benefit, as well as other norms of universal law found in canon 1273-1289.

Canon 1265

§1. Without prejudice to the right of mendicant religious, all private juridical or physical persons are forbidden to make a collection for any pious or ecclesiastical institute or purpose without the written permission of their Ordinary and of the local Ordinary.

§2. The Episcopal Conference can draw up rules regarding collections, which must be observed by all, including those who from their foundation are called and are “mendicants”.

Canon 1266

§1. In all churches and oratories regularly open to Christ’s faithful, including those which belong to religious institutes, the local Ordinary may order that a special collection be taken up for specific parochial, diocesan, national, or universal initiatives. This collection must afterwards be carefully forwarded to the diocesan curia.

Canon 1267

§1. Unless the contrary is clear, offerings given to Superiors or administrators of any ecclesiastical juridical person, even a private one, are presumed to have been made to the juridical person itself.

§2. If there is a question of a public juridical person, the offerings mentioned in §1 cannot be refused except for a just reason and, in matters of greater importance, with the permission of the Ordinary. Without prejudice to the provisions of can. 1295, the permission of the Ordinary is also required for the acceptance of offerings to which are attached some qualifying obligation or condition.

§3. Offerings given by the faithful for a specified purpose may be used only for that purpose.


(Vocations: i.e. to Priesthood)

1. PURPOSE: This Vocation Trust was established to favour:

1.1 The fostering and development of priestly vocations;

1.2 The maintenance of the priest in his apostolic fervour by studies, sessions, retreats;

2. SOURCES: All monies derived from resources mentioned here-below will be deposited in this special fund to be known as St. Paul Vocation Trust.

2.1 The estate of priests or of lay persons specifically assigned for priestly vocations;

2.2 Gifts received for priestly vocations;

2.3 Honorariums from Masses of bination and trination;

2.4 The collection for vocations generated from Good Shepherd Sunday;


3.1 The St. Paul Vocation Trust is established for the benefit of three groups of people:

3.1.1 For Priests working in the Diocese and for the Diocese, the Vocation Trust will pay for a sabbatical year granted with the approval of the Bishop, all the expenses as follows: the official diocesan salary, Canada Pension Plan and EI, company portion etc., room only, a yearly round trip back to the Diocese (within Canada only), tuition fees and a pre-determined amount for books required for courses taken during the sabbatical year.

3.1.2 For Seminarians in Theology, the Vocation Trust will cover tuition fees, room and board and a fixed allocation for books, but not personal expenses.

3.1.3 For local or national Students in Philosophy: The Vocation Trust does not provide subsidy for this group. It will be the responsibility of each student to pay his way either personally or through a student loan from a public authority. (At this level of learning, the student is comparable to other university students with the same opportunities and the same obligations.) In certain cases, and only after discussion and written approval from the Bishop, a student may apply and receive an interest-free loan for tuition, room and board. The loan is for one school year and must be negotiated yearly. The student with a loan from the Diocese must take proper means to reimburse his loan in a responsible manner. Should a student discontinue his studies for the priesthood, he should make an honorable effort to reimburse the Diocese.


1. Since 1975 the Diocese of St. Paul insures, under a single set of policies, all the properties of the diocese and of the parishes. All of the arch/dioceses of Western Canada form a mutual insurance group called ASSET PROTECTION GROUP for their common protection.

2. The coverage applied to each parish or mission is decided upon by the Parish Finance Committee and the pastor. For an adequate coverage, a periodic evaluation of the properties must be made by the local people, e.g. contractors, professional appraisers or others. When additions are made to the buildings or contents, additional coverage should be requested as soon as possible when protection is desired.

2.1 In the cemeteries, the monuments are the property of the families and not of the parish. They are not protected by diocesan policies against vandalism or loss.

2.2 The small buildings unused for years, and which would not be replaced after a loss, are not insured as a rule unless there is an explicit request made by the pastor/people of that area. The request must be approved by the Bishop prior to any additions to the insurance policy.

3. When a parish building is to be erected or renovated extensively, the diocesan agent should be contacted before construction begins, to ensure the parish is adequately protected, even in the case of the construction being done by an independent contractor. The insurance premiums are paid to "The Diocese of St. Paul" within a month after the invoice is issued.

4. In the case of any kind of loss, the diocesan financial administrator is to be contacted immediately to report the details of the loss.

5. In case of an insured loss that is not replaced, and the parish is not an active community, the cash value collected from the insurance is deposited in the St. Paul Construction Trust (diocesan church building fund), to be used as needs arise.

6. All COMMUNICATIONS concerning insurance are made with the diocesan financial administrator who, in turn, will contact the administration office at Capri Insurance and if required, the Asset Protection Group.


1. The Diocesan Finance Committee is established to provide advice to the Bishop and the Council of Priests (or Diocesan Consultors) regarding the following:

1.1 the need of major renovations of existing buildings (major renovations means with a budget equal or superior to 50% (100%) of the annual budget of the parish/mission),

1.2 the need of a new building (the cost of which would be superior to the diocesan imposition paid by the parish/mission the previous year),

1.3 the need for renovation or construction of a "diocesan" structure,

1.4 the planning of such a project, and

1.5 the revision of actual plans and specifications of the project.

2. The Diocesan Finance Committee will be involved as soon as a major renovation or a new building is requested. The committee will study the need of such work and the scope of the project.

3. The Diocesan Finance Committee will follow the development of the project until its final approval and the completion of the work being done

4. The members of the Diocesan Finance Committee will be appointed for a period of three years; their mandate is renewable.


1. All parish properties are owned by "Le Diocèse de St-Paul".

2. To build, renovate, modify, dispose of, add to, any property of “Le Diocèse de St-Paul”, the Diocesan Finance Committee must be contacted at the very first step of the project.

3. To dispose of churches: when churches are closed and not to be used for Catholic worship in any foreseeable future, the Bishop must be consulted before any commitment is made.

3.1 The church must be stripped of any and all religious articles before it is closed permanently.

3.2 The local people must be consulted as to the future use of the property, and their reasonable reactions must be considered.

3.3 Preferred future use must go to Catholic worship in another locality, then to worship by another Christian community, and perhaps for secular purposes if morally advisable.

3.4 When advisable, the church may be demolished.

4. To dispose of other properties, not to be used again by the Catholic community, we can foresee:

4.1 The rental or lease of such property for any acceptable use;

4.1.1 All revenues proceeding from mineral rights (the production from wells or surface rentals) are the property of the diocese. They will be deposited in the St. Paul Construction Trust (to be loaned eventually to parishes who need funds for building or renovation;

4.1.2 If the proceeds come from a property in an active parish, they will remain in the parish accounts;

4.2 The sale of such property, in which case the proceeds of the sale will also be deposited in the diocesan account, unless the property is in an active parish.

5. Other parish property: documents of all kinds like parish records, bulletins, financial reports, cancelled cheques, etc. are to remain parish property and must not be removed or destroyed with the change of personnel. No liturgical property can be sold. Religious property such as pews, altars, crucifixes, etc. cannot be sold or disposed of without the express written permission of the Bishop.


The diocese recognizes that special projects and renovations may take longer than 1 fiscal year to complete. Often special collections or fundraisers are held to generate revenues to help facilitate these special projects. The diocese will allow funds to be deferred and used until the project has been completed. However, these funds cannot be held indefinitely. Deferral of funds must be requested through the Bishop. In addition, the request must be accompanied with the following:

a. Project timelines and parameters (should not exceed 3 years)

b. Project budget

c. Sources of revenue

Extensions to project deadlines may be granted by the Bishop. If the funds have not been used after the 3rd year, they will be reclassified as revenue to the general donation account and then will be subject to imposition at the current levy rate. Long-term projects such as building construction/renovations will house the funds in a separate building investment account until the commencement of the project.



The Second Vatican Council reaffirmed that the church is both a visible society and a spiritual community, both an earthly church and a church enriched with heavenly things. But the church visible and the church invisible are not to be considered as two realities, but as one, formed from a divine and human element (see Lumen Gentuim 8).

To pursue her mission in the world, the church therefore needs to acquire and administer temporal goods (see canon 1254).

Faithful to gospel teaching, administrators of church goods are bound to carry out their responsibilities as true stewards: “to fulfill their function with the diligence of a good householder”

(Canon 1284 §1). According to Canon 1284, the duties associated with their stewardship include:

· Safeguarding assets entrusted to their care;

· Observing the requirements of both canon and civil law;

· Respecting the will of donors;

· Collecting and recording income accurately;

· Paying liabilities in a timely manner;

· Investing surplus income with the consent of the Bishop;

· Keeping well organized books of receipts and expenditures;

· Drawing up an annual report; and

· Maintaining and protecting documents and records.

The policies and procedures in this manual are intended to assist those entrusted with these responsibilities and those who assist them.


a. As required by Canon 537, a Parish Finance Council (PFC) is to be established in every parish.

b. It will be the duty of the PFC to assist the pastor in the administration of the goods of the parish. (c.537). The PFC’s role continues under a parish pastor.

c. In all juridical matters, the pastor acts in the person of the parish. It is his responsibility to ensure that the goods of the parish are administered according to Canons 532, 1281-1288 and according to diocesan regulations.

d. The PFC is comprised of the Pastor, who always presides, and at least three to five lay persons appointed by him.



All diocesan, parish and mission bookkeeping is managed and performed as coordinated by the diocesan finance office. The parish secretary or delegate is responsible to work directly with the finance office to ensure all financial matters have been properly accounted for and reported. The diocesan finance staff oversees all of the necessary functions required for the accounting of the parish finances. Financial management and budget preparation for each parish and mission remains at the parochial level. The parish pastor governs the financial matters of the parish with guidance from the parish finance council as required. All financial expenditures over $5,000.00 are to be approved by the Bishop. All parish and mission financial records are held at the diocese office. This includes all payables, receivables, bank statements, cheques and deposit books.



· Each parish and mission is responsible to ensure all invoicing and expense claims are submitted to the diocesan finance office for processing in a timely manner.

· Requests for payments are to be sent attention of the accounts payable department. All requests are to be reviewed and authorized by the parish pastor prior to sending to the diocese. This is inclusive of all missions under his responsibility.

· Payments will be paid within a 1 week period of receipt. Processing time is dependent on the availability of authorized cheque signers.

· The diocese is responsible to provide all materials, software, postage and labour necessary to perform the bookkeeping function for the parishes and missions.


· Revenues such as offertory collections, donations, rent, resource sales and cemetery plot sales are managed and accounted for at the parish level. Offertory collections continue to be counted, deposited and reported by either the parish secretary or pastor appointed delegate of the parish as per cash guidelines.

· Revenues are recorded on the monthly collection form provided by the diocese. At the end of each month, this report is submitted to the diocese finance office to be posted in the parish books. The parish secretary or delegate will work with the diocesan finance staff to ensure all revenues are properly recorded and that national and diocesan collections are accurate and disbursed accordingly.

NOTE: If a collection occurs on the last day of the month, the revenues are recorded in that given month even if the funds aren’t deposited until the following month.

Bank Reconciliations:

· The bank statements for all parish and mission bank accounts are directly forwarded to the diocesan finance office. The finance staff ensure that all bank activity balances with the figures posted to the accounting system. If any discrepancies are discovered, they are discussed with the parish secretary or delegate. If the matter is not resolved, the parish pastor and financial administrator will be asked to assist.

· Once the bank statements have been reconciled, a copy of the reconciliation reports are filed along with the bank statement.


· The diocese, parishes and missions are generally not GST registrants because the sales of their goods and services usually does not exceed $50,000 (this is the threshold assigned by CRA). If the income from sales exceeds $50,000, then the diocese, parish or mission will be required to become a GST registrant and must charge GST on the sale of goods.

· Although the diocese, parishes and missions do not charge GST, they are still required to record the amount of GST paid on purchases. Religious organizations are eligible to apply for a public service body rebate at 50% of the total GST paid. This rebate is filed semi-annually by the diocesan finance office. The other 50% of GST is expensed to the relevant account for the purchase.

Financial Reporting:

After the bank accounts have been reconciled and all financial postings for the month have been recognized, financial reports are provided to the parish for review. The parish receives a series of reports that are shared with the parish pastor and members of the finance committee as the pastor sees fit. The following reports are provided to the parish on a monthly basis:

· Year to date balance sheet

· Profit and loss for the month

· Year to date profit and loss

· Year to date general ledger

· Profit and loss by class (for parishes that use classes)

Record Retention:

· All financial records are maintained and stored at the diocese office in accordance with the legislated record retention requirement outlined by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). CRA requires that all accounting records used to verify income and expenditures be kept for a minimum of 6 years from the end of the last fiscal period to which they relate. This is retention for a total of 7 years.

· The following records are to be kept for the life of the parish plus a minimum of two years after the charitable registration is revoked:

Financial Statements

  • (December 31 Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss Statement)

  • General Ledger (or detailed list of financial transactions for the year)

  • Annual Parish Report completed for the parish each year

  • Minutes of meetings of the Finance and Pastoral Councils

  • All records of any donations received that were subject to a direction by a donor

  • All records relating to purchase and sale of parish land and buildings such as Real Estate contracts, purchase and sale invoices, title deeds and property tax assessments including legal descriptions

  • Insurance policies

  • Asset Registers

The following records are to be kept for seven years:

  • Bill payments and supporting documentation, including the cheque stub;

  • Sales invoices (if applicable);

  • Bank statements and cancelled cheques;

  • Deposit slips;

  • Documents detailing the individual donations corresponding to the bank deposit;

  • GST filing and supporting documents;

  • CRA payroll filing and supporting documents;

  • Charity return and supporting documents;

  • Inventory listing; and

  • Charitable receipt copies from the end of the calendar year in which the donations were made.

· Donation envelopes need to be kept only as long as the parish requires them. The diocesan finance office recommends that donation envelopes for the previous year be kept until tax receipts for that year have been issued. A paper trail must exist showing the individual donations that add up to the bank deposit in the general ledger. CRA does not require the envelopes.

Administration Fees:

· The diocese pays a monthly activity fee for all the diocesan, parish and mission bank account activity. This does not get charged back to the parishes or missions. In addition, the diocese does not charge an administration fee to the parishes for the bookkeeping services provided by the diocesan finance office. Costs associated include labour, supplies, postage, accounting software and overhead.

· NOTE: Parish and mission cheques and deposit books are ordered through the diocesan finance office and will be paid directly from the parish or mission bank account. The cheques and deposit books are kept in the diocesan finance office.



The approved banking institution for the diocese and all parish and missions of the diocese is the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). All of the RBC accounts are consolidated under one umbrella. The advantage of consolidation includes secured overdraft protection and more cost efficient banking fees. All parishes and missions are required to have a general chequing account with the RBC.

PROCEDURE: Each parish may have two bank accounts.

The first account:

· Must be with a Royal Bank of Canada and shall be used for paying day-to-day expenses. Where there is a Royal Bank in the community or a Royal Bank that is easily accessible, the same account should be used for depositing all monies received in the collections.

The second account:

· Where a Royal Bank branch is not easily accessible, another convenient bank will be used to deposit monies on a regular basis. However, funds will be transferred from this account to the Royal Bank of Canada account as soon as possible and at least on a monthly basis. The cash flow is monitored by the diocesan finance office and funds are transferred as needed upon completion of the monthly bank reconciliations.

· Alternative bank accounts may be requested through the Bishop’s Office in writing with an explanation regarding the necessity of the account. Under no circumstances is a parish or mission allowed to operate a bank account outside the accounts approved by the Diocese.

· Any funds that are not required in the near future must be invested with the Diocese of St. Paul. The diocesan finance office monitors the available funds in the chequing account. If there is a shortfall or surplus, funds will be invested or divested as needed. All bank accounts must maintain a positive balance. If a parish or mission is unable to maintain a healthy bank balance and does not have adequate investment funds to support the ongoing operations, additional fundraising initiatives will be mandatory.

Only the Bishop of the Diocese of St. Paul can grant an exception to the above.

Signing Authorities:

Cheque signing authority is assigned by the Bishop. All parish and mission bank accounts have a designated cohort of authorized signers as follows:

· The Bishop of the St. Paul Diocese

· The Vicar General of the St. Paul Diocese

· The Chancellor of the St. Paul Diocese

· The Financial Administrator of the St. Paul Diocese

· A St. Paul Diocese financial office representative

Two cheque signers are required on each cheque


The Christian faithful are obliged to support the church so that what is necessary for divine worship, apostolic and charitable works and reasonable support of ministers is not lacking.

Offertory Collection:

An offertory collection will be taken up at all masses on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.

Special Collections:

Special collections authorized or mandated by the Bishop are usually taken up as a second

Collection. Special collections are to be used exclusively for the purposes stated.

All special collections require the Bishop’s authorization. Parishes are to ensure that proper authorization is obtained prior to the initiation of the special collection.

NOTE: Collections are not taken at funeral masses or weddings.


Cash is a highly negotiable and portable asset that must be safeguarded just as all other assets of the parish or diocese.

The purpose of developing control guidelines for cash collections is to ensure that:

· all cash received has been deposited

· revenues received are recorded accurately

· cash is safeguarded against loss or misappropriation

· personnel involved in the handling of cash are protected

· risk of loss or misappropriation is minimized

Cash receipts are defined as cheques or other negotiable instruments as well as legal tender. These guidelines endeavor to take into account the differences in size and complexity of the various parishes within the Diocese of St. Paul.


· Several functions are required in order to safeguard the offerings. They are as follows:

1. the collection of cash

2. the receipt and the deposit of cash

3. the maintaining of records for donations and for deposits of cash received.

· Where possible, each of these functions should be handled by a separate group of individuals or by a different individual. No one individual including the Pastor, shall have access to the collection prior to and during counting. Cash handling and collection reporting shall be performed by separate individuals.

· Once the offering has been collected, the contents of the basket should immediately be placed in a secure, preferably locked cupboard or area with restricted access. Two parishioners should perform this task. The priest or parish council must assure themselves that any individual who handles cash within the parish is trustworthy.

· As soon as possible after the collection, details regarding donations should be recorded, the cash receipts should be counted and the cheques should be stamped “For Deposit Only”. A control total should be prepared. A control sheet should then be signed and dated by the two individuals who counted the cash. Ideally two individuals who will not be responsible for the preparation of the deposit or for the deposit itself should perform this function. Refer to Appendix A for a copy of the control sheet.

· A pastoral agent, secretary or priest should then prepare the duplicate deposit and ensure that totals match those of the control sheet. The individual preparing the deposit should then sign the deposit, take it to the bank, and the duplicate receipt should then be stamped by the bank and kept on file for audit purposes. Recording of the funds will align with the procedures outlined in the revenue section of Parish Bookkeeping.

· Only a minimum of cash should be kept on hand and where possible, night depository is recommended. Transportation and deposit of money should be varied so as not to create a regular pattern of transferring funds from the church to the bank.

· The collection of offerings and the counting of cash should be done on an unpredictable, rotational basis in order to ensure that funds are not misappropriated and the priest or the Finance Committee should periodically undertake a comparative review of collections received. Any changes or discrepancies should be noted and corrective actions taken if necessary.

· All cash received in the collection plate should be deposited and not used to pay invoices or expenses. Invoices are to be paid for by cheque or from petty cash rather than from direct withdrawal from the collection.

· The parish secretary or an approved parish delegate will record the deposit information on the collection form template provided by the diocesan finance department. This form is to be emailed or faxed to the diocesan finance department no later than 1 week after the prior month’s closing.

· It is the responsibility of the parish council or of the parish finance committee

· to recognize that cash is an asset and that proper safeguards must be in place in order to protect this asset. Procedures followed should be examined regularly in order to assure optimum security for the asset and protection for those handling this asset. These procedures should be re-examined from time to time to ensure that they are still adequate.

· These procedures represent the optimum method of handling collections and are for guidance only. Each parish should examine their specific situation in developing internal controls in the collection of cash.

Pre-authorized Debit/Credit Collections:

· Electronic methods of offertory collections can be implemented for parish collections. This can be set up with RBC Express through the diocesan financial administrator. Contracts with parishioners are established and monthly pre-authorized payments are set up for each donor. It is highly recommended that all Pre-authorized payments are collected only at the beginning of the month as it is much simpler to administratively manage.



All parishes and missions are encouraged to find ways of raising funds in order to assure the viability of the parish on a continued basis. These funds are to be gathered in such a way as to be morally and civilly responsible. Fundraising and donations derived from gaming sources sanctioned by AGLC such as casinos and bingos is strictly prohibited.


· The income is to appear as a heading on the Profit and Loss Statement of the parish. Below this amount a sub-heading listed as an offset account is to be listed so that the net amount of the two items will be a net income that is subject to diocesan imposition.

An example of this would be:

Social Functions $500.00

Less Associated Costs -$400.00

Net Profit $100.00

· In the example above, the parish raised $500.00 from its function. However, it cost $400.00 to pay for the expenses related to this function.

· Associated costs or expenses are defined as any cost that is directly related to the function. These costs would not be incurred if the function had not been held. Included may be advertising, purchase of food or other products needed to carry out the function, labor costs if these are directly related to promoting and preparing or attending to the event. Invoices are required for all associated fundraising costs.

· Diocesan imposition is payable only on the net proceeds of the fund-raiser or in this example $100.00 and would not be paid on the total revenue received for the function.

Fundraising Events:

· Fundraising events such as galas, dinners and concerts are beneficial in way of supplementing parish income. The following are requirements for fundraising events:

· The parish is to establish a fundraising event committee. The pastor along with the committee chairperson will manage the event with guidance from the committee.

· A detailed budget must be prepared and provided to the diocesan financial administrator prior to commencement. This will be reviewed and given to the Bishop for final approval.

· If the event is in partnership with another organization, the criteria and parameters must be established. It must be clearly advertised as to who is hosting the event and how the funds derived from the event will be used.

· If the event is shared with another organization, it is recommended that the financials for the event are accounted for through the parish books.

· Avoid conflict of interest. If a committee member is also a volunteer with a partnering organization, they should only represent one organization and not both.

· If an organization volunteers to assist with the fundraiser, a small donation not to exceed 10% of the profit, could be given to the volunteer organization.

· A list of donated items for auctions/prizes must be kept along with the list of the successful bidder/winner.

· Do not take funds from revenues to pay expenses. A proper paper trail is required. All reimbursements for purchases must be accompanied with receipts authorized by the parish pastor.

· Ensure that any permits required are purchased prior to the event such as a liquor permit.

· Adhere to the counting and collection policy.

· Periodically remove excess cash from cash boxes, have 2 people count and securely store the funds until the event is over.

· Donation receipts can be provided to participants and donors of items for auctions/prizes. The Charities Directorate formula regarding split receipting and advantages must be adhered to. A full guideline regarding proper receipting can be found on the government website at: www.ca/charities-giving



Payroll is processed through a centralized pay system in the diocesan finance office. All diocesan clergy, parish support staff and diocesan curia are paid on a monthly basis.



· Hiring of parish employees and personnel management is maintained at the parochial level. Diocesan staff are managed through the Bishop’s Office.

· All new hires are to be provided with an employment contract along with a schedule outlining the job description and expectations. A copy of the diocesan employment agreement template can be requested from the diocesan finance office. Two signed copies of the contract are to be produced; 1 for the employee and 1 for the parish. The parish pastor must sign the contract on behalf of the parish.

· Additionally, all new hires are required to complete a TD1 and TD1AB. These forms can be requested from the diocesan finance office or found on the CRA website at: https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/forms-publications

· Copies of the employment contract and TD1 forms along with a copy of the employee’s banking direct deposit form or void cheque is to be forwarded to the diocesan financial administrator.

· Each employee is required to provide a personal email address. Monthly pay stubs are emailed directly to the employee.


· Payroll is completed in alignment with the AB Employment Standards current regulations. These regulations can be found on the AB Government website at: https://www.alberta.ca/employment-standards.aspx

· Payroll is released on the 25th day of each month. If the 25th is on a weekend, the pay is released on the Friday before.

· All staff paid on an hourly basis are required to submit a monthly time sheet. See Appendix B for the time sheet template.

· Salaried employees are paid from the first of the month to the last day of the month. The hourly staff are paid from the 16th of the month to the 15th of the following month.

· Time sheets are to be submitted to the diocesan financial administrator within 3 days of the cut-off period. Adequate time is required for calculating the payroll. Payroll must be uploaded for direct deposit 3 days prior to pay day. If time sheets are not submitted in a timely manner, the employee’s pay will not be processed through direct deposit. A cheque will be mailed directly to the employee.

· Time sheets must be signed by the parish pastor for all parish employees or the curia department supervisor for all curia staff.

· Statutory holidays and general holiday pay are paid in accordance with the current Alberta Employment Standards.

· Requests for specific payroll deductions such as fee reimbursements or clergy pension contributions must be done in writing attention to the diocesan financial administrator.

· Pay stubs will be emailed to each employee on a monthly basis. Questions and concerns regarding payroll can be directed to the diocesan financial administrator.

Clergy Payroll and Pension:

· Clergy receive remuneration consisting of a base salary along with an allowance provision for housing and cellular phone. Refer to Appendix C for the current remuneration.

· Clergy are eligible to file a T1223 (Clergy Residence Deduction) on their annual tax return. Clergy may also elect to file a T2200 for use of their personal vehicle. These forms can be requested from the diocesan financial administrator

· Religious Order clergy who have taken the vow of poverty will not have income tax, Employment Insurance (EI) or Canada Pension Plan (CPP) deducted from their pay.

· CPP deductions cease for priests who have reached the age of 65.

· Pension payments for retired clergy are generated in alignment with the monthly payroll and are directly deposited into the clergy member’s bank account.

T Slips for Income Tax Purposes:

· All T4 slips for employment income and T4A slips for pension and other income are produced and submitted through the diocesan finance office. T4 and T4A slips are mailed out as per the prescribed CRA deadline.

· Taxable incomes such as housing, cellular allowances and health insurance premiums are included on the T4 slips.

· T4 and T4A slips are issued to Religious Order Clergy, as required by CRA.

Worker’s Compensation Board Insurance (WCB):

· Worker’s Compensation Board Insurance (WCB) is not mandatory for religious based organizations. Parishes can choose to buy this insurance as a provision for their lay personnel. The premiums are quite low and affordable. Clergy are not included in WCB coverage.

· WCB returns are filed by the end of February each year. The diocesan financial administrator files the returns on behalf of the parishes.

Departure from Employment:

· Separation papers otherwise known as a Record of Employment (ROE) are provided to all lay personnel upon departure of employment. Notice of termination or resignation is to be provided to the parish pastor. The pastor will forward this information to the diocesan financial administrator for processing.

· ROE papers will be processed and submitted to the government in accordance with CRA’s requirements.



Laypersons are encouraged to attend various committee meetings or conferences on behalf of the Diocese of St. Paul as a participant. The diocese recognizes that costs may be incurred while traveling within our diocese for meeting or conference purposes.


· Lay persons attend diocesan committee meetings at the invitation of their Bishop. These committees include finance, liturgy, building, youth and pastoral council. In addition, lay persons may also be asked to attend pastoral or youth conferences.

· Each person invited to attend a meeting or conference may submit an expense claim. This claim could include mileage or fuel receipts, meals, incidentals such as parking and required hotel accommodation where there is no option to be housed in diocesan or parish accommodations.

· The current mileage remuneration shall be reimbursed at the rate of

· Forty-five cents ($0.45) per kilometer.



The diocese recognizes that parishes may want to recognize the work done by pastoral agents, employees or volunteers in a special way. A gift may be provided at the discretion and judgement of the parish pastor.


Long Term Volunteers:

· The diocese will allow parishes to make gifts of up to $150.00 for long-term volunteers from the parish funds. Long-term volunteers are defined as those individuals who have volunteered for the parish for more than five years.

Short Term Volunteers:

· Any gifts to short term volunteers should reflect the length of volunteering and the time spent as a volunteer. There are no set fees but it must be noted that no more than $150.00 should be spent on long-term volunteers thereby necessitating a lesser amount based on service for short-term volunteers.

· The parish must have the approval of the parish finance committee before recognizing volunteers an approval must be sought for the expenditure of parish funds.



Certificates of sacraments received can be provided to individuals. However, we must recognize the importance and confidentiality of such documents. A signature and seal are required to formalize the document. Note that these records are for sacramental purposes and not for genealogical purposes.


· Application for a baptism, confirmation or marriage certificate must be received in writing via fax, mail or in person. The individual making the request must sign the application.

· Certificates for baptism, confirmation or marriage will only be granted to the individual named in the certificate or to the parent of the named child.

· If an application is made on behalf of a living third party, permission must be obtained from the third party before a certificate will be released. The third party must grant permission in writing or must provide a phone or facsimile number where permission may be obtained verbally.

· In order to obtain a certificate of burial, a copy of the death certificate may be requested.

· Information that appears on a death certificate from Vital Statistics

· includes the name, age, date of death, place of death, sex, marital status and registration number.

· A $30.00 fee shall be charged for each search unless it is for sacramental purposes where no fee is to be charged but the certificate is given to the parish making the request.

· Each search shall be conducted privately and confidentially. The individuals shall be asked to return or to wait in another room for the data to be prepared.

· Should permission or death certificate fail to be provided, the application may be denied.

· Other factors arising in other situations will be examined on a case-by-case basis.

· The bishop or his designated representative shall make a decision as to whether a certificate can be issued.

· Certificates can be granted for information only. All certificates are to be signed and sealed. Refer to the following Appendices for copies of the Certificate Applications:

· Baptism Certificate Application (Appendix D)

· Marriage Certificate Application (Appendix E)

· Burial Certificate Application (Appendix F)



In order for the Bishop be informed and knowledgeable about the operations of parishes within the diocese, he must be approached whenever any expenses beyond the ordinary expenses such as utilities, snow removal, minor repairs or acquisition of liturgical supplies are required.

Each parish must be able to manage their finances in such a way as to ensure that day-to-day ordinary expenses are met. The parish along with the parish finance committee, must budget for ordinary maintenance or replacement of assets as well as renovations or improvements to the parish property.


Spending Limits:

· Each parish is responsible to prepare an annual budget and to maintain fiscal responsibility.

· The maximum spending limit without seeking approval from the Bishop is $5,000.00. Anything above the $5,000.00 threshold must be submitted to the Bishop in writing for his consideration. If necessary, the Bishop will consult with the Diocesan Finance Committee. A written response from the Bishop or his delegate will be provided to the parish pastor.

Building Fund:

· Establishment of a parish building fund is highly encouraged. This fund will act as a contingency fund in the event that major building repairs or renovations are required. Revenues earmarked for the building fund will be held in an equity account on the balance sheet until needed. They are considered free of imposition. However, the parish must be in a fiscal year surplus before funds can be set aside for reserve projects. If the parish is not in a fiscal year surplus, the building fund will be used to offset any overages on the operation costs. The funds required to assist with the operation costs will then be imposed at the current levy rate. At year-end any residual funds remaining from this fund will be set aside in the building fund. The residual funds will not be imposed.

Perpetual Care:

· Cemeteries are held in perpetuity. They will forever remain the responsibility of the parish and/or diocese. The diocese recommends that each parish establish a separate investment account for the maintenance and care of the cemeteries within the jurisdiction of the parish. At year end, 50% of all plot sales will be invested in a cemetery perpetual investment count held with the diocese. The interest shall be used for the maintenance and upkeep of the cemetery.



Tax receipts may be issued for gifts given to the parish providing the following criteria have been met:

The gift is given directly to the parish by the donor;

The gift is given freely without obligations;

There is a transfer of property, such as cash or equipment; and

The gift is made without any benefit to the donor or anyone designated by the donor.

A registered charity can issue an official donation receipt only to the individual or organization that donated the gift. The name and address of the donor must appear on the receipt.

A charity cannot issue an official donation receipt in the name of anyone but the true donor.

A receipt cannot be issued to a group of individuals. For example, if a group of people donated a piano to the parish, a tax receipt could not be issued. If, on the other hand, that same group of people donated cash to the parish, a list of the donors with their names and addresses and the amounts that they donated should accompany their cash donation, as the parish can issue receipts to the individual donors.

The gifts must be made directly to the parish. Receipts cannot be issued to individuals who have paid for goods or services on behalf of the parish. Individuals who have paid for these goods and services should be reimbursed for their expenses.

In addition, donors cannot choose the beneficiaries of their donations. Donors can stipulate that the gift be used in a particular program as long as no benefit accrues to the donor and anyone who is not at arm’s length with the donor.

Donations must be dated according to the year in which the gift is actually made. If a gift is dated, mailed and postmarked before December 31, but received in the parish after December 31, the parish can issue a receipt using the postmarked date as the date the gift was received. If the gift was postmarked after December 31, then it is considered to have been received in the new calendar year.

Gifts-in-kind not accompanied by objective evidence as to their value, such as a purchase receipt, but which are estimated to be valued over $1,000, shall be professionally appraised.


· Charity receipts for donations and offertory collections, including special collections, will be issued by the parish designate. The receipt must include all of the information required as prescribed by the Charities Directorate. Refer to Appendix G for an example of an acceptable charity receipt. There are 4 different types of charity receipts as follows:

· Cash gift no advantage – Example: A donor makes a cash gift of $20. The donor, or any other person associated with the donor, has not and will not, receive an advantage for the gift. So, the amount of the gift and the eligible amount of the gift are both $20.

· Cash gift with advantage – Example: A donor pays $50 to attend a fundraising dinner and receives a meal valued at $20. The amount of the advantage ($20 meal), must be subtracted from the amount of the gift (the $50 to attend the dinner). So the eligible amount of the gift is $30.

· Non-cash gift no advantage – Example: A donor makes a gift of a piece of artwork with an appraised value of $1,500. The donor, or any other person associated with the donor, has not and will not, receive an advantage for the gift. So, the amount of the gift and the eligible amount of the gift are both $1,500.

· Non-cash gift with advantage – Example: A donor gives a charity a house valued at $100,000. The charity gives the donor $20,000 in return. The amount of the advantage ($20,000) must be subtracted from the amount of the gift (the $100,000 value of the house. So the eligible amount of the gift is $80,000.

· The parish pastor is responsible to review the receipted amounts and sign each receipt.

· All donations/offertories are to be recorded in an approved software program such as Parish Friendly or Acolyte. In small parishes where software is not available, a manual ledger must be maintained with the donor’s name, address, purpose of donation and amount gifted.

· Returned funds, such as NSF cheques, must be properly accounted for and reflected in the total amount on the charity receipt.

· A gift in-kind is a donation that is not monetary. It is a donation of a good. The Charities Directorate outlines many rules and regulations regarding gifts in-kind. Refer to the website at www.ca/charities-giving.

· Determining the fair market value of goods donated can be complicated. The diocese recommends that the parishes are cautious with gift in-kind donations. The donation must be something that the parish needs and would otherwise have been purchased. The parish pastor and parish finance council should be consulted prior to accepting a gift in-kind. Additionally, the diocesan financial administrator should be notified as the gift in-kind donation will be recorded in the parish books.

· Once all receipts have been recorded and issued for the calendar year, a copy of a summary list of the total amount of receipts issued must be submitted to the diocesan financial administrator. This list must include the recipient’s name and total amount receipted for the calendar year. The deadline for submission is no later than March 31.

· Only charitable donations are to be included on the charity receipt. If an individual purchases something from the parish, this is to be receipted on a separate receipt. The parish can purchase a blank receipt book or generate an electronic receipt for this purpose.

· Mismanagement of charity receipts is a serious offence. A charity could lose its charitable status if there are issues with the management of charity receipts.



The operations of a parish has both a spiritual and a temporal side. The priest is usually located in one parish but serves many missions around. The secretary, pastoral agent or administrative assistant is usually located in the resident parish and assists the priest in the administration of the parishes and missions.

Often, additional financial costs are incurred for parishes that serve missions. Missions are required to share certain costs associated with the delivery of pastoral services. Cost sharing is to be based on the total costs that include utilities and residential costs, transportation allowance, vehicle expenses, salaries and benefits for the priest and for staff, and office supplies and equipment.


· Costs shall be shared based on the general collection of the previous year. A new calculation reflecting costs as listed above of the previous year shall be prepared once all accounting entries for the previous year have been recorded. The diocesan financial administrator will calculate the shared costs and each parish will then be provided with a copy of the allocations for the fiscal year.

· Cost sharing shall be calculated by adding general collections of each parish or mission together. The collection of each shall be divided by the whole and the percentage allocation shall be applied to the total costs as determined above.

The diocesan financial office can be of assistance in the allocation or review of costs. Example:

Cost of the parish:

Utilities for rectory $ 3,500.00

Vehicle Expenses and Vehicle Allowance $ 8,000.00

Salaries and Benefits – Clergy $25,000.00

Salaries and Benefits – Lay Personnel $20,000.00

Office Supplies and Equipment $ 2,500.00

Total $59,000.00

Annual Collection Percentage Share

Parish Annual Collection $ 60,000.00 60% $35,400.00

Mission 1 $ 30,000.00 30% $17,700.00

Mission 2 $ 10,000.00 10% $ 5,900.00

Total $100,000.00 100% $59,000.00

NOTE: Allocations are subject to change by the Bishop



In dealing with mass offerings and intentions, one must honor both the laws of the Church and the laws of the country.

The following are important reminders of the regulations dealing with mass offerings and intentions.

In Matters Dealing with Canon Law

1. Canon 946 states: The Christian faithful who make an offering so that the Mass may be applied for their intention contribute to the good of the Church and by their offering take part in the concern of the Church for the support of its ministers and works.

2. “To apply the Mass for their intentions” is defined as meaning that the celebrant cannot accept more than one offering for one Mass.

3. The priest may celebrate for his personal intentions, a total of twelve (12) Masses of Bination or Trination per year to meet certain personal obligations of charity; however, he is not entitled to stipends for these Masses.

4. Masses of Bination and Trination are permitted within the Diocese when required for pastoral reasons. One may not, however, celebrate four (4) Masses on the same day, either by exception or habitually.

5. All priests, whether diocesan or religious, binate or trinate for the intentions of the Bishop. If the priest celebrates a second or third Mass for a particular intention, he remits the amount of the stipend to the Chancery Office. On Christmas Day, the additional offerings may be retained by the celebrant. (Canon 951.1)

6. Quarterly, the priest forwards to the Chancery Office, either the special form indicating the Masses celebrated for the Bishop’s intentions, or the stipends received.

7. Stipends are not to be applied to Masses of bination or trination celebrated within the context of a concelebration.

8. In parishes where priests have a surplus of Mass stipends, they are invited to send them to the Chancery Office for re-distribution among priests. A priest ought not to keep mass stipends for more than eight (8) months in advance.


Collective Mass Intentions:

· Single Masses may be celebrated according to a “collective” intention only when the people making the offerings have been previously and explicitly informed of this and have consented that their offerings be used in this manner.

· These Masses with “collective” intentions may be offered only twice a week and the place and time of the celebrations are to be made public.

· When these Masses are celebrated, the celebrant may keep only the amount of the stipend established by the Diocese, namely ten dollars ($10.00)

· The remaining portion of the offerings are to be sent to the Diocese for the St. Paul Vocation Trust Fund.

Financial Accountability for Stipends:

· The stipend for all Masses is to be $10.00 and is to be celebrated for the intentions of the donor. The donor is to be given a receipt, however, the offering is not considered a charitable donation and as such, the receipt shall not display the Business Identification Number (BIN) of the parish or Diocese.

· All funds for Mass stipends are to be deposited in a Mass account. The celebrant will then be paid his offering of five dollars ($5.00) from this account. The other five dollars ($5.00) will be paid to the priest retirement trust fund.

· This income is considered to be taxable income as it is considered the provision of a service and should be recorded on line 104 of your return if it does not appear on your T4 slip. Note that you may be able to contribute to the Canada Pension Plan on this income as it may be considered self-employment income. Therefore, it is the celebrant’s responsibility to record any income received as a result of Mass stipends or of any other income that is directly related to his services as a priest.



The Bishop of the Diocese of St. Paul devotes all of his time to ministry within the Diocese and both on a national and international basis as required by bishops of each Diocese within Canada. In recognition of the work performed by the Bishop, the Diocese agrees to cover expenses incurred in the performance of his ministry.


· The expenses to be reimbursed to the Bishop include but are not limited to:

· Vehicle Expenses – Since all travels done by the Bishop are directly related to ministry, all vehicle expenses including gas, vehicle insurance, registration, repairs and fuel are to be reimbursed at the 100% level upon submission of invoices. These invoices should be submitted on a monthly basis and are payable by the Diocese,

· Other Personal Expenses – All other benefits available to all of the priests in the Diocese shall be available to the Bishop.

· These include extended health benefits. However, the Diocese shall cover extended health benefits to the 100% level upon presentation of invoice. Extended health benefits are those as described with the current policy with Sun Life.

· In addition, the Diocese of St. Paul shall continue to pay the monthly salary to the Bishop for up to six months in the event of illness or disability.

· Bishops of Canada are not subject to Employment Insurance deductions from his salary since the Bishop is considered not to be unemployed as long as he remains the Ordinary of the Diocese.

· The Bishop should however foresee for his own retirement and may participate in the Priests Retirement Trust Fund that is in force within the Diocese as long as he wishes even if he should be assigned to another Diocese.



The Diocese of St. Paul works closely with an investment advisor from UMC Financial Management Inc. located in Edmonton, Alberta. UMC attends to the financial management of the funds of the diocese. The advisor and his team monitor the use of funds from both an investment and an operation point of view. Fund management occurs on a daily basis. UMC reports to the diocese monthly. The diocese invests all funds not currently required for short-term operations. Interest paid on these funds varies according to interest received from UMC and is subject to change according to financial returns.


· All parishes are required to invest with the investment program through UMC Financial Management.

· Individual participation in the plan may be considered by the Bishop on a case-by-case basis. The Bishop reserves the right to refuse any requests for individual investments.

· New potential investors must provide a written request to the Bishop. The Bishop will provide a written response regarding his decision.


Interest accrues on a semi-annual basis. The diocese receives a variable annualized rate of return less administration fees.

Interest paid to the investors is calculated on a semi-annual basis.

Investor interest is 2% less the rate that the diocese receives after administration fees.

Investors generally receive a better rate of return than that of a bank or other investment companies.

Investment certificates are prepared on a semi-annual basis after the June UMC report has been released. The semi-annual certificates are sent to each parish and individual investor for their review. It is the responsibility of the investor to verify that the certificate is correct. Any errors or omissions should be reported to the diocesan financial administrator.



“Le Diocèse de St. Paul” in Alberta is an incorporated Diocese in the province of Alberta. The Diocese is committed to protecting the privacy of the information of its assigned, contracted and mandated members including clergy, religious, employees, ministers, lay faithful, donors and other stakeholders. This policy refers not only to the operations of the Chancery Office but to all parishes and missions that comprise the Diocese of St. Paul.

We value the trust of those we deal with, and recognize that preserving that trust requires maintaining a delicate but true balance between collecting information entrusted to us, and sharing it with the institutional church, and /or those who legally or informally lay claim to such information. We choose, therefore to maintain the highest standards of accountability and transparency while dealing with the information shared with us.

These standards include:

1. advance notification of the information we are required to collect in the instances of completing sacramental information.

2. limit the collection of information only to that which is necessary for the purpose.

3. Where sacramental records are to be provided, have each individual sign an application for the receipt of sacramental records and provide such information only to the individual named in the record or to the parent or guardian of that individual. Third party requests must be granted permission by the individual before any record will be given. In the case of a deceased individual, proof in the form of a death certificate or date of death, must be given before any information is to be released to a third party.

4. refuse to share any information except as in number 2 above or where required by ecclesiastical authority or by law.

5. ensure that all records are stored in a secure manner and are accessible only to authorized individuals.

6. ensure security of storage of information, including where it is stored and how it may be accessed.

7. ensure that only authorized personnel have access to stored data and records.

8. assign a “Privacy Officer” and distribute the policy to all who request same.

9. keep only those records and computer data that are required to be permanent in a safe and secure manner.

10. ensure that records and computer data that are no longer required are disposed of in a safe and secure manner.

11. distribution of privacy policy to all who ask, and accepting mandate to update and improve the policy as required.

Definition of Information

Information held within the Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Paul that is governed by this policy includes:

Personal Information:

Personal information is defined as any information that can be used to distinguish, identify or contact a specific individual. This information includes facts about or related to an individual, as well as that individual’s opinions and beliefs. Publicly available information such as that contained in telephone or business directories, maps, catalogues, or the like is not considered personal, private information. When an adult individual registers business or contact information with the Diocese, parishes or missions, such is not considered personal or private. Any information about an individual who has not yet reached the age of reason is considered personal and private, and will not be released except for sacramental purposes or to the parent or legal guardian of that individual.

Financial Information:

Financial information is defined as individual information about a member, donor or supporter that can be used to distinguish, identify, contact or further solicit from that individual. This information includes statements and receipts made public, written or pictorial records, individual identification in publications (without consent), oral presentation (without consent) and posthumous mention (without consent) of bequests or other estate gifts. Corporate, institutional or benevolent group gifts and disbursements are not considered private information unless the “Privacy Policy” of that organization so states.

Privacy Principles:

The ten principles that must be respected when collecting information are:

1. Accountability - Organizations are responsible for all personal information under their control and remain responsible when personal information is processed by third parties on their behalf.

2. Identifying purpose - Organizations are required to document purposes before they can collect and use personal information.

3. Consent - Knowledge and consent of the individual are required to collect, use, or disclose personal information.

4. Limiting collection - The amount and type of information is limited to what is necessary for identified purposes.

5. Limiting use, disclosure and retention of personal information - Information can only be disclosed or used for the purposes it was collected.

6. Accuracy - Personal information has to be accurate, complete and as up-to-date as is necessary for the purposes for which it is to be used.

7. Safeguards - Organizations must take steps to protect personal information from theft and loss, as well as unauthorized access, disclosure, copying or use.

8. Openness - Organizations must provide the public with general information on their personal information protection policies and practices, and must make it easy to identify and contact the person responsible for personal information protection.

9. Individual access – Upon request, individuals must be informed of the existence, use and disclosure of all their personal information, and be given access to that information. An individual has the right to challenge the accuracy and completeness of the information and have it amended as appropriate.

10. Challenging compliance – An individual can challenge an organization’s compliance to the Code, and an organization must develop procedures to handle complaints.

Privacy Practices:

Personal information gathered in the Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Paul is kept in confidence and securely stored. All personnel are authorized to access information based only upon their need to deal with the information for the reasons for which it was obtained. This applies to all certificates of the administration of sacraments and the details contained therein, the receipts and statements concerning donations and gifts, and the contracts signed with employees, members and others.

Safeguards are in place to ensure the information is only distributed in compliance with this policy, and to ensure that information is not lost, stolen, exchanged, or fraudulently used. Individuals may, by written consent, opt out of the restrictions outlined in this policy, but such written consent must be presented in person, to diocesan or parish personnel, during business hours at a business office of record. Individual requests for information to be shared in exception to this policy are resolved at the sole discretion of the Episcopal See.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Paul uses password protocols to protect personal and other information. Use of the encoded phonebook registry is encouraged in use of all facsimile machines, to avoid instances of misdialing.

Privacy Officer

The officially designated “Privacy Officer” for the Diocese of St. Paul, its parishes and missions is the office of the financial administrator who may be contacted at 780-645-3277 if you have further questions. In addition, you may find further information on privacy legislation by contacting the Privacy Commissioner of Canada at www.privcom.gc.ca.

Policy Statement: Catholic school boards are to follow specific criteria guiding the process of naming a Catholic school.

Intent of Policy: From the name of a Catholic school, the culture and ethos of the school community will evolve. The intention of the name is to support the mission of the Catholic school to be consistent with the mission of the Catholic Church and to establish and deepen the relationship of everyone in the school with the person of Jesus Christ as members of his Body, the Church.

Procedure: In keeping with these foundational principles:

1. First consideration is given to an aspect of the mystery of Jesus Christ (Christ the King, Good Shepherd, Holy Trinity, Holy Name of Jesus, Divine Mercy, etc.).

2. Second consideration is accorded to Our Lady, who may be named under one of her many titles (Our Lady of Grace) or in relation to her life (Nativity of Our Lady, Assumption of Mary).

3. Third, the name of a canonized saint may be considered, since canonization is a declaration to the universal Church that the one canonized is worthy of imitation. The one after whom a school is named is, by that very fact, offered as a model for students. That model must be one of holiness, since the ultimate purpose of a Catholic school is to assist students to live holy lives. While we cannot judge the holiness of another, we rely upon the canonization process for assurance.

4. Fourth, the name of a former Pope could be considered or the name associated with heavenly beings such as angels.

5. Fifth, the name of a person associated with the founding of Catholic education in Alberta may also be considered, (e.g. Father Lacombe) provided there has arisen around him or her a reputation for sanctity and dedication to Christ and His Church.

The final three names, selected by the Catholic school board, for a Catholic school will be submitted to the Bishop for review.

The name of a school will not use the possessive form. The designation is a dedication act not possession. June 16, 2020

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