Parish Governance

St. Joseph's Catholic Church Governance

The healthy success of any community relies on the active participation and wise leadership of its members.  From its earliest days as a parish, St. Joseph’s has had wise, pragmatic and dedicated parishioners who stepped forward- sometimes asked, sometimes moved to volunteer, sometimes summoned- to work with the pastor and the diocese to create and maintain a parish that provided its members with liturgy, pastoral care, education and opportunities for ministry.  The board of Directors, lay trustees, the Finance Council and Pastoral Council, provide governance at St. Joseph’s.



Church law in the Diocese of Duluth requires that each parish have a five-member corporate board of directors.   The bishop is the president of the board, the parish pastor is the vice president and the vicar general is a member of the board.  The remaining two members, lay trustees, are parishioners who represent the broad interests of the entire parish community.


Bud Schneider
Julie Wiens

Lay Trustees are appointed by our Pastor and approved by the Bishop.   They help the Pastor by guiding and offering perspective in various decisions made in our church community.  These are people that as parishioners we can call when we need clarification or help in answering questions.  They serve a three-year term, which may be renewed.



The Pastoral Council is an advisory body of parishioners established to consult with the pastor, and to recommend the direction of parish activities in keeping with the vision and mission of the parish.  This council reviews and endorses the annual operating budget.  Council members are elected or appointed for three-year terms.  This group meets the each month at the parish office.



Church law requires that each parish have a finance council.  This council functions as the financial advisory board to the pastor and Pastoral Council.  It reviews financial performance, and prepares financial projections for parish programs and services.  There are 12 members of the council; the pastor is president and an ex-officio, non-voting member.  Other members include:

  • Lay trustees (ex officio voting members)
  • Members appointed by the pastor (voting members)
  • Members elected in a way determined by the Council (voting members)
  • Representative from the St. Joseph’s School Board (voting member)

Members (except ex officio members) may serve up to 3 consecutive 3-year terms.  The election/appointment process is open to all interested parishioners and takes place annually in the fall.

View 2019-20 Parish Annual Report HERE.



All Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Duluth are required to have in place an Advisory Committee on Catholic Education.  The School Board of St. Joseph’s School fulfills that requirement.  The School Board’s role is to provide guidance to the Pastor and the parish community and to develop policies that will “enable the school to achieve it’s agreed upon goals… and it shall operate within the guidelines of the Duluth Diocesan School Office.”(School Board bylaws)  The Board is consultative in nature.  It formulates policies and then recommends them to the Pastor (working with the Parish Finance Council, Pastoral Council and other parish governing agencies) for approval.  One School Board member serves as a representative to the Pastoral Council and one member serves as a representative to the Parish Finance Council.


  • Policy and Planning
  • Finance
  • Building and Grounds
  • Public Relations

There are twelve elected members serve on the School Board.  Each year, three new board members are elected.  The Pastor appoints members to fill the remaining positions as necessary.   Any member of the Parish or a parent with a child at St. Joseph’s School is eligible to apply to be on the board.  Requests for nominations are taken each year.  Contact the school principal at 326-6232 for more information.



St. Joseph's Catholic Church and School Endowment Foundation, originally called the St. Joseph's School Endowment Fund, is now a corporation separate from the parish.  It is a separate legal entity with its own Board of Trustees and set of by-laws.  The endowment funds for the church and for the school will be managed together, but are tracked separately. The current Investment and Disbursement Committee has served our endowment well, offering their insight and expertise as they work with the Endowment’s financial consultant to invest and disperse these funds.  Many thanks to all donors who have generously given to the School Endowment Fund since its inception in 1980. St. Joseph's Catholic Community is blessed to have such support. If you would like to learn more about giving opportunities for either the School Endowment or Parish Endowment, please contact our Development Director, Becky Langenecker, at the parish office.

The Church Endowment Fund benefits St. Joseph's Parish.

The School Endowment Fund benefits St. Joseph's School financially in the following ways:

  • Provides a stable source of income for the School operating budget.
  • Can be used for tuition aid form families in need.
  • Similar to other fundraisers of the school that help to lessen the parish subsidy.

Members of the Endowment Investment Committee meet quarterly and as necessary with the fund's financial advisor.  They monitor the investments of the Endowment Fund and recommend the yearly school disbursement to the Parish Finance Council.