By-Laws and Constitution
CONSTITUTION and BY-LAWS
REVISED 2017 (March)
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother! To thee I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but, in thy mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.
ARTICLE I: The Council of Catholic Women of the Immaculate Conception Church, Columbia, Illinois, was organized by the Catholic Ladies of Columbia for the purpose of aiding in promoting the spiritual and temporal welfare of the parish and for their own personal sanctification.
We place our society under the patronage of the Immaculate Conception Mother of God. We wish to follow the example of Christians of all ages in venerating her.
ARTICLE II: The officers shall be the President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The Pastor of the Immaculate Conception Church shall be the Spiritual Director.
The officers shall be elected for two year terms. Alternately, a President and Secretary shall be elected together and a Vice-President and a Treasurer shall be elected together. This ensures Council consistency by providing that two experienced officers remain in office each year. The Vice-President shall move into the President position at the end of the term. This provides an opportunity for the Vice-President to learn the role of President for a more seamless change in Council governance. No officer may succeed herself.
The Nominating Committee shall consist of the President and the two officers retired the previous year. They shall present the new candidates for office in March, at which time nominations can be made from the floor. Election of officers will take place at the April meeting with installation in May. If there is more than one candidate for each of the two vacant offices, they shall be elected by secret ballot. Prior to the April meeting the slate of new candidates shall be presented to the Spiritual Director for his approval. The Spiritual Director will preside over installation.
In the event of a vacancy in the office of the President, whether by resignation or any other cause, the Vice-President shall automatically assume that position. In the event of a vacancy in the office of the Secretary or Treasurer, the President shall appoint a successor for the unexpired term.
ARTICLE III: Duties of Officers:
Section 1. It shall be the duty of the Spiritual Director to supervise the activities of the Altar Society.
Section 2. It shall be the duty of the President to preside at the meetings, to enforce the observance of the Constitution, By-Laws and Rules of Order, to decide questions of order, to call special meetings, to appoint committees, and to work zealously and prudently to promote the spiritual and material interests of Immaculate Conception Church, always respecting the wishes of the Spiritual Director. She shall be an ex-officio member of all committees.
Section 3. It shall be the duty of the Vice-President to assist and cooperate with the President in carrying on the work of the Council. In the absence of the President, the Vice-President shall perform the duties of the President.
Section 4. It shall be the duties of the Secretary to read all communications at the meetings and to answer all correspondence, to call roll and record the minutes at meetings. In the absence of the President and Vice-President, the duties of their offices devolve upon the Secretary.
Section 5. It shall be the duty of the Treasurer to keep the financial books, to do all required signing and recording, to collect dues and earnings of the society, to pay the bills, to bank the society’s money, and to present the Treasurer’s books to the Spiritual Director, or designee, at the end of the year for his examination.
Section 6. In planning the agenda, the officers shall consider all phases of parish well-being; devotional, social, spiritual and financial.
Section 7. The President of the Council of Catholic Women shall serve as a member on the Board of the Metro-East Vicariate.
Section 8. The officers of the Council shall give their services gratis.
ARTICLE IV: Membership – All women members of Immaculate Conception Church, over eighteen years of age, are members of the Council of Catholic Women. Only dues paying members are eligible to vote and to hold office. Dues are payable in January of each year.
ARTICLE V: Obligation of Members – Members are obliged to attend the meetings of the Council. Regular meetings are held the first Thursday of each month. Special meetings of all members or of committees may be called by the President as needs arise.
At the death of a member, attempts will be made to notify all members. All members are encouraged to honor the deceased by attending the wake, joining in the Prayer Service, attending the funeral services, or remembering the deceased member in private prayer. Members attending the funeral Mass will assemble thirty minutes before the funeral Mass to recite the Holy Rosary.
The members are obliged at all times to work in harmony with their officers to promote all the activities of the Council for the Church.
ARTICLE VI: Benefits to the Members – There are social advantages of membership. One has an opportunity to meet other members of the parish, to work with them, to pray and chat with them, and to share joys and sorrows.
The spiritual benefits are many. There is the satisfaction and joy – the assurance of merit one has in working for the Master. “Whosoever gives a cup of cold water in my Name shall not lose his reward.” (Matt. X - 42). The work one does in the Council, Our Divine Master pays for in the gold coins of merit eternal.
Meetings include activities to inform, inspire, and educate members about their faith
At the death of a member, the Council has a Mass offered for the repose of the member’s soul. All members are encouraged to attend.
Annually, during the November All Souls Mass, special remembrance will be offered for all deceased members.
ARTICLE VII: Aid to the Church – The Council of Catholic Women of Immaculate Conception Church is a Church council. Therefore, money and any other property it may possess shall be regarded as property of Immaculate Conception Church. It shall be the duty of the Council of Catholic Women to assume the financial responsibilities of paying for the Altar linens, processional and sanctuary candles, vestments, wine and altar breads. Any other expenditure shall be voted upon by the general voting membership.
1. The meetings shall be opened and closed with prayer by the Spiritual Director or in his absence by the
2. The regular monthly meeting shall be held on the first Thursday evening of the month.
3. The annual dues shall be TEN dollars. Dues are to be paid annually in January. Anyone paying dues for the
first time at the September meeting or after shall be credited to the next year’s dues.
4. The Council shall encourage its members to make an annual closed retreat and appoint a sponsoring
committee to arouse interest in the Retreat movement, Bible Study, Day of Recollection, ACTS, etc.
5. The following rules shall govern the meetings of the Council:
Rules of Order: 1. Opening prayer
2. Roll call
3. Remembrance of all deceased members
4. Reading of minutes
5. Treasurer’s report
6. Communications and bills
7. Committee reports
8. Unfinished business
9. New business
10. Closing prayer