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Decree - Policy for Acts of Administration



Episcopus Gaylordensis
Divina Miseratione et Apostolicæ Sedis Gratia


Promulgation of the Policy for Acts of Administration Both Ordinary and Extraordinary for the Diocese of Gaylord

I, the undersigned, Steven John Raica, by the grace of God and the Apostolic See, Bishop of Gaylord, hereby promulgate the guidelines for projects (Ordinary and Extraordinary acts of Administration.) The guidelines and any subsequent additions to them authorized by the Bishop of Gaylord are considered particular law for the Diocese.

The guidelines are binding on the following: clergy, members of institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life, and laity, as well as all parishes, Catholic schools, and institutions identified as Catholic by the Diocese.

The guidelines are to be published on the official website of the Diocese and notification of their publication provided to all clergy, parishes, schools, religious institutes and houses, and Catholic institutions located within the Diocese. Clergy and administrators of these institutions are to review carefully the contents of the Guidelines, and ensure compliance with the policies in their roles.

The guidelines take legislative force effective May 1, 2017, the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. As of that date, all prior Diocesan laws, policies and procedures for administrative acts (“projects”) that conflict with the contents of these new guidelines are abrogated. Additions to the guidelines will take effect on the date indicated by said additions. Customs that conflict with the guidelines are suppressed. All universal law of the Church, particular law issued by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and local policies or procedures retain force unless legitimately superseded by Diocesan law.

The Bishop is the authentic interpreter of Diocesan law. Dispensation from Diocesan laws and policies and all permissions required by them must be requested from the Bishop or from those who have the power to dispense from Diocesan Law, or others delegated by the Bishop.

Given at Gaylord, Michigan, on this 1st day of May, in the year of our Lord 2017.

L.S.                                                                                                +Steven J. Raica
                                                                                                       Bishop of Gaylord

                                                                                                       Fr. Matthew Wigton






The following construction project policies and procedures are applicable to all projects taking place throughout our diocese, both small and large. They are to be observed and followed as closely as possible and practicable for new construction, repairs, renovations, restorations or improvements upon church property:

Concept:  The concept and decision of what needs to be done to maintain, repair or renovate a diocesan parish, school or other facility rests with the local Pastor/Administrator and Parish Finance Council.

Notification:  Once the concept and decision to proceed has been made by the parish, notice should be given to the Diocese of Gaylord by contacting Kim Smith at 989-705-3512, regardless of the anticipated cost.

Fundraising:  If fundraising is involved for the project, permission to fundraise must first be sought from the Bishop. The complementary norms of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) as approved by the Holy See and the particular law of the Diocese of Gaylord are to be observed.

Permissions and Diocesan Review:  Depending on the type, scope and cost of a project, various reviews and approvals from diocesan personnel, commissions and canonical authorities must take place, as noted below. Once granted, the permission normally encompasses the entire project. Exceptions are made for major building or reconstruction projects that pass through several reviews at successive stages of a project before final permission can be granted to expend funds as an Act of Extraordinary Administration.

Parish Building Committee:  The Parish Building Committee (there are various names for this committee) is responsible to the Parish Finance Council and cannot act independently of it. Its votum (recommendation) goes to the Parish Finance Council and should be the basis of discussion and recommendation to the Pastor regarding the immovable goods of the Parish.

Diocesan Building Commission:  The Diocesan Building Commission, which advises the Bishop on building matters, may review any projects at the discretion of the Bishop. If the scope of the project involves major construction, repairs, renovation, or restoration a votum of the Diocesan Building Commission is needed regardless of the cost of the project. The votum is to be included in the reports given to the Diocesan Finance Council/College of Consultors and the Bishop or his delegates.

Office of Worship: If the project in any way involves the worship space, a votum of the Office of Worship is needed, regardless of the cost of the project.

Minutes or Resolution of the Parish Finance Council: For all projects requiring consent from the Chancellor/Vicar General/Diocesan Finance Council/College of Consultors and Bishop, the Parish Finance Council minutes should narrate the discussion, including points of agreement and disagreement, and document the vote to recommend or not recommend the project. All Parish Finance Council members are to sign the minutes as a demonstration of accuracy. Alternatively, a resolution can be drawn up to reflect the discussion points both positive and negative as well as the vote and recommendation with signatures of each Parish Finance Council Member included.

Whenever a project concerning new construction, repairs, renovations, restorations or improvements upon church or school property is contemplated the following protocols will apply:

  • Projects under $10,000.00 - will be up to the Pastor’s discretion and due diligence.
  • Projects over $10,000.00 up to $25,000.00 - require the consent of the Pastor after consultation with the Parish Finance Council (minutes should reflect the full discussion about the matter and the consensus of the Council.)
  • Projects over $25,000.00 up to $100,000.00 - require the consent of the Pastor, after consultation with the Parish Finance Council, and the consent of the Chancellor or Vicar General.
  • Projects over $100,000.00 up to $250,000.00 - require the consent of the Pastor, after consultation with the Parish Finance Council, a consultation with the Diocesan Finance Council, the consent of the Chancellor or Vicar General and the Bishop.
  • Projects over $250,000.00 - require the consent of the Pastor, after consultation with the Parish Finance Council, and the consent of the Diocesan Finance Council, the College of Consultors, Chancellor, Vicar General and Bishop.

Complete Financial Audit:  For capital campaigns that exceed $1 million, a complete financial audit of the parish or institution will be required to ensure their financial health. The cost of this audit will be borne by the parish or institution and should be factored into the costs of the project. The Diocesan Finance Office can assist in recommending a firm to conduct the audit.

Contractors:  Also, if the nature of the project, no matter how inexpensive it may be, involves possible danger (electric, gas, HVAC, heights, power tools, etc.), either a skilled employee or a licensed and insured contractor/vendor should be performing the installation or construction work for you.  If you have any questions whatsoever concerning these initial matters you should contact the Director of Administrative Services at the diocese.

General Conditions Agreement:  In order to seek the greatest liability and contractual protection for your Church and the Diocese of Gaylord, the General Conditions Agreement (GCA) should be used whenever engaged in a construction, repair, renovation or restoration project and work potentially involves any type of serious injury, property damage, or other potential liability issues. The General Conditions Agreement contains a Commencement and Completion provision and penalty provision in case the time commitments are not followed.  You should have the contractor insert the dates in that provision that they feel comfortable promising.

Once you have received a bid proposal from the contractor you wish to use, the proposal should be delivered to the Director of Administrative Services so that a General Conditions Agreement can be prepared and sent back to you for everyone’s signature.

The Contractor and Pastor can then sign the GCA and you must return an executed copy to Kim Smith for the diocesan records.  This should be done before any work is commenced.

Liability Issues: It is also important to keep in mind the following protections:

  1.  You should never commence a project over $10,000.00 without having written consent   from the appropriate parties as outlined above.
  2.  You should never allow a contractor to store materials or commence work on site without having a fully signed GCA from the contractor.
  3.  You should never pay any money to any contractor in advance of having a signed GCA from the contractor.
  4.  You should never choose a contractor that is unlicensed or uninsured.

Approved        May 1, 2017


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