CONSTITUTION OF THE DEACON LIFE AND MINISTRY BOARD OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF BALTIMORE
The name of this elected body shall be the DEACON LIFE AND MINISTRY BOARD OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF BALTIMORE.
SEC. 1 This body shall serve in an advisory capacity to the Archbishop of Baltimore and his staff through the Director of Clergy Personnel and the Director of Deacon Personnel regarding the utilization, assignment, and policy affecting deacons of the Archdiocese and their families.
The intent of this body is to serve as a resource and a support to deacons, assisting them in their satisfactory performance of their ministry and the Church’s mission.
SEC. 2 The specific purposes of this body shall be:
SEC. 1 The Deacon Life and Ministry Board is formally constituted by and exists under the authority of the Archbishop. It is an advisory body with a changing membership resulting from periodic elections and appointments.
SEC. 2 The Board serves the interests of all deacons and their families within or serving outside the Archdiocese.
SEC. 3 The Board’s recommendations are made through the Director of Clergy Personnel and the Director of Deacon Personnel to the Archbishop and regional vicars and delegates.
SEC. 4 The Board, through the Director of Clergy Personnel and the Director of Deacon Personnel, develops and maintains communications and collegial relationships with other Archdiocesan bodies having related purposes or mutual interests.
SEC. 1 All incardinated deacons performing ministry or living within the Archdiocese of Baltimore, and their wives, are eligible for Board membership except those serving as Regional Delegates, Chancery staff, or Clergy Personnel staff.
A husband and wife may not serve concurrently on the Board.
SEC. 2 The voting membership of the Board shall consist of:
SEC. 3 The Director of Clergy Personnel, the Director of Deacon Personnel, the Associate Director of Deacon Personnel, and the Ministry to Retired Deacons are ex officio nonvoting members of the Board.
SEC. 4 In appointing Board members, the Archbishop shall consider the need for geographic, racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity on the Board.
SEC. 5 If an elected member position cannot be filled, the Archbishop may appoint a member to that position.
SEC. 1 The officers of the Board shall consist of a Chairman, a Vice-Chairman, and a member at large, each of whom must be a deacon.
SEC. 2 Officers shall be elected by the Board members and require confirmation by the Archbishop.
SEC. 1 Peer groups, for purposes of conducting elections of deacon Board members, shall be those which are established by the Archbishop through the Office of the Diaconate.
SEC. 1 A majority of voting members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at a Board meeting.
SEC. 2 Three (3) members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business in executive session.
SEC. 3 In the absence of a quorum, the Board may conduct business as an ad hoc committee of the whole. All business of the committee is subject to review and approval by the Board at its next meeting.
SEC. 1 Amendments to any Articles or Sections of this Constitution may be proposed at any time by any member of the Board or the Executive Committee.
SEC. 2 Proposed amendments shall be submitted in writing to the Board. Within 1 month after receiving the written proposal the proposed amendment shall be assigned by the Chairman to the Policy Committee for review and recommended action, unless there is a need for expedited consideration by the Board.
SEC. 3 A vote on a proposed amendment may not be taken until the amendment has been sent in writing with comments by the Policy Committee, if any, to all members for review at least 10 days prior to the vote.
SEC. 4 For adoption, amendments require an affirmative vote of a 2/3 majority of the total number of Board members and the approval of the Archbishop of Baltimore.
This Constitution becomes effective on ratification by a 2/3 affirmative vote of the total voting Board members and approval by the Archbishop of Baltimore.
SEC. 1 Election of Board members shall be supervised by the Director of Deacon Personnel and conducted by the Office of the Diaconate.
SEC. 2 Election of members shall take place in June of each election year by electronic ballot. The new Board shall take office at the meeting in September following the June elections.
SEC. 3 Special elections shall be conducted, if necessary, to insure full membership on the Board at all times.
SEC. 1 Members shall be elected or appointed to serve for a term of 3 years.
Terms shall be staggered according to a schedule designated by the Archbishop through the Office of the Diaconate.
SEC. 2 Unless a member resigns from membership or loses it according to Sec. 7 of this Article, the member shall continue to serve until the member’s successor takes office.
SEC. 3 If a vacancy occurs for any reason, the remainder of the term of office of an elected member shall be completed by the candidate who received the next highest number of votes in the most recent election for that region or peer group and who remains qualified for that region or peer group. If the vacancy involves a member appointed by the Archbishop, the Archbishop shall appoint a successor.
SEC. 4 A member may not serve for more than two consecutive full terms. After a break of 1 year, the member is eligible for renomination. This provision applies whether the individual remains within one region or peer group or changes region or peer group.
SEC. 5 A member may not forfeit any portion of the full term for which elected because of attaining eligibility for a different peer group during the full term.
SEC. 6 Special elections shall be conducted if the procedure in Article I, Sec. 1 fails to provide the number of members stipulated in Article IV of the Constitution.
SEC. 7 If, in the judgment of the Board, a member is ruled to be seriously delinquent in the member’s duties including breaking confidentiality regarding Board matters, membership on the Board may be terminated by a 2/3 vote of the total voting Board members and confirmation by the Archbishop of Baltimore.
SEC. 1 Each Board member shall attend and participate actively in regular and special meetings.
SEC. 2 Each Board member shall represent the interests of the region or group who elected the member while keeping in mind the obligation to the Archdiocese as a whole. The member shall be available to the member’s constituents for consultation on matters of placement, policy, education or compensation.
SEC. 3 Board members shall serve on standing and ad hoc committees as assigned by the Board Chairman.
SEC. 4 All members are required to observe strict confidentiality concerning personnel matters discussed at Board meetings.
SEC. 1 Election of officers shall take place each September.
SEC. 2 The election procedure shall be administered by the Director of Deacon Personnel or his designee.
SEC. 3 Voice nominations for Chairman shall be received until a motion to close nominations is carried. Those nominated may decline to allow their name to be offered. A secret written ballot shall be taken until a simple majority of those in attendance is reached.
SEC. 4 Voice nominations for Vice-Chairman will then be submitted and the procedure noted in Sec. 4 above shall be followed.
SEC. 5 Voice nominations for the deacon member-at-large will then be submitted and the procedure noted in Section 4 above shall be followed.
SEC. 6 The Director of Deacon Personnel shall appoint a Teller. He shall instruct the Teller to announce voting results in this manner: If a simple majority vote is reached, only the name of the elected individual is to be announced. If a simple majority vote has not been reached, the Teller shall report, in the order of the votes received, the names of the persons who received votes.
SEC. 7 Newly elected officers shall take office immediately on their election and the confirmation of the Archbishop of Baltimore.
SEC. 1 An elected officer shall serve for 1 year and is eligible for re-election during the member’s term of Deacon Life and Ministry Board membership.
SEC. 2 If an officer position is vacated during the term of an incumbent, the position shall be filled in accordance with the election procedure specified in Article IV, Secs. 2 through 9.
SEC. 1 The Chairman shall attend and preside over the meetings of the Board and the executive Committee.
SEC. 2 The Vice-Chairman shall assist the Chairman as requested and serve in his place when the Chairman is unavailable to carry out his duties.
SEC. 3 The At-Large Member shall serve as a member of the Executive Committee and shall serve as recording secretary whenever the Vice-Chairman is acting as Chairman.
SEC. 1 Decisions and recommendations of the Board shall be reached by voting on motions properly moved, seconded, and discussed.
SEC. 2 A majority of affirmative votes cast at a meeting where a quorum is present shall carry a motion. In the absence of a quorum at the meeting, the Board may refer the matter to the Executive Committee or schedule a meeting conducted remotely by electronic means to consider the matter.
SEC. 3 If not unanimous, the number of yea and nay votes, as well as abstentions, shall be reported in the minutes for each motion put to the vote.
SEC. 4 The names of the members who offer, second, or amend motions or vote yea, nay, or abstain may not be recorded in the minutes unless a Board member asks that they be recorded.
SEC. 1 A regular meeting schedule shall be established by the Board. The Board shall meet at least three times a year. Meetings may be conducted in person or remotely by electronic means.
SEC. 2 The agenda for the approaching meeting and the minutes for the preceding meeting shall be sent by the Chairman or his designee to each Board member prior to a regular Board meeting.
SEC. 3 Board meetings are open to any interested member of the deacon community. Non-Board members may request that a special item be included on the agenda of a Board meeting at least 2 weeks prior to the Board meeting, to be included at the discretion of the Chairman. Those who plan to attend a Board meeting should inform the Chairman. The Board also reserves the right to meet in executive session, that is, privately without observers present.
SEC. 4 Special committees of the Board may be called by the Chairman on approval by the Executive Committee.
SEC. 5 The Chairman may refer matters of pressing concern to the full Board or to the Executive Committee for consideration at a meeting conducted remotely by electronic means outside the regular meeting schedule. Any action recommended or taken in this manner shall be reported to the Board at its next regular meeting for its information or any subsequent action or ratification.
SEC. 6 The Board shall send its proposed meeting schedule to the deacon community by email, and shall periodically send summaries of its meetings to the deacon community in the same manner.
SEC. 1 Standing committees shall be the Executive Committee, the Communication Committee, the Placement Committee, the Policy Committee, the Ongoing Formation Committee, and the Deacon Wives Committee.
SEC. 2 Ad hoc committees shall be established on recommendation by the chairman and approval by the Board to undertake work as the Board considers necessary.
SEC. 3 Members shall be asked to indicate their preferences for appointment to standing and/or ad hoc committees.
SEC. 4 The Chairman of the Board, subject to ratification by the Board, shall appoint a chairman for each Board committee.
SEC. 5 The committee membership is determined by the committee chair in consultation with the Director of Deacon Personnel.
SEC. 6 Membership on all Board committees shall be for a term of 3 years and is renewable.
SEC. 1 The Executive Committee shall formulate the charge of responsibilities for each standing and ad hoc committee.
SEC. 2 Each committee chairman shall be responsible for directing the work of his committee and for reporting to the Board its activities including interim and final reports.
SEC. 1 When the Chairman of this Board and/or the Priestly Life and Ministry Board, in consultation with the Director of Clergy Personnel, the Director of Deacon Personnel, or their designee, determines that a matter being considered by either body may be of mutual interest to both bodies, it shall be brought to the attention of both Boards for consideration and possible joint action.
SEC. 1 Amendments to any articles or sections of these Bylaws may be proposed at any time by any member of the Board.
SEC. 2 Proposed amendments shall be submitted in writing to a member of the Board. Within 1 month after receiving the written proposal the proposed amendment shall be assigned by the Chairman to the Policy Committee for review and recommended action.
SEC. 3 A vote on a proposed amendment shall not be taken until the amendment has been sent in writing by the Policy Committee to all members of the Board for review at least 10 days prior to the vote.
SEC. 4 For recommendations, amendments require an affirmative vote of 6 members of the total Board membership. All proposed amendments may not take effect until reviewed and approved by the Archbishop.