In civil law, each Roman Catholic parish corporation is governed by a Board of Trustees which includes the Bishop, Vicar General/Moderator of the Curia, the pastor and two lay individuals (Trustees) subject to the canonical jurisdiction of the Diocesan Bishop, according to NYS Law. The Parish Finance Council acts in an advisory capacity and the Parish Trustees participate more directly to ensure the wellbeing of the parish.
The duties of the Board of Trustees are fiduciary and require responsibility for the care and preservation of the temporalities and property of the parish corporation.
The Board of Trustees votes to approve any sale of real property. Following the approval of the Diocesan Bishop, the parish may then petition the NYS courts for an order to allow the sale.
The Board of Trustees would need to act in a similar manner if the parish mortgages or leases any of its real property.
Along with the Parish Finance Council, the Lay Trustees play an active role in the review of the annual parish corporation budget. Additionally, the Lay Trustees are responsible for reviewing and signing the annual financial report of the parish corporation along with the pastor, after the Finance Council has reviewed it. The report is then forwarded to the Bishop.