St Elizabeth church steeple against a blue sky and trees on its left and right

Parish Council

Members of our Parish Council 2021-2024

Fr. Forrai Tamás Gergely SJ

Csermely Ildikó

Diósady Levente

Héring Mary

Kristóf Lóránd

Pulins Rebekka

Szárics Márton

Szép József

Varga Tamás

Zydron Veronika

Task Force of the English-speaking community

Fr Tamas Forrai

Megan Freitas

Dane Gomez

Veronica Foe

Liliana Buendia

Luz Maria Lugo

Peter Shih

Angel Tellez

Jacqueline and Max Charleston (representants of Haiti)

Mary Héring (Hungarian contact person)





renewed for the 90. Jubilee Year

  1. Introduction

a)      Saint Elizabeth of Hungary is a Roman Catholic parish led by the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). The mission of the parish, since her inception in 1928, has been to help parishioners of Hungarian heritage live the Gospel of Jesus, according to Hungarian traditions, to engage in collaborative ministry with the laity and all people of good will, to foster individuals' deepening relationship with Jesus through all forms of the Spiritual Exercises, and to be in solidarity with persons who are living on the margins of society, empowering them to change unjust social structures. In this way, we serve the larger Church and the people of God in Toronto. Saint Elizabeth of Hungary is committed to four core principles of proceeding as a Hungarian-Canadian Roman Catholic parish ministered by the Jesuits[1].          

b)      St. Elizabeth's Parish Mission Statement   
We, the St. Elizabeth of Hungary Roman Catholic community of Hungarian heritage, endeavor to live the Gospel through inclusion, compassion, justice and commitment.

In Hungarian: Mi, az Árpádházi Szent Erzsébet római katolikus közösség, a magyar hagyományainkra építve kívánjuk megélni az Evangéliumot a befogadás, az együttérzés, az igazságosság és az elköteleződés útján.


c)      St. Elizabeth's Parish Advisory Council[2] is constituted under the authorities[3] stated in the preamble to this constitution and as listed in Appendix I. By creating a Constitution, we would like to ensure the efficient and effective operation of the council for, and on behalf of, our parishioners.       

  1. Articles

Article 1: The full name of the council shall be "St. Elizabeth's Parish Pastoral Advisory Council", hereinafter referred to as the "Council". 

Article 2: Description                       

2.1 The council is formed under the authority of the bishop and functions according to guidelines which may be communicated from time to time by the pastor. It serves as the representative body of the parish community.

2.2 The council is the "advisory" body under whose responsibility are various committees and groups.

 Article 3: Organization

The council is headed by the pastor, coordinated by the chair and is the executive committee which is responsible for various functions and roles within the parish (see 2.2).[4]      

Article 4: Purpose and Functions

The council, as a consultative body, shall advise and assist the pastor in the building up of a caring Christian community, the proclaiming of the Gospel, and the carrying forth of the Gospel. 


    1. Functions: The functions of the council shall be:

      a) to work with the pastor in the planning and coordination of the overall pastoral goals of the parish.

      b) to discern the spiritual and temporal needs of the parish community, and to plan and organize the structures and mechanisms required to fulfill these needs.

      c) to foster and promote quality liturgical services and religious education programs.

      d) to coordinate, monitor, and evaluate the activities of the parish ministries, groups and organizations.

      Article 5: Council Composition and Council Membership

      5.1 Composition: council shall consist of the following:

           a) Pastor, as president and chair over the council.           

           b) Chair, provides leadership and coordinates the activities of the council. The Chair of the council, who represents the parishioners both within and outside the church, will be appointed by the Pastor based on the suggestions of the council members.

           c) Six elected Councillors and those appointed by the pastor or according to his discretion.

      d) Since all decisions rest with the pastor, clerics and pastoral assistants officially assigned to the parish are considered ex-officio members. Voting among council members may be held to better define advice to the pastor.

      5.4 Recruitment of Council Members:      
      a) The Pastor invites all members of the parish to nominate members who would can represent the interests of the parish, and who would willingly volunteer to help in the work of maintaining our community life.      
      b) Eligibility: All fully initiated Roman Catholics over the age of eighteen (18), registered with the parish and in good standing with the Catholic Church, shall be eligible for election or appointment to the council following a meeting with the pastor.        
      c) Nomination: Any parish members may nominate a person, who, by accepting the nomination in writing, commits him/herself to actively take part in the council, if elected. Names may come forward with a seconder from the council, its subcommittees, or parishioners, and these are directed to the pastor for approval.       
      The nomination forms can be found on a table at the back of the church. The CV-s and the Photos of the nominated persons will have shown at the entrance of the Church on 2 weekends.
      d) The voting will take place on 2 Sundays by leaving the votes at the election committee.

      5.5 Term of Office: The term of office for Council Members shall be three years with an option to renew, as approved by the pastor.

      5.6 Responsibility of Council Members:  Each member is responsible for attending meetings of the council, holding meetings with their respective subcommittees, reporting to and from these subcommittees to the council, and assisting the pastor in the pastoral development of the parish.

      5.7 Removal from Council: When the council believes a councillor is unable to fulfill his or her responsibilities because of illness or non-attendance at meetings of the council or its Committees, the pastor may, remove that councillor.

      5.8 Vacancy on Council: The pastor may appoint qualified parishioners to serve if needed.

      5.9 Resignation from Council: A councillor may resign after a meeting with the pastor, giving reasonable notice.

      5.10 Council Chair Continuity: For consultation, any council chair who vacates his/her position should remain available to council for assisting the new chair if their help is requested.

      Article 6: Meetings of Council

      6.1 Regular Meetings:  Regular meetings of the council shall be held at least four (4) times each year, except for July and August. The date, time, and place of meetings shall be decided by the pastor and the chair.

      6.2 Annual Parish Meeting: The parish shall hold an annual meeting at which the representatives of the Council deliver a report to the parish community. The council meets in advance to prepare for the meeting.

      6.3 Meeting Notice, Agenda, Minutes: This constitution will be made available for on the Church website to all community members and a printed copy will be available in the office for those who aren't on social media. Notice of meetings of the council, and of its subcommittees, shall be disseminated at least one week prior to the meeting, accompanied by an agenda. Minutes of council meetings are approved by the council. Minutes of council's subcommittees are approved by the subcommittees, and forwarded to the chair of council within 2 weeks.

      6.4 Ad Hoc Meetings:  Ad hoc meetings of the council may be called at any time by the pastor.

      6.5 Attendance:  Councillors unable to attend a meeting shall inform either the pastor or the chair in advance of the meeting. Councillors absent without notification for three (3) consecutive meetings will be deemed to have abandoned their responsibilities.

      6.6 Pastor's Attendance:  Meetings may not proceed without the pastor or his delegate in attendance. 

      6.7 Pastoral Matters: Pastoral matters are discussed on a consultative basis. Items may be deemed confidential by the pastor or by council.

      6.8 Confidential Matters: Confidential matters will be discussed in camera.  Minutes will not be taken while council is in camera.

      6.9 Pastoral Decisions:  Decisions concerning pastoral matters shall require consensus. No vote is taken.   If, after significant prayer and reflection, a consensus cannot be achieved, the pastor of the parish may decide the matter. Alternatively, items with a lack of consensus may be tabled for discussion at subsequent meetings.

      6.10 Pastor's Decisions:  The pastor may call for a vote to determine the sense of the arguments under discussion but retain the right to make all final decisions.

      6.11 Role of the Chair:  The chair guides each meeting of council by ensuring that all agenda items are dealt with in an expeditious manner and that all meeting protocols are adhered to.


      Article 7: Parish Ministries, Groups and Committees

      In order to meet the needs of the parish community, the pastor with the council may from time to time establish or dissolve parish ministries or groups.

      7.1 Terms of Reference of Council Committees:  Council shall, from time to time, issue terms of reference to each sub-committee, prescribing its composition, detailed purposes, objectives, specific functions, and other relevant matters. Terms of Reference will be provided to chairs of committees upon their appointment, or when prepared and approved for each sub-committee. Sub-committees who prepare their own Terms of Reference, due to the highly technical or professional requirements of their committee, shall submit their Terms of Reference to council for discussion and the pastor for approval. 

      7.2 Ad Hoc Committees: An ad hoc committee of council may be created at any time. Such committees shall be assigned a specific mandate which shall not overlap that of any other committee, and which can be dealt with within a limited time frame. Ad hoc committees shall be automatically dissolved immediately after the presentation of their report.           
      The chairperson of an ad hoc committee shall be recommended by the chair of the council and appointed by the pastor.

      7.3 Ex Officio Members:  The pastor and the chair of the council shall be ex-officio members of all committees.      

      7.4 Independent Parish Societies: Those societies already in existence, or which may come into existence, such as the Caritas Society, manage their own affairs. The council should not attempt to direct societies, except to meet their requests for help whenever possible, or to offer advice should there arise some conflict between the activity of the society(ies) and the good of the entire parish.


      Article 8: Code of Conduct     

      Members of council and of council subcommittees have the following duties and obligations:
  1. Meetings: Members shall behave in socially acceptable manner.
  2. Confidentiality:  Members shall not disclose information which is confidential or where disclosure   is prohibited by law.
  3. Personal Conduct:  As Christians, members are expected to honor each other, to work for the common good and for the Greater Glory of God.
  4. Other Protocols: Members must declare a conflict of interest if such an occasion arises during the conduct of their mandate.


Article 9: Amendments to the constitution may be made at any time by a motion in council, which is seconded. Amendments require a two thirds majority vote for the motion to be passed. This does not apply to the pastor may implement an amendment at his own discretion. 

The Constitution is approved on the 20th day of November in the year 2017 by members of the council in the presence of Fr. Tamas G. Forrai SJ, pastor.


Signed as  

Levente Diósady  Chair of the Council  

Péter Forbáth  Council Member 

Fr. Tamás G. Forrai SJ  Pastor, Presiding

[1] See "A Letter from the Superior General to the Jesuits in Parish Ministry," August 27, 2005:

o    Missionary Outreach: A missionary spirit means that a parish is a "base of outreach operations." Saint Elizabeth of Hungary approaches this through multiple ministries, including preaching the Word, evangelizing through prayerful catechesis (instruction), giving the Spiritual Exercises, hearing confessions and administering other sacraments, serving the poor and other persons in need, and working for justice. This spirit of openness and outreach creates an atmosphere that is welcoming, encouraging and supportive.

o    Social Ministry: Saint Elizabeth of Hungary embraces ethnic diversity, cultural sensitivity, the promotion of justice and a spirit of solidarity.  The parish is committed to "the faith that does justice" by demonstrating a camaraderie with the poor and dedication to those in need.  Visit the Social Outreach section to learn more about service opportunities.

o    Collaboration in Mission: Jesuits serve as bridges between the Society of Jesus and their communities.  At Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Jesuits collaborate with the Archdiocese of Toronto, other parishes, the wide parish network, and other lay people to serve our mission.  These collaborations are guided by a conviction to work together as a team toward the greater good.

o    A Practical Spirituality through the Spiritual Exercises and Discernment: Saint Elizabeth of Hungary invites parishioners to seek God through "eyes wide open" contemplation; and having discerned God's will, parishioners are invited to carry it out vigorously and with full attention to the task at hand.  Both contemplation and action are necessary; both aim at deepening our relationship with God.  Explore the programs helping parishioners integrate the worlds of prayer and action.

[2] We would like to thank St. Brigid's Parish Pastoral Executive Council for permission to adapt their constitution. This document replaces the Constitution revised in 2003.

[3] Parish Pastoral Councils are recognized in Canon Law and statements by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB). "A pastoral council possesses a consultative vote only and is governed by the norms established by the diocesan bishop".  (Canon Law # 536, 1) "The parish pastoral council is an institution that brings together laypeople and religious who, together with their pastors, work jointly to build the parish as a living Christian community.  In strict legal terms, only the pastor is responsible for and has to answer to the bishop or the parish community for the decisions taken, even though these have been developed and taken together with others." (CCCB, 1984)

[4] Pastoral Council Authorities in the Canon Law - "If the diocesan bishop judges it opportune after he has heard the presbyteral council, a pastoral council is to be established in each parish, over which the pastor presides and in which the faithful, together with those who share in pastoral care by virtue of their office in the parish, assist in fostering pastoral activity".  "A pastoral council possesses a consultative vote only and is governed by the norms established by the diocesan bishop". Canon Law #536, 1 & 2

Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) - "The parish pastoral council is an institution that brings together laypeople and religious who, together with their pastors, work jointly to build the parish as a living Christian community. Thus, pastoral council members care about parish life in other communities of the diocese, share in the concerns of the Church universal and strive to bring the Gospel message to all people and places in their neighborhood. In strict legal terms, only the pastor is responsible for and has to answer to the bishop or the parish community for the decisions taken, even though these have been developed and taken together with others." The Parish Pastoral Council: Guidelines for the Development of Constitutions. (1984).