Church of Divine Mercy
Public Association of the Faithful Vietnamese Community
Church of Divine Mercy
10919 Carmichael Rd
Knoxville TN 37932
Church of Divine Mercy
10919 Carmichael Rd
Knoxville TN 37932
1. Statement of Purpose
The Church of Divine Mercy is established under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of the Diocese of Knoxville. The primary purpose of the Church of Divine Mercy is to gather all Vietnamese Catholics in the Diocese of Knoxville to celebrate the sacraments and to participate in faith formation in their native Vietnamese language and associated cultural atmosphere. All liturgical celebrations and faith formation programs will be in conformance with universal and particular law.
1) The goal of the Church of Divine Mercy is to obtain community and financial stability and ultimately to have the Bishop of Knoxville to erect our Mission to a parish status. 2) Strive to become witnesses to Christian Life for our Vietnamese community and the community at large by contributing to the advancement of the social and moral structure in our community.
The priest appointed by the Bishop of Knoxville as the Chaplain for the Vietnamese Community shall be the Moderator. A. The Moderator is the pastoral leader, sacramental administrator, and is responsible for all financial matters of this faith community. He reports to the Bishop of Knoxville. B. The Moderator is to be installed as the Moderator by the Bishop at the appropriate time. C. Faculties are granted to the Moderator by the Bishop equal to other pastors in the diocese. D. The Bishop may remove the Moderator in accordance with canon 318 § 2.
3. Advisory Team
The Advisory Team is made up of at least five members, similar to a Parish Council, and will be appointed by the Moderator after receiving input of the Members of the Church of Divine Mercy. Initially, the Advisory Team will gather once a month. After 6 months of implementing this charter, the Moderator and the Church of Divine Mercy Advisory Team will determine if a less frequent meeting schedule should be applied. Members of the Advisory Team will normally serve a three-year term and may be renewed for a second consecutive three-year term. Afterwards, they would not be eligible for at least three years after the end of the second term. In order to ensure a new person is appointed to the Advisory Team at regular intervals, the Moderator may appoint members to a term less than three years. A vacancy occurs when a member moves, dies, resigns or is asked to leave at the Moderator’s prompting. The Moderator will appoint another team member to finish the vacating Advisory Team member’s term The role of the Advisory Team is to provide consultation to the Moderator in matters related to the Mission. In addition, the Advisory Team must also reflect on ways to promote the growth of the Mission.
Qualifications to serve on the Advisory Team:
1) Actively practicing the Catholic faith, including regular attendance at weekly Sunday Mass, receiving the sacraments of confession and communion regularly, and is faithful to the teaching of the Church. 2) Having availability and willingness to attend the regular meetings. 3) Willingness to communicate the concerns of the people in the Church of Divine Mercy. 4) Willingness to cooperate with the Moderator, as well as other members of the Advisory Team.
Responsibilities of Advisory Team members:
1) Pray regularly for the community. 2) Attend all regular and special team meetings. 3) To offer advice and suggestions for advancement of the Mission 4) Participate in other community activities, at least in major events. 5) Provide sincere and constructive feedback in order to advance the Team and the entire community. 6) Develop solidarity and love within the Team as well as the entire community.
4. Finance Committee:
The role of the Finance Committee is to advise the Moderator and the Advisory Team on the financial aspects of the Mission and to help maintain the stability and promote improvements in the financial affairs of the Mission. There will be at least three members on the Financial Committee as appointed by the Moderator with advice and collaboration from the Advisory Team, The bookkeeper and other members of the Advisory Team will also serve as members of the Finance Committee. Members of the Finance Committee will normally serve a three-year term and may be renewed for a second consecutive three-year term. Afterwards, they would not be eligible for at least three years after the end of the second term. In order to ensure a new person is appointed to the Finance Committee at regular intervals, the Moderator may appoint members to a term less than three years. A vacancy occurs when a member moves, dies, resigns or is asked to leave at the Moderator’s prompting. The Moderator will appoint another team member to finish the vacating Finance Committee member’s term. The Finance Committee will convene at least once a quarter. However, the Moderator may convene special meetings, if necessary.
Qualifications to serve in Financial Committee:
1) To pray regularly. 2) To practice good financial judgment in one’s personal affairs. 3) Experience in financial matters. 4) To have strong fidelity and a high level of confidentiality with regard to financial matters.
Responsibilities of Financial Committee members:
1) To attend regular and special meetings at least once per quarter. 2) To review and report financial statements on a quarterly basis. 3) To review community budget and funding on a regular basis. 4) To give council to the Moderator and the Advisory Team on financial matters. 5) To propose and promote stewardship, tithing, and fundraising activities. 6) To assist in formulating budgets, funding, and tax management. An annual financial report will be presented to the Bishop at the end of each fiscal year, with regular updates as required or upon the request of the Bishop or his delegates.
There are three types of association in the Church of Divine Mercy: 1) Members: Vietnamese Catholics residing in the Diocese of Knoxville and who are registered as official members of the Church of Divine Mercy. 2) Friends: Spouses and others who are non-Catholics but frequently attend worship with the community and enjoy the friendship and spiritual fellowship with members of the Divine Mercy Community. 3) Associates: Donors and others who offer spiritual and material support to the Church of Divine Mercy.
How to become a member:
1) Have been baptized and/or the sacraments of initiation in the Catholic Church. To be recorded in the community books as a member, one must register with the Moderator. 2) Have designated the Church of Divine Mercy as the primary place of worship. 3) Contribute to the development and growth of the Mission through prayer, attending Liturgy, participating in community activities, and offering voluntary services and other helpful contributions.
6. Acquiring and Administration of Goods:
The norms for financial stewardship of the Diocese of Knoxville will be applied to the acquisition and management of temporal goods for the Mission. There may be specific policies characteristic of the Vietnamese Catholic community; however, these policies will not be contrary to the general policies and norms of the Diocese of Knoxville. The accountability of these policies and procedures will be part of the annual financial report submitted to the Bishop.
1) The Mass and other sacraments will be offered in Vietnamese, However, for the benefit of various components, especially the youth, there may be some parts offered in English. 2) Weekday Mass will be offered as possible. 3) Religious and Vietnamese language learning programs will be developed as soon as possible. Vietnamese is the primary language to be used. However, classes will be supplemented in English, if necessary. 4) Sacramental records will be sent to All Saints Catholic Church in Knoxville. 5) Inter-faith dialogue, prayer, and support will be encouraged with other faith denominations. 6) Activities to strengthen and develop the Mission, the Vietnamese culture, and the evangelization of Catholic faith will be of special interest.
8. Dissolution Procedures:
The Church of Divine Mercy believes in God’s blessings to proceed and to grow into a Parish. However, it does not exclude the possibility that, for whatever reason, this wish will not be realized. The Bishop of the Diocese of Knoxville, in accordance with Canon Law, has the ultimate authority to maintain or dissolve the Church of Divine Mercy. In that case, the following will help in determining if the Mission will be maintained or be dissolved: 1) Has the number of Catholics in attendance increased or decreased in a 3-year trend? 2) Has the percentage of financial subsidy and dependence on other outside donations increased or decreased over a 3-year trend? 3) Have the faithful demonstrated leadership within the community and in the broader civic community? 4) Is the Catholic identity of the Mission clear and visible? 5) In case of unexpected developments, does the Diocese of Knoxville have to provide financial and personal resources to maintain and grow the Mission? In the case of dissolution, the members of the community will be given a minimum of 3 months to liquidate any assets, settle outstanding debts, and determine the direction to nurture their faith and worship.
1) The Moderator with the advice of the Advisory Team may offer amendments to this charter after approval of the Bishop of Knoxville.