Article I: Description
The St. Dominic CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) is the primary agent for youth ministry in St. Dominic Parish and is part of a larger CYO/Youth Ministry community in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. This ministry involves teenagers in social activities, service projects, spiritual development, athletic leagues, and Archdiocesan events under the direction of dedicated advisors, parents, and coaches. The CYO is open to all parish youth in 8th grade through high school, generally ages 13 – 18. The regular meeting of the membership is held on the second Sunday of each month at 6:30 PM.
Article II: Membership
Section 1: Eligibility
Youth that have completed seventh grade are eligible to become members of St. Dominic CYO. The upper age limit for active membership is generally eighteen, although Archdiocesan regulations permit athletic league participation through the age of 21. Archdiocesan and insurance regulations prohibit anyone under 21 from acting as a chaperone at CYO sponsored activities.
Section 2: Dues and Insurance
All youth paying the annual dues are enrolled in an Archdiocesan insurance program that acts as a supplement to their own personal coverage should they be injured at a CYO sponsored activity.
Section 3: Attendance and Roster
Members are expected to be active, meaning they attend at least one activity each month. Inactive members who fail to pay renewal dues in June of each year may be deleted from the roster. Also, membership is not maintained solely on the basis of dues payment; regular attendance is also necessary. The roster is both the insurance list and the mailing list for the CYO; it is maintained by the Youth Minister.
Article III: Youth Board
A Youth Board will be elected at the September Monthly Meeting of each year according to the process outlined in Article IV. The Youth Board is made up of the following positions each having the following corresponding duties. The Board represents the entire membership to functions outside the CYO and as such should set an example for all CYO members in attendance and behavior. The Board exists to lead the CYO, serve the membership, and assist the Youth Minister. . It meets approximately once each month. Board members must fulfill the following requirements to maintain their office: they must attend all but two board meeting per year, all but two general meetings per year, one of the annual retreats, the Archdiocesan World Youth Day conference, and a majority of all events in each quarter of the year. The Youth Minister may make exception for illness or serious school obligations; however the burden rests with the board member. (Amended June 6, 1999)
President: is the primary youth contact and representative for the CYO; conducts the Monthly Meeting, coordinates the phone tree, assists the Youth Minister in programming decisions
Vice-president assists the president, presides at meetings and events in the absence of the president, and succeeds to the presidency upon it becoming vacant, responsible for member recruitment/orientation/communications
(position created by amendment June 6, 1999; effective September 1999)
Treasurer: responsible for all fundraisers; seeks creative ways to increase the financial support for the CYO; creates the annual budget with the Youth Minister; responsible for coordinating money collection at CYO events
Secretary: maintains a current list of all past CYO activities by month and type; coordinates the maintenance of the CYO Scrapbook; assists with the production of the newsletter (amended June 6, 1999)
Spiritual Chair: responsible for the monthly CYO Mass in all aspects including securing readers, ushers, musicians, etc.; assists with the planning of the annual retreat; coordinates the “teen hour” for Eucharistic Adoration; assists with all other spiritual activities; publicizes and builds enthusiasm for such activities
Service Chair: responsible for the planning of all service projects; coordinates all necessary supplies for service projects; maintains a file of possible agencies for which the CYO can perform service Social Chair: responsible for all social events including dances, parties, and similar celebrations; maintains CYO decoration and refreshment supplies; coordinates refreshments at events requiring them Athletic Chair: is an active member of at least one of the CYO League teams; coordinates communication between the teams and the rest of the membership; publicizes CYO games
Representative to the Pastoral Council: represents all parish youth, including the CYO as an organization, at the St. Dominic Pastoral Council; participates in projects of the Pastoral Council
Representatives to the Teen CROSS: represents the St. Dominic CYO at the
Archdiocesan Teen CROSS group; participates in the projects of the Teen CROSS; coordinates St. Dominic participation in Archdiocesan activities such as World Youth Day, the Junior High Rally, and the Leadership Recognition event
At-Large Member (number varies) Assists the Board and CYO with special projects; coordinates the activities of a specific area in the absence of the chair; provides accurate representation of grade level views
Article IV: Leadership Selection
Section 1: General Election Procedures and Eligibility
The following positions on the Youth Board are elected by the membership at the September Monthly Meeting for a term of one year with possibility of re-election: President, Vice-president, Treasurer, Secretary, Spiritual Chair, Service Chair, Social Chair, and Athletic Chair.
Candidates must be nominated by submitting the appropriate nomination form to the Rectory by the published date each August. A nominating committee consisting of current Youth Board members not running for office in the subsequent election may produce a ballot based on nominations received. Such a sample ballot may be mailed to the membership prior to the election. Members who have been previously suspended are not eligible. Appointed members may run for elected office only with the Youth Minister’s approval. Members who have previously held office and did not complete their term may run only after a review of the Youth Board and the Youth Minister. (Amended June 6, 1999)
Members of the Advisors’ Committee act as the official vote counters for all elections; all vote counts are confidential and ballots are to be destroyed after a candidate is elected.
Section 2: Election of the President
The election of the President is conducted first; only candidates who have previously served on the Youth Board are eligible to run for President in addition to other standing candidate criteria.
The election shall be conducted by secret ballot with the Advisors’ Committee acting as the official counters. Members may vote for only one candidate. A candidate must secure an absolute majority of the votes cast to be elected president. If no candidate receives an absolute majority, then the two candidates receiving the two highest vote totals shall meet in a run-off. (Amended March 4, 2001) Further, losing candidates may request to be written-in on the ballot for the Youth Board election. (Amended June 6, 1999)
Section 3: Election of the Youth Board
The election of the remainder of the Youth Board shall be conducted next. Voting shall be conducted by secret ballot with each member voting for one candidate for each office. The candidate receiving a majority of votes cast is elected. Run-offs shall be held to gain a majority if necessary.
Section 4: Removal from Elected Office
Members holding elected office may be removed from office on one of three ways:
- by action of the Youth Minister for just cause including failure to carry out assigned responsibilities and meet the requirements for office set forth in Article III.
- by a vote of two-thirds of the Youth Board; the member (or members in the case of a collective impeachment) subject to removal is/are not to be considered when calculating what constitutes two-thirds of the board present (Amended March 4, 2001)
- automatically upon suspension for serious discipline offenses
Section 5: Interim Vacancies
In the case of a vacancy in an elected position on the Youth Board, the Youth Board shall nominate, by majority vote, two candidates who meet the appropriate qualifications for the vacant office. An election shall then be held by the Board at which a candidate shall be considered elected by a simple majority of the members present. Vacancies in appointed positions on the Youth Board shall be filled by the Youth Minister. (Amended November 29, 1998; June 6, 1999)
Section 6: Appointments
The following positions are appointed by the Youth Minister for terms appropriate to their positions: Representative to the Pastoral Council, two Representatives to the Teen CROSS, and At-Large Members.
The Representative to the Pastoral Council is appointed by the Youth Minister with the consent of the Pastor to a one year term on the Pastoral Council beginning in May of the year appointed.
The Representatives (2) to the Teen CROSS are appointed each May for a one-year term with possibility of renewal. Teen CROSS representatives must have completed their first semester of their freshman year in high school per Archdiocesan guidelines; older members are preferred for these positions.
The At-Large Members of the Youth Board are selected through a process designated by the Youth Minister to address any needs existing on the Board including a need for past experience, addressing extreme age or gender imbalances on the Board, or other criteria. At-Large Members serve the normal one-year term with the elected members beginning each September. The Youth Minister has discretion to appoint directly, consult the Youth Board, and/or conduct a special election as the need arises.
Section 7: Removal from Appointed Positions
The Youth Minister may remove appointed Youth Board members at any time for just cause including failure to attend meetings and a majority of events, repeated failure to complete assigned tasks and carry out assigned responsibilities, and/or upon the request of the respective groups (Pastoral Council or Teen CROSS.)
Article V: Peer Ministry Team
The Peer Ministry Team exists to provide leadership in the planning and implementation of the spiritual development mission of the CYO. Such activities include work on the annual retreats, presentations at monthly meetings, discussion nights, and special prayer services. The team consists of approximately 12 juniors and seniors, half male and half female, and ideally evenly divided between the two grade levels. A member chosen in his/her junior year may remain on the team till graduation.
Incoming juniors and seniors are eligible to apply for the team at the end of each academic year for a term that runs for one year beginning each June. The selection process includes an application, a written letter of recommendation from an adult at the member’s school, and CYO attendance records. A committee consisting of the Youth Minister, adult advisors, and graduating members of the Peer Ministry Team shall review all application packets in a “blind reading,” assigning scores to each component. Final selection is made based on these objective scores.
A Peer Ministry Team member may be removed from the team for failing to carry out assigned duties as a team member or for discipline violations as outlined in the Code of Conduct.
Article VI: 8th Grade Leadership Team
An 8th grade leadership team shall be formed consisting of CYO members in 8th grade that have accepted an invitation to serve. The Youth Minister shall determine the method of selecting team members. The team focuses on leadership development of its members as a way to build future leaders within the CYO. (created by amendment December 2004; all other subsequent articles re-numbered)
Article VII : Athletics
Athletics exist to further the overall development and growth of the members of the CYO. Sports including volleyball, flag football, cabbageball, softball, and basketball are offered by the Archdiocesan CYO/Youth Ministry Office.
An athletic director appointed by the Youth Minister assists with the overall supervision of the CYO athletic program at St. Dominic.
Coaches for individual sports answer to the Athletic Director and the CYO Youth Minister.
Article VIII: Advisors’ Committee
Adults and young adults, including parents, coaches, former CYO members, and others, are invited by the Youth Minister to serve on a Advisors’ Committee to assist the Youth Minister and Youth Board in programming CYO activities. The commitment is for one year with the possibility of renewal. Members of this committee will each have an assigned youth chair with which to work in programming CYO activities. In addition, two members will act as chaperone coordinators for all CYO activities. The Advisors’ Committee shall meet as needed. (amended December 2004)
Article IX: Programming
Section 1: Annual Events
The St. Dominic CYO shall program activities in the following areas: spiritual, service, social, athletic, fundraising, and Archdiocesan involvement. Ideally a balance of these types of activities shall exist each month. The following are regularly scheduled activities each year:
Mass and Monthly Meeting on the Second Sunday of each month
Annual Retreats in the spring and winter (Amended March 4, 2001)
World Youth Day, the Archdiocesan Youth Conference on the last Sunday of October
Archdiocesan Leadership Celebration event in the spring
Summer Blueberry Sales in June
Senior Grad Trip
Right to Life Calendar Sales in October
End of Summer Lock-out In August
Section 2: Publicity
A newsletter detailing all CYO activities shall be published and mailed to the membership each month. Announcements in the church bulletin may appear from time to time. A website containing the newsletter, forms, calendars, photos, and other publicity shall be maintained. (amended December 2004)
Article X: Discipline
All members are required to sign the registration form acknowledging their responsibility in adhering to all CYO rules as set forth in these by-laws, in the CYO Code of Conduct, and by the Youth Minister. The Youth Minister will publish in the newsletter or announce at activities any additional rules for that event. Members should refer to the Code of Conduct for specific violations, consequences, procedures, and expectations.
Article XI: Amending the By-laws
The By-laws of the St. Dominic CYO may be changed by a vote of three-fourths of the Youth Board and approval by the Youth Minister upon petition by any member.