Rolande Chernichan, National Chairperson of Faith, September 1, 2023
FOR: Chairpersons of Faith of All Levels
ATT: Form for Reporting Deceased Members
National Manual of Policy and Procedure Excerpt
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”
Greetings, chairpersons of faith! I walk with you as we journey into a new month and the season
of harvesting and thanksgiving. Autumn and the above quote provide the opportunity to address
the request by provincial presidents to provide clear guidance about the process for notifying
national office about deceased members.
Foundational to the process is for councils and members to be aware of the following:
- Currently, about 75% of approximately 1,100 parish councils’ membership renewals are
completed online by a person designated by the parish council. Therefore, most councils
also report deceased members using the online method. The balance of reporting must be
done using the Form for Reporting Deceased Members, available for print or in PDF
fillable format from the national website under Resources/Forms.
- The same person should take care of membership renewals and notification of deceased
- The reporting of deceased members should be assigned to a specific council member. The
member does not have to serve on the executive; however, the person should be a
subcommittee member who reports to the chairperson of faith.
- Each council is encouraged to set up a binder with a page, in alphabetical order, for each
member with particulars about the year she became a member, offices held, service in
League work, awards, etc. When the member dies, the page would note the date of death
and could include the death notice. That member’s page would then be transferred into an
archival binder or a council’s Book of Life, in which the names of all deceased council
members are kept.
- The member responsible for membership renewals and notification of death to national
office would be responsible for the upkeep of the council’s Book of Life.
- National office and the diocesan and provincial chairpersons of faith must be notified
promptly when a member is deceased so that the Book of Life at their level is kept up to
- Even if a member was not a paid-up member at the time of passing (as can be the case with
an elderly member), the parish council should report to national office the member’s name
and date she was deceased so that her name can be included in the national Book of Life.
- If a member’s passing was not reported to national office in the year she passed, councils
may submit her name and date of passing using the Form for Reporting Deceased
Members. The form should be used to report a member’s passing, even if it occurred a few
years previously but had not been reported to national office. In the year the report is made,
the national Book of Life would then show the member’s name with the year of her passing
appearing in parenthesis.
- Four times a year, national office requires the diocesan chairpersons of faith to verify and
approve its Excel spreadsheet of deceased members as reported by parish councils to the
office. The chairperson must review the names and note members to be added or deleted
in the case of a death by reply email. This task should be completed promptly.
- The published national Book of Life contains the names of individuals as approved by
diocesan chairpersons of faith based on their quarterly review of the spreadsheet and
Attached are two pages of excerpts specific to deceased members taken from the National Manual
of Policy and Procedure. For quick referencing, these should be kept in your council’s membership
binder or Book of Life.
I encourage you to read and meditate on Ecclesiastes 3, often read at funerals. May its message
affirm the ministry and good works you and your council are doing and give life to the challenge
to be Catholic and Living It!
National Chairperson of Faith