Active priest vacation policy

Promulgated by Bishop W. Shawn McKnight 25 February 2022

All active priests within the Diocese of Jefferson City receive up to four weeks of paid vacation leave every fiscal year (July 1 – June 30). Newly ordained priests or missionary priests who have just started working within the diocese mid-fiscal year will have their first year’s vacation pro-rated at 13 hours of vacation earned each month until reaching July 1.

Missionary priests, after their first year of service in the diocese, receive an extra week for a total of five weeks of paid vacation leave every fiscal year (July 1 – June 30), provided they are using vacation for a trip to their home country. The extra week is provided for the travel time that is necessary. If a trip is not taken to their home country, the missionary priest receives four weeks of vacation.

Any unused vacation in the current fiscal year is forfeited and does not carry over. If an active parish priest is transferred to a new parish at any time other than July 1, his unused vacation time will be transferred to the new parish to be used within the current fiscal year. It is not to be paid out upon departure of his assignment.

When using vacation time, active parish priests cannot be absent from their parish more than four weekends in a fiscal year. Priests transferring assignments are expected to be active in their current parish the last week of their assignment and the first week of their new assignment. In other words, the priest should not be absent at the time of transition other than what is minimally necessary to physically make the move. Requests for exceptions must be submitted to the vicar for priests and can only be approved by the local ordinary (the vicar general or the diocesan bishop).

Priests working in institutions are expected to follow the vacation norms for their particular organization. If there is a period of time when employees are denied vacation due to activities at the organization, the priest should not take vacation at that time.

Any parish priest who wishes to take vacation from his assigned parish for more than a week must inform the local ordinary (canon 553 §2). In order to provide Mass and other sacraments for the faithful, and ensure that clergy are in good standing, the scheduling of replacement priests and/or deacons must be arranged with the vicar for priests or his designate.

When on vacation, the priest must leave an emergency contact number with the dean and either the associate pastor, deacon, or parish secretary. If this is not possible or practical, the vacationing priest should leave an emergency number with the vicar for priests.

Vacation for all employees, including active parish priests, must be tracked within the Paylocity payroll system.