Active priest vacation policy

Promulgated by Bishop W. Shawn McKnight September 8, 2022

All active priests within the Diocese receive up to four (4) weeks of paid vacation leave every fiscal year
(July 1 – June 30). For purposes of tracking vacation, this is a total of 160 hours. Newly ordained priests
or mission priests who have just started working within the diocese mid-fiscal year will have their first
years’ vacation pro-rated at 13 hours of vacation earned each month until reaching July 1.

Mission priests, after their first complete year of service in the Diocese of Jefferson City, receive an extra
week for a total of five (5) weeks (200 hours) 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 mission priest receives 4
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 4
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 to be approved by
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. Priests assigned to diocesan institutions
must seek approval of time off from their administrative supervisor (e.g., the president of a Catholic high

Any parish priest who wishes to take vacation from his assigned parish for more than a week must
inform the local ordinary (canon 533 §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. Vacation for priests shall be recorded in the following manner:

  • 8 hours of vacation for any weekday (Monday – Friday)
    • No vacation hours should be entered for an absence on the priests’ regular day off (Monday, for example)
  • 4 hours of vacation for any weekend day (Saturday or Sunday)