Under New York civil law, each parish acts as a civil corporation. This parish corporation is run by a Board of Directors consisting of the Archbishop (President), the Vicar General (Vice-president), the Pastor (Secretary General), and two lay trustees.
A parish trustee is an active and responsible member of a parish community who assumes responsibility as an advisor and counselor on behalf of the parish for a one year term, renewable two times for a total of three years of service. As a member of the corporate board, the trustees serve as trustworthy advisors to both the pastor and consultative bodies of the parish (they are exofficio members of the Finance Council and Parish Council). The role of trustee is definitely NOT "honorific," and should be filled by serious, competent lay parishioners who clearly understand and accept their role in managing and safeguarding the temporal goods of the parish, and who also understand and embrace an authentically Catholic understanding of the Church and her structure.