The Pastoral Ministry Office
The Pastoral Ministry Office offers support and enrichment opportunities for those engaged in pastoral ministry, as well as serving as a resource for pastors seeking to engage pastoral associates.
The director, in conjunction with the Pastoral Associates Core Group, provides programs and support services for pastoral associates and pastoral ministers. A diocesan certification process is in place, and currently is being updated. The director also serves as liaison to regional and national groups of pastoral associates/ministers, e.g. the National Association for Lay Ministry (NALM). This organization engages in ongoing dialogue and consultation with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth.
As lay ecclesial ministers, Pastoral Associates are members of the parish staff and share responsibility for the pastoral care of the parish under the leadership of the pastor. Their ministry flows from the Sacraments of Initiation and is placed within the community of the Church, whose communion and mission it serves. Those who serve in this role bring to the parish their competence and compassion which finds expression in a wide range of services both pastoral and professional.