(1) Lay Ministers: Co-Workers in the Parish Vineyard

Lay Ministers: Co-Workers in the Parish Vineyard

What is Lay Ministry?
All Catholics, who have been given rights and responsibilities in the Church by baptism, are called to participate in the life of the church and are called upon to help advance the pastoral priorities of the Church of Camden.  The ordained ministry of the priest is essential and irreplaceable.  Lay ministers do not replace priests, but assist them in serving the people of the parish in collaboration with deacons and religious employees. (adapted from Bishop Galante’s October, 2008 letter to the diocese introducing the Lay Ministry Formation Program.)

What Do Lay Ministers Do?
 Parish Catechesis
 Age-appropriate experiences
 Intergenerational (whole community) Catechesis
 Sacramental preparation

 Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist
 Ministers of Hospitality
 Ministers of Art and Environment
 Directors of Liturgy
 Liturgy Committee Members

 Life and Justice
 Rachel Ministry
 Respect Life Issues (life issues from conception to natural death)
 Social Justice Issues (e.g. immigration, homelessness, government  policies)
 Education and Social Action for Justice

 Bereavement Ministry

 Marriage Ministry
 Marriage formation couples (Toolkit under construction)
 Ministry to Troubled Marriages (Retrouvaille)
 Ministry to Separated and Divorced
 Ministry to Children experiencing Divorce (DivorceCare4Kids)
 Marriage Encounter
 Elizabeth Ministry (support to expectant and new parents)

 Spiritual Life
 Directors of Maturing Adult Ministry (Toolkit for Maturing Adult  Ministry under Construction)
 Spiritual Directors
 Prayer Ministry Leaders
 Small Group Scripture Sharing Facilitators

 Parish Life
 Ministry to the Homebound
 Parish Social Life (large community gatherings and  celebrations/coffee hours post-Mass)
 Directors of Youth and Young Adult Ministry

What Kind of Preparation is Required for Lay Ministry?

It is probable that many of the ministries will be carried out by volunteers who have not had any formal preparation for their work.  These individuals will need proper support and supervision by a parish staff professional.

The Diocese offers the “Lay Ministry Formation Program,” formed in conjunction with nationally-recognized academic institutions to educate laity in parish ministry through college-level and degree programs. (www.camdendiocese.org/ LifelongFaith Formation/Lay Ministry Formation. Tuition costs are discounted by the colleges and supported in part by the diocese and the parish.

What Are The Steps In Becoming A Lay Minister?

1.   Discerning the call to ministry
      Identifying personal talents and spiritual gifts
      Recommended by the pastor

2.   Theological and Spiritual Formation (www.camdendiocese.org/Lifelong faith Formation/Lay Ministry
      Ministerial observation and experience
      Specific formation in particular area of ministry (e.g. catechesis, liturgy, youth ministry, etc)

3.   Contact:
      JoLynn R. Krempecki
      Director of Lay Ministry Formation