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?
Intergenerational (whole community) Catechesis
Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist
Ministers of Hospitality
Ministers of Art and Environment
Directors of Liturgy
Liturgy Committee Members
Life and Justice
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
Marriage formation couples (Toolkit under construction)
Ministry to Troubled Marriages (Retrouvaille)
Ministry to Separated and Divorced
Ministry to Children experiencing Divorce (DivorceCare4Kids)
Elizabeth Ministry (support to expectant and new parents)
Directors of Maturing Adult Ministry (Toolkit for Maturing Adult Ministry under Construction)
Prayer Ministry Leaders
Small Group Scripture Sharing Facilitators
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)
JoLynn R. Krempecki
Director of Lay Ministry Formation