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In coordination with diocese across the country and national Catholic ministry organizations with whom we have an established relationship, the Office of Certification for Ecclesial Ministry and Service has developed a living document of resources for Catholic pastors, deacons, lay ecclesial ministers and others in leadership.
These resources are provided to help guide effective pastoral responses in ministry and support for those in ministry. Resources which contain legal or financial advice should not be construed as being offered by the USCCB or the Office of Certification and should be further discussed with appropriate parish, diocesan or organizational lawyers or financial consultants who are capable in such matters.
We will continue to update this resource on a regular basis based on new information we receive from our trusted sources. Anyone may submit suggested resources using email contact information provided in the document.
Welcome to the Subcommittee on Certification for Ecclesial Ministry and Service website!
Canon # 231 and Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord, a statement of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in November 2005, remind us that:
".… persons who devote themselves permanently or temporarily to some special service of the Church are obliged to acquire appropriate formation which is required to fulfill their function properly and to carry it out conscientiously, zealously, and diligently."
We assist our bishops and national professional associations or organizations in reviewing and approving certification standards and procedures for those preparing for pastoral leadership roles in parishes and in institutions such as hospitals and universities.
We also offer consultative services aimed at improving the quality of lay ministry formation programs that are sponsored by arch/dioceses and by academic institutions.
Pope Benedict XVI has emphasized that lay ecclesial leaders in the Church must no longer be viewed as "collaborators" of the clergy but truly recognized as "co-responsible for the Church's being and action thereby fostering the consolidation of a mature and committed laity. ”
During this time of the New Evangelization, our subcommittee realizes that the role of qualified Ecclesial Ministers may be a leaven for all the laity to become more aware of their co-responsibility for the Church’s being and action.
It is our hope that this website and the resources, developed and shared through our efforts, will benefit dioceses, organizations, the leaders formed and those whom they serve. May God bless you all for the gift you are to the Church.
The Subcommittee on Certification for Ecclesial Ministry and Service assists the bishops in establishing, reviewing and approving certification standards and procedures to be used on a voluntary basis by arch/dioceses and national organizations in the certification of specialized ecclesial ministers. It also offers consultative services aimed at improving the quality of lay ministry formation programs that are sponsored by arch/dioceses and by academic institutions.
The USCCB Subcommittee only approves certification standards and procedures for arch/diocesan offices, national organizations of specialized ministers listed in The Official Catholic Directory, and national organizations sponsored by state Catholic Conferences. Arch/diocesan offices, national organizations of ecclesial ministers, and state Catholic Conferences with approved certification standards and procedures are listed in the USCCB Subcommittee on Certification for Ecclesial Ministry and Service Directory.
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