Lay Ministry Project

Project Number: 
Start Date: 
Wed, 04/01/1998
End Date: 
Fri, 12/31/1999

In 1995, an initial grant allowed the United States Catholic Conference to begin study on leadership for lay ecclesial ministry. Inquiries indicated that the major issues at stake were 1) theology of lay ministry, 2) the relationship between ordained and lay ministers, 3) education and formation of lay ministers, 4) multicultural issues, 5) financial and human resource issues, and 6) the term “lay minister” and its definition. This first grant covered the initial planning and research; and, while dissemination and analysis did begin in the first phase, the purpose of the second grant in 1998 was to complete it. <p>Toward this end, the Subcommittee on Ecclesial Lay Ministry had intended to submit a statement on for the approval of the full board of bishops. However, after having worked on this statement, the Subcommittee decided that their purpose of permanently engaging more bishops on this issue would best be served by presenting instead a report on their findings. This report, “Lay Ecclesial Ministry: The State of the Question”, posed questions for further reflection and proposed areas for future study and development. In addition, the papers from the colloquium in Dayton, OH were published as "Together in God’s Service: Toward a Theology of Ecclesial Lay Ministry", as was a new report "Parishes and Parish Ministers: A Study of Parish Lay Ministry". Furthermore, throughout the grant period, the Subcommittee convened several meetings and dialogues on the major issues identified in the first grant.