Faith Formation and Lay Ecclesial Ministry

Our Mission and Vision

The Office of Faith Formation and Lay Ecclesial Ministry provides resources, consultation, and networking for catechetical and evangelization ministries, as well as recruiting, supporting, and overseeing lay ecclesial ministers in all areas of parish life.  

Catechesis, a ministry of the Word essential in the process of evangelization, matures initial conversion into a living, conscious, and fruitful confession of faith. The principal goal is the catechesis of adults, the primary form of catechesis to which all other forms are oriented. This catechesis is a lifelong process of formation in faith, hope and charity that shapes the mind, touches the heart, and leads persons to embrace Christ fully and completely. The Office strives primarily to enable adults to fulfill their responsibility and privilege to share this faith with other adults, youth, and children.

“Lay ecclesial ministry” is a general term for a variety of positions held by non-ordained people who provide substantial leadership in pastoral, catechetical, liturgical, and musical ministry.  Such lay leaders collaborate with and are under the authority of priests and the bishop. 

In 2022, the office was renamed Office of Faith Formation and Lay Ecclesial Ministry to more intentionally include a process for appropriate personal, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral formation and ongoing support of those entrusted with such ministries. This focus aligns with Bishop Bonnar’s vision for a people- and mission-oriented Church.

About Lay Ecclesial Ministry

All Christian persons by nature of their Baptism, and strengthened by Confirmation, are called to pass on the faith with a zeal for bringing others closer to Christ and the Church.  Some persons have a particular call to participate in the work of the church as professionally prepared lay ecclesial ministers.  These persons share responsibility for various areas including pastoral care, adult faith formation, youth and young adult ministry, family and children catechesis, sacramental preparation, liturgy, music, and evangelization.  If you have ever wondered about becoming prepared for a parish ministry position, please contact Barbara Walko for assistance in discerning academic and experiential qualifications with a possible path toward meaningful and life giving discipleship.


To borrow these or other resources, the library and Office of Faith Formation and Lay Ecclesial Ministry are open for in person visits and consultations 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday at 144 West Wood St, Youngstown, OH 44503. You may also visit our website 24/7 at Once you make your selections, you can email the request to We can arrange for your visit, a curbside pick up or direct mailing to your parish.


Pastors Seeking Parish Ministers

Pastors hoping to hire new or additional staff persons in the areas of adult faith formation, youth and young adult ministry, children and family formation, pastoral ministry, and other key areas of parish life are asked to contact Barbara Walko for assistance.

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