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Faith Formation and Lay Ecclesial Ministry

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. 

Beginning in 2022, the focus of the newly renamed Office of Faith Formation and Lay Ecclesial Ministry will include developing a process for appropriate personal, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral formation and ongoing support of those entrusted with such ministries.  This new focus aligns with Bishop Bonnar’s vision for a people- and mission-oriented Church. 

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.

Graduate Study for Ministry

Forms for DREs/Pastoral Ministers

Directory for Catechesis

Resources for Lifelong Learning

Diocesan Library

Catechist Café

Preschool Stories & Scripture

Diocesan Curriculum for Catechesis

Courses & Certification

Catechist & Teacher Courses

Online Payment for Courses ​

Diocesan Certification

Ministry for & with People with All Abilities

National Catholic Partnership on Disability: faith, giftedness, partnership
National Catholic Partnership on Disability: faith, giftedness, partnership

The Office of Faith Formation & Lay Ecclesial Ministry is here to support your efforts towards the inclusion of all people in sacramental preparation, liturgical ministries, and community building, because everyone is loved and needed in the Church. Catechist Cafe and the Diocesan Library offer many useful resources to help you and your Catholic organization become more adaptive to special needs and abilities.


man writing on paper

Personnel and Program Reports Requested

Please provide us with the opportunity to verify accurate numbers by completing the catechetical report, according to your area of responsibility. Please share information from others on your staff who oversee ministry areas beyond your position.

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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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New in the Library

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.

New in the Library: April 2024

New this month: “The Journey to Peace: Reflections on Faith” by Cardinal Joseph Louis Bernardin; “Angels and Saints: Who They Are and Why They Matter” by Elizabeth Klien and “Stories” by John Shea.

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