February 5, 2022
MORE INFO: Rev. Monsignor John A. Zuraw, Chancellor and Director of Pastoral Services, 330-744-8451
YOUNGSTOWN, OH — The Most Reverend David J. Bonnar, Bishop of Youngstown, announces a new focus and new name for a diocesan office in support of ministry in parishes. The Office of Religious Education/Evangelization has become the Office of Faith Formation and Lay Ecclesial Ministry, effective February 1, 2022.
The Office will continue to provide resources, consultation, and networking for catechetical and evangelization ministries, and will expand its services to recruit, support, and oversee lay ecclesial ministers in all areas of parish life.
“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.
The focus of the newly renamed Office 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.
In a recent Walking By Faith Together column for The Catholic Exponent (the diocese’s newspaper), Bishop Bonnar wrote, “I ask you to dream with me about ways we can witness to and support the important ministries of our Church – from Catholic education to social justice advocacy, from lay ecclesial ministry to vocations to the priesthood and religious life. One of the concerns I have is that we are dealing not only with a shortage of clergy but also with trained lay ecclesial ministers. We need to continue to build up all the ministries which bring so much life to our parishes – pastoral, catechetical, liturgical, and musical.”