In November 2005, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops published "Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord: A Resource for Guiding the Development of Lay Ecclesial Ministry" which acknowledges and affirms the place of Lay Ecclesial Ministers in the life of the Church in the United States. This document also provides clarity to the roles fulfilled by Lay Ecclesial Ministers and the essential elements of formation of persons, including vowed religious, who serve in these roles.
The Diocese of Cleveland has over 400 Certified Lay Ecclesial Ministers who serve across parishes, diocesan offices, in hospitality, schools, prisons and jails, retreat houses and through Institutions or programs of social outreach and advocacy.
Lay Ecclesial Ministers serve in many of the following roles:
The formation process provided by the diocese for candidates seeking Lay Ecclesial Ministry certification is comprehensive and intended to provide participants and the diocese with men and women who will exercise ministerial leadership in a parish or other ministerial settings with the competence needed to assume these responsibilities. The process consists of Human, Spiritual, Intellectual and Pastoral formation. Many of these elements overlap and are provided for in a variety of ways. These formational elements have been developed over the years in response to the needs of the diocese, the candidates, and parishes, and in cosideration of the documents of the USCCB.
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