Archdiocese of Chicago
Office for Lay Ecclesial Ministry
Department of Personnel Services

The Ministry Of Pastoral Associate

The Office for Lay Ecclesial Ministry provides a certification process for pastoral associates in accordance with an Executory Decree issued by Joseph Cardinal Bernardin on May 30, 1993.


The rationale behind pastoral associate certification -

  • To establish greater credibility, continuity and accountability for the role of pastoral associates by clarifying the specific status of and standards for that role.
  • To increase the likelihood of effective ministry by advocating both competence and job security for the role of pastoral associate.
  • To be both just and realistic, by dealing equitably with ministers in various roles and creating procedures to acknowledge prior education and experience.
To enhance the value of collaboration in the church by affirming the interdependence of distinct ministerial roles.
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