Conference to address future of lay ministry in the archdiocese


BRIGHTON -- Pastors, parish staff, pastoral council members, and parish volunteers of the Archdiocese of Boston are invited to the Co-Workers in the Vineyard Conference: Laity and Clergy Journeying Together in Christ April 4. The conference will address the 2005 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) document Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord: A Resource for Guiding the Development of Lay Ecclesial Ministry in light of the Pastoral Planning Committees report on the future needs of the archdiocese.

The conference will be held at St. Johns Seminary from 10:30 a.m. till 3:30 p.m. and is being organized by the Master of Arts in Ministry Program for Laity and co-sponsored by several other archdiocesan offices.

The Co-Workers document was approved by the U.S. bishops at their November 2005 meeting and was formally issued as a guide to recruitment, formation, and employment of lay ecclesial ministers. The document reflects on a number of issues including the role of the laity, the theology of ministry, and on collaboration of lay ecclesial ministers with the clergy.

The keynote speaker will be Aurelie Hagstrom, a theology professor at Providence College. Hagstrom holds degrees from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome and has also received her masters in biblical studies from Boston College.

Father George Evans, pastor of St. Julias Parish in Weston and former spiritual director and faculty member at St. Johns Seminary, will deliver a presentation on the pastoral planning committees report on the future needs of the archdiocese.

The afternoon includes adoration and Benediction, at which Father Richard Erickson, vicar general of the archdiocese, will preach. The afternoon panel discussion will include two pastors and two lay ecclesial ministers. Cardinal Sen P. OMalley will close the conference with his reflections and blessing.

To register for this event please call Ruth Cox at 617-746-5601 or e-mail rcox@rcab.org. A check for $25 per person may be made payable and sent to: RCAB-Clergy Support, 2121 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, MA 02135.