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 Committee’s report on the future needs of the archdiocese.

The conference will be held at St. John’s 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 master’s in biblical studies from Boston College.

Father George Evans, pastor of St. Julia’s Parish in Weston and former spiritual director and faculty member at St. John’s Seminary, will deliver a presentation on the pastoral planning committee’s 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 Seán P. O’Malley 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 A check for $25 per person may be made payable and sent to: RCAB-Clergy Support, 2121 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, MA 02135.