Spiritually walking alongside someone (or along a community) wherever they are in their journey of faith; through the challenges and changes of life in hopes to draw them into a closer encounter with the Risen Lord and His Church.
The faithful and constant transmission of the teachings of the Apostles from one generation to the next throughout the history of the Catholic Church.
The title of a bishop with jurisdiction over an archdiocese. The Archbishop governs the archdiocese as an authentic successor of the apostles.
A very large geographic region under the jurisdiction of an Archbishop. An archdiocese is the head of an ecclesiastical Provence, or a group made of multiple diocese, usually due to size or historical designation.
The Archdiocese of Chicago is divided into six vicariates. Each vicariate is presided over by a vicar (auxiliary bishop), who serves as the Archbishop’s representative in the area. Vicariates are further divided into deaneries, made up of parishes and other ecclesiastical institutions. Each deanery is presided over by a dean, which is a canonical position held by a priest who holds limited authority over the pastoral activities of the deanery
Baptism is the sacrament in which we are united to Jesus Christ in his death and resurrection. In so being united to him, we are united to his Body, the Church.
The opening of the Sermon on the Mount, the very first of Our Lord's sermons, in the Gospel of St. Matthew (5:3-10).
An ecclesiastical dignitary who possesses the fullness of the priesthood to rule a diocese as its chief pastor, in due submission to the primacy of the pope.
The law of the Catholic Church, which is different than, yet ceded by, civic law (federal, state and/or local).
A dignitary of the Roman Church and counsellor of the pope.
Religious instruction given to a person in preparation for Christian baptism or confirmation, typically using a catechism.
The composite body of the global Catholic community, including the clergy, the laity and the tradition of teachings, and dogma.
A special group gathered to generate ideas and make recommendations on specific topics.
Communion of Saints
The spiritual union of all members of the Christian Church, including the living and those in Heaven and Purgatory.
Throughout the parish grouping process, a grouping companion provides spiritual support to all members of the grouping and accompanies the grouping team on its journey of discernment and discussions. Companions may lead prayer services, offer spiritual insight to individuals or whole teams, and keep everyone attuned to the movements of the Holy Spirit in the renewal process.
Within the parish grouping process, a consultant’s job is to help those in groupings work together in discernment about scenarios. The consultant manages grouping conversations and keeps grouping team members informed throughout the process.
An ordained minister of a parish who is called to proclaim the Gospel, provide service to the needy, and assist the priest at Mass and matters of faith for the People of God.
A pastor of a parish who serves as a senior figure, though usually without specific jurisdictional authority, over a section of a diocese.
The organization of parishes into a geographic area, from which a pastor is appointed to the Presbyteral Council, as well as a forum for priests to provide consultation to the archbishop and for communications between priests.
A formal, canonical document released by a parish clarifying its status.
To gain direction and make judgement through prayer and spiritual guidance.
A territorial division of the Church comprised of all the Catholics living in a specific geographic region.
Director of Religious Education (DRE)
The person tasked with organizing and officiating a parish’s religious education.
DiscipleDerived from the Latin word for student, a disciple is someone who has encountered Jesus, heard the Good News of his life, death and resurrection, and chooses to actively follow Him. See How to Identify A Disciple and Missionary Disciple in Our Midst
The ultimate festival of the liturgical year within the Church, celebrating the resurrection of the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
Pertaining to the Church.
An experience of meeting the living Christ through an event, a person, a prayer or another circumstance. Through this experience, a person comes to know that Christ is actively present in his or her life. God is no longer abstract, but instead a real person in one’s life.
Type of papal document, written in the form of a letter, concerning Catholic doctrine and sent from the Pope to Catholic clergy that are in communion with the Vatican.
Literally, to share the Good News of Jesus — who He was, what He did for us, and who He is in our lives today. We share our faith in Christ through our words by telling His story and by the way in which we live our lives. When someone encounters Christ through us, through our kindness, our compassion, our patience, our understanding, and our generosity, we have been a part of sharing the Good News of who Christ is in our world. It is the duty of every Christian to proclaim the Word of God with both their words and actions to draw others into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church.
A type of communication from the Pope that encourages an action, but doesn’t define Catholic doctrine. It’s ranked below an encyclical.
Facilitator (RMC)Within the parish grouping process, a facilitator ensures that the parish-level conversations are inclusive of all attendees’ perspectives and moderated well so that parishioners’ questions, concerns, and suggestions are addressed.
The mission given by the Risen Christ to His disciples. Jesus’ call for the Apostles to spread his message throughout the world. “The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. When they saw him, they worshiped, but they doubted. Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20).
KerygmaAn ancient Greek word that meant “preaching.” In today’s Catholic Church, this word refers to the basic teaching of Christianity: that we are saved through Jesus Christ, that He is the son of God, that He lived to show us how to live, that He suffered and died for us, and that He rose again so that we can have eternal life.
Lay people, parishioners. The nonordained members of the Church community.
Lay Ecclesial Minister
Pastoral ministers who serve the Church but who are not ordained.
In 2005, in the document, "Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord," the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops defined Lay Ecclesial Ministry as that service to the Church by lay men and women which is characterized by:
- Authorization of the hierarchy to serve publicly in the local church
- Leadership in a particular ministry
- Close mutual collaboration with the pastoral ministry of bishops, priests, and deacons
- Preparation and formation appropriate to the level of responsibilities that are assigned to them (at page 10).
In the Archdiocese of Chicago, the roles of pastoral associate and director of religious education have been designated as "...the roles that most clearly exemplify lay ecclesial ministry." ("Co-Workers" at page 11.)
Pastoral associates and directors of religious education are eligible to participate in a Rite of Calling to Lay Ecclesial Ministry by the Archbishop after they complete a certification process. In the rite, the ministers commit to collaboration with the pastors of the Church and to leading Christ's people in love and fidelity. A pastoral associate called as a lay ecclesial minister is commissioned to the parish of employment by a letter from the Archbishop.
Directors of religious education are certified through the Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry.
Lifelong Formation Coordinator
The mission of the Lifelong Formation Coordinators is to advise and transform parish leadership to renew and revitalize the church, one parish and one family at a time. A Lifelong Formation Coordinator is assigned to each of the six vicariates within the Archdiocese of Chicago. Coordinators are fully integrated in the culture of each individual vicariate and are informed of local events. They have a deep understanding of each vicariate’s strengths and opportunities for growth. Through weekly meetings, coordinators have the opportunity to share successes and challenges in each vicariate, and learn about best practices that can be incorporated to help foster growth within each community.
A public worship service conducted according to the traditions and customs of the Catholic Church.
The vocation of a member of the Church, e.g., the priesthood, the diaconate, lay ecclesial ministry, etc.
A mission is similar to a parish, usually meeting the needs of a specific community of believers.
A missionary disciple is someone who continues to grow in relationship with God, can easily share his or her relationship with God with others, and goes outward to help others find God for themselves. See How to Identify A Disciple and Missionary Disciple in Our Midst
When we think of evangelizing, we first think of going out and sharing the story of Jesus with those who have never heard of Him. In fact, the New Evangelization is a call for all Catholics to be open to an encounter with Christ, and to allow ourselves to be evangelized for the first time or once again so we can go forth and share the Good News of who Jesus is to others. We are called to renew our relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church. At the same time, we are also to go out and share who Christ is with those who have never met him.
Operations DirectorA member of the parish leadership team who assists the pastor and other leaders with the stewardship of the physical, financial, and personnel resources of the parish, in accordance with archdiocesan policies and guidelines.
A community of Christian faithful stably constituted in a particular church or churches and school whose pastoral care is entrusted to a pastor under the authority of the diocesan bishop. (Canon 515). Most people think the parish is the church where they worship. A parish, however, is a territorial division of the diocese — a geographical area. The people within the parish are cared for by the pastor assigned to this community by the bishop or archbishop. Because it is about geography, people of all parishes are made up of Catholics and non-Catholics. Within a parish, there is a Catholic Church that cares for the spiritual needs of the people in that area.
A scenario in which two or more parishes decide to combine their resources and assets.
A scenario in which the archdiocese decides to cease the existence of a particular parish community.
Parish Vitality Coordinator
A vicariate-level ministerial coordinator who supports the pastoral vision of the archbishop and a vicar in fostering collaboration within the parishes. Parish Vitality Coordinators (PVCs) are attentive to the spiritual needs of parish communities, help to identify the appropriate resources needed, and serve as important companions through the parish grouping process as parish communities progress from discernment to decision to transition and building the new reality.
Inhabitant of a parish, especially one who belongs to or attends a particular church.
An associate pastor assigned to a parish.
The Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ by which He heals us from sin and enables us to become children of God.
A minister in charge of a Christian church or congregation.
Relating to the office of a pastor.
Lay or religious full-time or part-time individuals who are members of the parish staff, sharing responsibility for the daily pastoral care of the faithful.
A plan authored and released by a parish to clarify and inform parishioners about its plan for the parish in the coming year.
Christian celebrating the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus after his Ascension, held on the seventh Sunday after Easter.
A group of priests from around a diocese who help their (arch)bishop make decisions by providing counsel and feedback. The Presbyteral Council of the Archdiocese of Chicago defines its purpose:
to participate in the decision-making process in the Archdiocese;
to assist the Archbishop in all matters affecting pastoral welfare and the governance of the Archdiocese as the consultative body representing all priests;
to promote greater communication, cooperation and collaboration among the Archbishop, Priests, and Pastoral Offices and Agencies of the Archdiocese;
to foster a stronger bond of fraternity among all priests, and further a consciousness of their unity with the Archbishop;
to seek participation of the presbyterate in the pastoral concerns of the Council; and
to engage in those activities and programs necessary to implement the aforementioned purposes.
Priest Placement Board
A group comprised of both appointed and elected priests from the archdiocese whose mandate is to identify suitable placements for pastors and priests in parishes and ministry vacancies of the archdiocese.
Rite of CallingThe ceremony by which the Church recognizes the desire of Baptized adults to participate fully in the sacramental life of the Catholic Church.
A religious ceremony or act of the Christian Church that is regarded as an outward and visible sign of inward and spiritual divine grace. The rites of Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Ordination, and Matrimony.
The 21st ecumenical council of the Catholic Church. It resulted in many important changes for the Church.
A person, religious, or clergyman who is appointed by the Archbishop to serve as his representative and exercise limited ecclesial authority.
The largest geographic division in a diocese. The Archdiocese of Chicago has six vicariates. We also have six auxiliary bishops who help provide guidance and care of these vicariates. Each vicariate has approximately 50-65 parishes within it, and each vicariate is sub-divided into deaneries.
A calling to a specific way of life, such as religious life, priesthood, married life, or single life.