For several decades and in growing numbers, lay men and women have been undertaking a wide variety of roles in Church ministries. Many of these roles presume a significant degree of preparation, formation and professional competence. The laity have been entrusted with responsibilities for leadership in particular areas of ministry, thereby being drawn into a close, mutual collaboration with the pastoral ministry of bishops, priests and deacons. A collaboration intended to be fruitful, as ordained and lay ministers, in distinct and complementary ways, deliver the Church’s saving message of Christ to the world.
Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord is a resource for diocesan bishops and for all who are responsible for guiding the development of lay ecclesial ministry in the United States.