The first national resource for lay pastoral ministry, Faithful Stewards of God’s Grace was launched by the President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Mark Coleridge, in July 2018.
Chapter one provides an overview of the development of lay pastoral ministry in Australia from 1788 to the present day. Chapter two seeks to identify the complexities involved in lay pastoral ministry. Chapter three seeks to understand the place of lay pastoral ministry within the common vocation of discipleship, and how it relates to other forms of ministry. Chapter four offers a practical description of lay pastoral ministry and outlines a process of authorisation, from certification to commissioning. Chapter five proposes recommendations that will enable a shared vision to be fulfilled in practice.
In 2015, the Australian Catholic Council for Lay Pastoral Ministry (ACCLPM) commissioned the Christian Research Association (CRA) to carry out a project to examine lay pastoral ministry in the Catholic Church in Australia. The outcome of this initial phase of research was the document authored by Aoife McGrath, Philip Hughes and Stephen Reid, Exploring Lay Pastoral Ministry in the Catholic Church, the final revised version of which appeared in February 2016.