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 responsibilites 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 Chirst to the world.
"All Christians in whatever state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity, and this holiness is conducive to a more human way of living even in society here on earth."
Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium no. 40
Co-workers in the Vineyard of the Lord is a resource for diocesan bishops and for all others who are responsible for guiding the development of lay ecclesial ministry in the United States. Click on the image to the right to read the full document.