About Us

The Office of Pastoral Ministry, part of the Secretariat for Laity, Family, and Life, is dedicated to supporting and equipping parishes, clergy, religious, and lay leaders in their pastoral endeavors within the Church. Our mission is to provide leadership, guidance, and resources to facilitate effective pastoral activity and to offer comprehensive formation programs for lay leaders.

We understand the importance of equipping individuals with the necessary skills and knowledge to become exceptional pastoral leaders in the Catholic community. Through our formation programs, we ensure that participants receive the training and support needed to excel in their collaborative work with pastors. Continuing education and spiritual enrichment are also fundamental to our office’s goals. We offer ongoing formation opportunities for lay pastoral ministers, fostering lifelong learning and enkindling a deeper faith.

At the heart of our work is pastoral care, where we provide guidance, support, and resources to address the spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical needs of individuals and families in our diocese. Our efforts encompass a range of pastoral ministries, including ministries to the sick, bereavement and consolation, grief support, care for the divorced, separated, and widowed, marriage enrichment, mental health awareness, and other initiatives and lay ministries that enhance parish life and pastoral care.

Ministries & Programs

We provide support for:

  • Pastoral Care Ministries
    • Ministry to the Sick & Homebound
    • Ministries of Bereavement & Consolation
    • Pastoral Care Leadership Certification Program
  • Mental Health Awareness & Wellbeing
    • Mental Health First Aid Training
    • Mental Health Wellbeing Ministries
    • Suicide Prevention & Postvention
  • Pastoral Enrichment for Parish Ministries
  • Chaplaincy Support

Ministry to the Sick & Homebound

To begin the qualification process for this ministry, individuals must hold a valid and current EMHC mandate. Mandates are specific to each parish and cannot be transferred. The Petition for Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion includes a section relevant to this ministry. MTS mandates align with the EMHC mandate, meaning they expire together, and are valid for a period of 5 years. Prior to involvement in this ministry an individual must complete the qualification process. Ministers to the Sick and Homebound represent the Church and serve as pastoral caregivers, therefore it is necessary that they be trained and qualified for this responsibility. The process outlined below is the standard for this ministry:

  1. Completing Safe Environment Training and successfully passed the diocesan fingerprinting process.
  2. Completing the Adult Driver Information Form and the Drivers License MVR Request Approval Form.
  3. Completing the Ministry to the Sick and Homebound application form, interviewing with the parish coordinator for this ministry, and receiving pastor’s approval.
  4. Submitting the MTS application to the Office of Pastoral Ministry and registering for andattending a diocesan Ministry to the Sick and Homebound formation workshop.
  5. Training on procedures for MTS at the parish-level by parish coordinator/staff.
  6. A minimum of three (3) shadow visits with an experienced minister; one to the hospital,one to a long-term care facility, and one to a private residence.

Upon successful completion of the qualification process, a certificate of completion will be issued by the Office of Pastoral Ministry. Only after an individual has received the certificate can they begin ministry.

Upcoming Ministry to the Sick & Homebound Formation Workshops:

Additional Resources

Coming soon…


Luis Nieves
Director of Pastoral Ministry