Guidelines for Pastoral Associates In the Diocese of Manchester

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1 Guidelines for Pastoral Associates In the Diocese of Manchester

2 GUIDELINES FOR PASTORAL ASSOCIATES CONTENTS INTRODUCTION. 3 TITLE/PROFILE... 3 ROLE DESCRIPTION RESPONSIBILITIES. 4 QUALIFICATIONS.. 5 PLACEMENT PROCESS. 6 IMPLEMENTATION OF GUIDELINES BY THE PASTORAL MINISTRY OFFICE 6 PROCEDURE TO BE FOLLOWED... 6 INDICATING A PARISH OPENING.. 7 PUBLICIZING AN OPENING APPLYING FOR A POSITION HIRING A PASTORAL ASSOCIATE. 8 REFERRALS.. 8 EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT COVENANT. 8 SALARY BENEFITS JOB DESCRIPTION. 9 EVALUATION. 9 FORMS APPENDIX A: SUGGESTED AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY APPENDIX B: ANNOUNCING AN OPENING FOR A PASTORAL ASSOCIATE. 12 APPENDIX C: PASTORAL ASSOCIATE APPLICATION FORM 13 APPENDIX D: PASTORAL ASSOCIATE REGISTRATION FORM. 14 APPENDIX E: EMPLOYMENT OFFER APPENDIX F: EMPLOYMENT OFFER CONFIRMATION APPENDIX G: JOB DESCRIPTION. 17 APPENDIX H: EVALUATION WORKSHEET 18 2

3 GUIDELINES FOR PASTORAL ASSOCIATES INTRODUCTION In the Fall of 1987, a core group was established to prepare policies and guidelines for pastoral ministry in the diocese. Following a survey of priests and pastoral associates a first draft was presented, on May 5, 1989, to the pastoral associates for discussion. The following pages are the result of several meetings, consultations and revisions with pastoral associates, the core group and the Council of Priests in the Diocese of Manchester. PASTORAL ASSOCIATES TITLE The title Pastoral Associate will be used to describe those non-ordained, full-time, salaried persons who are members of the parish staff, and are certified by the Diocese of Manchester. They share responsibility for the daily pastoral care of the faithful, under the leadership of the pastor. Professional, ministerial education is normative. PROFILE Persons who serve the parish faith community as pastoral associates, and who by formation and/or education are qualified for this role, may be lay or religious, male or female, single or married. They bring to the parish their competence and compassion which find expression in a wide range of services which are both pastoral and professional. Pastoral associates are persons of strong faith, witnesses to the Good News of Jesus Christ, blessed with a deep love of the People of God and the Catholic Church. They are knowledgeable in church teachings and committed to its mission. By their lives, their attitudes and their ministry, they can enrich the parish community even as they are themselves enriched through the gifts of those with whom they work or to whom they minister. ROLE DESCRIPTION As a member of the parish staff/team, the pastoral associate works with the pastoral staff/team in providing for the pastoral care of the parish community. In the spirit of collaboration and in cooperation with the pastor and pastoral staff/team, the pastoral associate shares in the various ministries of the parish and attempts to be supportive of other staff/team members in their roles. A written job description clarifies the responsibilities of the pastoral associate. 3

4 GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES Presence to the parish community, participation in the Sunday liturgies, and availability to serve the needs of the people. Collaboration and cooperation with the pastor and pastoral staff/team in providing pastoral care to the parish. Sharing regularly as a member of the parish staff/team, in staff/team meetings, in parish planning, and in consultation in appropriate areas of decision-making. Shared pastoral responsibility and in cooperation with the pastor and pastoral staff/team, for those aspects of parish life mutually accepted and agreed upon in the employment offer. SUGGESTED AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY The responsibility of the pastoral associate embraces a wide variety of needs of the parish community and may be modified by changing situations and unexpected events. The following are suggestions for areas of responsibility (appendix A): WORSHIP AND SPIRITUALITY PARISH OUTREACH/EVANGELIZATION ADULT ENRICHMENT FAMILY LIFE PEACE AND JUSTICE ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION YOUTH MINISTRY RELIGIOUS EDUCATION 4

5 QUALIFICATIONS OF A PASTORAL ASSOCIATE FAITH COMMITMENT Deep faith in the Lord. Evidence of a Catholic way of life, inspired by the Gospel. Active and regular participation in the worship and sacramental life of the Church. Obvious love of the People of God and commitment to the Church s teachings and vision of the Second Vatican Council. PERSONALITY Has a healthy self-image. Possesses leadership ability. Has the ability to be a collaborative team worker. Takes Initiative. Is flexible Manifests a hospitable attitude Relates well Possesses a sense of humor Is compassionate and pastoral MINISTERIAL AND SPIRITUAL FORMATION Education, training, and experience requisite for the ministry needs of the specific parish. Organizational and administrative skills. Commitment to ongoing professional education Commitment to spiritual formation such as spiritual direction, annual retreat and other ongoing formation opportunities. 5

6 PASTORAL AND/OR ACADEMIC COMPETENCE Pastoral associates should have the level of education and/or years of experience considered necessary for effectiveness in the general and specific aspects of their ministry. Along with an attitude of openness, compassion, and understanding of people, this would include: A Masters Degree or studying for such a degree in Catholic theological studies, pastoral ministry or a related field is required to receive diocesan certification. An appropriate Bachelors Degree with some experience in pastoral ministry is preferred for the position of pastoral minister. These academic requirements should not be seen to impact negatively those persons serving effectively as pastoral associates or pastoral ministers involved in ongoing education relative to their ministry. PLACEMENT PROCESS Pastors should consider as pastoral associates only those persons who are qualified according to these diocesan guidelines. The Pastoral Ministry Office will collaborate with pastoral associates in an ongoing evaluation of these guidelines. IMPLEMENTATION OF GUIDELINES BY THE PASTORAL MINISTRY OFFICE This office will coordinate development and implementation of these guidelines to be used in parishes in the following areas: Application for a Pastoral Associate Communication of Openings Referral of Applicants Hiring a Pastoral Associate Employee Agreement Remuneration and Benefits Certification of Pastoral Associates PROCEDURE TO BE FOLLOWED The following procedures are recommended for announcing parish openings for an application for a pastoral associate: 6

7 OPENINGS INDICATING A PARISH OPENING A pastor wishing to hire a pastoral associate submits to the Pastoral Ministry Office the following information (Appendix B): Name of pastor Name of parish Parish profile Description of ministry opening Specific qualifications required Starting date Contact: Name, address, phone number and of person to receive application from qualified candidates Deadline date for applications PUBLICIZING A PARISH OPENING These openings may be: Published in the monthly diocesan newsletter and wherever appropriate. Shared with persons who have indicated an interest in a pastoral associate position and are qualified. FILING A PARISH OPENING The pastor and or search committee arranges for interviews and concludes the process for hiring a pastoral associate. The Pastoral Ministry Office is then notified so the individual s name and information may be added to the diocesan data base to receive communications. APPLICATIONS REQUETS FOR INFORMATION ABOUT OPENINGS Inquiries are sent to the director of the Pastoral Ministry Office. APPLYING FOR AN ADVERTISED POSITION A person interested in applying for a specific pastoral associate opening may apply through the Pastoral Ministry Office which will serve as a clearinghouse. The following material is sent: A person applies by sending: A Pastoral Associate application form (Appendix C) A letter of application for the specific position, A current resume. 7

8 HIRING A PASTORAL ASSOCIATE The hiring of a pastoral associate, should include: The pastor s consultation with the parish staff/team and the Pastoral Council about the position. A determination of the budgetary allotment for the position. Sending notice of the opening to the Pastoral Ministry Office. Receiving/screening applications. Interviewing qualified applicants. Notifying the parish staff/team, the parishioners, and the Pastoral Ministry Office when a person has been hired. REFERRALS EMPLOYMENT OFFER Once a parish has hired a pastoral associate or pastoral minister they should inform the Pastoral Ministry Office of this, so that no further applicants will be directed there. (Appendix D) THE COVENANT BETWEEN THE PARISH AND THE PASTORAL ASSOCIATE It is important to think about the employment offer in the context of the relationship between the Christian minister and Christian community. An appropriate perspective for having a pastoral associate s employment offer is a biblical one in which the parties make mutual promises in a spirit of love and fidelity under God. This suggests the proper spirit of employment offer within the Church. However, it is equally important to be aware that Church communities are also human institutions. As such, they benefit from employment offers with clear specifications which assure justice for all parties. When a person has been accepted by a parish as a pastoral associate, the pastor offers a Standard Employment Offer from the Parish (Appendix E). Followed by a letter of confirmation (Appendix F). This offer letter is also reviewed by the Major Superior when the pastoral associate is a religious or a member of a secular institute. It includes the following: Salary A pastoral associate is seen as one who ministers to God s people in many and varied ways. As the new Code of Canon Law decrees: {those involved in ministry to the Church} have a right to a decent remuneration suited to their condition, by such remuneration they should be able to provide decently for their own needs and for those of their family with due regard for the prescriptions of civil law; they likewise have a right that their pension, social security and health benefits be duly provided. (Canon 231.2) 8

9 2/ Benefits Besides the base salary, negotiations will take place regarding various benefits such as travel expenses, health and dental insurance, continuing education reimbursements, etc. Such items are also part of the Employment agreement. Job Description A description of the duties of the pastoral associate is also included as part of the Employment Agreement. Using the SUGGESTED AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY APPENDIX A as a starting point, the pastoral associate and the appropriate parish personnel will together compose the Job Description in its final form for that particular year. This is attached as Supplement #1 to the employment agreement and will serve to guide the pastoral associate in the fulfillment of his or her responsibilities. (Appendix G) EVALUATION Annually, approximately three (3) months prior to the termination of the employment period, the pastoral associate, the pastor and the parish representatives should mutually evaluate the effectiveness of the pastoral associate. An evaluation must occur before a new Employment Agreement is negotiated. See EVALUATION WORKSHEET on page 19. (Appendix H) RENEGOTIATION OF THE EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT After the annual evaluation, the pastoral associate and the pastor will renegotiate an employment Agreement in light of the results of the evaluation and the pastoral needs of the coming year. If consensus is reached, the new employment agreement is drawn up and signed. If consensus cannot be reached, then both parties permit the existing employment agreement to expire at the end of the period without renewal. If serious disagreements are encountered either on the part of the pastoral associate or the pastor while the employment agreement is in force, either party may initiate a renegotiation of the employment agreement terms by advising the other party. In this case, the renegotiation process begins with an evaluation of the problem (see EVALUATION WORKSHEET). Any desired modifications should be submitted to both parties within ten (10) working days of the evaluation. Both parties will dialogue with one another and come to a consensus. The Employment Agreement is then modified accordingly in writing for the term of the employment agreement by mutual agreement. (refer to Termination of Employment Agreement section below) However, prior to termination procedures, all parties are encouraged to avail themselves first of the services of the Diocesan Director for Pastoral Ministry and then the appropriate Secretary. 9

10 APPENDIX A POSSIBLE AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY ACCORDING TO PARISH NEED. WORSHIP AND SPIRITUALITY To work creatively and cooperatively towards the formation of a lively, faith filled worshipping community. To work in collaboration with the pastor and others in liturgical planning. To assist with liturgical functions, to lead liturgies and to provide other devotional opportunities. To organize rehearsals and celebrations. To be a Minister of Communion. To be responsible for the training and formation of liturgical ministers, such as lectors and ministers of the Eucharist. To organize and implement programs of spiritual enrichment. PARISH OUTREACH/EVANGELIZATION To find, create, and promote ways through which the parish can reach out in service to its own members and to those outside the parish community. This includes the formation of a community that welcomes its own, as well as newcomers. To do home visits. To visit hospitals, nursing homes and prisons. To reach out to the alienated and the unchurched. To represent the parish on community and ecumenical organizations. ADULT ENRICHMENT To be involved in the Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA) program. To assist in sacramental catechesis. To provide Scripture study groups. To facilitate prayer groups and to provide days of prayer and retreats. To organize/coordinate adult education series. FAMILY LIFE To foster responsible, Christian parenting and to minister to families. To work with single persons, new families, the bereaved, single parents, the divorced/separated/remarried, offering referrals and/or pastoral guidance. 10

11 PEACE AND JUSTICE To promote awareness of the Church s social teaching. To call attention to pertinent legislative issues. To provide education in social justice and peace areas. To organize projects to aid the needy. ORGANIZATION AND ADMINISTRATION To direct the management of the parish office. To implement personnel policies. YOUTH MINISTRY To serve the spiritual, social and developmental needs of the youth of the parish in collaboration with existing youth programs. RELIGIOUS EDUCATION To be involved in catechesis, in collaboration with the parish religious education staff/team and program. 11

12 APPENDIX B OPENING FOR A PASTORAL ASSOCIATE POSITION NAME OF PARISH ADDRESS CITY/TOWN PHONE NAME OF PASTOR PARISH PROFILE: Approximate Number of Families Number of People on staff Number of nursing homes Hospital YES /NO Catholic School YES /NO Religious Education program: Approximate Number of Children/Youth Parish location Rural /Urban Describe the social & cultural background of the parish: (Circle what is appropriate) Upper class, Middle class, Poor, English, French, Hispanic, Other DESCRIPTON OF MINISTRY OPENING SPECIFIC QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED EDUCATION EXPERIENCE CONTACT: CALL OR SEND RESUME TO: NAME ADDRESS PHONE DEADLINE DATE FOR APPLICATION The above information is to be sent by the Pastor to: Pastoral Ministry Office 153 Ash Street Post Office Box 310 Manchester, New Hampshire

13 APPENDIX C PASTORAL ASSOCIATE APPLICATION FORM This Application form will be duplicated and sent to Parishes/Pastors, along with your resume and cover letter, unless you indicate otherwise. Please type, and confine your remarks/statements to the one side of this one page. AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MATERIAL: NAME ADDRESS CITY/TOWN STATE ZIP CODE PHONE ( ) CURRENT MINISTRY/WORK EMPLOYMENT RECORD: Please list full and part-time employment starting with the most recent employer. Job Title From To Describe the kind of parish involvement in which you could best use your abilities. List degrees earned and any special education and interests you wish to use as a pastoral associate. List your hopes and expectations as a pastoral associate. The above information is to be sent by the applicant to: Pastoral Ministry Office 153 Ash Street Post Office Box 310 Manchester, New Hampshire

14 APPENDIX D PASTORAL ASSOCIATE DIOCESAN REGISTRATION FORM NAME OF PARISH ADDRESS CITY/TOWN PHONE NAME OF PASTOR NAME OF PASTORAL ASSOCIATE ADDRESS CITY/TOWN STATE ZIP CODE PHONE DATE HIRED GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES: PAST MINISTERIAL EXPERIENCES: EDUCATION BACKGROUND: Courses/seminars/programs Degrees School The above information is to be sent by the applicant to: Pastoral Ministry Office 153 Ash Street - Post Office Box 310 Manchester, New Hampshire

15 APPENDIX E EMPLOYMENT OFFER DIOCESE OF MANCHESTER EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT Date Name Address Dear Name: This is to confirm that you have accepted the position of. As we have discussed, our offer is contingent on successful completion of our background screening process, which includes an Employment Application, a state criminal records check, a check of the sex offender registry, and an acknowledgement of our Promise to Protect, Pledge to Heal Policy and Code of Ministerial Conduct. Enclosed you will find the Employment Application, state criminal records authorization form, and the Policy and Code with acknowledgment form. The application and booklet can also be found on the diocesan website, Please complete these documents and return them to me at your earliest convenience. As we discussed, you will be paid $ on a bi-weekly basis every other Thursday. In addition, you immediately will be eligible to participate in the diocesan medical and dental insurance plan and will be entitled to weeks of vacation time off after July 1, 200_. Further information about these and other benefits are described in the Employee Handbook which you will receive on your first day of employment. However, if you have questions about our benefits program, please do not hesitate to contact me. If you accept the position, you will be considered an employee at-will, meaning that you may resign from your position at any time, for any reason if you, for example, decide that the position does not suit you. Likewise, the Diocese may terminate the employment relationship at any time, for any reason. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you. In the meantime, feel free to contact me with any questions. Cordially yours in the Lord, Pastor 15

16 APPENDIX F EMPLOYMENT OFFER CONFIRMATION <Date> <Employee Name> <Employee Address> <Employee Town, State, ZIP> Dear <Employee Name>: (PARISH LETTERHEAD) We are pleased to confirm that you have accepted a position with the Roman Catholic Bishop of Manchester, d/b/a <specify name> Parish, as a <insert job title>, beginning on <insert start date>. As we have discussed, our offer is contingent on successful completion of our background screening process, which includes an Employment Application, a state criminal records check, a check of the sex offender registry, and an acknowledgement of our Promise to Protect, Pledge to Heal Policy and Code of Ministerial Conduct. Enclosed you will find the Employment Application, state criminal records authorization form, and the Policy and Code with acknowledgment form. The application and booklet can also be found on the diocesan website, Please complete these documents and return them to me at your earliest convenience. As we discussed: Your hourly pay rate is. Your working hours are. Your work days are Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday You are paid monthly bi-weekly weekly Your first pay date is. Based on your work status you will or will not be eligible for the following benefits:. I have enclosed for your information the Parish Employee Handbook that describes other benefits to which you may be entitled. If you accept the position, you will, of course, be considered an employee at-will, meaning that you may resign from your position at any time, for any reason. Likewise, the Parish may terminate the employment relationship at any time, for any reason. Please contact me with any questions or concerns. I look forward to working with you. Sincerely, Pastor 16

17 APPENDIX G RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PASTORAL ASSOCIATE JOB DESCRIPTION SUPPLEMENT #1) As this will vary from role to role and parish to parish, refer to GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES APPENDIX A FOR SUPPLEMENT #1 OF EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT on pages to develop the job description agreement.} It is agreed that the employee will be responsible for the following: (as per worksheet) Witness Witness Witness BY: BY: BY: Rev. Pastor, Duly Authorized Pastoral Associate Religious Community President, Duly Authorized (if applicable) 17

18 APPENDIX H EVALUATION WORKSHEET (This worksheet may be used as a self evaluation by the pastoral associate, or as a tool for mutual evaluation with the pastor, staff/team, etc.) 1. Take each line of responsibility from the Job Description (Supplement #1) and evaluate by writing alongside, the appropriate numbers of the following scale: 4 = Commendable 3 = Satisfactory 2 = Improvement Needed 1 = Very Unsatisfactory U = Unknown (a category which may be used by others than the pastoral associate who might not have sufficient knowledge to comment on a specific area.) 2. Return to the above lines of responsibility and rate how you feel about this task. Is it a strong point or a weakness? Use the following letters to write a response alongside the numbers used above. S = Feel that this is an area of great strength and positive development M = Feel that this is an area of moderate strength. NI = Feel that this area needs improvement and shows potential for such improvement. W = Feel that this is an area of great weakness. U = Unknown (Pastoral associate: I don t know how I feel about this. Others: I don t know about this area. ) 3. What would you like to see happen in the future 4. Other Comments: Evaluator s Name: Date: Interview Date: Signature 18

19 Diocese of Manchester Pastoral Ministry Office 153 Ash Street Manchester, NH called to Serve in General Parish Ministry 19

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