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Lay Ecclesial Ministry

The Lay Ecclesial Ministry formation program seeks to form laity to assist in roles in their parishes through a formal catechetical structure requiring a commitment of two years. Through theological education, study, prayer, reflection, communication, and group dynamic skills, the “LEM” process affirms the gifts of the participants who want to glorify God and serve God’s holy people by fostering a deeper appreciation of the baptismal call of the faithful to service in the Church.

Participants who successfully complete the two-year formation process earn a Diocesan certification in Basic Lay Ecclesial Ministry. Those who continue for a third year in a specialized ministry track will earn the Diocesan Advanced Lay Ecclesial Ministry Certification. Specialized tracks include Christian Initiation, Liturgical Foundations, Hospital Ministry, Master Catechist, and Advanced Bible Study.

Adult Enrichment and Lay Ecclesial Ministry Office

Deacon Michael Russo

Jessica Gramling

Administrative Assistant

2022-2023 Class Schedules

Year One

Heart of Faith

Adult Catholics must be well-informed in the four pillars of the Catechism if they are to effectively catechize children, teens, and young adults. The Heart of Faith class focuses on the Creed, the Sacraments, Christian life, and prayer, and reflects the unity of the Catholic faith as well as the richness of its lived expression in American culture

New Testament

This course introduces some of the major features of the New Testament, such as Jewish and Graeco-Roman background, Pauline Letters, the Gospels of Matthew/Mark/Luke/John, Acts of the Apostles, and the Book of Revelations.

Living Your Strengths

The Living Your Strengths journey focuses on identifying and developing one’s talents, which are God’s gifts to each individual. The seven-week course is a journey in discovering these unique God-given talents, recognizing those same talents in others, and learning how to apply the knowledge in one’s parish and personal life.

Christian Prayer and Spirituality (via Zoom)

Exploring both traditional and contemporary expressions of Christian prayer and spirituality. Participants will study the Spiritual Exercises developed by Saint Ignatius of Loyola, which is a compilation of meditations, prayers, and contemplative practices to help one deepen their relationship with God. Also, the practice of Lectio Divina – Latin for “sacred reading” – a method of prayer and spiritual reading to help discover God’s will in all things.

Sacraments (via Zoom)

Introduces a post-Vatican II theology of the Sacraments within the context of Christology, Ecclesiology, and Ministry. The history of the sacraments in this context is also covered.

Old Testament

This course introduces participants to some of the major features of the Old Testament: the Bible in history and history in the bible; the Torah, the heart and soul of the Old Testament; the book of Genesis, Prophetic Literature – Isaiah and his companions, the word of David; wisdom literature, and prayer in the Old Testament.

Year Two

Church History

This course introduces some of the major features of the New Testament, such as Jewish and Graeco-Roman background, Pauline Letters, the Gospels of Matthew/Mark/Luke/John, Acts of the Apostles, and the Book of Revelations.

Advanced Courses

Hospital Ministry

Patient Visitors are usually laypersons who have a desire to grow spiritually through serving the sick in the hospital. The goal of hospital ministry is to provide patients and families an experience of a safe, listening environment through which spiritual, emotional, and physical healing can occur.

This course prepares volunteers to be good listeners; to be broad-minded people capable of “being with” patients in physical or emotional distress. Participants will be instructed in ministry and visit basics, listening, feelings, the Theology/Spirituality of Suffering, end of life issues, grief and losses, cultural issues, prayer, setting boundaries, crises theory, and other challenges that patients face and how best to minister to them, their families, and their friends.

The Four Constitutions of Vatican II

The documents of Vatican II are the most important documents written about the church in the past four hundred years. Unfortunately, very few people have read them. This five-session lecture course begins with a basic understanding of what an Ecumenical Council is, the events leading up to Vatican II, and what took place during the council. In addition, the course presents an overview of the four major Constitutions: Sacrosantum Concilium, Lumen Gentium, Dei Verbum, and Daudium et Spes.

Understanding the major documents of the Second Vatican Council will enhance each participant’s knowledge of the teachings of the Church and provide a new appreciation for how the Holy Spirit is very much alive and working in the Church today.


This course discusses the lives and writings of the Fathers of the Church. It provides a study of the major events of the internal and external history of the Church and the establishment and expansion of the Church. Other included topics are martyrdom, monasticism, patristic exegesis, and the early Christological and Trinitarian controversies.

Sacred Scripture Revisited and Synoptic Gospels

A theological examination of the biblical record of God’s saving interaction with His people through His Word, Jesus. A general introduction to the Scriptures through an analysis of their forms and content. Some emphasis will also be given to biblical scholarship, the nature of exegesis hermeneutics, and literary tools for biblical study

The Covenants of the Bible

One of the most valuable “keys” for opening up the theological significance of the Bible – of the whole of the story of the People of God – is the concept of Covenant. This course presents a survey of the Covenant with Adam and Eve, the Covenant with Noah, the Covenant with Abraham, the Covenant with Moses, the Covenant with David, the “New Covenant”, and “The New Testament”.

The Prophets

This course is an overview of the phenomenon of biblical prophecy within its historical, social, and cultural settings, and considers the various ways of categorizing prophets in the Jewish and Christian traditions.

With Jesus Through the Holy Land: The Via Dolorosa

An in-depth look at the suffering of Christ through the lens of the Via Dolorosa – The Way of the Cross – in Jerusalem. Participants will learn about the Roman practice of crucifixion and walk with Jesus from the Garden of Gethsemane to the Cross. Each Station along the Via Dolorosa will be viewed and discussed as history is brought to the current day.


Mary was about 13 years old when the angel Gabriel came to her with incredible and unexpected news: that she would have a child, a son, and that He would be the Messiah. This eight-week study of Marian theology begins with devotion to Mary, Mary in Sacred Scripture, the development of the Virgin Mary’s image, and devotion from her descriptions in Sacred Scripture to the documents of Vatican.

The Writings of John

This course considers the theology and spirituality of the church as expressed in the fourth Gospel. Attention is given to the theological and cultural setting of John’s Gospel, as well as the principle images and themes concerning Jesus and the Church found in the Gospel. The special vocabulary and spiritual program of John will be considered. Literary, structural, and theological topics are also to be examined, as well as the position of the Johannine Church in the early Christian community.

Saint Paul

This course explores fresh insights into Paul’s message of the Kingdom of God, its challenge to Roman Imperial Theology, and the apostle’s relevance for today. Participants will examine the growth of the early Church and the theological and cultural setting for Paul’s writings in the early Church to gain insight into the reasons for his tremendous impact in the formation of Christian Doctrine.

Praying With Icons

Icons are not simply art; they are a way into contemplative prayer, and are therefore one way to let God speak to us. This course focuses on the Festal Icons – the major events in the life of Christ and the Theotokos – and the Sacred Scripture that speaks to us through the sacred images.

Wisdom Literature

This course is a study of biblical Wisdom Literature and selected Psalms, with a focus on their underlying message and the literary contribution of ancient Israel to world literature. The course will also present a careful study of the literary character and theological themes in the Book of Psalms

Other Classes and Events

2023 Shroud Talk

Catechesis on the Holy Mass - Pope Francis


Through the Eucharist We Receive God

General Audience: November 15, 2017

Mass is Prayer

General Audience: November 22, 2017

The Mass is the Memorial of the Paschal Mystery of Christ

General Audience: December 13, 2017

Why Go to Mass on Sundays?

General Audience: December 20, 2017

Introductory Rites

General Audience: January 3, 2018

Penitential Rite

General Audience: January 10, 2018

Gloria and Collect

General Audience: January 31, 2018

The Liturgy of the Word

General Audience: February 7, 2018

The Gospel and Homily

General Audience: February 14, 2018

The Creed and Universal Prayer

General Audience: February 28, 2018

Liturgy of the Eucharist

General Audience: March 7, 2018

On the Eucharistic Prayer

General Audience: March 14, 2018

The Our Father and the "Breaking of the Bread"

General Audience: March 22, 2018

On Communion, Culminating Moment

General Audience: April 4, 2018

The Conclusion

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