As one consequence of the ongoing shortage of priests, we are seeing the emergency of more lay leadership at the parish level. When the role of pastor cannot be held by a priest, the job title is changed to “Minster of Parish Life” and may be filled by a lay person, male or female, a deacon or member of a religious order . We are certain to see this as an increasing trend while the continuing decline in numbers of priests (both religious and diocesan) continues. (Another consequence is increased use of priests from abroad.)
In late July, the newest Minister of Parish life was appointed: Dorothy Carlson, who will serve in that role at St. Justin parish in Santa Clara. Read the full story on the Diocese of San Jose’s website.