Parish Pastoral Administrator
June 4, 2013
Dear Diocesan Family,
In recent decades, there has been a renewed emphasis grounding
Church ministry, both lay and clerical, in the sacrament of Baptism. The Church teaches that there is an essential difference between the
priesthood of the faithful and the ordained priesthood, and yet, there
is a special way in which ordained and lay ecclesial (church) ministers
share in the one priesthood of Jesus Christ.
As envisioned by the Second Vatican Council, we trust that the
Holy Spirit is leading our diocese in the collaborative form of ministry
embedded in the Church's foundational missionary days. As St. Paul
reminds us, "There are different gifts but the same Spirit; there are
different ministries but the same Lord... You, then, are the body of
Christ. God has set up in the Church, first apostles, second prophets,
third teachers, then miracle workers, healers, assistants,
administrators..." (1 Cor. 12: 4-5; 27-28).
As noted in the Journey in Faith and Grace, our diocese
has experienced, and is projected to continue to experience, a
significant decline in the number of priests available to serve as
pastors in the parishes of our diocese. In the next five years,
according to current policy, 78 priests will be eligible for
retirement. To replace these priests will require 15 or more
ordinations per year. In light of this, promotion of priestly vocations
remains a priority for this diocese.
In light of these considerations, and after consultation with the
vicars forane, the Presbyteral Council, the Diocesan Pastoral Council,
the Chancery staff, and others, I have decided to formally introduce
into our diocese, the ministry of the Pastoral Administrator. In doing
so, I have appointed a task force to assist in the full implementation
of this ministry in some parishes of our diocese.
The pastoral administrator is a professional minister, appointed
by the diocesan bishop and installed by a vicar forane, to lead and
officially administer a parish community without a resident pastor. The
primary relationships of the pastoral administrator are to the diocesan
bishop through the priest moderator, sacramental minister, staff,
pastoral and finance councils, and parish community.
The role of the pastoral
administrator, whether a permanent deacon, religious, or lay person,
ensures that the ministries of Word, Worship, and Service are
functioning well. The pastoral administrator is in charge of a parish
and is accountable to the diocesan bishop through the priest moderator
and works collaboratively with the priest moderator, the sacramental
minister, and parish staff.
As we look to alternative types of staffing for pastoral
leadership in our parishes throughout the eight counties of Western New
York, may the ministry of the pastoral administrator in our diocese
assure that our parishes can and will continue to be vital communities
of faith and ministry.
Be assured of my prayers for you and your loved ones.
Yours sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend Richard J. Malone
Bishop of Buffalo
Ministry of Pastoral Administrator - Informational Brochure
Ministry of Pastoral Administrator - Guidelines
Application for Pastoral Administrator
Recommendation FormInstructions for Application and Reference Form
Personal Release of Information Authorization Form
HIPAA Authorization Form
Annual Compensation for Pastoral Administrator 2016
Rite of Installation for Parish Pastoral Administrator
Relationship of Priest Moderator with Pastoral Administrator
Relationship of Priest Sacramental Ministers with Pastoral Administrator
For more information about this new opportunity in pastoral leadership,
contact: Office for Evangelization and Parish Life