ASSOCIATE PASTOR: An associate pastor is a presbyter (priest) who is appointed by the diocesan bishop as a co-worker with the pastor in implementing the total pastoral care of a parish. The associate pastor renders services in common counsel and endeavor with the pastor and is accountable to him.
DEACON: Is a person who receives the sacrament of orders and is thus ordained, by their local bishop, to a rank in the hierarchy of the Catholic community just subordinate to that of presbyters (priests). The term comes from a Greek word diakonia, which basically refers to a “helper” or “one who serves.” Today, deacons assist the priest at the altar during celebrations of the Eucharist, preach during liturgies, distribute the sacrament, preside at funerals and officially witness marriage ceremonies on behalf of the church and may perform many other ministry services in local communities.
PAROCHIAL VICAR: Is a term often used in Catholic communities today rather than the title “associate pastor.” “Parochial” essentially refers to “parish.” A vicar in church life is one appointed by a bishop or pastor to act in his name, as his associate, by exercising a jurisdiction over some aspect of the Christian body. A parochial vicar is assigned to a parish by a bishop. He is a priest who is called to render various ministries and other services overall (or one specialized ministry only) as a co-worker with the pastor, yet one subject to the pastor’s authority. Over the years, parish communities have often had one, two, or more parochial vicars appointed to meet the needs of the local faith community.
PARISH LIFE COORDINATOR: Is a person appointed by the bishop to coordinate the ministerial activity of parish(es) which have no resident pastor. The primary function of the parish life coordinator is to empower and sustain ongoing parish life; insuring appropriate liturgies; providing pastoral care and parish administration; and serving as the liaison between the parish and the diocesan church, the local church and the local community. The parish life coordinator reports to the canonical pastor, appointed by the bishop.
PASTOR: The pastor is a presbyter who is entrusted with the pastoral care of a parish under the authority of the diocesan bishop. In accord with the norm of the law, the pastor carries out for the community the duties of teaching, sanctifying, and governing with the cooperation of other presbyters, deacons, and lay members of the Christian faithful who together share in the mission of Christ (see c. 519).
PASTORAL ASSOCIATE: A certified pastoral associate is a lay woman, lay man, deacon or religious who is associated with the pastor in the broad pastoral care of a parish and has completed the certification process. The certified pastoral associate is hired by the pastor in consultation with the parish pastoral council and the diocesan Office of Pastoral Associates. S/he renders services in common counsel and endeavor with the pastor and is accountable to him. A person who is not yet certified but working in this capacity is encouraged to become certified.
PASTORAL ASSISTANT: A person not certified by the diocese who assists the pastor in the overall aspects of parish life.
PARISH BUSINESS MANAGER: A person who oversees business and financial concerns of a parish.