About the Council


Sr Kari Hatherell (co-chair)
Mr Richard McMahon (co-chair)
Fr Mark Freeman
Ms Cathy Jenkins
Ms Rachelle Smith

Ms Andrea Dean (Secretary)


Australian Catholic Council for Lay Pastoral Ministry

Area(s) of Responsibility:

The Council advises the Bishops Commission for Evangelisation, Laity and Ministry in the promotion of the life and mission of the Catholic Church in Australia in the areas of:

  1. Support of lay pastoral ministers in their service to the Church:
    1. By developing policies concerning the continuing education, formation, pastoral care and support of lay pastoral ministers
    2. By developing a network of resource personnel with expertise in spirituality, theology, Scripture, pastoral formation, psychology, anthropology and social analysis
    3. By supporting gatherings of lay pastoral ministers at regional, diocesan, provincial and national levels
    4. By coordinating the sharing of information and resources (e.g. national newsletter, blogs, video/teleconferences)
    5. By co-ordinating the organisation of the triennial National Conference
  2. Assistance of lay pastoral ministers with accreditation and employment relations:
    1. By liaising with the Reference Group for Employment Relations to ensure just employment guidelines and conditions and appropriate understanding and coverage of work health and safety policies
    2. By liaising with diocesan agencies that have responsibility for employment and accreditation policies with regard to lay pastoral ministers
    3. By developing and maintaining appropriate accreditation criteria and processes for lay pastoral ministers that can then be recommended for implementation in the dioceses
  3. The promotion of the role and value of lay pastoral ministers:
    1. By promoting the value of this ministry to clergy and laity through the advisory status of the Council
    2. By promoting collaboration with clergy and arranging meetings with the Australian Catholic Council for Clergy Life and Ministry
    3. By promoting liaison with those bodies that can assist in the formation of lay pastoral ministers
    4. By publishing material on the vocation of lay pastoral ministry, which is available in the languages of the parish communities

Number of Councillors:

The Council will comprise eight (8) appointed councillors and shall include seven (7) laypersons (including religious sisters and brothers) and one (1) priest.

A Bishop Delegate will represent the Commission at all meetings of the Council and will liaise as required with the Council Chair in between meetings.

The Director of the Office for Lay Pastoral Ministry will provide support at all meetings of the Council and will liaise as required with the Council Chair in between meetings.

The Council Chair will ordinarily include the Bishop Delegate and the Director in discussions and consult them as part of the process of developing advice to the Commission.

Appointment of Councillors:

Following the appointment of members to the Commission at the May Plenary Meeting, the Commission will appoint councillors for the proceeding triennial term and will report these appointments to the Conference at the November Plenary Meeting. The Commission may re-appoint councillors for up to two subsequent terms.

Appointment of the Chair:

The Commission, on recommendation from the Council, will appoint the Chair for a triennial term from the membership of the Council.

Frequency and Place of Meetings:

The Council will meet biannually at a place of mutual convenience. The Council may meet at other times as required using a variety of communications technology.

Administrative Support:

The Office for Lay Pastoral Ministry will provide administrative support to the Council.

Online and off line payment options
Major credit cards accepted

GPO Box 368
Canberra ACT 2601

0448 234 775
Australian Catholic Council
for Lay Pastoral Ministry
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