1. Priestly Life and Ministry Board Documents
  2. Faculties
  3. Sacramental Assistance Compensation Guidelines
  4. Pastor Position Description
  5. Associate Pastor Position Description
  6. Temporary Administrator Position Description
  7. Retired Priest Policy
  8. Funeral Arrangements Form



  • Part I of this position description is a generic description developed by the Priestly Life and Ministry Board which is applicable to Pastor and Associate Pastor positions.
  • Part II contains the specific duties and responsibilities applicable to Associate Pastor(s) in the particular parish.
    • This Part should be developed through discussion and consensus among the Pastor, the Associate Pastor(s) and the Parish Staff.
    • The purpose in developing specific areas of responsibility for the Associate Pastor(s) is to arrive at a clear understanding of how the Pastor, the Associate Pastor(s) and the Staff members will work together in sharing parish ministry.
    • When developed in this manner, Part II should be useful to both the Pastor and the Associate Pastor in assessing accountability for assigned areas of work.
    • The completed description includes only those duties and responsibilities which are specific in nature.
    • It is not intended to include the general sacramental, liturgical and spiritual responsibilities undertaken at ordination and which are common to all priests.
    • Neither does it include any spiritual obligations and exercises personally assumed by a priest in conformity with his commitment to priestly life.
    • The Clergy Personnel Office will provide staff assistance as requested in the development of Part II.

Those appointed to an Associate Pastor position should find it helpful to refer to the Position Description of the Pastor (Appendix 6) to further appreciate the complementary relationship of these two positions.

An Associate Pastor’s Relationships

With the Archbishop

  • An Associate Pastor is assigned to a parish by his Archbishop with authority to function as a spiritual leader in the designated parish or community.
  • He is accountable to the Archbishop for the exercise of his ministry.
  • As a priest of the Archdiocese and as one who seeks to extend the ministry of the bishop to his people, the Associate Pastor should feel free to approach the Archbishop with matters of concern touching his personal life or his ministry.
  • The Archbishop, as brother priest, seeks to support, affirm and challenge the Associate Pastor in his ministry and life as a priest.

With the Regional Vicars

  • When a Regional Vicar is delegated specific authority by the diocesan ordinary to act in his behalf in matters relating to an Associate Pastor, the Regional Vicar assumes the identical relationship with the Associate Pastor as the Archbishop would otherwise exercise.
  • When an Regional Vicar is delegated responsibilities as a Vicar to all priests in a geographical area or to priests in specified functional work (e.g. parochial schools, health care) or to priests in other capacities, the Regional Vicar exercises this role with the Associate Pastor directly or through the Pastor of the parish where the Associate Pastor is assigned.
  • An Associate Pastor has the same accessibility to a Regional Vicar as he has to his Archbishop.

With the Pastor

  • Primary Responsibilities: The Associate Pastor shares with the Pastor the responsibility for spiritual leadership of the parish.
  • As a team member, he accepts this responsibility to serve the spiritual needs of parishioners and the Archdiocesan commitments that necessitate frequent or scheduled absences from the parish, e.g. a Military Chaplain, Chairman of a civic organization or projects, or attendance at weekly or monthly meetings of a group during hours when an Associate Pastor is customarily available in the parish.

With Parish Staff

  • While an Associate Pastor has reasonable autonomy in exercising his ministry, he shares accountability with other parish staff persons’ spheres of work. He coordinates his efforts with theirs in a spirit of unity and collegiality.
  • He lives cordially with other rectory residents in a spirit of tolerance and understanding, respecting their right to freedom and privacy.
The Spiritual Leadership Role of An Associate Pastor

An Associate Pastor witnesses in his own life style the acceptance of the spiritual responsibilities entrusted to every priest.

  • These include the spiritual care of the parish community and celebration of liturgical and para liturgical services
  • The Associate Pastor should be present to parishioners in times of stress and crisis, as well as in times of joy and celebration.
  • He should plan and conduct religious services for parishioners of various ages and lead them in a prayer life.
  • He should attend the needs of the sick, the poor, the disadvantaged, the alienated and unchurched persons within the parish area.
  • He should inspire the parish community to bear witness to their love and faith in Jesus Christ and to share in the life of the Church.
  • The Associate Pastor should be sensitive and responsive to needs and problems of staff colleagues and be spiritually helpful in situations calling for his prayerful interest.

The Administrative Role of An Associate Pastor

    Under the guidance of the Pastor, the Associate Pastor, together with other parish staff participates in considering administrative and management matters for the parish.

  • He participates in establishing objectives and priorities for meeting various parish obligations.
  • In cooperation with the Pastor and Staff, he suggests plans and methods to assure appropriate attention to parish financial matters and performs tasks when assigned in such areas as budget preparation, parish record keeping, building maintenance and repair, securing and supervising volunteers for parish projects, chairing ad hoc committee meetings, representing the parish in community meetings, etc.
  • Realizing that administrative processes are essential to parish operations, the Associate Pastor utilizes opportunities to increase knowledge and skill in this aspect of pastoral responsibilities.
Other Responsibilities of An Associate Pastor

An Associate Pastor may be called upon to participate cooperatively with the Pastor in any of the specific responsibilities listed in the Pastor’s Position Description.

Guidance Resources

An Associate Pastor has relationships with and access to persons who can assist him in his efforts: to enhance the quality and scope of his ministry, to experience greater satisfaction in ministry, to develop his potential for personal or priestly growth, or to contribute more effectively to the accomplishment of the Church’s Mission.

  • His resources include his Pastor, his Regional Vicar, and the Director of Clergy Personnel.
  • In utilizing these resources, the Associate Pastor discerns his performance requirements with regard to the parish in which he is serving.
  • Other resources available to an Associate Pastor include programs in Clergy Education, the Seminary and Continuing Education offered by colleges and universities in the area.