Close icon
Close icon

A Programme of Formation for Lay pastoral Ministry and leadership

The Call Of Pope Francis - "Lay people are, put simply, the vast majority of the people of God. There has been a growing awareness of the identity and mission of the laity in the Church. At the same time, a clear awareness of this responsibility of the laity, grounded in their baptism and confirmation, does not appear in the same way in all places. In some cases, it is because lay persons have not been given the formation needed to take on important responsibilities."

Download Information

Click here to download the information leaflet

Programme Background

This programme is designed and developed as an initiative across the Dioceses of the Cashel Province in association with the Irish Institute for Pastoral Studies at MIC Thurles. 

It provides training for those who are interested in working as volunteer catechists or lay pastoral workers at parish and pastoral unit level. The programme combines rich academic content with pastoral skills and promotes the personal and spiritual development of the participants with an awareness of the cultural context in which they will minister. The programme is both practical and theoretical and is grounded in pastoral spirituality. 


The programme runs for 30 months. 

The programme normally runs one weekend per month (Friday evening and all-day Saturday for 8 months per annum). After an initial six month period of discernment the candidate enrols in an accredited Certificate in Pastoral Ministry awarded by Mary Immaculate College. 


The IIPS Certificate in Pastoral Ministry is currently being offered for the first time in the Academic Year 2019 – 2020, at an onsite 

location in the Diocese of Killaloe. 

The Programme of Formation includes:

  • Prayer and Spirituality (Spiritualaccompaniment and days ofrecollection)
  • Pastoral Formation (A practicalpastoral placement)
  • Personal Development(Mentoring and personal growth)
  • Study (Successfully complete anaccredited programme entitledCertificate in Pastoral Ministry(Level 6, 30 Credits) over a twoyear period.

Synod Decision and Pastoral Plan

"The diocese will commit to a faith development strategy prioritising adults. A central element of that strategy will be the training of volunteer lay ‘catechists’, ‘animators’ or ‘coordinators’ to deliver this strategy at a local level.”

- Moving Forward Together in Hope, Limerick Diocesan Pastoral Plan, 2016 – 2026, Based on the April 2016 Diocesan Synod