For Immediate Release

Contact:Deborah Gilleran

Georgian Court University to Host Catholic Ministry Conference

Lakewood, N.J., Apr. 12, 2007—The Georgian Court University Department of Religious Studies/Theology, in association with the Diocese of Trenton Office of Parish Life, will present the Second Annual Catholic Ministry Conference on Friday, April 20, 2007. Entitled “Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord—Lay Ecclesial Ministry Today & Tomorrow,” the conference will feature guest speaker Amy Hoey, RSM, Ph.D.

Sister Hoey, a native of Boston, has been an educator at elementary, secondary, and undergraduate levels. She was the project coordinator for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and was also a member of the staff for the USCCB Subcommittee on Lay Ministry from 1996 to 2006.

Sister Hoey facilitated the work of the subcommittee and the numerous consultations, research, and synthesis that led to the publication of the three documents issued by the subcommittee, most notably Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord: A Resource for Guiding the Development of Lay Ecclesial Ministry (2005).

In November 2005 the United States Catholic Bishops approved Co-Workers in the Vineyard, calling it “a major document,” and have offered it as “pastoral and theological reflection on the reality of lay ecclesial ministry, as an affirmation of those who serve in this way, and as a synthesis of best thinking and practice.”

According to the USCCB, the document examines theological foundations for lay ecclesial ministry, discernment and suitability for lay ecclesial ministry, formation of lay ecclesial ministers, authorization of lay ecclesial ministers, and policies and practices in the ministerial workplace.

Lay ecclesial ministers are women and men whose ecclesial service is characterized by:

  • Authorization of the hierarchy to serve publicly in the local church;
  • Leadership in a particular area of ministry;
  • Close mutual collaboration with the pastoral ministry of bishops, priests, and deacons;
  • Preparation and formation appropriate to the level of responsibilities that are assigned to them.

The conference will be held in the GCU Casino building from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. Before April 15, the cost is $10, which includes continental breakfast and a boxed lunch. After April 15 and at the door, the cost will be $25 per person. To register or to receive more information, contact the GCU Office of Conferences and Special Events at 732.987.2263.

Additional Faith-Based Event:Maintaining a Catholic Ethos in Catholic Institutions: An Anthropologist’s Perspective”

On Thursday, April 19, 2007, Georgian Court’s Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice will host “Maintaining a Catholic Ethos in Catholic Institutions: An Anthropologist’s Perspective,” featuring guest speaker Jo Anne Schneider, Ph.D., associate research professor at the George Washington Institute of Public Policy and in the Anthropology Department of George Washington University. Author of Social Capital and Welfare Reform: Organization, Congregations, and Communities (2006), Dr. Schneider will focus on the unique Catholic social welfare system and its relation to Catholic institutions today. The lecture will use examples from the Faith and Organizations Project, a national project designed to help faith communities understand their relationships to the nonprofit organizations they create to offer social services and health care, solve critical problems in neighborhoods, and help people in their communities.

The lecture will take place in the Little Theatre on GCU’s Lakewood campus at 11:05 a.m. and is free and open to the public. No reservations are required. For more information, contact Cynthia Ninivaggi, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Sociology, at or 732.987.2365.

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is a comprehensive university with a strong liberal arts core and a special concern for women. A forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, Georgian Court serves over 3,000 students of all faiths and backgrounds in a residential Women's College and a coeducational University College with undergraduate and graduate programs. Georgian Court's main campus is located at 900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, now named a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court also offers classes at its site at 90 Woodbridge Center Drive in Woodbridge and at Coastal Communiversity in Wall and Cumberland County College in Vineland.

# # #


© Georgian Court University • 900 Lakewood Ave, Lakewood, NJ 08701 (Best address for GPS is 517 Ninth Street, Lakewood, NJ 08701) • 800·458·8422