Lay apostolate: The laity constitutes the mass of the living Church. It includes all Catholics who are not ordained and who are not members of a religious community (this segment is under construction)
Lay ecclesial ministry is the term adopted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to identify the relatively new category of pastoral ministers in the Catholic Church who serve the Church but are not ordained. Lay ecclesial ministers are coworkers with the bishop alongside priests and deacons. (Wikipedia)
“I call to mind, as a new development occurring in many churches in recent times, the rapid growth of “ecclesial movements” filled with missionary dynamism. When these movements humbly seek to become part of the life of local churches and are welcomed by bishops and priests within diocesan and parish structures, they represent a true gift of God both for new evangelization and for missionary activity properly so-called. I therefore recommend that they be spread, and that they be used to give fresh energy, especially among young people, to the Christian life and to evangelization, within a pluralistic view of the ways in which Christians can associate and express themselves. (Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris missio, N. 72)
- On the Vocation of the Laity in the Church
- The Second Vatican Council. Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity (Apostolicam Actuositatem), November 18, 1965.
- John Paul II. Christifideles Laici: On the Vocation and the Mission of the Lay Faithful in the Church and in the World, 30 December 1988.
- The vocation and mission of the lay faithful in the light of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Christifideles laici. By Bishop Josef Clemens, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity (in PDF) the-vocation-and-mission-of-the-lay-faithful-in-the-light-of-the-post-synodal-apostolic-exhortation
- Guiding Principles of the Lay Apostolate. Papal Encyclicals online.
- US Conference of Catholic Bishops. Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord: A Resource for Guiding the Development of Lay Ecclesial Ministry (2005)
- Role of the laity [is the] most enduring gift of Vatican II, by Fr. John Carville, 22 Dec. 2012, Clarion Herald, Newspaper of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.
- The Role of the Laity: An Examination of Vatican II and Christifideles Laici| Carl E. Olson, Ignatius Insight, 2006.
- Role of the Laity in the Church, by Deacon Dean Gannon
- Laity and Ecumenism
- Pontifical Council For The Laity:
- The increasing role of the laity in ecumenical and interreligious relations, especially in “Ecclesial Movements and Communities”
- Ecumenism from “The Bottom Up” by Gary B. Reierson. Ecumenical Trends 31 (March 2002): 11-5
- Book: Ecclesial Movements and Communities: Origins, Significance, Issues. New York: New City Press, 2011. Available on Amazon’s Kindle.