Pastoral Institute – Lay Ministry

Pastoral Institute Diocese of BrooklynFounded in 1967, the Pastoral Institute of the Brooklyn Diocese has a long tradition of providing programs and resources for theological and pastoral formation of the laity in Brooklyn and Queens. Our programs are specifically designed for lay pastoral leaders in our parishes and include:

  • Lay Ministry Program: A three-year program that prepares pastoral leaders to serve as volunteer team members or coordinators for a particular ministry. Classes in English and Spanish start each September at locations throughout the Diocese. Read more.
  • Foundations for Ministry Program: A ten-week, twenty-hour program of theological updating for those engaged in ministry, for parish council members, and for those discerning enrollment in the three-year program. Program is offered in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole, Polish and Mandarin Chinese. Read more.
  • M. A. Scholarship Program in Theology: Prepares individuals to serve as a Pastoral Associate, parish catechetical leader, or in other professional leadership positions, by offering the opportunity for graduate studies in theology online or at a nearby university or seminary. The Catholic Foundation for Brooklyn and Queens provides financial assistance for those who need it. Read more.

Parish Associate
A Pastoral Associate assists the pastor with the day-to-day pastoral care and administration of the parish and is comfortable ministering in an environment characterized by collaboration and mutual support. The Pastoral Institute is the diocesan agency that relates to Pastoral Associates. It assists those parishes that are interested in hiring these ministers and also relates to persons who are seeking employment as Pastoral Associates. Read more.

Lay Ministry Sunday
Lay Ministry Sunday is celebrated in all parishes on the Sunday immediately preceding Ash Wednesday. The date for this year’s celebration is February 7, 2016. Read more.

News and Helpful Links

An index of news coverage, press releases and online Catholic resources. Read more.


Gerald J. Tortorella
Director, Pastoral Institute
310 Prospect Park West
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Phone: 718-281-9556 Fax: 718-399-5920

Lizbeth Ugarte
Administrative Assistant, Pastoral Institute
Phone: 718-281-9556