Together in Faith



One who is officially appointed for a temporary period to perform the duties of the person holding the permanent office. An administrator may be assigned by the archbishop to oversee the pastoral care of a parish without a pastor, or while the pastor is unable to fulfill the functions of the office.

Title of a bishop with jurisdiction over an archdiocese, which is the principal see of an region; he has certain limited supervisory jurisdiction over the other dioceses in his province. In the Archdiocese of Detroit, Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron serves in this capacity, overseeing parishes in the counties of Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, St. Clair and Lapeer.

The primary lay – or non-clergy and non-religious – consultative group to the Archbishop of Detroit. Since its establishment in 1973, the APC has assisted the archbishop in planning and goal-setting for the archdiocese.


Religious instruction and formation for those preparing for baptism and for the faithful in all stages of spiritual development. It is a lifelong process of conversion.

A person who teaches catechesis. The main catechist at each parish is known either as the Director of Religious Education (DRE) or Parish Catechetical Leader (PCL).

The aspect of the Archdiocese of Detroit that connects and provides resources, programming and planning to the area’s parishes, schools and institutions. It includes the Archbishop’s office and provides services for education, religious education, finance, properties, parish services, communications, archives, canon law, and worship. In a sense it can be called the “headquarters” of the Archdiocese. The administrative offices are situated in downtown Detroit in the Chancery Building.

A canonical declaration by the archbishop in conjunction with the priests' council that a parish ceases to exist. In canon/Church law parlance, a closure is referred to as a “suppression.” So if a parish is “suppressed,” that means it’s been closed.

A cluster refers to two or more parishes that share a single pastor and oftentimes a single set of administrative resources and personnel (bookkeeper, grounds keeper, religious education teachers, etc.). Also used as a verb, e.g. “St. Mary and St. Joseph will make plans to cluster in 2014.” Parishes that are “clustered” have independent finances.

Two or more parishes which would cluster when the need becomes evident – for example, upon the reassignment, retirement or death of a pastor; or, when a parish runs an operating deficit.

Neighboring parishes that collaborate on ministries and other resources.


Director of Religious Education (DRE) is the person at a parish in charge of faith formation or catechesis. The person is also referred to as a Parish Catechetical Leader (PCL) in some parishes.



The teaching or spreading of the Gospel message and all those activities by which every member of the Church proclaims and presents to the world the saving message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Every Christian is given the responsibility by Christ to evangelize; the Archdiocese and many of its parishes have various formal plans, departments and committees dedicated to evangelization.


In the context of Together In Faith, these are people who give structure to the meetings of the parish Planning Groups. Facilitators are coordinated by the Archdiocese.


In some situations, care is provided for neighboring parishes through a team of priests, called in solidum. Those priests share responsibilities, with a priest-moderator representing and leading the parishes. While each parish remains independent, parishioners relate to the team of priests for their pastoral care.


Parish leadership by those who are not ordained ministers. Lay people – sometimes called “the laity” – are heavily involved in the Together In Faith process, as parishes are represented in the process by lay leaders as opposed to priests.


Two parishes coming together to form a single parish with a single pastor, combining both their finances and parish councils. Oftentimes, when parishes merge, they take on a new name and begin as a new parish. Fewer worship sites may result.


A community of Catholics served by a pastor, most commonly worshipping at a single church building. Technically, a parish refers to the Catholics residing within a specific geographical boundary, however Catholics may, and commonly do, cross geographical boundaries to become “parishioners” of the parish not nearest to their residence (e.g. , someone living in Livonia can still be a “parishioner” of a parish in the city of Detroit).

A group of people with whom a pastor consults concerning the policies, decision making and governance of a parish. Also can be called a “parish pastoral council.”

A member of a parish.

The priest charged with the care of souls of a parish.
A religious or lay person who assumes the administrative duties of a pastor in a parish where a priest is not in residence. A priest is appointed to perform sacramental services in that parish.
A deacon, religious, or lay person who serves the parish in multiple areas of ministry. This position is similar to that of an associate pastor in that a pastoral associate assists the pastor in fulfilling the entire pastoral ministry of the parish.

The formulation of a plan to sustain and grow the local Catholic Church, focused on best using the personnel and resources at the Church’s disposal. Together In Faith is referred to as a pastoral planning process.

Led by an archdiocesan-assigned priest, a personal parish ministers to parishioners that may be defined by a particular ethnic background or university student population, rather than a geographic location.

A group of laypeople designated by the pastors of their respective parishes to lead the pastoral planning process. Together In Faith Phase Two involves 40 planning groups made up of parishes in geographic proximity.


The cleric who oversees a particular region of the Archdiocese of Detroit on behalf of the Archbishop. The Regional Moderators in the Archdiocese are Regional Moderator pro-tem Msgr. John Zenz (Northeast Region), Auxiliary Bishop Arturo Cepeda (Northwest Region), Auxiliary Bishop Donald Hanchon (Central Region), and Auxiliary Bishop Francis Reiss (South Region).

For administrative purposes the Archdiocese of Detroit is divided into four separate regions, each reporting to a Regional Moderator who, in turn, reports to the Archbishop. The Archdiocese consists of the Central, Northeast, Northwest and South regions.


A priest assigned to perform sacramental ministry in a parish whose pastoral care has been entrusted to a pastoral administrator.

A priest’s assignment intended to be for a matter of weeks or months, but usually for no longer than a year.

Giving, typically through the Church, based on the Christian understanding that all of creation belongs to God and people are merely stewards of all their resources – including time, talent, money, property, etc. – and not owners of them.

The process by which the Archdiocese defines its direction, based on its mission of sharing Christ, and establishes a means by which to best pursue its goals through the use of its current resources. See “pastoral planning.”


A designation to describe a congregation whose membership consists of Catholics within the parish’s geographic boundaries.

Together in Faith is the ongoing pastoral planning process that involves every parish in the Archdiocese of Detroit. The Archdiocese is served by thousands of priests, deacons, religious sisters and lay ministers; operates countless prayer and outreach ministries; holds hundreds of church and school properties; and has its mission to share Christ to millions of people living in southeastern Michigan. Together in Faith is the process used by the parishes to put all available resources on the table and - with clergy and lay members together - discern how we can best us those resources to maintain, strengthen and grow the church.

Implemented between 2004 and 2010, this was the first phase of a new pastoral planning process for the Archdiocese of Detroit. The outcome of the plan is published on the Archdiocese of Detroit website at and implementation of the plan in many cases is ongoing and being incorporated into Phase II.

The current phase of the ongoing Together In Faith process, which began in January 2011.


The cleric that represents a particular Vicariate, or grouping of parishes within a certain geographic area. The Vicar is a pastor from one of the parishes in his Vicariate.

A group of parishes within the archdiocese, defined by geographic area for the purposes of administration. Each the 16 Vicariates in the Archdiocese is represented by a cleric as its vicar. Vicariates are aligned into the four Regions that make up the Archdiocese.

The calling God has for an individual. Its common use refers specifically to “priestly vocations” or the calling of men to become priests. The Archdiocese of Detroit has an Office of Priestly Vocations which is dedicated to helping men discern whether they have a vocation to the priesthood. The term “vocation” also can refer to “religious vocations” (the calling to become a nun or a brother, for instance) or “lay vocations” (the call to become a wife/husband/parent).