Diocese of Ogdensburg

The Roman Catholic Church in Northern New York


Mission: A mission church is a community of people who are under the care of a local pastor and parish. They may have their own worship site with regular Sunday Mass but are not a separate parish. All aspects of its administration are the responsibility of the pastor of the parish to which the mission is attached.

Oratory: Oratory status designates a church that is no longer a parish or mission and which no longer has regularly scheduled services, although the church building can be used for special liturgies such as a funeral of a long-time parishioner or to celebrate the oratory’s patronal feast. An oratory is the responsibility of the local parish.

Linked Parishes: This term reflects two or more parishes which remain independent parish corporations but who share a common pastor. This arrangement usually involves a consolidated Mass schedule and would require the assistance of other pastoral personnel such as pastoral associates, deacons, and/or parish life coordinators.

Clustered Parishes: This term reflects two or more parishes being served by more than one priest and where the staff work together to coordinate the different areas of parish ministry. Sometimes this type of joint activity may serve as a step towards the merging of the parishes involved.

Merged Parishes: A merger takes place when two or more parishes join together to form a new parish corporation. Usually this results with a new name for the parish with a consolidation of the assets and liabilities of the parishes involved. A merger may result in centering all parish activities at one site or two or more buildings may be used as a worship site for Mass or other parish activities.

Worship Site: This is a church site of a parish that has been merged but which continues to be used for the regular celebration Mass. Some worship sites are seasonal and are open only for certain months, such as to accommodate summer worshippers.

Pastoral Associate: This is a person hired by the pastor to assist in the various parish duties which are determined locally and according to diocesan guidelines. This person may be a deacon, religious sister or brother or a qualified lay person.

Parish Life Coordinator: This person, appointed by the Bishop, has the responsibility for providing the overall day-to-day pastoral care and administration of a parish. He/She may be a religious, deacon or lay person having the qualifications specified in diocesan guidelines. The Parish Life Coordinator (PLC) works in close collaboration with a local pastor and/or sacramental priest who is responsible for the celebration of Mass and sacraments for the parish.