From The [bad] Tidings:
They work well over 40 hours a week serving the spiritual needs of parishioners in both good times and bad. They're pioneers on the front lines of one-priest parishes, preparing themselves for the day they may be called to lead church communities without a resident priest.
They are pastoral associates in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and their numbers are growing. "This program is the future of the church," said St. Joseph of Carondelet Sister Carol Quinlivan, archdiocesan pastoral associate director. "
Currently, 18 pastoral associates serve in the Archdiocese, and eight more will be commissioned this fall.
According to Sister Quinlivan, "I hope parishes continue to encourage lay leadership to come forth. It reminds me of the early church. It's a very positive and exciting time."