Ministry Supervision for Lay Ecclesial Ministers


LEMs (pastoral associates, pastoral workers and lay chaplains) are encouraged and required under the accreditation guidelines for the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne to participate in regular and ongoing ministry supervision. Supervision provides a learning environment, which nurtures, supports and challenges growth in vocational identity so as to be more effective in our ministering to others.

It is an investment in one’s ministry formation and development where the practitioner (the LEM) is invited to reflect on their pastoral practice. Clearer self-awareness from such reflective practice contributes to quality ministry, ethical integrity and knowing one’s professional limitations. It is the responsibility of the minister to develop and maintain their professional competency through a commitment to regular supervision to help ensure they do no harm to themselves or others.

Participation in ongoing ministry supervision is in accord with the modelling by clergy and religious drawn from the inspirational document Integrity in Ministry: A Document of Principles and Standards for Catholic Clergy and Religious in Australia (reprinted in April 2010), where it states:

“As part of their vocational commitment clergy and religious also continue to develop the pastoral and professional skills their ministries require.” (section 3.2)

This is echoed in the document, Integrity in the Service of the Church: A Resource Document for Lay Workers in the Catholic Church in Australia (reprinted in February 2013), which observes that Church workers should be provided with “access to adequately resourced training, formation, professional development and, where appropriate, professional supervision.” (section 1.2.7)


Practitioner perspectives

These short videos seek to illustrate the importance of ongoing ministry supervision from the perspectives of an accredited LEM, a supervisor and a spiritual director. The conversation was facilitated by Jacqui Giuliano, Co-ordinator of Parish Leadership Formation for AOFE.


Sr Sue Richardson pbvm, Supervisor and Spiritual Director

Sue is a Presentation Sister from Lismore. She was the director of the Heart of Life Centre in Box Hill from 1993-2001 and 2008-2013, leading seminars and contributing to Siloam, the program for Spiritual Directors. Sue has served as Congregation Leader from 2002-2007 and as Vice-President for Catholic Religious Australia (CRA). She is the Chaplain for Yarra Theological Union (member college of the Melbourne College of Divinity) in Box Hill and the current Vicar for Religious for the Archdiocese of Melbourne. Sue currently two groups of lay ecclesial ministers for the Archbishop’s Office for Evangelisation.

Fr Iain Radvan SJ, Spiritual Director and Supervisor

Iain joined the Society of Jesus in 1984 and after ordination was a chaplain and taught history and religion in Jesuit senior schools for 20 years. After finding his gifts in spiritual direction, Iain was appointed Director of Campion Centre of Spirituality, Kew, in 2015. Having completed a Graduate Diploma in Supervision in 2018, Iain is now preparing himself for a higher research degree.

Sandy Starbuck, Pastoral Associate
Sandy is an accredited Pastoral Associate, currently ministering at Christ the Light Catholic Parish in Mernda/Whittlesea. Before that, Sandy was employed at the Catholic Parish of Epping/Epping North from 2010 - 2018.


Video 1: What happens during a supervision session?


Video 2: What kind of environment can a lay ecclesial minister expect when they attend supervision?


Video 3: As an LEM, what has your experience of supervision been like?


Video 4: How has attending supervision been beneficial for you?


Video 5: What is the relationship between supervision and spiritual direction?


Views: 3470

Copyright 2022 - Archbishop’s Office for Evangelisation | Archdiocese of Melbourne | Login