Diocese of Sacramento Guidelines for Selecting Outside Speakers

Parishes, Movements, Apostolic Groups, Catholic Schools

It is the responsibility of the hosting party to present a list of potential speakers. The Diocesan Bishop will make the final decision. In most cases, the bishop has appointed the Director of the Office of Clergy Formation to gather and review all required information and make a final decision.

Required Documentation for Speaker

  1. For Priests / Deacons / Religious
    1. Letter of good standing from the diocesan Bishop or the Religious Superior. (It must be original and dated within the last six months).
    2. Letters of good standing should mention the specific date(s) and location(s) of the speaking event(s) and should include the following language:
      • He is a person of good moral character and reputation.
      • I know nothing which would in any way limit or disqualify him from his ministry.
      • I am unaware of anything in his background which would render him unsuitable to work with minor children or any person who habitually lacks reason.
      • I am unaware of any incident in which he may been involved which would adversely affect his performance as a priest.
      • To the best of my knowledge, he does not have a current, untreated alcohol or substance abuse problem, nor does he have a current untreated emotional or mental health problem.
      • He is in compliance with our policies and procedures related to the protection of children and young people.
    3. Title and brief description of the proposed workshop(s) or topic(s).
  2. For the Laity
    1. Letter of good standing from the diocesan Bishop or from the Diocesan Apostolic Movement or group. (It must be original and dated within the last six months).
    2. Letters of good standing should mention the specific date(s) and location(s) of the speaking event(s) and should include the following language:
      • He/She is a Catholic in good standing with the Diocese/Archdiocese of [name]
      • He/She is a person of good moral character and reputation.
      • He/She has been fingerprinted and otherwise fulfilled our Safe Environment requirements.
      • I know nothing that would in any way limit or disqualify him/her from ministry.
    3. Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume to include education and ministerial experience.
    4. Title and brief description of the proposed workshop or topic.

General Rules on Speaker Stipends and Sales

  1. You must come to an agreement with the diocese, parish, apostolic movement or group on the conditions of sales of any item (CD, DVD, books, etc.)
  2. You must come to an agreement in advance for the stipend, which will be paid by check and must comply with all conditions required by the IRS.
  3. Under no circumstances is the speaker allowed to request a donation or take up a collection (Note: Violations of this rule may result in the suspension of faculties of the speaker in this diocese and the host may lose the authority to create or host future events).

Host Responsibilities

  1. Collect and submit all required documentation to the Director of the Office of Clergy Formation (see below)
  2. Check Visa information (if the speaker is from outside the country)
  3. Clarify arrangements for sales allowances and rates
  4. Provide an environment that supports learning (space and materials)

As a general rule, the invitation of any speaker or honoree should be an opportunity to evangelize and catechize the faithful. Thus, anything which may cause confusion or scandal or incite to disrespect or dissent is to be avoided.

Remember that when a speaker is assessed, Diocesan Statute #81 must be followed:
Any speaker who publicly promotes or advocates views which are contrary to Church teaching, may not give a talk, retreat, workshop, course, etc., at Church related events, or on church, school or diocesan property in the Diocese of Sacramento. Likewise, anyone who publicly promotes or advocates views which are contrary to Church teaching may not be given awards, honors, or other marks of public recognition.

Send all information to:

Uli Schmitt, Director, Office of Clergy Formation, 2110 Broadway, Sacramento, CA 95818 or email: uschmitt@scd.org • (916) 733-0245

Download as PDF