Letters of Suitability
Procedures for Faculties and Approvals
Priests/ Deacons with Fall River Diocesan Faculties Wishing to Exercise Ministry within the ecclesiastical Province of Boston: Arch/Dioceses of Boston, Burlington, Manchester, Portland, Springfield, and Worcester are asked to visit www.bostonprovinceministry.org to request permission to exercise sacred ministry.
Priests/Deacons with Fall River Diocesan Faculties Wishing to Exercise Ministry outside the ecclesiastical Province of Boston: (whether for a single event such as a wedding, baptism, funeral, or other ceremony) or has other reasons to exercise ministry for a limited period or a particular assignment (such as a retreat, convocation, or other ministry) may request a letter of suitability from the Office of the Bishop by sending an e-mail to BishopsOffice@dioc-fr.org. When sending an e-mail, be sure to include: 1) type of ministry; 2) date of the event; 3) name of the church; and 4) name of the city/town and state where the event is to take place). The request should be made as soon as the priest or deacon has received the invitation or other details of the ministerial or diaconal activity, except in emergency situations such as funerals. Preferably, the request should be made at least two weeks before the event. The letter of suitability shall affirm that the priest or deacon is in good standing in the diocese with full faculties; has no record of any canonical, criminal, behavioral, sexual, or other issues; and is authorized to minister for the particular activity. When a priest is away from his parish, he should make prior arrangements to make sure all sacramental needs are accommodated.
Visiting Priests: Presiding at a Single Event in the Diocese of Fall River
If a priest or deacon has been invited to preside at a single event such as a public Mass, wedding, baptism, funeral, or other ceremony, the visiting priest or deacon must present to the Office of the Bishop a letter of suitability from his diocesan bishop/ordinary or religious superior. The letter of suitability shall affirm the priest or deacon’s date of birth, date of ordination, that he is in good standing in his diocese/religious institute; has no record of any canonical, criminal, behavioral, sexual, or other issues; has full faculties in the location of his current assignment; has proof of current certification of safe environment training; and is authorized to be present in the diocese for the particular activity. It is preferred that the letter of suitability be sent to the Office of the Bishop at least two weeks before the event, except in an emergency situation such as a funeral.
Long-Term Faculties (More Than Two Months in the Diocese)
Qualified priests or deacons who expect to be in the diocese for more than two months and who wish to have faculties to minister during their stay must present to the Office of the Bishop, a letter of suitability from his diocesan bishop/ordinary or religious superior; this includes priests who may be in the diocese on sabbatical, for formal studies, or for other commitments. The Office of the Bishop will respond to these requests according to the needs of the diocese. All priests who receive long-term faculties are given a letter specifying their ministerial duties and privileges while in the diocese.
Please note that visiting clergy are required to submit letters of suitability in the form prescribed and accessible by this link; no other versions will be accepted for ministry in the Diocese of Fall River. Any questions or additional guidance please contact the Office of the Bishop at (508) 675-1311, ext. 6536 or e-mail: BishopsOffice@dioc-fr.org.