Inside of Church view from the back

Pastoral Reference Letter

Frequently there are requests for Pastoral Reference Letters from people who are seeking teaching positions within the Catholic school system. Because of the seriousness of these requests and the rightful expectations of both the parents and the Church, those planning to teach in our Catholic schools should be believers who are genuinely trying to practice and live their faith. Therefore, this would include the following:

  • Be registered members of St. Mark’s Parish for at least 12 months
  • Truly trying to attend Mass each Sunday
  • Participate in the sacramental and pastoral life of the Church community
  • Be in good canonical standing within the Church that is, not living common law or married outside the church
  • Financially support the work and mission of the church particularly Catholic Churches, ShareLife, the Missions, and their own Parish.

Pastoral reference letters are provided by the pastor of the parish only. If an applicant can’t honestly answer yes to the above issues, they should defer asking for a Reference from the Pastor as it is unfair to everyone concerned. If you are proceeding, then please attend to the following before making an appointment with the Pastor. 

  • Please completely fill out the candidate portion of the application forms for the Boards for which you hope to find employment, prior to the pastoral reference interview. The application forms typically include a Pastoral Reference Form to be filled out by the pastor. 
  • Please bring a copy of your baptismal certificate and, if married, a copy of your marriage certificate to the interview. 
  • Please be aware that all pastoral references are positive but honest expressions of the pastor’s assessment of the candidates current level of faith, faith practice and involvement. This assessment is based on personal knowledge and the responses given by the candidate in the interview. 

In summary, please note that Archdiocesan directives require a candidate to have a history of active participation in parish life prior to requesting a reference letter at the end of their studies.

Please be aware that it may take a few weeks before an appointment can be arranged. Letters are usually completed and ready for pickup by the candidate within a week after the interview.