Diocese of Sacramento Guidelines for Selecting Outside Speakers

Updated October 29, 2020

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 Clergy Coordination & Formation to gather and review all required information and make a final decision.

Required Documentation for Speaker

  1. For Priests / Deacons / Religious Clergy (Speakers)
    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 this ministry.
      • I am unaware of anything in his background which would render him unsuitable to work with minors or vulnerable adults.
      • I am unaware of any incident in which he may have been involved which would adversely affect his performance as a priest/deacon.
      • 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 (Including Non-Clergy Religious)
    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 Arch/Diocese/Province of provide name.
      • He/She is a person of good moral character and reputation.
      • He/She is in compliance with all of our Safe Environment requirements for the protection of minors and vulnerable adults.
      • I know of nothing that would in any way limit or disqualify him/her from ministry, including with minors and vulnerable adults.
    3. Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume to include education and ministerial experience.
    4. Title and brief description of the proposed workshop(s) or topic(s).

General Rules on Speaker Stipends and Sales

  1. The speaker must come to an agreement in advance 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 for any reason.

Host Responsibilities

  1. Collect and submit all required documentation to the Director of Clergy Coordination & Formation (see below) as early as possible and at least four weeks in advance.
  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).
  5. Publicize the event only after the speaker has been approved.

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 of Clergy Coordination & Formation
2110 Broadway, Sacramento, CA 95818 or email: uschmitt@scd.org (916) 733-0245.

Download Guidelines as PDF

Sample Letters of Good Standing to Send to the Speaker’s Bishop’s Office