Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are those men and women mandated by the Bishop of Laredo to share in the apostolic work of the Church when a true pastoral need exists as determined by the pastor, administrator or chaplain of a parish or other faith community.
"Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion" is the correct terminology. The phrases "Eucharistic" or "communion" minister blur the distinction between the ordained and the non-ordained. Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are members of the laity who have received a mandate from the Bishop to assist in the distribution of Holy Communion when there is a genuine pastoral need. The responsibilities of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion include the reverent and secure distribution of Holy Communion. An instituted acolyte does not require mandation to serve as an extraordinary minister. Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion do not distribute communion when a sufficient number of ordinary ministers (bishops, priests, deacons) are present at the Eucharist, whether or not they are celebrants or assisting as deacons. It is the responsibility of the priest-celebrant to attend to this consideration (Instruction Immensae Caritas, 1973).