Clergy Attestation Letters

Any priest or deacon (who is not incardinated or assigned in the Diocese of Erie) conducting public ministry in the Diocese of Erie must present an attestation letter, issued within the last six months, from their bishop or religious superior.  This letter must be sent ahead of time to the Chancery office, or presented to the pastor of the place where the ministry is being done. Pastors receiving such a letter will forward it to the Chancery Office.  Attestation letters are required even for concelebrating Masses and assisting with confessions.  Please contact the Chancery for more information.

Clergy and laity participating in the annual Missionary Co-operative Appeals must submit their attestation letters directly to the Erie Office of Diocesan and International Missions.

  • Requesting an Attestation Letter From the Diocese of Erie
Priests and deacons of the Diocese of Erie who wish to do public ministry in another diocese may request a letter of good standing from the Erie Chancery.  These letters are only valid for six months from the date of issue and therefore must be requested less than six months before the event.  To request a letter of good standing, please email or call the Chancery with this information:

  1. Date, time and place (complete address) of the liturgical event
  2. Name and address of the person to whom the letter is to be sent
Letters may be sent by postal mail, email or fax.  Copies will always be sent to the priest or deacon making the request.

Papal Blessings


  • Requesting an Apostolic (Papal) Blessing in the Diocese of Erie

The Apostolic Blessing, or papal blessing, is a blessing imparted by the Pope, either directly or by delegation through others. Apostolic Blessings with certificates are offered by the Holy Father to the Catholic Faithful for certain special occasions, including sacraments, anniversaries, and birthdays. There are two versions of the Apostolic (Papal) Blessing certificates available: an 11 x 15-inch parchment from the Vatican, and an 8 ½ x 11-inch paper from the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C.

Parchment Certificate

Apostolic Blessing parchments may be ordered directly from the Vatican. Please visit www.elemosineria.va for details and instructions.

When requesting a blessing for the following, please ask your parish priest to complete the nihil obstat (attestation that you are a Catholic in good standing) on the form.

  • Marriage Anniversaries
  • Birthdays
  • Catholic Individuals or Families
The parchment generally arrives 1-3 months after your request is received. Payment information will be included with the parchment. The donation requested is usually about $50.00.

Paper Certificate

Paper certificates may be ordered from the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, DC. Requests should be addressed to:

The Most Reverend Christophe Pierre
Apostolic Nuncio
Apostolic Nunciature
3339 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008-3610

The request must include:

  1. A recommendation from a parish priest of the person(s) to whom the blessing is to be imparted, or from a priest familiar with the person(s), attesting to his/her/their good standing in the Catholic Church.  The request should be on the parish letterhead and have the parish seal. Click here for a sample letter.
  2. In the case of a wedding, both parties should be Catholics.  (For anniversaries, it is sufficient that one of the members is Catholic.)
  3. For priests, parishes, associations or organizations, the request should be presented by the Diocesan Bishop.
  4. For religious, the request should come from their superior.
The following information must be clearly typed or written:

  1. The name(s) of the people to receive the blessing
  2. The occasion to be celebrated (such as weddings, anniversaries of a special nature -25th, 50th, 60th-, special Birthdays -80th, 90th, 100th and so on- religious profession, first communions, confirmations) A general blessing for no specific occasion may also be requested. In this case, please offer an explanation.
  3. The date of the occasion being celebrated
  4. If a wedding, Baptism, first Communion, Confirmation & Ordination, the name of the church, its city and state
  5. The diocese to which the person(s) to receive the blessing belongs
  6. The address to which the certificate is to be mailed
 An offering of $25.00 is customary and should be made by check or money order, payable to the Apostolic Nunciature.  

Notes from the Nunciature:

  • It is not possible to grant blessings posthumously.
  • It is not customary to grant a blessing for the occasion of a birth.
  • It is not possible to grant a blessing for an event that took place in the past, especially if more than a year has elapsed. The same is true for an event that will take place in the distant future.
  • It is not possible for the Apostolic Nuncio to the US to grant a blessing to someone outside of the United States.
  • It is not possible to issue more than one copy of a Papal Blessing certificate for the same occasion.
All requests should be presented in writing, including contact information for any inquiry. Please allow a minimum of 2-3 weeks from the date when the request is received even though it could take longer in some cases. Requests by fax (202-337-4036) should be followed by the original hard copy by mail, indicating that it has already been faxed. Requests by e-mail are not acceptable.

If you have any questions, please contact Maria Caulfield at 814-824-1130 or mcaulfield@eriercd.org.