Diocese of Tyler

Office of the Chancellor

The chancellor fulfills the canonical duties of this position by ensuring the documents of the curia are gathered, arranged and safeguarded in the archives, and by recording the ecclesiastical acts, decrees, and dispensations issued by the bishop (can. 482). The chancellor is the chief notary, chief secretary and chief archivist of the diocesan curia.  The duties of the chancellor also extend to assisting the bishop and the diocese in administrative matters. The chancellor helps disseminate information to clergy, parishes, and the Catholic faithful that may be beneficial to the people of the Diocese of Tyler. Finally, in the name of the bishop, the chancellor issues letter of suitability and permissions for clergy and lay guests to minister and present in the diocese.

Permission for Guest Speakers and Presenters

In order for the diocesan bishop to protect the integrity and unity of the faith (can. 386 §2), written approval from bishop through the Office of the Chancellor is required before speakers, presenters, or performers can be brought into the diocese by parishes, missions, schools, or other Catholic organizations. This applies to clergy, religious, and lay guests.

The Diocese of Tyler is responsible for ensuring, to the best of its ability, that anyone brought in as a speaker, presenter, or performer for events held within the Diocese is both faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church, and is in good standing with the safe environment policies of their home diocese. This requires advanced communication (generally at least 30 days before the event) with the Office of the Chancellor as part of the event preparation. Events should not be promoted until approval is written received.

Protocol and Required Form (PDF)

Letter/Testimonial of Suitability for Visiting Clergy and Religious

Priests or deacons from outside of the Diocese of Tyler who will be engaging in public active ministry in any parish, institution, or other part of the diocese are required to obtain prior permission of the Bishop of Tyler to undertake their ministry within the territory of the diocese. Permission will only be granted if satisfactory written confirmation is given to the chancery from the visiting priest's or deacon's own bishop or superior that he is a cleric in good standing and that there are no concerns, allegations or criminal convictions relating to any sexual misconduct with children or adults at risk. By particular law, this is required even if the priest or deacon is known to the rector/pastor of the church he will be visiting in the Diocese of Tyler (can. 903).

The same permission is required of consecrated men and women religious, in which case the testimonial of suitability is to be provided from their religious superior or the bishop of the diocese in which they are currently engaged in ministry.

All letters of suitability (commendatory letters) should be sent to:

Most Rev. Joseph E. Strickland
c/o Office of the Chancellor
1015 E. Southeast Loop 323
Tyler, Texas 75701

(430) 201-4340


Letter/Testimonial of Suitability for Clergy of the Diocese of Tyler

Clergy of the Diocese of Tyler must obtain a Letter of Suitability if they will be engaging in public active ministry outside of the diocese.  By particular law, this is required even if the priest or deacon is known to the rector/pastor of the church he will be visiting (can. 903).

To obtain a current letter of suitability, please provide the following information to the chancellor at least 30 days prior to the event:

Your Name
Event/Purpose of Visit
Name of Diocese
Name of Parish(es) or Institution(s)


The Letter of Suitability will be sent to the attention of the bishop of the diocese, with a copy to the requesting cleric.

Sacramental Records and Requests

All sacramental records in the Diocese of Tyler are kept and maintained at the parish level.  There are no baptism or marriage records at the diocesan chancery. Requests should be directed to the appropriate parish