Extraordinary Ministers for the distribution of Holy Communion are properly formed, instructed and commissioned lay persons. EMs may be male or female. They should reflect the cultural diversity of their parish community. These ministers are appointed for a given parish community to aid in the distribution of Holy Communion at Mass and to the sick and homebound when ordinary ministers of Holy Communion are unavailable.
EMs are not to function apart from their parish community. Ordinarily, EMs do not perform any other liturgical ministry at the Mass at which they serve as an EM. When the situation requires, the presider of the Mass may call upon members of the faithful who are not EMs to aid him in the distribution of Holy Communion on that one occasion. Those called must be Catholics in good standing who are themselves able to receive the Eucharist.
As the Church teaches, the bishop is the chief liturgist of his diocese. For this reason, the Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston regulates this ministry and all other liturgical ministries in collaboration with the pastors of the parishes of the Diocese.