January, February and March 2014
Were the goals met?
In my opinion the goals were met as much as is possible in three one day sessions. The Pastoral Coordinator, Julian Crespo and those who participated now have tools that they can utilize together. I observed that the group quickly lost their hesitancy to enter into the process during the first session. Their comments informally and from written evaluations indicated to me that they are beginning to realize that the priest or Pastoral Coordinator needs their gifts and talents in leading the community. The times of personal and group reflection about the activities Alejandro and Louise Ann facilitated were instrumental in their growth as parents and parish leaders. In my opinion, this was a new way of learning which affirmed their dignity as adults capable of participating as leaders in the mission of the parish.
1. The toolkit of communication guidelines; the Bible Study process and materials reflecting on leadership. Even more importantly, time was built into the schedule to practice these skills.
2. Group activities and the questions for reflection helped the group share their feelings; their actions and their insights. They were encouraged to make connections between these experiences and their lives as parents and as parish leaders.
3. The willingness of both presenters to adapt, modify and add to the schedule specific material and resources for this particular community’s context and issues.
4. The respect, resources and mentoring offered to the Pastoral Coordinator and his wife during the three weekends as well as other members of the team.
From this experience, I highly recommend this process of leadership training using the presenters from the Congar Institute. Dioceses, deaneries and parish communities who are searching for active, practical, theologically sound training for parish leaders will find in the Congar Institute creative and resourceful consultants. Glenmary Home Missioners works in a context of rich community diversity and a scarcity of resources both financially and trained church leaders. The key to making an impact in the life of Glenmary parishes is the ability to adapt resources and personnel. The Congar Institute is flexible and willing to work with local leaders in meeting the “felt needs” of a particular group.
Director Pastoral Ministries and Services.
Glenmary Home Missioners
May 8, 2014.