The Congar Institute is committed to the development of ministry by making new and excellent formation resources available to the local church. Our greatest resource is our people: highly educated, deeply committed, richly experienced Catholic ordained, religious, and lay ministers who care passionately about God’s people especially in those places where the church’s presence is limited or absent. Many of our Resource Persons have spent their whole ministerial lives working in what we call home mission areas, regions of the United States where the Catholic Church lacks the full complement of resources needed to address adequately the pastoral needs there. Recognizing that the reality of Catholic pastoral ministry is changing, we intend to share through local formation programs the treasure that we have with those who are stepping forward to assume that responsibility, in particular lay ecclesial ministers and deacons. We are proud to introduce you to some of our Resource Persons.
Dominican Father Jorge Presmanes has worked for a long time to develop lay leadership in the Hispanic community. Before and since entering the Dominicans, Fr. Jorge worked as a School for Ministry teacher with the Southeast Pastoral Institute in Miami, FL.
He served for nine years as pastor of St. Dominic Parish, a very large, predominantly Hispanic parish in Miami. At the same time, he earned a Doctor of Ministry degree in Hispanic ministry at Barry University in Miami and continues to teach there at the undergraduate, masters, and doctoral levels. He is the Director of the University's Institute for Hispanic/Latino/a Theology and Ministry.
He has co-edited a book on preaching in the Hispanic community, and has written many articles and speaks internationally on the topic of Hispanic ministry and theology.
Father Domingo Rodriguez-Zambrana, ST, originally from Puerto Rico, is a member of the Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity, a family of religious and lay missionaries whose founder had a vision of a missionary laity working in collaboration with sisters, brothers and priests. He has lectured at Fordham University in the Bronx, NY; at Seton Hall University in Newark, NJ; at Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois; at Saint Joseph College in Philadelphia, PA; Universidad del Valle, La Piedad, Michoacán, México; Catholic University, Ponce, P.R. He has been a Presenter at the LA Religious Education Conference, in Anaheim, CA for more than 20 yrs. A writer, lecturer, preacher and facilitator who has traveled extensively through the United States, Central America, México and Puerto Rico.
Palmira Perea-Hay lives with her husband, Steve Hay, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mrs. Perea-Hay is involved in ministries on Social Justice and the Principles of Social Teaching as well as formation of Deacons. She moved from Lubbock, Texas after working 18 years of working for Catholic Family Service Inc. She has a Master's Degree in Social Work.
Steve has a Master’s Degree in Social Work and is involved in the formation of Deacons as well as the ministries of Social Justice and the Principles of Catholic Social Teachings in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Prior to moving to Albuquerque with his wife Palmira Perea-Hay, Steve was the Director of Catholic Family Service Inc. in Lubbock Texas for a total of 18 years.
Sister Ruth Bolarte, IHM is a member of the Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Immaculata, Pa. She holds degrees in theology from Immaculata University and St. Charles Seminary in Pennsylvania. Her thesis was “An Integrative Spiritual Formation Program for Hispanic/Latino Laypeople in the Roman Catholic Church in the United States,” for which she received her doctorate in ministry from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. She has ministered as teacher, catechists, and facilitator of various formation and leadership programs. She has served on local, diocesan, and national boards ministering to the Hispanic Community. Sr. Ruth presently serves as the Director of the Office of Multi-Cultural Ministry at the Diocese of Metuchen, NJ.
Hailing from northeastern Pennsylvania, Sister Linda Marie Bolinski is a member of the Sisters of Saints Cyril and Methodius of Danville, PA. The Congregation’s principal works include education, evangelization, ecumenism, and elder care. Sr. Linda Marie has served in a variety of ministries in education and catechesis in both parish and diocesan settings, and also in leadership within her religious congregation. Currently, she completed her doctoral degree while residing with Sisters of her community in San Antonio, TX.
Dr. Renata Furst teaches Scripture and Spirituality at the Oblate School of Theology. Her areas of specialization include Prophetic Literature, the Pentateuch, Ignatian Spirituality and the Biblical Roots of Spirituality. She received a fellowship from the Hispanic Theological Initiative and has taught for the Hispanic Summer Program. Dr. Furst is a spiritual director trained to accompany others in their journey through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius in daily life.