Model Role Description
Diocesan Director for Clergy Life and Ministry and Team
The aim or vision of ongoing formation is to promote:
"a general and integral process of constant growth, deepening each of the aspects of formation - human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral - as well as ensuring their active and harmonious integration, based on pastoral charity and in reference to it."
-- Pastores Dabo Vobis (25 March 1992) n 71
- MISSION: Faith in God's kingdom makes us God's people and sharers in the mission for which Jesus gave his life.
- COMMUNION: To realise this mission, baptism calls believers to be a communion of faith in the church that witnesses to the unity which God in Christ is working in the world.
- ORDAINED LEADERSHIP: Bishops, priests and deacons, who together share ordained leadership, are called from the community to care for the church and lead it as a vital communion of faith for mission.
- ONGOING FORMATION: Leadership in the mission of the church entails the primary responsibility for one's own integral growth.
- BISHOP: As chief pastor, the Bishop has a special responsibility for ongoing formation of priests and deacons of the diocese.
- DIRECTOR: The Constitution of the Council presumes the Bishop will appoint as a priority a Director of Clergy Life and Ministry, or equivalent person.
- TEAM: A team appointed to support the Director, which could include non-ordained persons, should be small enough for ease and effectiveness of meeting.
- COLLABORATION AND BUDGET: The Bishop with his Council of Priests will indicate the extent and limits of responsibilities of the Director and team, clarify their relation to other diocesan bodies, and assign a realistic budget.
- Keep before the clergy their need for a process of constant growth, through an ongoing formation that is integral: human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral.
- Foster in the clergy of the diocese a growing awareness of their identity by the sacrament of orders and its relation to the priesthood of all the baptised.
- Seek ways to have an informed understanding of the needs of the clergy of the diocese.
- Support clergy at all stages in their lives, from their first appointment into and throughout retirement.
- Respond to the real needs and hopes, strengths and weaknesses in clergy.
- Help develop policies and procedures relating to clergy education, and their periodic evaluation.
- Obtain and utilise information relating to continuing formation and education from appropriate diocesan and national agencies, and from the Council.
- Provide opportunities for the ongoing growth and development of themselves as Director and team.
- When any of the following or related functions are the responsibility of others in the diocese, exercise a networking role.
- Assist the Bishop in his support and care for individual priests and deacons in different life-situations by regular contacts and visits, affirming and fostering their particular gifts.
- Promote relaxing, recreational gatherings that deepen fraternal trust among clergy.
- Encourage the continuation and formation of support groups that meet on a regular basis and where the level of personal trust and freedom is high.
- Arrange for diocesan retreats that bring the presbyterate and deacons together, and offer information about other kinds of retreats.
- Organise inservice programs for bishops, priests and deacons, on a live-in basis if possible, that offer practical opportunities for the integral development of the ministry and life of clergy.
- Support the development of diocesan policies on sabbaticals for all clergy at regular intervals.
- Meet with appropriate groups and agencies in the diocese to support the ongoing formation of bishops, priests and deacons, and network with other diocesan directors and the Director of the Office for Clergy Life and Ministry.
- Have regular contact with one's Bishop.
- Be alert to clergy in need of special help or of therapy in the short or long term.
- has empathy with different attitudes among clergy
- is credible to clergy, one in whom they have confidence and trust
- has learnt from experience what the priesthood is and loves it
- has found a prayer that energises him
- is able to meet others in a relaxed and compassionate way
- has the confidence and trust of his Bishop and relates well to him
- can organise things in a collaborative way
- knows how to manage his time so as to have time for his brothers
- can reflect theologically and/or encourage this in others
- (Similar qualities are desirable in Team Members)
One successful method used by several dioceses was to ask each priest to send to the Bishop some names in order of choice for a Diocesan Director. Then the Bishop with his Vicar General (VG) made the appointment. Finally the Bishop with his VG and newly appointed Diocesan Director chose a team credible to the priests, able to work together and complement one another.