Thanks to a generous grant from Our Sunday Visitor Institute, Catholic Leadership Institute kicked off The Next Generation Parish service in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend in July! Check out the diocese’s progress to date:
Pastor Orientation – Complete
All 13 priests, representing 14 parishes, came together as a cohort for their initial pastor orientation session. Pastors previously had two short introductory sessions to support their discernment of participation. The goal for this longer 3-day orientation was to provide a more in-depth overview of the next four years, particularly focused on what will be required of them in the 1-2 years related to their investment of time and recruitment of key leaders. In addition, the aim of the session was to establish the relationship of trust and authenticity between the priests and Catholic Leadership Institute, as well as to establish their relationship with one another. The participating pastors of Fort Wayne-South Bend demonstrated great commitment, seriousness and courage as they prepare to embark on this journey.
Parish Site Visits – In Progress
Parish site visits are underway and are expected to be completed by mid-October. These 2-day site visits involve a Catholic Leadership Institute Leadership Consultant attending Mass and documenting highlights of the parish’s worship style, as well as conducting numerous interviews and focus groups to gather qualitative baseline data on the state of the parish. These are extremely helpful and complementary to the qualitative Disciple Maker Index survey, which will be administered to parishes in beginning October 26th. It is worth noting that three of the participating parishes are bilingual and we expect to learn a great deal through our work with these communities.
Fraternal Forum – On the Horizon
The 13 priests will gather once again in two weeks for their first Fraternal Forum, a chance to network with other diocesan priests, support one another in fellowship and prayer, and solve complex problems alongside one another. Priests take significant ownership in determining the format of Fraternal Forum sessions moving forward.