We are in the middle of hiring a new cohort of Leadership Consultants to meet the growing need for our apostolate’s services. In one of my interviews last week, a candidate inquired what I liked best about serving in this organization. Without hesitation I blurted out, “the people.” Each day I am in awe of the passion, faithfulness, and talent that the Holy Spirit has helped assemble for our apostolate. I am blessed to work alongside women and men for whom being Catholic is not just a label but a way of life.

It is a subset of these people that I want to highlight today – our ordained team members. In addition to the wonderful bishops who serve on our Episcopal Advisory Board, we are blessed to have ten priests and deacons from around the country who coach, consult, train, and facilitate as a part of the services Catholic Leadership Institute provides to our partners. Two of these men - Fr. Bob McLaughlin and Deacon Dave Profitt - share below their reflection about working within our apostolate as an extension of their vocation.

Fr. Bob McLaughlin, Archdiocese of Newark

There is nothing like the serving God and His people as a priest. The priesthood takes on a unique character as it embraces various dimensions of function, and it can be challenging to find resources and support that recognize all the dimensions. I was inspired when I learned about CLI and the work they do in journeying with our Churches, as well as our priests and bishops. After much discernment, I recognized God was calling me to share my various education, experience, gifts, and talents to support the work of CLI. In this capacity, I am able to help God’s people by strengthening the Church and its ministers. Being able to understand all of the dimensions of priestly life allows me to uniquely support brother priests. In my priesthood, I have witnessed few things as precious or challenging as planting the seed of faith in a person and watching it grow. As a priest working with CLI, I can empower others to more effectively plant those seeds and build the Kingdom of God.

Deacon Dave Profitt, Diocese of Covington

Being a Leadership Consultant while also being a part of the clergy offers some unique benefits and challenges as well. First of all, the mission of CLI ties beautifully to my call as a deacon, and that is of critical importance. My obligation in my role as a deacon is to always maintain the truth, beauty and goodness of our Catholic faith. The challenge for me can be making sure that I don’t impose what I see the needs may be with what a Next Generation Parish team might see. I do remind myself that it’s “not my parish” and my goal is to help them get where they want to go.

Recently, I was asked by one of my Next Generation Parishes to preach at all the Sunday Masses to help them roll out and promote their parish plan. I cannot tell you what a privilege that was for me. Preaching is demanding because what I say matters, not only for the people in the pews, but for my salvation as well. I can tell you that it was one of the most satisfying experiences of my ministerial career.”

For these men, their work with our apostolate is a “vocation within a Vocation.” I find their work benefits their own lives, the ministry of CLI, and the mission of the Church in a variety of unique ways, namely:

  • Building Relationships – Through their work in parishes and dioceses, our clergy forge relationships with other ordained brothers. They accompany one another, share joys, and help to carry each other’s burdens. They pray for each other in special ways and share an understanding of the heavy mantle of servant leadership that every ordained minister carries. These men can often understand our ordained clients in ways that are beyond those of us who are laity.
  • Sharing Wisdom – There is a breadth and depth of real ministry experience that our clergy lend to their work. Years of seminary formation, celebrating sacraments, ministering to parish communities, and doing works of charity have prepared them to truly accompany our partners. By bringing their own learnings and wisdom to their projects, they are better able to understand and assist the parishes and dioceses they serve.
  • Growing in Holiness – The witness of our ordained team members encourages our entire mission team in our faith journeys. We watch them serve not only their home parishes, but countless others across the country in a tireless way that is modeled by the servant leadership of Jesus. They inspire us with their rich prayer lives and their devotion to their vocation. These men are always quick to offer a listening ear, a consoling word, or a blessing, and never hesitate to celebrate or serve at liturgy.

Each member of our team brings their own charism, skills, and presence to the community. Our priests and deacons bring the added gift of ordained ministry to the team that challenges us all to give witness to the joy of serving the Kingdom of God.

Click here for a full list of the Team at Catholic Leadership Institute.

P.S. Interested in joining the team as a part-time Leadership Consultant? We're hiring! Leadership Consultants accompany leaders in the Catholic Church through CLI's proprietary methods of consulting, coaching, training/development, and mentoring, both in-person and virtually in order to build greater confidence and competence in ministry. Apply for the position today!

by Jenn Fiduccia

October 25, 2023

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