Seminarians Listen, Learn, & Lead

Seminarians “Communicate” CLI Learnings

As I have continued to reflect upon Pentecost, a key message of this feast resonates with me: Communication. People need to hear and learn about the love, healing, grace, power, joy, forgiveness, and peace of our Lord.

Research and on-the-ground experience of our ministry throughout the pandemic has revealed that Communication of all forms is essential to spread the Good News, to care for each other, to strengthen our communities, and to enhance the way we pray with and for each other.

Read on to learn how Catholic Leadership Institute shared lessons in Communications with seminarians in St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston. At the end, seminarians will “communicate” some of the lessons they learned with you!

“When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.”

Acts 2:1-4

One of the beautiful ways the Holy Spirit works is to inspire vocations to the priesthood.

Priests reflect and share Jesus’ love in a special way, just as the Apostles did. They must listen, talk with, and respond to our Lord and those they shepherd. Catholic Leadership Institute is blessed and honored to support priests at all stages of their formation, including seminary.

To date we have served 863 seminarians globally including St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston.

“Then how does each of us hear them in his own native language?” Acts 2:8

Catholic Leadership Institute is blessed to journey with St. Mary’s Seminary for a five-year partnership.

Amidst the seminary training, our dedicated team continues to weave valuable lessons, best practices, and improvement in the area of Communication into the accompaniment of these aspiring priests.

Catholic Leadership Institute Leadership Consultant, Denise Ehlen, who had the joy of walking with these seminarians through these critical learnings, shares:

“I was impressed with the engagement of these men. As Jesus often modeled, Communication enables a leader to meet those they lead where they are and help to gain their trust so they will follow. Each of the men left this lesson better equipped to do that.”

“…we hear them speaking in our own tongues of the mighty acts of God.”

Acts 2:11

It is a joy to prepare seminarians at St. Mary’s and all over the world to prepare for the vocation of priesthood and to go out and share the Good News.


Below, read the comments from some of these dedicated seminarians from Denise’s cohort about the lessons they learned about Communications alongside CLI!

“I’ve also realized through this program that my own methods of leadership can improve by seeking effective feedback from others. The leadership in regard to a particular project may be better affected by effective feedback but also my abilities as a leader across multiple projects and instances in a parish setting might be better improved by occasionally seeking feedback from others.” – Thomas

“Effective communication requires pre-work. You cannot walk into an important meeting and expect everyone to be on the same page without considering your audience. What is received is received according to the mode of the receiver. -St. Thomas Aquinas If you want to communicate effectively, you must understand where people are coming from. They may not be able to express themselves in a way you understand, so you must utilize proactive listening skills.” – Zachary

“As a leader, I must always build people and never tear them down. I feel I have learned about many tools to use to make communication easier and more fluid. I feel I now have the awareness I need to make every relationship a better one.” – Ryan

“I know that my values are to produce and be the best steward of my time and the resources of a parish or group. I want to be successful because I want to promote the Gospel so sometimes actually many times, I will have to base decisions on my values rather than what is comfortable.” – Luke

“Although I’m not an outstanding leader, I do know that I have the tools and the support to become better. I pray and hope that through the years and experience I’m able to become the leader God is calling me to be.” – Jose

“Be a sense of authority, but also a shepherd that people will never be afraid to look towards.” – Daniel

“The virtue of charity actually requires listening so that one can understand another person.” – Matthew

“I know that my values are to produce and be the best steward of my time and the resources of a parish or group. I want to be successful because I want to promote the Gospel so sometimes actually many times, I will have to base decisions on my values rather than what is comfortable.” – Luke

“[Reflection on the CLI learning about the DiSC assessment] I have also uncovered that reflecting on feedback is important before responding. It gives me time to understand the DiSC position of the other person with their biases in connection with mine. This puts me in a better position to reflect, review, and reconnect the entire process before providing feedback that is appropriate… Having the “I” personality from my DiSC, I understand that relationships matter a lot, and I will continue to grow in virtues in areas of my weaknesses so that I can be in a position of leading and communicating effectively.” – Primus

by Chad Peddicord

Jun 09, 2022

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