Are you interested in bringing Cultivating Unity to your diocese? Contact our NOCERCC National Office!
“The ongoing formation of a presbyterate is the deliberate cultivation of the unity of the priests and their bishop, a unity that responds to God's grace and the mission entrusted to them ... It is clear that the ongoing formation of presbyterates is significant for the vitality of the Church's mission. It is also clear that the formation of presbyterates centers on cultivating their unity."
- The Basic Plan for the Ongoing Formation of Priests, U.S. Catholic Bishops (2001)
Cultivating Unity is a pastoral initiative between NOCERCC and the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown (CARA). It is a transformational process engaging the entire diocesan presbyterate with its bishop in frank and faith-centered dialogue leading to a common rededication to priestly ministry.
This program consists of two components: initial research of the presbyterate, including a survey and listening sessions with the priests as well as an interview with the bishop, and a convocation at which dialogue is facilitated by the NOCERCC-CARA team.
Research & Survey
Leadership & Faculty
“Honesty is the best policy” is a dictum I learned as a child. It is also a guiding light of the Cultivating Unity Program of NOCERCC/CARA. From the preliminary interviews with me and focus groups with the priests, Cultivating Unity fostered a respectful honesty about the strengths and weaknesses of the presbyterate and of the relation between the presbyterate and the bishop – and those who directly represent the bishop as diocesan staff. The structured exchanges that took place at the Convocation will help us all to examine ourselves, to be grateful for the blessings we have received, and to find concrete ways to address the challenges. The very process brought priests into deeper communion among themselves and with me as their bishop. I am very appreciative of the program and all who were involved in leading through the process.
- Most Reverend Larry Silva, Bishop of Honolulu
Rev. Thomas Dragga, D.Min., President, NOCERCC
Patricia LeNoir, Consultant for Mission, NOCERCC
Thomas P. Gaunt, SJ.,Ph.D., Executive Director, CARA
Mary L. Gautier, Ph.D., Senior Research Associate, CARA
Rev. Stephen J. Fichter, Ph.D., Research Associate, CARA
Convocations are facilitated by a distinguished team of faculty, including:
Rev. Stephen Fichter, Ph.D.
Research Associate, CARA
Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
Rev. Patrick M. Carrion
Director, Deacon Formation Program, Archdiocese of Baltimore
Pastor, Catholic Community of South Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland
Rev. Susan Nienaber
Senior Consultant, The Alban Institute
Trainer, psychotherapist, professional mediator
Dominic J. Perri
Facilitator and organizational development consultant working with dioceses, presbyterates, religious communities, parishes, and national Church organizations
Victoria M. Tufano
Pastoral Associate, AscensionChurch, Oak Park, Illinois
Facilitator and speaker, writer and editor: liturgy and Christian initiation