With over thirty-five years of experience providing leadership for ongoing formation of priests and presbyterates, NOCERCC offers a variety of programs and resources for dioceses, religious communities, parishes, schools, and other organizations.
For information about any of the programs, please contact the NOCERCC National Office.
Ministering Across the Generations
Priestly Generations in Dialogue
Renewing Sunday Preaching
- A survey of priests;
- An interview of the bishop;
- Listening sessions with priests
- A carefully-structured and attentively-facilitated convocation, centered in common prayer and faith sharing, with bishop and priests;
- Resources available to assist the local church in following up on action items arising from the Cultivating Unity process.
The Cultivating Unity process is directed by Sr. Mary E. Bendyna, R.S.M., Ph.D., Executive Director,
Rev. Patrick M. Carrion
Director, Deacon Formation Program, Archdiocese of Baltimore
Pastor, Catholic Community of South Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland
Rev. Mark R. Hession
Director, Continuing Education & Formation of Clergy, Diocese of Fall River
Pastor, Our Lady of VictoryChurch, Centerville, Massachusetts
Rev. Msgr. Luke Hunt
Vicar General, Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee
Pastor, St. AnnChurch, Gulf Breeze, Florida
Dr. Christa R. Klein
President, In Trust, Inc., Wilmington, Delaware
Rev. Susan Nienaber
Senior Consultant, The Alban Institute
Trainer, psychotherapist, professional mediator
Rev. Adam J. Parker
Vice Chancellor & Secretary to the Archbishop, Archdiocese of Baltimore
Dominic J. Perri
Facilitator & organizational development consultant working with dioceses, presbyterates, religious communities, parishes, & national Church organizations
Victoria M. Tufano
Pastoral Associate, AscensionChurch, Oak Park, Illinois
Facilitator & speaker, writer & editor: liturgy & Christian initiation
Trish Sullivan Vanni
Director, Emerging Models of Pastoral Leadership Project
Speaker, author, facilitator, & consultant working with parishes & professional groups in ministry formation & mission development
In considering the ongoing formation of the entire presbyterate, Part III of the bishops’ Basic Plan echoes the teaching of the Second Vatican Council and of Pope John Paul II in Pastores Dabo Vobis, the 1992 apostolic exhortation issued following the 1990 Synod of Bishops dedicated to “the formation of priests in the circumstances of the present day”:
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.
The ongoing formation of a presbyterate's unity makes the very presbyterate a more transparent sacramental sign. “This unity among priests . . . makes [them] witnesses of Jesus Christ, who prayed…‘that they may all be one’” [Pastores Dabo Vobis, no. 74]…And the very purpose of that unity is a sacramental one,…to draw others into faith: "that the world may believe that you sent me" [John 17:21].
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.
[In Pastores Dabo Vobis Pope John Paul II] summarizes teaching from Vatican II and offers this simple yet challenging statement: “The ordained ministry has a radical ‘communitarian form' and can only be carried out as ‘a collective work’” [no. 17]. This truly is the teaching of the Second Vatican Council abundantly evident in Presbyterorum Ordinis, which so emphasizes the communitarian-collective dimension of priestly ministry that it quite deliberately avoids any reference to "priest" in the singular form. From start to finish, the decree only speaks of “priests.”
[Pastores Dabo Vobis] identifies priestly sacramental existence as essentially and intrinsically linked to a life lived in unity among priests themselves and with their bishop. The text reads, "Unity among the priests with the Bishop and among themselves is not something added from the outside to the nature of their service, but expresses its essence inasmuch as it is the care of Christ the priest for the People gathered in the unity of the Blessed Trinity." These words speak of the sacramental value of living presbyteral unity. Such unity lived out becomes an effective or efficacious sign of the presence of Christ caring for his people and leading them into the unity of the Trinity" [no. 74].
[Pastores Dabo Vobis] elaborates the basis for presbyteral unity by linking it to the heart of the Church's mission and humanity's trinitarian destiny: "The nature and mission of the ministerial priesthood cannot be defined except through this multiple and rich interconnection of relationships which arise from the Blessed Trinity and are prolonged in the communion of the Church, as a sign and instrument of Christ, of communion with God and of the unity of all humanity" [no. 12].
For more information on Cultivating Unity, contact the NOCERCC National Office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 410-978-3676.
Ministering Across the Generations: Effective Ministry to People of All Ages
How can you preach and minister to parish communities that include traditional aging Catholics, middle-age parents and techno-savvy youth and young adults? Each of these groups has a very different view of life and the Church—as well different expectations of the parish.
Ministering across the Generations draws upon groundbreaking research on generational differences in U.S.society and applies that research to ministry situations. The program helps participants to see that each generation of Catholics is different because each grew up in a different era of Church. These differing experiences led them to have very different understandings of the Church and parish life.
Using interactive presentation style that engages participants, the program addresses these issues:
- What is each generation’s model of Church?
- What does each generation expect from parish life?
- How to attract teenage and young-adult Catholics to parish liturgies and programs;
- How to work most effectively with parish staff and pastoral councils that include a wide range of age groups.
For more information on Ministering Across the Generations, contact the NOCERCC National Office by email at email@example.com or by telephone at 410-978-3676.
Priestly Generations in Dialogue: An Essential Conversation for Presbyterates
The program is facilitated by Dominic Perri, who serves as a faculty member for NOCERCC's Cultivating Unity initiative. Dominic facilitates diocesan convocations and offers programs throughout the United States for dioceses, religious communities, parishes, and national Church organizations.
For more information on Priestly Generations in Dialogue, contact the NOCERCC National Office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 410-978-3676.
Renewing Sunday Preaching
Renewing Sunday Preachingis a convocation program developed and coordinated by NOCERCC with funding from the Koch Foundation, Our Sunday Visitor, and the Raskob Foundation. The program is intended for a bishop and the priests or priests and deacons of a diocese or for a provincial and other members of a religious community who preach at the Sunday Eucharist.
The program has these goals:
- To affirm participants’ dedication to preaching the Word of God and to encourage their best gifts in the preaching ministry;
- To assist in forming a presbyterate’s identity as preachers of the Word;
- To help priests, bishops, and deacons claim a Roman Catholic vision of Sunday homiletic preaching;
- To nurture a homiletic competence that flows from this vision.
The program consists of four two-hour sessions to be scheduled as part of a convocation and is conducted by a team of two faculty:
Preaching—the Agony and the Ecstasy
Participants see and hear lay people speaking of the importance of preaching for them and are invited to share their own experiences of preaching.
Preacher: Namer, Interpreter, Reflector
Three images of the preacher are considered in light of the coming Sunday’s readings: namer of grace, interpreter of the Bible, and theological reflector.
Catholic Vision of Homily
A Catholic vision of the Sunday homily leads to naming the abilities, skills, and knowledge needed for inspiring and effective preaching.
Methods of integrating preaching preparation and the minister’s life in a spirituality of the preacher and basic resources to support the preacher are suggested.
The convocation schedule reflects the customary practice and preferences of the host diocese or religious community and centers around celebration of the Eucharist and Liturgy of the Hours. The four Renewing Sunday Preaching sessions usually take place over two or three days.
In 1981 the U.S.bishops’ Committee on Priestly Life and Ministry (now the Committee for Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations) published Fulfilled in Your Hearing: The Homily in the Sunday Assembly to address the importance of preaching, the need for preachers to prepare carefully, and the goal of improving the quality of homilies:
The community that gathers Sunday after Sunday comes together to offer God praise and thanksgiving, or at least to await a word that will give a meaning to their lives and enable them to celebrate Eucharist. What the preacher can do best of all at this time and in this place is to enable this community to celebrate by offering them a word in which they can recognize their own concerns and God’s concern for them (p. 8).
The program’s distinguished faculty includes:
Rev. Arthur M. Coyle
Secretary for Pastoral and Ministerial Services
Archdiocese of Boston
Rev. Guerric DeBona, OSB, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Homiletics
St. Meinrad Seminary and Schoolof Theology
Rev. James E. Deiters
Chair, Formation of Priests Committee, Diocese of Belleville
Pastor, St.Clare Church, O'Fallon, Illinois
Rev. Daniel E. Harris, CM, D.Min.
Assistant Professor of Homiletics
Aquinas Institute of Theology
Rev. Donald J. Heet, OSFS
Director of Vocations
Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, Wilmington-PhiladelphiaProvince
Rev. Norbert J. Maduzia, Jr., D.Min.
Co-Chair, Ongoing Formation of Priests Committee, Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
Pastor, St. Ignatius Loyola Church, Spring, Texas
Rev. Ray John Marek, OMI, D.Min.
Assistant Professor of Homiletics
Rev. Charles J. Parr, Ph.D.
Pastor, HolyCrossChurch, Wayne, New Jersey
Rev. Maurice L. Restivo,
Pastor, MostHolyTrinityChurch, Angleton, Texas