Barefoot & Preaching is a syndicated monthly column in The Catholic Register.

LEADERSHIP & ADMINISTRATION FOR PARISH PRIESTS

LEADERSHIP & ADMINISTRATION FOR PARISH PRIESTS

Online Pilot Program – August 2024 to June 2025

Free info sessions online on June 21 at 3:00 pm MST, July 11 at 2:00 pm MST, and August 6 at 2:00pm MST – Email leah.perrault@gmail.com to get a link.

Program Description

Catholic Clergy are trained in theology and then sent out to parishes to be administrative leaders in addition to pastors. Leadership and administration skills are essential to successful parish ministry. Join a cohort of pastors for ten months of learning new skills and best practice in a community of support, with access to practical resources. Participants must attend 8 out of 10 sessions complete the program and receive a certificate.

Program Format

The program will run online one Sunday evening a month for 90 minutes, with the option to stay for another 30 minutes of conversation for those who choose. Each session will include no more than 20 pages of pre-reading to be completed beforehand, a presentation by the facilitator (and/or guest presenters), a facilitated discussion on the content, and a handout of resources for parish ministry. Each participant will have the opportunity to book three 30-minute coaching sessions over the course of the year to identify and work towards their unique leadership and administration goals in parish ministry.

Program Sessions: 5:00 – 6:30 pm MST in summer, CST in winter

Dates: August 18, 2024, September 29, October 27, November 24, January 26, 2025, February 23, March 30, April 27, May 25, June 22.

Program Content

A full program outline will be sent out to participants two weeks before the program starts. Program material will include: Administration as Ministry, Leadership for the Church and the World, Leading through Change, Time and Project Management, Collaborative Ministry, Trust and Relationships, Effective Communication, Conflict Management and Resolution, Human Resources and Management of Employees, Financial Literacy and Planning, Recruiting, Retaining and Supporting Volunteers.

Facilitator

Leah Perrault has been in senior leadership and ministry for nearly twenty years. She began her career as the Director of Pastoral Services in the Diocese of Saskatoon, then moved to Catholic Healthcare, where she worked with Emmanuel Care and then as the Director of Mission at St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon. She is currently the Executive Director of Southwest Homes in Swift Current, SK, which serves individuals with disabilities. She is an author, speaker, and consultant on the side of her day job.

Registration Information

Register online at: https://forms.gle/S7wS2xxxY3agsYDk9 Registrants will be accepted on a first come, first paid basis.

Program Costs and Payment

Pilot Pricing: $1250/priest

Price will increase to $2500/priest in 2025/26

A minimum of 8 and maximum of 20 priests will be accepted into the pilot. Priests in the first three years of ministry working under a supervising pastor may attend with their supervising pastor at no extra charge.

A deposit of $250 is due at registration to hold your spot. Full payment is due on September 29, 2024. Payment plans can be set up by request. Fees can be paid by cheque, direct deposit or email money transfer to leah.perrault@gmail.com.

How are you engaged with your world?

How are you engaged with your world?

When we say “I believe in you” to someone that we care about, we do not mean to say that we intellectually affirm their existence, or that we know all there is to know about them. To say “I believe in you” is to say something of our connection to another person. We are engaged in a relationship that matters.

All souls: a world of extraordinary dust…

All souls: a world of extraordinary dust…

In my faith tradition, November is both the last month of the faith year, and the month where we remember and celebrate all souls. We write the names of loved ones lost in a book of remembrance and light candles for them. We pray for and with those who have gone to eternity before us. The practices remind me of Ash Wednesday: “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.”

Gratitude and maintaining perspective

Gratitude and maintaining perspective

Practicing gratitude shifts my perspective. The world does not shift to a perfect place because I am grateful, but the practice allows me to see what is real. That everywhere and always there is both dying and rising happening simultaneously. That joy and suffering co-exist. That people are miraculous and imperfect at the same time.

Riding waves with grace

Riding waves with grace

Every summer, I wait and hope for our plans to cooperate with the weather and give us a day or two on the lake with (my parents’ beautiful)boat. We need the sunshine to keep us warm enough and the wind to stay mild enough that we can pull the tube behind the boat. The driver and the wind work together to make waves, and the riders delight at the efforts to stay on or fall in. On these rare and perfect days, I might be the biggest kid of all.

Claiming rest and re-creation this summer

Claiming rest and re-creation this summer

There are always lots of questions in a house with children, and the most common one in my world right now is “What’s the plan for today, Mom?” During the school year, we fall into a rhythm of learning and activities, but the summer has all this space for questions and finding different things to do. And it sometimes feels like rest and recreation means more pressure for a mom in the summer – rather than less.

On Being Barefoot…

Before the burning bush, God asks Moses to take off his sandals, to notice and reverence that he walks on holy land. This holy land continues to burn before me, before us, signaling God’s presence before we arrived rather than because we did. This life we are living was holy before we existed in it. This land and creation we call home is the first book of revelation, God’s love letter to us, bearing witness to the Creator of it all.Our lives and the moments that make them up are the stuff of sainthood, our invitations to participate in Divine life to be swallowed up and fulfilled by God. At the grocery store, in the false solitude of our cars and commutes, in our laundry rooms, and over text messages. My shoes run the risk of “protecting” me from the sacredness of this naked moment. And how I love shoes, and how my sensitive toes resist the prickles of grass and the mess of sand. But barefoot is how my spirituality works, daring to live an embodied and earthy love of Jesus who took on flesh. I’m wandering through this life, yearning to let go of my shoes, to walk reverently and with deep attention to what passes under my feet and to what isn’t yet my path. Barefoot is how I write, how I speak, how I work. Experience shored up against an insatiable thirst for knowledge; direct honesty honed by sensitivity; and vulnerability chained to a commitment to competency. And an unapologetically barefoot tendency to speak it as I feel it, which leads me to…

…and Preaching

I’m a preacher without a pulpit, with words that burn until they are spoken ~ aloud or on a page.

My ministry is one of colliding words and ideas, reaching out to find a connection with God’s amazing people.

The world seems to me to be spilling over with grace and we seem to be people who, all too quickly forget that all of this is pure gift.

When I’m driving, eating, visiting, resting, cleaning, working, playing, and almost everything else, I’m frequently stunned by the pure miracle of what simply is.

It’s not all promised joy and ease, but it is all presenced and remembered by the One who gives it. And I can’t stop talking about it, proclaiming it, preaching this good news that we have not been forgotten or forsaken in any moment of this life.

For reasons I don’t quite understand, my words seem to be given to encourage and inspire. In a world where women and girls are still too-often silenced or secondary, I’m barefoot and preaching because my soul won’t rest any other way. If my words can be a gift to you, then that is a gift for me.

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