#117. What do lay ecclesial ministry candidates find most helpful for their spiritual formation? Why?
Reflection papers help to internalize what they learn as well as the sharing among the students. Experiencing a variety of proper forms and spiritualities.
I can only relate to you what our candidates have shared with us about our program. There are two things they consider most helpful, their annual Goal Setting appointment with an office staff person (usually two and a half hours), and the once-a-month Friday night sessions with their groups. (Liturgy of the Hours, group faith sharing, and communal theological reflection.) A close third, for those who take it seriously, is their on-going spiritual direction.
Study and writing the reflection papers. Experiencing various approaches and forms of prayer. Director sharing and visits. Learning to integrate faith with life. Spiritual directors. Discovering this Lay Formation Process is a life long journey. Because it is a process in connecting our own life experience with the Spirit at work in ourselves and community. Also to learn what our gifts are is very important.
Knowledge of their own cultural and Gospel values=recognize self-dignity. Faith sharing/shared prayer=learn from one another. Knowledge of different ways to express out faith=develop appreciation for diversity.
I am a new director of CMI and I am in the midst of developing a new three-year program. Spirituality was not a key point of previous program. I have built several components into the program to guide in spiritual formation, but have not completed this first year and therefore do not have evaluation.
The challenge to grow spiritual and reflect upon all facets of life. We can only share with others that which we have.
Integration of academic courses in theology with courses in spirituality and practicum opportunity. Flexibleness of the program . . ., it can be concentrated or spread over time and includes weekend college elements.
Clearer sense of God's calling gives affirmation. Sense of mission. Gives direction.
Students appreciate the opportunities provided which some say would not be an affordable part of their own budget and lifestyle if not available through the school. The sense of community in the learning cohort provides them with models for parochial life and ministry.
Interaction with others striving to grow in faith.
Really, same as above. Because those are the elements that bring growth, change, deepening..
Group discussion. Sharing personal insights and reflection with others in the program.
Same as #116.
Environment where they can grow in trust and openness.
The context of a faith community. (An ongoing cohort of students.) Prayer, spiritual direction, retreat, journaling, etc. Content and experience in spiritual formation classes. Integration with academic classes. Why? Above=means for growth and reflection on personal and ministerial experience, serving to heighten consciousness and commitment.
Depends on the individual and what they bring to the program.
The assessment process and retreat days. These provide opportunities for them to examine themselves as individuals and challenge and support them to grow spiritually and personally.
The retreat experience. Conversation on ministry. Day long sessions with seminars. Candidates for diaconate and lay ministers. Evening during Lent and Advent.
We are in the process of forming Catholic Leadership Formation. We will be in a better position to respond to this survey in one year.
An experiential approach as in shared Christian praxis. An appropriate adult methodology better assures continued growth and desire to learn.
Opportunities for group faith sharing and theological reflection. Resources for discernment and development of identity and call.
Spiritual direction program. Retreats and gathering days. Courses entitled: Spirituality and Ministry. Introduction to Ministry Formation.
Thank you for your research on this. I find some questions unclear and unfocused. Answers could be very misleading.
Group faith sharing. Mentoring. Spiritual reading.
The profiles of ministry assessment because it helps them plan concretely for spiritual growth.
I do not know.
Sharing and understanding the popular religions as well as the diverse forms of living and of celebrating faith.
Their theological formation.
A disciplined format which requires setting aside time, space, etc. for prayers, study and reflection. Because today's culture is filled with activity and most people express a need to discipline their spiritual pursuits.
Support system, (companions or director, etc.). Classes in scripture, liturgy and ecclesiology.
Theological reflection. Community (group of learners). Integration of ministry and life.
Spiritual director or companion. Retreat days. Help in how to pray. How to balance family and ministry setting priorities. Conversion.
Variety of options. Pastoral reflection in groups. Spiritual direction. Pastoral counseling. Sacramental participation. Retreat (shorter) experiences.
Being in a community all seeking some spiritual goals. Blending of academic with personal appropriation.
Good directors, good homework, (practice), and companionship in a safe place.
Opportunity to pray together and learn how to build spiritual communities. This is what ministry is about – not just doing programs.
They seem to have affirmed the elements of the program being helpful to their growth. They also emphasized the relationships with each other as strengthening their spirituality.
Reflecting with scriptures. Discernment. Prayer. Involvement in ministry. Helps put thing in perspective. It guides the heart to be reflective, compassionate and generous. It deepens their relationship with God.
The integration of their understanding of the faith with the various roles they engage in, whether at home, church or civic society.
Community building through liturgy and common prayer. Experiences of different forms. Faith development. Self-understanding.
The openness and ability of the other students and instructors to listen and appreciate others diversity.
Reflection process. Helps to integrate all facets of life, faith, ministry, family life, etc;
Personal and communal prayer life. Support of pastor/bishop/institution for whom they work and those with whom they serve. A sense of mission and humor and a zest for life and on-going growth.
Many find instruction and discussion on prayer helpful and informative. Some express that they did not realize there were different ways to pray and therefore have been broadened by exposure to these different forms.
Opportunity for theological reflection.
Personal study of scripture.
Sensitivity to diverse expressions of faith, greater appreciation of God's revelation and other's valued faith expressions. Commitment to social justice, belief they have a role of bringing God's reign to the world now at this moment in history. Ability to discern, able to come to trust themselves as they discover ways to serve God and God's people.
Most of the candidates have shared that they find theological reflection invaluable, especially those who have taken positions in parishes. Doing theological reflection with pastoral teams has helped with perspective and created bonds of community with the members. We haven't had the program long enough to answer what candidates find most helpful for their spiritual formation. Many have spoken about gratitude for the varied opportunities to experience prayer forms, the strong sense of community they experience growing out of our Eucharistic Liturgies. It tells them they are about something good and worthwhile for their lives. They have also commented on the helpfulness of faith sharing with other students, it helps them put their prayer and life experiences together.
In our experience the integration of the program with prayer, faith-sharing and community building as a consistent part of all aspects of the program.
The deepening and freeing effect of serious theological study.
The priest-chaplain. They trust our knowledge and our care and they are reassure that we are faithful to the church.
Small group liturgies. Guided prayers in different traditions/expressions. Spiritual reading.
Peer group faith sharing. Spiritual direction. Theological reflection. Synthesis/integration of academic and spiritual. Liturgical prayer.
Coming together with other small parish lay ministry groups for reflection days and retreat yearly.
A greater understanding of personal and liturgical prayer.
Personal and corporate spiritual direction. Liturgical celebrations. Shared prayer experience.
Appreciating who they are as persons of dignity and the awareness that they are called to proclaim the Good News.
Patience, openness, acceptance.
Dialogue in which they connect course content with life and ministerial experiences. As . . .says, it is in the concrete experiences of life wherein we find God, and experience conversion.
The realization from their lived experiences that spirituality is not a separate part, but an integral part of all they are and do.
Spiritual direction and assistance in developing a personal prayer life. Many candidates say that spiritual direction helps them to discern God's presence in their life and their vocation. They also ask for help in making a commitment to and maintaining a rhythm of personal prayer as well as learning more about how to pray.
See above. #116.
Our original FIRE retreat process gives a systematic formation support group of peers and professionals to help students gauge their spiritual vitality. Faith models and mentors help as well. The eight-day retreat takes them to a relational depth and intimacy with Christ that challenges their study and their ministerial identity. Each of these gives them a taste that will compel them to continue growing beyond studies.
Differing models of spirituality. Those who use a spiritual director find it helpful to process their experiences in the program.
Prayer experiences. Faith sharing. Community building. Retreats. They provide opportunities to build community to share experiences and affirmations.
It may not be unique to this school but we are very small and almost all lay students attend part time because of job, family and other church commitments. They do not feel a need for the institution to provide spiritual formation. They want to do it on their own as they think they cannot spend any more time on campus than academics demands. I continually offer many opportunities – very few are ever utilized by only a handful of students. This is a very discouraging situation.
Retreat. It is a unique experience of God and the community of faith.
Good academic information. Discussion and integration. Prayerfulness. These are helpful in building confidence and giving self-esteem.
Retreats, days of spirituality. Academic workshops on spirituality. Ability to share with "like-minded" others.
Formation seminar. Retreats. Spiritual direction. The seminar is an opportunity to compare and contrast their spiritual experience with peers using the church's mission as a springboard for discussion.
For our students it's the high quality of education and the exploration of the mission of the laity. They find tremendous value in the community that is created in the classroom and the opportunity for regular days of reflections, retreats and liturgy.
Our hope is that they will find integration most helpful and most formative.
New scripture understandings gotten from Old Testament and New Testament courses. Spirituality classes. Mentoring experience. Experience in practicums in Christian listening. (If one chooses this.) Experience of prayer planning twice a year for group.
Spiritual direction. Retreats.
Optional spiritual exercises (Ignatius). Theological reflection. Acknowledgment, integration and development of popular religiosity practices. Religionized . . . because these three elements bring inner peace and harmony and because "popular religiosity" practices are the expression of the spirituality of Latinos.
In the academic year 2000-2001 added to the ten evaluations were several spiritual formation questions. Next year, I will be better able to answer this question. In response to the questions, participants have the qualities mentioned at different levels of competency. Yet, we have some categories that are not mentioned (e.g. Emmaus Companions, practicum supervisor.) On the survey.
Prayer and faith sharing. Prayer, time to reflect on God's presence. Faith Sharing – sense of community and ownership of ones faith as well as opportunity to hear from others.
Peer interaction about their ministry work and the process of clinical supervision.
Retreat experience. Most have never taken the opportunity before and then find it most important for their spiritual development.
Courses. Ministry workshops. Retreats. Theological reflection. Self reflection. Sharing faith.
Diversity in spirituality, offerings and inclusion of journal prayer. (Liturgy of hours and Mass ) each weekend.
Prayer in community. Days of reflection. Sharing their faith experiences in community. It helps them to see and hear how God works in each of them in their daily living.
Community building efforts and faith sharing. It transforms.
Immersion in the liturgical prayer life of the community/Eucharist, the hours, the sacraments. The . . . because they have lived an experience and expression of all that they study which draws them into a ministry of service in the church.
The chance to have some formation time.
Individual reflection and group sharing. Because they come to own their faith.
Retreat days. Days of reflection. Prayer Groups. Since these opportunities call them to personal assessment.
Dedicated faculty: witness value. Church/pastor support: need mentoring. Resources: continued growth.
Theological reflection. See above.
Reflection time. Practice applications. Help with prayer.
Knowledge and access to retreats, days of reflection, workshops and spiritual director.
Challenge and guidance. Peer community support. Self-image.
Actual practice of ministry and the reflection on that experience. Formation isn't strictly academic and supervised practice gives knowledge and content.
Retreats and classes. Gain insights into self or the Tradition.
Increased awareness of sense of holy within themselves.
The realization that they are created uniquely to be a revelation of God/Christ to al whom they encounter. This realization makes possible their personal path to holiness in and through their love and service for God's people.
Theological reflection with a mentor and peer group – helps to integrate course matured with ministry.
Historical approach to theology. They then realize that there are several ways that people can be Catholics and true to their faith.
Recollection and meditative practice that offer time to contemplate their relation with God.
Spirituality courses (gives them an opportunity to study in a formatted way.) Retreats (opportunity to discern and integrate.) Ministry reflection groups (opportunity to share and reflect). Prayer times. (Regularly scheduled community prayer.)
In our diocese lay ecclesial ministry candidates need a foundation in the basic teachings of the Catholic Church. The required core courses fulfill this need. A second help to candidates are the preparation for ministry courses. All along the way parish retreat are very helpful, as are the Summer Institutes and Servant Leadership Education Days.
Exposure to different prayer forms; learning how to do theological reflection; working and sharing in small faith communities, studying theology and Scriptures.
All of the above, especially 1 and 6.
Theological reflection. Strong prayer life.
Strong prayer life. The ability to reflect theologically and engage in discernment because it will help them to respond to situations in a mature Christian way.
Most candidates want time for quiet reflection, prayer and the opportunity to do theological reflection. When they can do this they discover they will not burn out, and realize the gift of transformation that comes with reaching beyond themselves.
Our candidates find that quiet time for reflection, learning how to reflect theologically, and prayer are the richest resources they have. Most candidates are balancing a busy family life along with ministry and hunger for time to pray, to quietly reflect, and to contemplate how what they are doing makes a difference in their lives as well as in the lives of those they touch.
Integrative Spirituality Course. Because it sets the stage for identifying a style of spirituality. Because it assists the person in articulating one's religious experience. Because it introduces them to theological reflection. Days/evening of reflection. Because it provides time set apart to engage in these activities.
Courses/workshops in personal spiritual development seem to be very appreciated. Also, some opportunity for discussing either in groups or individually.
Retreats, courses on spirituality. Mentoring.
Retreats and spiritual direction. They have time for personal discernment.
Personal. Theological reflection and faith sharing. Growing sense of commitment to discipleship. Spiritual direction. Diverse modes of prayer, personal and communal.
Reflecting on the impact that their family of origin has had on them moving toward some healing.
Sharing faith experiences. They come to know that they too have had an experience of God in their lives. Days of reflection and/or retreat when everyone comes together. It is affirming/supportive to come to know how many persons are journeying in community. They appreciate too the multi cultural flavor of the liturgy.
Annual retreats and prayer experiences/faith sharing during each session. These experiences are life "practice" for real life, and expose participants to a variety of models.
Spiritual direction – gives them a chance to reflect and share their journey. Theological reflection. Gives them a chance to relate the content of the program to their lived experiences.
The ability to pray in different styles and to pray with others/lead others in prayer.
Methodology of practical theology. Information-scripture, ecclesiology, church/history, sacraments, Christology, etc. Tools for understanding the humor.
Listening to each other. (They form relationships, confide, and learn from each other.) Bible studies. . . Community . . . Spiritual exercises. (Ignatius).
The skill of theological reflection. Communal prayer which we let them lead. Experiences of faith sharing and reflection of God working in their life story. Because these all reinforce our message that God is in their lay lives – that reflecting on this and sharing their journey only enriches their spirituality.
Sense of community. (International learning groups). Ability to reflect theologically. Process empowers them to realize the value of the whole (community). Connecting life and faith is very enriching and deepening.
The content of the program – increased self awareness. Knowledge about Catholic church history. Greater sense of security about the church – more serve when teaching or conversing.
Availability of competent direction. (Not necessarily via the program). Challenging prayer settings via program.
Being taught to reflect theologically . . . many comment how essential group theological reflection is for ministry and see its benefit for parish and diocesan staffs. Personal reflection using scripture. Deepens their prayer life and feeds and fires their sense of mission. The encouragement and helps to develop a balanced, regular, and real prayer life. Sharing, faith, prayer and their stories with others in formation and their formation team/instructors.
Mentoring – because an excellent mentor can be a trusted guide and can offer challenge in a supportive way that is clearly relevant to the particular situation of the candidate.
Community prayer, retreats and Spiritual direction that is available and on-going, also evaluations yearly. The availability of formation director, and interaction with one another provide challenge and support for growth, renewal and learning the ways of the spirit.
Our weekly times of faith and experiences sharing among each other. I believe our required weekly gathering with all the LAMP ministries (usually between 15-20) is indispensable for growth in community, unity, as well as faith and service to others.
Retreat. Presence of a spiritual director. A class in spirituality-liturgy that spends time about spirituality in the ecclesial program.
I think the theological reflection process which opens them to a way of bringing their faith and call to bear on all life's choices.
Opportunities for prayer, retreats, etc. as these nourish and support their spiritual life. Theological reflection and faith sharing as these help them to express faith in order to share with others.
Prayer experiences. Exposes them to many ways of "praying" which will nourish their ministry.
Courses. Brings spirituality into sharper focus.
Survey is a response to the non-credit program. Our MA even with focus on ministry is essentially an academic program.
The exposure to diverse cultures, faith traditions and a variety of clinical placements. They learn from others to appreciate and respect the many ways grace is present while becoming more grounded in their own tradition. The exposure to different clinical experiences broadens their level of knowledge and skills.
A deepening understanding of their faith traditions. The challenge to grow in their personal commitment to Christ and his church. The challenge to grow in awareness of issues of justice and peace.
Spiritual direction (individually or in group settings). No one begins at the same starting point, but each must be encouraged to grow in grace and maturity as a disciple/minister.
Spirituality courses and prayer. Integration by instructors of academic courses. Spiritual direction and retreats. Why? Spirituality dimensions of the program help the individual to know themselves better and know God who loves the. "Older-than-average" students say that the spirituality courses ease them into the academics.
Community support. See above.
Gathering for prayer and discussion and learning to reflect theologically.
Self esteem, theological reflection and pray that help them to discern and clarify their own lives to become more effective disciples.
Our CPE program is focused on hospital ministry. It is not a formal spiritual formation program, but the spirituality of participants is important.
Dealing with Hispanic ministers. Faith/experiences sharing fundamental and part of doing ministry. This allows the person to move their experiences and identify the ways of ministering . . . and evaluating with others in the process.
Theological reflection. Retreats with other candidates. Spiritual direction. Opportunity for ongoing formation and development.
Theological reflection groups. These groups provide a safe community to explore personal experience in a systematic dialogue with the religious tradition, which leads to more disciplined awareness and growth.
Contact with a spiritual "director" mentor, guide – invaluable insights, gains in interpersonal dialog.
The above mentioned elements. For the reasons mentioned in #116.
Integrity of our MA program in the heart of the Church. (If at NDGS). Augmentation of academics with liturgical opportunities and social interaction. We are not "missioned" for all purpose lay ministry formation.
Good liturgies. Good scripture courses. Courses that promote reflection.
Retreats, sharing their struggles and success with others ideally to have a spiritual director. Resources, books, materials, etc. Most of all a commitment to Christ and nurturing that relationship through prayer. Scripture and Eucharist.
The experience of Christian community where they affirmed in their prayer, worship, and service in the name of Christ.
Same as above.
The discernment process. Why? See above.
Peer group in faith sharing. Spiritual direction. Theological reflection. Synthesis/integration of academic and spiritual. Liturgical prayer.
Small faith sharing communities because of the profound need for intimacy and relationships...
The Eucharist. It is the source and summit of the Christian life.
Share vision of the faculty administration, and student body and mutual . . . academic community. Why? For a sense of purpose within.
I believe that the personal formation plan and personal formation direction are found to be most helpful.
We are just beginning to look at this issue so cannot comment at this time.
Learning a model of theological reflection out of which they can self-identify their ministry experiences.
Sharing their faith. Praying together. Expanding their vision and knowledge of church, its' mission and history. Learning other expressions of faith. Learning how to reflect theologically. Assure their personal call. Their opportunity to develop their skills and put their gifts and talents to serve others. All this keeps them spiritually alive in the presence of God and make them feel helpful.
As above #116.
75, 71, 74, 77, 81, 83.
We have mixed responses here. Spiritual direction is rather consistently positive. Other activities' value varies for individuals. Small group experiences are often seen as important. Academic and pastoral formation experiences are also valued for their spiritual impact.
I can only at this point answer for myself and say that an insistent adaptation of the traditional and contemporary means of conversion, prayer and meditation, integrated into the Church's institution and spirituality is essential.
Personal prayer and communal prayer. Eucharist. Retreats and spiritual direction.
Another person. Mentoring or spiritual direction that is one on one. Faith sharing in small faith communities is also very helpful . . . especially long term.
Importance of wholeness. Integration-personally-spiritually-professionally resulting from the self reflection process. Ability to articulate ones personal faith experiences.
Reflection papers help to internalize what they learn as well as the sharing among the students. Experiencing a variety of prayer forms and spiritualities.
Ongoing opportunity for prayer and faith sharing. The opportunity to pray and place their story into the context of a shared experience aids their personal development of a ministerial identity and an experience of grace.
Introduction to the rich spiritual heritage of the Catholic Church in the lives of the Saints. They see a living example of holiness to which we are called.