National Toolbox for Pastoral Management at Sacred Heart Seminary, Wis.

“So often parish ministry is about surviving external and internal pressures,” said Paulist Fr. Paolo Puccini, who serves as an associate pastor of St. Austin Church in Austin, Texas.

Fr. Paolo was one of 30 priests who took part in Leadership Roundtable’s Toolbox for Pastoral Management in June, hosted by Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology in Hales Corner, WI.

“The outstanding professional presenters showed us how our ministries can thrive and bear fruit in abundance with proper care and attention,” Fr. Puccini said.

Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology partnered with Leadership Roundtable to host a national Toolbox for Pastoral Management that was open to priests from across the United States. The week-long intensive formation program took place the first week of June at the seminary’s recently remodeled conference room and guest rooms. Distinct from other Toolboxes hosted primarily for a single diocese or region, priests from across the country took part in the June Toolbox including from:

  • Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Wis.
  • Archdiocese of Atlanta, Ga.
  • Diocese of Rockford, Ill.
  • Diocese of Austin, Texas
  • Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Fla.
  • Diocese of Springfield, Ill
  • the Paulist Fathers

The Toolbox for Pastoral Management is a comprehensive introduction to the key elements of pastoral management based on research into pastoral competencies that have been shown to be vital for the success of priests. Participants stay on site and engage throughout the week in a workshop-style series of presentations that provide practical, ready-to-use tools for the busy pastoral leader. Prayer, the sacraments, and fellowship round out this formational initiative.

“Leadership Roundtable’s Toolbox for Pastoral Management fits nicely with our mission since it provides timely and specialized ongoing formation for priests becoming administrators and pastors,” Very Rev. Raúl Gómez-Ruiz, SDS, Ph.D., President-Rector of the Seminary, said.

Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology’s mission is “Preparing evangelizing disciples through specialized formation to conform our world to the heart of Christ.”

“Hosting the Toolbox is an important way we help priests flourish in their ministries after seminary formation, and we use grant funds to make the program accessible to many dioceses and religious orders,” Fr. Gómez-Ruiz continued. “We are grateful to collaborate with Leadership Roundtable on this important formation opportunity.”

Fr. John Klader, parochial vicar at the Holy Cross Catholic Church in the Diocese of Rockford, shared that the Toolbox offered a wonderful opportunity to “pray and reflect with brother priests from around the country embarking on the next stage in our ministry together.”

Since 2009, Leadership Roundtable has hosted 48 Toolboxes for Pastoral Management for more than 1,100 pastoral leaders. Variations on the Toolbox program have been offered to lay leaders, seminarians, transitional deacons, parish teams, members of religious orders, and senior diocesan leaders. The program is customized for clergy who are recently or soon-to-be appointed pastors/administrators and at an Advanced Level for experienced pastors seeking to further sharpen their skills in ministry.

Click here for more information about the Toolbox for Pastoral Management program. 

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