Formational Segment. The formal, three-year formational segment of the LPMI focuses on developing leadership skills on a theological, pastoral, and collaborative level for use in the various ministries in the home, the neighborhood, the parish, and throughout the Diocese. Upon successfully completing the program, participants will be commissioned by the Bishop of the Diocese of St. Petersburg for ministry in the Diocese.
Participants in the formal program are required to apply through their parishes. The Office of the LPMI will conduct a final screening of candidates. Attention will be given to leadership, service, and collaborative abilities. This program does not attempt specializations or certifications in ministry. It encourages the individual’s pursuit of certification in specific fields through certification processes that are offered by national agencies.
Prospective candidates should be aware that, while the approval of the individual’s pastor is a requirement for entering the program, there is no guarantee that the individual will be offered a position within the parish or the diocese upon successful completion of the program. It must also be noted that, since the Institute will focus on collaboration in ministry, the Diocese, the parish, and the individual will be expected to share equally in the tuition costs of the program.
Because of the LPMI’s focus on pastoral ministry, participants may be invited to apply for the permanent deaconate formation program. However, participation in, or completion of the LPMI program, does not mean automatic acceptance into the permanent diaconate program.
This segment will follow the standards established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Commission on Certification and Accreditation. It is built on the four aspects of formation as described by the USCCB in Co-Workers in the Vineyard.
Human formation seeks to develop the lay ecclesial minister’s human qualities and character, fostering a healthy and well-balanced personality, for the sake of both personal growth and ministerial service. (Co-Workers in the Vineyard, USCCB)
Spiritual formation aims to arouse and animate true hunger for holiness, desire for union with the Father through Christ in the Spirit, daily growing in love of God and neighbor in life and ministry, and the practices of prayer and spirituality that foster these attitudes and dispositions. It promotes and strengthens that fundamental conversion that places God, and not oneself, at the center of one’s life. (Co-Workers in the Vineyard, USCCB)
Intellectual formation seeks to develop the lay ecclesial minister’s understanding and appreciation of the Catholic faith, which is rooted in God’s revelation and embodied in the living tradition of the Church. It consists chiefly of study of the sacred sciences but draws also upon a wide range of other disciplines: philosophy, literature and the arts, psychology, sociology, counseling, medical ethics, culture and language studies, business administration, leadership and organizational development, law, and so on. (Co-Workers in the Vineyard, USCCB)
Pastoral formation cultivates the knowledge, attitudes, and skills that directly pertain to effective functioning in the ministry setting and that also pertain to pastoral administration that supports direct ministry. (Co-Workers in the Vineyard, USCCB)
The three-year formational cycle consists of:
- Day of orientation and prayer at the beginning of each class year cycle;
- Overnight weekend retreat at the end of each class year cycle;
- Four modules, each consisting of four two-hour classes, and two theological reflection sessions;
- An Apprenticeship in ministry during the second year consisting of 20 observation hours;
- A Practicum in ministry in their respective parishes in the third year;
- Attendance at nine workshops over the course of the three years.
In summary, the LPMI program, in order to achieve its goals, identifies candidates who demonstrate that they are able to develop the values, attitudes, qualities, and skills of a competent ministerial leader. Once these candidates are identified, the LPMI program is committed to providing opportunities for these participants to learn and practice the values, attitudes, qualities, and skills of a competent ministerial leader.