Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

The Associate Pastor

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The Associate Pastor workshop helps newly ordained priests make a seamless transition from seminary into parish ministry.

Facilitating the Transition into Ministry

Preparation for the workshop begins in the fall after ordination with the transition facilitation process. A trained transition facilitator meets with the new priest, his pastor, and the parish staff to identify particular challenges, strengths and opportunities for growth that the new priest can address during the on-campus workshop in the spring.

While the transition facilitator can conduct his work remotely through questionnaires and telephone interviews, the effectiveness of the Associate Pastor workshop can be greatly enhanced by an on-site visit at the newly ordained priest's parish.

The On-Campus Workshop

During the spring, the newly ordained priest participates in a five-day workshop at Saint Meinrad with other new priests. This holistic program focuses on issues involving the transition period and adjustments from seminary to priesthood, including individual issues identified with the help of the transition facilitator.

The program employs theological reflection, group interaction and pastoral expertise. Participants have access to the sacraments, monastic prayer, confession and physical fitness facilities. Each participant departs with his personally crafted plan for human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral growth.


  • On-Campus Workshop with Transition Facilitation by phone: $1,295
  • On-Campus Workshop with Transition Facilitation on-site visit: $1,625
  • Included: Overnight accommodations, meals from Monday supper through Friday lunch, program curriculum and printed materials, 
  • Not included: Purchases at Jack's Coffee Shop, the UnStable, Scholar Shop or Gift Shop.

The Institute for Priests and Presbyterates is able to offer workshops and programs at a lower cost due to the generosity of many benefactors. The actual cost per participant for "The Associate Pastor" workshop is considerably higher than the amount charged.

Managing a Successful Transition

The newly ordained priest undergoes a series of transitions from major seminary to parish life that lays a foundation for the future and provides a point of reference across a lifetime of ministry.

Were one to compare this transition into priestly ministry to other kinds of human experience, it might be like leaving home, graduating from school, beginning a career, getting married, and starting a family -- but all at once.

In this day-long process, Fr. Richard Chiola leads participants in a discussion of the tasks and challenges, occasions of temptation, graces and discernments the newly ordained experiences in his first years of priesthood.
Personal Finance: Budgeting, Spending and Saving for Retirement

Like his parishioners, a priest needs to know how to manage his personal finances, spend less than he takes in and prepare financially for his retirement. In this session, certified financial planner Tricia Hollander-Henning takes workshop participants through the process of preparing personal monthly budgets to choosing the right investment vehicles for retirement.
Tricia Hollander-Henning_small
Homily Preparation for Sunday Mass

That Sunday homily isn't going to write itself! Fr. Brendan Moss, OSB, spends some time with workshop participants on Wednesday afternoon to look over the scriptures for the upcoming weekend and discuss some possible themes and directions.
Income Taxes for Priests

If the U.S. tax code appears puzzling for the average American taxpayer, consider how much more so it can be for the clergy with their own special set of rules. What is taxable income for a priest? His salary? Stole fees? Stipends? Gift income? What about food, auto and insurance allowances? As a priest, are you paying your taxes quarterly? In this session, Cecelia "Siggi" Hamilton covers the tax code as it applies specifically to priests and answers any questions you have about your personal situation.
Cecelia Hamilton
Creating Your Personal Growth Plan

Using the report generated from the Transition Facilitation process, workshop participants put together their personal growth plans moving forward into their priestly ministry. Where have you gotten off track in the four pillars of priestly formation? To what will you commit yourself to grow into the priest God has called you to be? Fr. Bill Bowling takes you through the process of envisioning what you need to do next. Growth plan coaches work with you in the afternoon to create an honest and achievable plan.
Fr. Bill Bowling_small
Exorcism and the Parish Priest

There is a lot of talk these days about demons and a general fascination with the topic of exorcism. In this presentation, Fr. Rob Rottgers, exorcist for the Diocese of Covington, will assist parish priests in better  understanding how to minister to those who come to them with the belief that they are up against the forces of evil.
Fr. Rob Rottgers new
Quick, Simple, Healthy Cooking for One

More than a presentation, this dinner-preparation session is designed to help the workshop participant gain some strategies for preparing meals that are both good and good for the priest. Taking care of ourselves is good stewardship of our bodies and allows us to serve well those entrusted to our care. Beyond having the knowledge and experience to prepare meals well, simply finding time to cook can be a big challenge.

Note: The Associate Pastor Workshop begins with the Transition Facilitation Process.

Mon., Feb. 17  
2:00-4:00 p.m. Registration
4:30 p.m. Evening Prayer, Orientation and Social
5:15 p.m. Dinner
6:15 p.m. Orientation
6:30 p.m. Mass for travelers (if needed)
7:00-8:00 p.m. Program Session - Managing a Successful Transition - Opening Discussion
Tues., Feb. 18   
7:00-8:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:45-11:15 a.m. Program Session - Managing a Successful Transition (Cont.)
11:30 a.m. Mass
Noon Lunch
1:00-2:00 p.m. Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation available
2:15-4:30 p.m. Program Session - Managing a Successful Transition (Cont.)
5:00 p.m. Evening Prayer, Social and Program Session - Quick, Simple, Healthy Cooking for One
Wed., Feb. 19  
7:00-8:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:45-11:15 a.m. Program Session - Personal Finance: Budgeting, Spending and Saving for Retirement
11:30 a.m. Mass
Noon Lunch
1:00-2:00 p.m. Program Session - Homily Preparation for 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time
2:30-4:00 p.m. Program Session - Income Taxes for Priests
5:00 p.m. Evening Prayer with Monastic Community (optional)
5:15 p.m. Dinner
Thurs., Feb. 20  
7:00 - 8:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:45 - 11:15 a.m. Program Session - Creating Your Personal Growth Plan
11:30 a.m. Mass
Noon Lunch
2:00 - 4:30 p.m. Program Session - Creating Your Personal Growth Plan (cont.)
5:00 p.m. Evening Prayer with Monastic Community (optional)
5:15 p.m. Dinner
Fri., Feb. 21  
7:30 a.m. Mass
8:00 - 8:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:45 - 11:15 a.m. Program Session - Exorcism and the Parish Priest
11:15 a.m. Evaluations and Announcements
Noon Lunch

Monday, February 17 - Friday, February 21, 2014


The Associate Pastor workshop is $1,625 with personal visit Transition Facilitation, or $1,295 with phone call Transition Facilitation. Included:

  • Transition Facilitation process
  • Four nights' accommodations in St. Bede Hall
  • All meals from Monday supper through Friday lunch
  • All program fees and material costs
To Register
How the Process Works

Follow this simple step-by-step guide for completing the Transition Facilitation process and registering for The Associate Pastor workshop.

Facilitating a Successful Transition

As part of The Associate Pastor workshop, the Institute for Priests and Presbyterates provides a trained Transition Facilitator to meet with the recently ordained priest, his pastor, and a member of the parish staff. Through questionnaires and face-to-face meetings, the Transition Facilitator helps the new priest identify potential transition issues and concerns before they become serious problems.

The Purpose

Transition facilitation is not evaluation. Rather, transition facilitation serves to ease the newly ordained priest's entry into ministry: affirming the good, encouraging him in self-reflection, and motivating him to continue his growth in holiness, happiness and effectiveness in ministry.

The Transition Facilitator helps name areas of needed growth the new priest will address at The Associate Pastor Workshop held in the spring after ordination. Here at the workshop, with a written report from the Transition Facilitator in hand, the recently ordained priest creates a personal growth plan to articulate his specific goals and map out his process for achieving them.

Transition Facilitation

The Process

The process for transition facilitation begins in the fall following ordination. Questionnaires are completed by the newly ordained priest, his pastor, and a parish staff member. Those questionnaires are then reviewed by a transition facilitator. Meetings between the transition facilitator and respondents are conducted. The facilitator provides a written report to the newly ordained priest that serves as the basis for his personal growth plan.

View the entire step-by-step process

The Questionnaires