Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

The Newly Appointed Pastor

Fr Bernie Etienne teaching

This four-day workshop addresses the duties of pastors: teaching, sanctifying and governing. Effective pastoring requires skills in leading and managing, planning and communicating, organizing and stewarding. Understanding and implementing the practices necessary for working well with fellow clergy, staff and volunteers both within his own parish and larger circles of the Church are all key to pastoring successfully.

Dates: September 11-14, 2017
November 6-9, 2017 

Cost - $600

  • Included: Overnight accommodations, scheduled meals from Monday dinner through Thursday dinner, program fees and printed materials.

The Institute for Priests and Presbyterates is able to offer workshops and programs at a lower cost due to the generosity of many benefactors.


To Teach, to Sanctify and to Govern as Christ Did
The foundation of the parish pastor's ministry is Jesus's three-fold identity as priest, prophet and king. The workshop's opening session sets the stage for understanding why we do what we do as pastors.
Canon Law as the Framework for Pastoring 
The Code of Canon Law prescribes the rights, responsibilities, obligations and duties of the pastor. Here we review the canons regarding pastors and parishes that serve as the foundation and framework for pastoring.
Being and Becoming a Pastor: Exercising Authority
Authority originates from different sources and is exercised to achieve different ends. Authority springs from expertise, position or title, commitments or contracts, and from positions of power. Understanding the source and purpose of authority in various pastoral situations will benefit the pastor in building unity and harmony in agreement and effort.
Preaching as Pastor
In this session we'll look at differences in perceptions of authority in preaching associated with the transition from parochial vicar to pastor and review tips for writing and delivering homilies. 
Leading and Managing Personnel
Pastors are ultimately responsible for personnel decisions. This topic reviews diocesan policies and procedures and touches on best practices for leading and managing employees.
Parish Planning and Development
Vibrant parishes are built on effective planning, communication and fundraising. This session presents a model for strategic planning that provides the foundation for parish development.
Legal Issues and Risk Management 
Pastors need to be financially literate to be effective stewards. They need to understand the use of internal control systems in a religious setting, because a lack of proper controls, both financial and operational, can cause loss of valuable assets and harm the reputation and credibility of the Church itself. Resources provided.
The Pastor and Finances: Parish and Personal
Pastors are stewards of parish goods and assets as well as their own. Utilizing best practices in financial controls and procedures is essential to building and maintaining credibility and good will. The pastor's personal financial planning and discipline form the foundation for his stewardship of the parish's assets as well. Resources provided. 
Spiritual, Liturgical and Sacramental Leadership 
What does it mean to be a spiritual leader of a parish community and where do we find examples of spiritual leadership? How do we grow our competence as authentic spiritual leaders? Liturgical and sacramental leadership involves, but is more comprehensive than, how he presides. How his leadership communicates, connects or hinders the divine in a liturgical context is discussed. 
Evangelization: Transforming Parish Life from Within 
Can.  528 §1 states, in part, that the pastor "is to make every effort...that the  message of the  gospel  comes also to those who have  ceased the  practice of their  religion or do not  profess the  true  faith." In a 2005 study, only 6% of Catholics responded that "spreading the faith" was a high priority of their parish, and only 3% of Catholic parishes sponsored evangelistic activities. We discuss how to create thriving evangelistic parishes.
The Pastor and Parish Advisory Councils 
Good advisory boards and effective meetings don't happen by accident. This session covers the process best pastors employ in working with their advisory councils, both pastoral and financial. 


2:00-4:00 p.m. Registration
5:00  Social and evening prayer
5:30  Dinner
6:30  Opening Session
7:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:45-11:15  Program Session 
11:30  Mass
Noon Lunch
1:30-4:00 p.m. Program Session
5:00  Evening Prayer 
5:30  Dinner 
8:00 a.m. Breakfast
8:45-11:15  Program Session
11:30  Mass
Noon Lunch 
1:30-4:00 p.m. Program Session 
5:00  Evening Prayer
5:30  Dinner
8:00 a.m. Breakfast
8:45-11:15  Program Session
11:30  Mass
Noon Lunch
1:30-4:00 p.m. Program Session
5:30  Dinner
  • Monday, September 11 - Thursday, September 14, 2017

  • Monday, November 6 - Thursday, November 9, 2017

Registration Deadlines

  • September workshop: Friday, September 1, 2017

  • November workshop: Friday, October 27, 2017 


The Newly Appointed Pastor workshop is $600. Included:

  • Three nights' accommodations in St. Bede Hall
  • All meals from Monday supper through Thursday supper
  • All program fees and material costs

Cost of overnight accommodations and meals beyond the scheduled dates, subject to availability, are in addition to the workshop fee. Call by registration deadline for availability and pricing of additional night(s) accommodations and meals. 

How to Register

Institute for Priests and Presbyterates
Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology
200 Hill Drive
St. Meinrad, IN 47577

Fax: (812) 357-6283 

  • I got insights from the different presenters in regards to pastoral ministry in the parish. I am now aware of things that can be done effectively in the parish and in the life of a priest. This workshop has given me a new perspective and a new motivation to work on different aspects of parish ministry. Now I can go back to the parish with this question: what would I do differently?
  • Very necessary, informative and educational - especially for international priests.
  • It was a great workshop. I will recommend it to other newly appointed pastors.

  • It was very timely given some of the issues that I am currently dealing with in my parish.

  • I realized how little I really know about civil law and requirements and safeguards for parishes. I learned quite a lot.

  • I left this session with a realization of how much homework I have to do! I now know the questions to ask my diocese. This session was very timely as our parish begins its annual budget process.

  • Gave examples from parish experience that we could immediately relate to. Very basic, making no presumptions that we already knew certain concepts - which was good! Very thorough, covering many areas of the topic. Gave helpful definitions, tips and guides.

  • Helpful overview that left me with categories to investigate in internal control, promoting stewardship and effectively using our advisory councils.