Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

Resources for Presbyteral Unity

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"The ongoing formation of a presbyterate aims to forge a collective sense of study and prayer among the priests of the presbyterate for the sake of their service to the people of God entrusted to their care. The ongoing formation of a presbyterate's unity cultivates the bonds of fraternal connection, support and challenge...[It] makes the very presbyterate a more transparent sacramental sign."

The Basic Plan for the Ongoing Formation of Priests (USCCB, 2001, 94)


Saint Meinrad's Institute for Priests and Presbyterates offers dioceses several do-it-yourself models for strengthening presbyteral unity, designed by IPP founding director Fr. Ronald Knott, the author of Intentional Presbyterates: Claiming Our Common Sense of Purpose.

Presbyteral Assembly Models

Presbyteral assemblies are based on a series of five models, collectively titled Intentional Presbyterates. Belows are links to downloadable PDFs that describe each of the models.

Part I: "Claiming Our Common Sense of Purpose as Diocesan Priests [pdf]" focuses on the theology of presbyteral unity, on writing a common vision statement, and on hearing the expectations of internal and external stakeholders.

Part II: "Honoring the Variety of Gifts within Our Presbyterate [pdf]" focuses on how giving fellow priests opportunities to share their gifts and talents with one another is part of the work of building presbyteral unity and constitutes part of a priest's spiritual life.

Part III: "Made Holy by Our Shared Ministry [pdf]" is based on the themes of Pastores Dabo Vobis, concentrating on how his threefold ministry is a priest's principal means of sanctification.

Part IV: "The Asceticism of Dialogue in the Ministry of Unity [pdf]" is based on a theme within Pope Paul VI's encyclical Ecclesiam Suam to help priests learn to speak with one another more effectively.

Part V: "Reclaiming the Four Pillars of Priestly Formation [pdf]" builds upon the previous models and focuses upon human, pastoral, spiritual and intellectual formation outlined in Pastores Dabo Vobis.

Retreat Model

This retreat model, titled "Claiming our Common Sense of Purpose as Diocesan Priests [pdf]," is based on Part I of the Intentional Presbyterates series of presbyteral assemblies.

Prayers for the Presbyterate

A Priest's Prayer for His Presbyterate

Oración del Sacerdote por su Presbiterio (Spanish version)

Song for Presbyeral Gatherings

"Lord and Teacher You Have Called Us" is a hymn created for use in presbyteral retreats and assemblies. Commissioned by Fr. J. Ronald Knott, founding director of the Institute for Priests and Presbyterates, the lyrics were written by Fr. Harry Hagan, OSB, using sentiments from Church documents.

The song can be sung to any of several familiar hymn tunes. It can be used freely under Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Lyrics and Melody [pdf]

Accompaniment [pdf]

Consultation from the Institute for Priests and Presbyterates

To discuss implementing these models in your diocese, contact the Institute for Priests and Presbyterates at (800) 357-8477 or by email at