Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

Encore Priests: Finding New Purpose, New Meaning and New Direction in Retirement

Encore Priests Web Bannner

Encore Priests is the newest program from Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology's Institute for Priests and Presbyterates. Encore Priests offers a programmatic response to the ongoing formation needs and challenges for senior priests raised in the The Basic Plan for the Ongoing Formation of Priests (USCCB, 2001).
 

From the Church's Documents

Pastores Dabo Vobis (no. 77) and the Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests (no. 95) strongly urge ongoing formation for senior priests, noting that such formation must be both supportive in the face of challenges at this stage of life, and encouraging in helping priests continue to make their unique and irreplaceable contribution to the Church and its mission on the basis of their experience and season of life.

The Current Situation

  • 50% of U.S. priests will have reached retirement age by 2020
  • Priesthood ordinations are running below the replacement rate
  • Priests are living longer since original retirement ages were established
  • Growing body of literature says "baby boomers" are wanting to re-invent themselves, combining personal meaning and social purpose
  • Many retired priests hunger for more than weekend fill-in ministry

Personally Life-giving

Encore Priests is being established to train priests for new ministries that will be both life-giving for the priest personally and for the Church in general. The program aims to help retired priests continue to offer their wisdom while extending their generous service in new and creative ways.

A Workshop Designed for Priests in Their 60s or Approaching Retirement

Encore Priests prepares priests for their transition into retirement. Of course, priests never fully retire. By the very nature of the sacrament of Holy Orders, priests always have some form of priestly ministry. But how can a mature priest transition into a retirement that is meaningful and vital?

If you're a priest nearing retirement age, this workshop is designed to help you:

  • plan for the transition into retirement
  • make your retirement meaningful and purposeful
  • discover your strengths and your likely challenges, and how to best engage both
  • discover the 15 spiritual growth factors that can transform retirement into an energizing time of personal and spiritual development
  • learn the steps to make the most of your retirement

Retirement Success Profile for Diocesan Priests

Prior to the workshop, participants will complete a Retirement Success Profile designed especially for priests.

This 120-item profile offers the priest an overview of how well he is preparing for retirement. This scientifically designed assessment measures the 15 factors crucial for achieving personal success in retirement:

  • Ministry Reorientation
  • Attitude Toward Retirement
  • Self-Direction
  • Health Perception
  • Financial Security
  • Current Life Satisfaction
  • Projected Life Satisfaction
  • Life Meaning/Spirituality
  • Leisure Interests
  • Personal Adaptability
  • Lifespan Development
  • Felt Responsibility for Caregiving
  • Personal Support System 
  • Perception of Age
  • Re-formation of Priestly Work Functions

At the workshop, each participant will review his personalized 23-page report to help him create a personal and successful transition into retirement.

Amenities for Workshop Participants

  • Private room and bath facilities
  • Wi-Fi Internet access
  • Workout facilities
  • Satellite TV and DVD player in our beautifully appointed St. John Vianney Center
  • Opportunities for communal prayer with monastic community 
  • Daily Mass and prayer with fellow priests
  • View a slideshow of our facilities

Dr Richard JohnsonRichard P. Johnson, Ph.D., PCSG, is founder of the Johnson Institute for Spiritual Gerontology and Maturing Adult Faith Formation. Nationally recognized for his pioneering work in these areas, Dr. Johnson has presented his work in numerous parishes, dioceses and religious communities.

He has given keynote addresses and presentations in conferences including the National Association of Church Personnel Administrators, the National Organization for Continuing Education of Roman Catholic Clergy, the National Federation of Priests' Councils, the National Association of Catholic Family Life Ministers, and others.

Dr. Johnson has authored several books, including Creating a Successful Retirement: Finding Peace and Purpose, Discover Your Spiritual Strengths and The 12 Keys to Spiritual Vitality: Powerful Lessons on Living Agelessly.

All times CDT

Mon., April 21  
2:00-4:00 p.m. Check-in and Registration
4:30 Welcome Social
5:00 Evening Prayer
5:30 Dinner
6:30 Program Session - Reviewing Your Retirement Profile
Tues., April 22   
7:30 a.m. Mass
8:00-8:30 Breakfast
9:00-11:30 Program Session - Looking Ahead: Ministry Reassessment, New Attitudes About Retirement and New Directions 
Noon Lunch
1:00-2:00 p.m. Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation available
2:00-4:30 Program Session - Looking at the Now: Health, Finances and Personal Satisfaction
5:00 Evening Prayer
5:30 Dinner
Wed., April 23  
7:30 a.m. Mass
8:00-8:30 Breakfast
8:45-11:15 Program Session - Looking Inside: Personal Renewal, Life Satisfactions, Life Meaning, Spirituality and Leisure
Noon Lunch
1:30-4:00 p.m. Program Session - Looking Around: Adaptability, New Development and New Responsibilities
5:00 Evening Prayer with Monastic Community (optional)
5:30 Dinner
Thurs., April 24  
7:30 a.m. Mass
8:00-8:30 Breakfast
8:45-11:15 Program Session - Looking at New Realities: Support Systems, Maturation, Re-Forming New Work Functions
Noon Lunch and Departure

The April 21-24, 2014 "Encore Priests" workshop is sold out. Please register for our next workshop December 1-4, 2014.

Workshop Fee


Workshop fee is $750, which includes the $50 non-refundable fee for the Retirement Success Profile for Diocesan Priests (RSP-DP). The workshop fee also includes meals and overnight accommodations from Monday supper through Thursday lunch.

Additional overnight accommodations and meals, subject to availability, would be in addition to the cost of the workshop. Call the Institute for Priests and Presbyterates by the registration deadline for availability and pricing.

Registration Deadline

Registration deadline is Friday, November 21, 2014.

Registration Form 

Register online with credit card payment.

Register online with "bill me" option.

Or call (800) 357-8477 or email smipp@saintmeinrad.edu to register.