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Roundtable says church must 'recruit, empower' diverse lay leaders


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ORLANDO, Fla. (CNS) -- Over 100 Catholic leaders attending the Leadership Roundtable's annual convening in Orlando said the church needs to go beyond "engaging laity" to "appointing, recruiting, promoting and empowering diverse lay leaders."

"This requires laity and ordained being in right relationship as co-responsible for the mission" of the Catholic Church, said the group in a statement released after the close of its June 29-30 meeting.

The Washington-based National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management held its annual convening just before the U.S. bishops opened the "Convocation of Catholic Leaders: The Joy of the Gospel in America" July 1-4 in Orlando.

Under the theme "Engaging, Equipping and Energizing Catholic Leaders for the Joy of the Gospel," the roundtable gathered Catholic leaders from across the United States to explore best practices in developing Catholic leaders as missionary disciples.

"Building upon a framework of empowered humility and creativity in ministry, participants articulated a vision of leaders as missionary disciples grounded in authenticity, joy, relationship and attention to those at the margins," it said.

In its statement, the group said that "formation of leaders as missionary disciples is more than an intellectual experience. It is one that happens through encounter with God's people in vibrant local communities, through mutually beneficial service and immersion experiences."

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