ďCelebrating Mass with the bishops participating in the conference.Ē Pilot photo/ Courtesy CardinalSeansBlog.org
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Earlier this week I was in Dallas with Bishop Bob Hennessey attending a workshop for bishops based on the Good Leaders, Good Shepherds program. Good Leaders, Good Shepherds is a two-year program developed by the Catholic Leadership Institute which helps priests take leadership principles from the business world and apply them to their ministry.
CLI was founded by Tim Flanagan, whose brother, Father Brian Flanagan, was one of my priests in Palm Beach. This is how I first heard of this program. Father Bill Dickinson, from the Diocese of Cleveland, is CLIís national director and Matthew Manion is president and CEO.
For priests and bishops, ongoing formation is a very important part of our lives in ministry. We cannot depend on what we learned in the seminary, but we must constantly be updating ourselves and trying to learn new and better ways to serve Godís people.
Good Leaders, Good Shepherds is one of the most outstanding instruments of the ongoing formation for priests I have seen. Over 50 priests in our archdiocese have been involved in the program and it has been very well received.
Now, they are beginning a program for lay leadership among parish staffs in the archdiocese as well as the workshop for bishops.
The workshop itself was held in something of an unusual place -- not a place I otherwise would have seen -- called The Cooper Institute.
It is sort of a health center founded by a physician, Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper, whose whole thrust has been preventive medicine -- the idea of treating people while they are healthy people to prevent them from getting sick. He said that our health care here in the United States is too much health care, too late. I must say, being here has helped remind me that I need to constantly stress, to all priests, the importance of taking care of their health!
The workshop has been a very enlightening and interesting experience having the opportunity of being with other bishops from around the country and to have a greater understanding of ourselves and how we can relate with others. It has helped me to appreciate why our priests in Boston are so enthused about the Good Leaders, Good Shepherds program.