As the Church moves into the new millennium, it needs effective well-trained lay leaders to confront the challenges ahead including the decreasing number of clergy in the Church. We must have leaders who are able to engage people in creating a shared vision for the future while developing sound strategies and infrastructures to achieve the vision. To help face these challenges, one of the priorities important to the Foundation is the support of lay leadership training. The ministerial formation program within the Archdiocese of Milwaukee prepares men for deaconate as well as men and women for ecclesial lay ministry for parishes in areas of pastoral services, administrative services and Christian formation leadership. As the Church continues to move forward, a significant area of emphasis is multicultural diversity.
Without the support of grants from The Catholic Community Foundation, individuals who are committed to ministry in the Church, but have other financial and personal obligations, would not be able to get the training they need through the ministerial formation program in order to be the Church’s lay leaders of tomorrow.
For example, one of the lay ministry participants in the Spanish-speaking program is a single mother with two teenage children. She has a full-time job and the burdens of raising a family on her own, yet she is heavily involved in the ministry of her parish and active as a volunteer in the community. With the training she will receive, she can remain committed to leading her family at home as well as her family in her parish.
In addition to this single mother, there is a Latino couple who are both committed to their training through the lay ministry program. Both are active in their parish with youth ministry, retreats, and coordinate the catechesis program. They have dedicated their lives to ministry in the Church. They have a young family with growing financial demands, yet they are committed to getting the training they’ll need to continue to lead their parish’s ministry programs.
Grants from donor funds within The Catholic Community Foundation make it possible for committed and faithful individuals to get the training they need to be the lay leaders of the Church as we move into the new millennium.
Call Mary Ellen Markowski to ask about starting a fund: