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Congar Institute for Ministry Development
February, 2012.     San Antonio, TX

Congar in a Flash!

Personnel changes in our central office and our website-upgrade project have interrupted our monthly newsletter over the last few months. But here we are again, excited to share with you the activities that are keeping us busy. We begin the new year with great hope, passionate about the good news of a laity prepared to proclaim the Gospel, excited as we continue the mission of the Congar Institute.

CASINO CONGAR

On August 27th, 2011, and thanks to the enthusiasm and hard work of a group called "the Friends of the Congar Institute", we had an evening of fun and games, food and drink: Casino Congar. On that evening we honored the Vicar General Emeritus of the Diocese of Salt Lake City, the beloved Msgr. Terence Fitzgerald. He was the recipient of our first ever Yves Congar Award for Promotion of the Laity in the Mission of the Church. It was also a fundraising event to support the Congar Institute's work. Many people, from different dioceses and groups contributed items for the silent auction or sponsored parts of the event. We are eternally grateful to all of them. It was a success in both senses: as an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of a man of God, who has done a lot for the promotion of the laity in his diocese, and also as a time to fundraise and "friendraise" for our Institute. May God bless all those who made this event possible!

The EMAÚS Journey Continues

Since our last newsletter, the Formation Plan for Hispanic Ministry, "Emaús", continues to unfold in Utah with many activities. A quick review demonstrates how much progress you make possible through your continued support of this effort. Weekend courses were held July 27-29 and October 22-23. In July, fr. Jorge Rátiva, OP presented an introduction to sacramental theology and Ms. Petra Alexander gave an overview in October of the theology of ministry. Following these weekend sessions, the participants took part in a retreat entitled "Faith, Formation, and Fidelity" presented by Fr. José Barrera of the Salt Lake City Diocese. This retreat marked the conclusion of the first year of formation. To begin the second year, the group attended the annual diocesan pastoral congress in which there were two workshops presented specifically for them on lay ecclesial ministry. Finally, on November 19th, I directed an intermediate session dedicated to pastoral skills development. The session focused on pastoral planning using the "see, judge, act" method. The formation plan continues in 2012, a year dedicated to church history and to moral theology. The group continues their enthusiastic participation, putting forth great effort to gain as much as they can from the formation process.

NEW PROJECT IN BILOXI

fr. Wayne and I traveled to the city of Biloxi, MS in early November to meet with various diocesan personnel and lay leaders. Together, we explored the possibility of developing a plan of lay leadership formation for the Hispanic community in the diocese. Fr. Sergio Balderas, Diocesan Director of Hispanic Ministry, organized a meeting with clergy and lay leaders from the Hispanic community to dialog with us about the needs of the community and their hopes for addressing them. We also attended a meeting with Bishop Roger P. Morin. The time was spent discussing how the Congar Institute can assist the Diocese in identifying and addressing the needs of the Hispanic community in a way that takes seriously the realities of the Diocese through our unique Inventory process. As an expert in planning, Bishop Morin was immediately able to appreciate the benefits of our approach to the Diocese. The result of the visit is an agreement with Bishop Morin to carry out the Inventory and propose a plan of formation for the Hispanic community. We will return to the Diocese at the end of February, 2012 to conduct a series of one-on-one interviews and focus groups to determine the needs as well as the human and material resources of the Hispanic community in the Diocese. When the Inventory is completed, we will prepare a report that will propose a plan for maximizing their resources to more adequately address the pastoral needs of the local church. The fraternal welcome we received in Biloxi, the recognition of the unique gifts we have to offer, and the sincere desire to develop lay leadership demonstrated by all fills us with enthusiasm for this new project.

We are launching our new website!!

We are launching our new website! It has been updated and has lots of new information, including some neat videos to help you understand the impact of our work in the dioceses where we are present. Take a look! We will be adding new material regularly. Stay tuned!

Location:

285 Oblate Drive
San Antonio, TX 78216-6693
Email: congarinstitute@ost.edu
Phone: 210-341-1366 Ext. 269
Fax: 210-341-4519

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