Reverend James R. White, D.Min., presented a workshop on January 11, 2014 to the permanent deacon candidates and their wives of the Diocese of Paterson.
Reverend James R. White, D.Min., Chaplain, Seton Hall Preparatory
School, presented a workshop on the topic of Lay Leadership Formation
and Development to the Diocese of Paterson permanent diaconate
candidates and their wives at St. Paul Inside the Walls, Madison on
Saturday January 11, 2014. These skills are identified as one of the
basic standards for readiness for ordination, in the National Directory
for the Formation, Ministry, and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States. Permanent Deacons, as part of their ministry, need to be able to effectively call to action volunteers and develop lay leaders in the community.
Fr. White began the workshop by highlighting key words and concepts
to help mobilize and affirm volunteers. To empower, involve, encourage
and entrust are just some of the concepts that call to action, challenge
and teach others to live out their Baptismal call of active
participation in their faith and community. By recognizing the gifts
of others and helping them to see the value of sharing their gifts,
deacons can encourage volunteers to emerge in the parish. With ongoing
development and training, these volunteers can evolve into ministerial
In his workshop, Fr. White illustrated how obstacles on the part of a person of authority (in this case the priest or deacon) or even a lay
leader can result in ineffective ministry. Attitudes of “I’ll just do
it myself,” ego, or fear of failure can have a negative effect on a
person’s willingness to call forth others into ministry. In contrast,
feelings of unworthiness, lack of training, and limited availability of
time can cause potential volunteers to decline an invitation to
participate in ministry. It is necessary for the Deacon to have the
skills and resources to enable them to call forth, affirm, and develop
the gifts and talents of others.
In the second session of the workshop, Fr. White broke attendees in
small groups where they were able to reflect on their own participation
in parish ministry. Discussions included ways they were invited to be
active participants and how they responded to the call, as well as, how
some have already had their own opportunity to invite people to ministry
and the results of that invitation.
To wrap up the workshop, Fr. White offered some simple tips for
success in calling forth laity to ministry and reminded everyone to
always ‘thank, thank, thank,’ and appreciate!
The next pastoral formation program will be a presentation on
Catholic Identity, Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue by Rev. Msgr. John Radano, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor of Systematic Theology, on
Saturday, March 8, 2014.
For more information please contact: