Friday, June 29, 2007

Exiting the Institute

I'll never forget a brief conversation I had with a couple of members of my parish when we were in the midst of planning a Celebration of New Ministry (or Institution, as some call it). They were talking about the fact that they were looking forward to my being institutionalized! While parish ministry can sometimes seem a little insane, I doubt I was that far gone then, nor now for that matter.

All of this is a long and sort of quirky way of saying that my first two weeks of the Church Development Institute in Seattle (CDI-Seattle) are completed. Now begins a year of study and work around church development, including readings and two church development projects. This year is essentially a time in which CDI-Seattle class members are committed deepening our learning as well as beginning to apply what we have learned in a parish context. My first project will likely be centered around Benedictine Spirituality and its three-fold disciplines of stability, obedience, and conversion of life. This is also the part of the Rule for the Order of the Ascension, a group affiliated with CDI and committed to church development. Most of us will return to Seattle at this time next year to complete our four-week course of study.

It has been a long, at times frustrating, but very worthwhile experience for me to be here. While I miss my family, I have gained many skills and much knowledge that will hopefully help me be a better parish priest. I anticipate that the learning will continue.

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