.- The Catholic Leadership Institute has announced that its new partnership with the Diocese of Joliet, Illinois means that thirty U.S. dioceses have now partnered with the institute in its clergy leadership development program.
In 2006 the Catholic Leadership Institute (CLI) introduced nationally its Good Leaders, Good Shepherds program after a 2003-2005 pilot effort in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
According to a February CLI statement, the program uses Jesus Christ as the “ultimate shepherd” in a curriculum designed to help clergy overcome contemporary challenges such as a diminishing number of clergy and the “complex circumstances” of priestly ministry.
The program intends to help priests “minimize the frustration and energy” spent on administrative roles and maximize the “joy and time spent on the pastoral duties for which they were uniquely ordained.”
CLI hopes to bring the program to as many U.S. dioceses as possible.
“We are blessed to be ministering with so many dioceses throughout the country,” Fr. Bill Dickinson, CLI’s National Director of Leadership Development, said in a March 27 statement. “Our mission is to help shepherds recognize their God-given potential and develop their leadership skills so they can effectively and confidently lead their faith communities in carrying out the mission of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church."
Over 800 priests from across the U.S. have enrolled in the program.
Bishop of Brooklyn, New York Nicholas DiMarzio has supported the program and some of his diocese’s priests have enrolled in it.
“There is no better program than Good Leaders, Good Shepherds to ensure that effective ongoing growth occurs in the life of a priest,” Bishop DiMarzio said, saying it has been a “true blessing” to have the program available to his diocese’s priests.