5.9.1.4.1 Continuing Education and Spiritual Development of Priests

Ongoing growth in relationship with God, self and others presumes care for the spirit, the body and the mind.

CARE FOR THE LIFE OF THE SPIRIT: EXPECTATIONS

1) A consistent practice of daily prayer and participation in the sacramental life of the church including regular celebration of the Sacrament of Penance.

2) Participation in an annual retreat is required of every priest. Diocesan priests are strongly encouraged to attend a diocesan sponsored retreat. (See #5.9.1.4.1 Requirement of Annual Retreat for Priests)

3) Daily spiritual reading.

4) Taking time to nurture close friendships with a variety of people.Recommended practices

CARE FOR THE LIFE OF THE SPIRIT

1) Monthly participation in priests’ support group.    

2) Attendance at occasional days of recollection.

3) Spiritual direction.

4) Taking advantage of programs that promote self-understanding and human growth. More specifically, seeking professional assistance when appropriate.

CARE FOR THE BODY: MINIMAL REQUIREMENTS FOR HEALTH

1) Weekly day off (this is usually considered to be a period of 24 hours).    

2) Annual vacation. Canon law allows a total of one month annually. [1]    

3) Periodic physical checkup.

4) Regular physical exercise (three times a week for a half hour at a time is the usual suggested frequency), good nutrition and adequate rest.

RECOMMENDED PRACTICES (CARE FOR THE BODY)

1) A thorough executive physical is recommended for those over 40 years of age every other year. A regular physical checkup should be done annually.

2) The pursuit of a hobby can be helpful for overall health.

CARE OF THE MIND

1) Minimal expectation for ongoing professional development;

2) Annual participation in 40 hours of continuing education programs which may include the following:

1) attendance at presbyteral convocation (20 hours);

2) participation in diocesan sponsored workshops;

3) taking advantage of day-long and week-long programs sponsored by various educational institutions;

4) regular reading and consulting of professional journals and manuals of pastoral theology;       

5) taking advantage of sabbatical opportunities according to established guidelines of the Lansing diocese (see #5.9.1.6 Sabbaticals for Priests).

RECOMMENDED PRACTICES (CARE OF THE MIND)

1) Participation in voluntary learning groups, i.e., homily discussion, theological reflection.    

2) Developing a particular theological or pastoral expertise according to personal interest and diocesan need (language study, historical research, care for particular groups).

ACCOUNTABILITY

Each priest will be asked to complete an annual self-evaluation summarizing the efforts that have been made to pursue spiritual growth and education. This evaluation will be made available to the bishop and will be used at his discretion.

Long term assigned study is determined by the bishop according to the availability of clergy and the urgency of the need in the diocese.



[1] cc. 533 §2 and 550 §3


Date approved by Bishop


Posted by
Msgr. S. J. Raica, chancellor