First students in Faith Formation Leadership begin studies

Author: Michael O. Garvey


Thirteen recent graduates of the University of Notre Dame have returned to campus to take up residence in Knott Hall and begin summer session studies in theology.p. The nine women and four men, all members of Notre Dame’s 2004 graduating class, now comprise the first class of the Faith Formation Leadership Program (FFLP), a project of the Center for Catechetical Initiatives (CCI) in Notre Dame’s Institute for Church Life. The FFLP students will live in community and pursue masters degrees while serving asapprentice parish catechetical leadersin dioceses nationwide.p. The need for more well-trained catechetical leaders demands a renewal of fundamental commitments for this ministry to flourish and for a new generation of leaders to blossom,said Gerard F. Baumbach, concurrent professor of theology at Notre Dame and CCI director.Our program hopes to address this challenge by making use of Notre Dames unique and plentiful resources, including the gifts and talents of its recent graduates, to form new parish catechetical leaders for ministry in dioceses and parishes throughout the United States.p. The first FFLP students will begin course work and other preparation at Notre Dame this summer before being assigned to serve in parishes of three dioceses which have agreed to be partners in piloting the program. Four students will work in Notre Dames home Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, five will work in the Diocese of Dallas, and four will work in the Diocese of Fort Worth. The term of their pastoral service will be two years, with summers spent at Notre Dame.p. Baumbach said that several other dioceses have expressed interest in the new program, and he hopes to see it expand dramatically in the coming years.p. _Contact: Gerard F. Baumbach, director of the Center for Catechetical Initiatives, at 574-631-2877 or " __ " _

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