Session one: Vocation
Leaders in Catholic ministries are understood as called to this work. The Catholic Social Tradition affirms that the essential dignity of people is experienced as a call to use and develop their interests and talents, both for their own development and the good of others. We will reflect on how we strive to respond to this call in both ourselves and those we lead.
Session two: Heritage
Our work is understood to be situated within a heritage that ultimately takes its inspiration and direction from the “healing and restorative mission of Jesus”. We will reflect on this primary heritage as well as the heritage received from the founders of our organisations, that we are called to carry forward into the future. This primary and secondary heritage serves as our inspiration and guide as we strive to maintain our identity while adapting to contemporary concerns and challenges.
Session three: Spirituality
Leadership of a Catholic ministry invites commitment personally and professionally to a spiritually grounded leadership. We will examine our own faith and/or spirituality, as well as ways to encourage the faith and/or spirituality of all we lead, and of those we serve, in the light of the high value placed on spiritual perspectives and practices in the Catholic tradition.
Session four: Responding to Suffering
Catholic ministries are concerned to respond in the most compassionate ways to the inevitable and universal character of human suffering. We will reflect on how we can work to alleviate, accompany and transform the suffering of clients, patients and families as well as the suffering of ourselves and all who work within our organisations.
Session five: Ethics
Leaders are required to develop and ensure accountability for ethical policies, practices and behaviours in our organisational relationships, and in our clinical and service settings. We will focus on our responsibility to articulate and address the ethical issues of organisational decisions, policies, processes and practices, and mission situations by being both faithful to the Catholic tradition and sensitive to contemporary pluralist society.
Session six: Catholic Social Teaching
The principles of Catholic Social Teaching (CST) are central to the organisational life and mission of a Catholic organisation. We will examine how to model what an organisation and mission informed by this teaching looks like. We will address our special mission to prioritise services to the poorest and most vulnerable members of society.
Session seven: Values Integration, Discernment and Decision Making
The heritage of the founding traditions points us to the link between discernment and strategic decision-making. We will learn how discernment draws on the spiritual dimension and is both a disposition and a practice, enabling us to respond to the reality of the spirit in our situations. We will examine how to integrate foundational values into organisational structures, policies and behaviours, recognising the close relationship between mission, foundational values and institutional identity.
Session eight: Whole Person Care
Respect for and attention to the whole person of clients, patients, clinicians, staff and volunteers is central to the Catholic Tradition. We will examine the physical, mental, social and spiritual dynamics of our lives and those we lead, and as the ground and support of our care for the whole person. We will examine how to bring this holistic perspective into organisational dynamics and the care we provide for those we serve.
Collaboration with Church
Each session includes an evening conversation exploring various dimensions of our context as ministries of the Catholic Church. In this program component we examine our relationship to the Catholic Church and how we can work in collaboration with Church authorities and other Catholic agencies. We will reflect on our understanding of and commitment to nurturing these relationships, considering the responsibilities, opportunities and challenges that these relationships bring.