De Mazenod Institute for Parish Renewal
What: The De Mazenod Institute for Parish Renewal is a two-year certificate program to form men and women in the parish to change the culture of a parish from maintenance to mission, thus promoting intentional discipleship. The goal of the institute is to equip men and women in the parish to form and sustain an evangelization committee that continually evaluates all parish activity in light of evangelization and continually promotes new ways to better evangelize and form intentional disciples. The institute promotes many aspects of the spirituality of St. Eugene De Mazenod and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, especially with regard to bringing the Gospel to the marginalized. This program will be closely associated with the Kusenberger Chair of Oblate Studies.
Why: Pope Francis, in his apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel, states, “In fidelity to the example of the Master, it is vitally important for the Church today to go forth and preach the Gospel to all: to all places, on all occasions, without hesitation, reluctance or fear.” Quoting Pope Benedict XVI, he also states the need to proclaim the Gospel in three principal settings: ordinary pastoral ministry that “seeks to help believers grow spiritually so that they can respond to God’s love ever more fully in their lives;” “the baptized whose lives do not reflect the demands of Baptism;” and “those who do not know Jesus Christ or who have always rejected him.” This enthusiasm for proclaiming the Good News is also at the heart of the missionary spirituality of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, founded by St. Eugene De Mazenod to build up the Church.
• This institute is aimed at “natural” leaders in the pews who have the desire to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ and who want to make a difference in their parish with regard to building up the Reign of God.
• The prerequisite for the program is a basic knowledge of the Catholic / Christian faith from adult study of the faith in the Institute of Pastoral Formation, catechist certification, or the equivalent.
How: This certificate program will begin with a year of study of the basics of the Catholic faith, key concepts in evangelization, pastoral planning, and evangelization methodologies. In the second year, in collaboration with the pastor and with a parish team, the participants will be guided through the planning and implementation process of promoting evangelization strategies and awareness in their home parish.
When: This program will be offered on Wednesday evenings, 7:00 – 9:30 PM at the Whitley Theological Center at Oblate School of Theology. Participants will also meet for five workshops per semester on Saturdays, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM, in the Whitley Theological Center.
This institute follows a two-year cohort plan. The institute will begin again with Year One after the two-year cohort.
This program is a certificate program for lay leadership. The student who successfully completes the course work and practicum earns a Certificate of Lay Leadership for Parish Renewal.
By the end of this two-year program, participants will be able to
• be an intentional disciple.
• articulate a Catholic understanding of evangelization.
• describe elements of a missional -focused parish.
• discern his or her gifts for promoting the Reign of God.
• clearly articulate the kerygma.
• recognize and describe typical behaviors of various stages of conversion.
• lead adult faith formation sessions.
• plan opportunities for adults and teens to encounter the risen Christ.
• (in collaboration with the pastor) guide a parish team to engage in a process of pastoral planning for parish renewal.
• theologically reflect on the implementation of the ministry of Evangelization in a parish.
• share wisdom gained from the process of implementing intentional evangelization methodologies and strategies.
Who teaches this program?
The De Mazenod Institute for Parish Renewal is taught by Dr. Rose Marden, director of The De Mazenod Institute for Parish Renewal at Oblate School of Theology. Fr. Frank Santucci, OMI, who holds the Kusenberger Chair of Oblate Studies, is the spiritual advisor for the institute and will assist with teaching the various aspects of Oblate Spirituality that inspire and animate the vision and activities of the institute. Dr. Marden also enlists the expertise of various other faculty members, approved adjunct faculty, and lecturers to assist with some of the modules.
In year one, participants learn basic knowledge and skills to be effective agents to promote intentional discipleship in the parish, including becoming knowledgeable about the kerygma, key concepts in Catholic teaching on evangelization, the characteristics of conversion, pastoral planning processes, adult faith formation, and their own God-given gifts and talents.
Opening Retreat: To foster an encounter with the Risen Lord
- • getting acquainted
- • praying with each other, sharing faith stories
- • orientation to the course
- • held in late August at the Oblate Renewal Center
15 evening sessions, 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Fall, Year I
• What is the Kerygma? (2 weeks)
• A Catholic Approach to the Bible (3 weeks)
• Knowing Jesus in Depth (7 weeks)
• Understanding Conversion (3 weeks)
5 workshops, 9:00 AM – 3:00PM
Also, workshops on Saturdays: “Reading the Signs of the Times,” (2) “The Theology of Evangelization,” (2) and “Catholic Traditions of Prayer.”
Spring Year I
• Creating Opportunities to Encounter the Risen Lord (4 weeks)
• Promoting a Missional Perspective (3 weeks)
• Ecumenism, Interreligious Dialogue and Evangelization (2 weeks)
• How to Do Pastoral Planning (4 weeks)
• Exploring Faith Development (2 weeks)
5 workshops, 9:00 AM – 3:00PM
Workshops on Saturdays: “Discerning Strengths for Building a Team,” “The Life to Faith to Life Methodology,” “The Big Picture of the Evangelizing Parish,” “Leading Large Groups,” and “Leading Small Groups.”
- • To reflect on personal growth
- • Held in May at the Oblate Renewal Center
In year two, participants engage in pastoral planning in their own parish. They work with the pastor and a team of parishioners to formulate a concrete plan to move the parish from an inward-focused (maintenance) perspective to an outward-focused (missional / evangelizing) perspective. This includes creating and offering opportunities for re-evangelization of current parish members. This process is accompanied by mentoring and theological reflection.
- • To spiritually prepare to implement evangelizing strategies in the parish
- • in late August at Oblate Renewal Center
15 evening sessions, 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Fall Year II
• How to Do Theological Reflection (3 weeks)
• Getting Started with Pastoral Planning (7 weeks)
• Methods of Evangelization (5 weeks)
1 Saturday Workshop: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
“Nurturing One’s Own Spirituality”
Small Group Faith Sharing and Reflection
Participants will be assigned to a group of four. They will prepare and share theological reflections on their evangelization ministry.
Spring Year II
• Culture and Change in Parish Life (4 weeks)
• Effective Parish Communication and Conflict Resolution( 5 weeks)
• Leading “Breaking Open the Word” (3 weeks)
• Putting it All Together (3 weeks)
2 Saturday Workshops: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
“Writing the Report on the Progress of the Ministry of Evangelization in My Parish,” and “Presenting and Reflecting on the Final Draft of the Plan and Report.”
Small Group Faith Sharing and Reflection
Participants will be assigned to a group of four. They will prepare and share theological reflections on their evangelization ministry. Dr. Rose Marden and an adjunct faculty member will guide these sessions.
- • To nourish each participant’s relationship with Christ
- • Held in April
The De Mazenod Institute for Parish Renewal may be taken for undegraduate credit. Each semester the evening course may be taken for 3 hours of credit; the Saturday workshops may be taken for 2 credits. Students desiring to earn credit need to submit transcripts of all colleges attended.
How does one apply? Interested adults may download the application form, biography and statement of goals form, and letter of recommendation forms found here. They also need to download the pastor’s recommendation form and have their pastor complete the form. Forms are to be mailed to the “De Mazenod Institute for Parish Renewal”. After the application and pastor’s letter are complete, the applicant will be contacted to arrange for an interview with Dr. Rose Marden, Director of the Institute. Dr. Marden may be contacted at 210-341-1366 x 222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuition for the De Mazenod Institute for Parish Renewal is $1440 per year and is billed through the Business Office.
In addition to tuition, the student is charged these fees:
Application fee $25
Credit students need to contact the Registrar’s office for tuition and fees.
About the Director and Spiritual Advisor of the De Mazenod Institute for Parish Renewal
Dr. Rose Marden, Director of the De Mazenod Institute for Parish Renewal, is on faculty at Oblate School of Theology. She teaches in the area of pastoral theology, with special interest in evangelization and faith formation. She earned a B. S. in Elementary Education from the University of Maine, a Master of Theological Studies from Oblate School of Theology, a Master of Divinity from Oblate School, and a Doctor of Ministry from Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. She has been a Catholic school teacher, a pastoral associate, an RCIA Director, an academic dean, and an associate dean for Continuing Education. During her years at Oblate she has also taught in deacon formation programs for the Archdiocese of San Antonio, the Diocese of San Angelo, and the Diocese of Lubbock, and she teaches in the Lay Ministry Institute at Oblate School of Theology and the ACTS Spiritual Companion Formation Program.
Dr. Marden created the De Mazenod Institute for Parish Renewal as a result of ongoing study after her doctoral work in adult faith formation. She brings decades of experience to her studies and is convinced that parish renewal is the work of all the baptized! She has designed this institute for the “person in the pew” who wants to make a difference in their parish. This institute offers personal spiritual renewal as well as the theology and practical skills to help men and women plan for ongoing parish renewal.
The institute promotes many aspects of the spirituality of St. Eugene De Mazenod and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, especially with regard to bringing the Gospel to the marginalized. This program will be closely associated with the Kusenberger Chair of Oblate Studies, held by Rev. Frank Santucci, OMI. Fr. Santucci is the spiritual advisor for the institute and assists with teaching the various aspects of Oblate Spirituality that inspire and animate the vision and activities of the institute.
Rev. Frank Santucci, OMI, was born in South Africa, where he ministered as a priest in education, formation and parish ministries for 17 years. He was subsequently based in Rome and Aix en Provence for 20 years and travelled and worked extensively as an Oblate charism and spirituality animator in the countries in which the Oblates of Mary Immaculate have missions. Besides teaching various spirituality and theological courses, he is a spiritual director at OST and Assumption Seminary, and a retreat preacher. His education includes a B.A. from the University of South Africa, English Literature, the S.T.L. at Lateran University (Claretianum Institute for Theology of Consecrated Life) and the S.T.D. at Lateran University. Fr. Santucci also holds the Kusenberger Chair of Oblate Studies and directs the Certificate in Oblate Studies.