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BOOT CAMP for diocesan vocation personnel

4-DAY INSTITUTE FOR NOVICES

Friday, September 2 – Monday, September 5, 2022

This Institute, or Bootcamp, invites Vocation Directors, Seminary Formators & Staff who are new to the Sacred Ministry of Vocations, as well as, those seeking a refresher in foundational approaches to accompanying young men as they navigate the call of God in their lives. The institute will offer an overview of the ministry of vocations and the basics of organizing your office plans for administration, discernment, formation, psychological guidelines, Canon Law and how it applies to vocation work, youth activities, who to work with, (such as parents, families and Church personnel) and how. We will also offer an introduction to recruiting, assessing, and mentoring candidates for priesthood.

This program is meant to be taken in concert with the daily workshops offered later in the week.

Rev. Jeff Eirvin

Fr. Eirvin was born in St. Louis, Missouri and relocated to Portland, Oregon in 1999 with his family. He graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and worked in the field prior to entering Mount Angel Seminary in 2005. In 2007 he began his theological studies at the North American College in Rome. He was ordained a priest in 2012. Upon ordination he was named administrator of Sacred Heart-St. Louis Parish in Gervais, Oregon. In 2014 Archbishop Sample assigned him as full-time vocation director for the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon. He has served NCDVD as Regional Coordinator, Vice-President and is currently the President of NCDVD.

Rev. Edwin Leonard

Ordained in 2012 by Cardinal Kevin J. Farrell for the Diocese of Dallas, Fr. Edwin Leonard served his first two years of priesthood as the Parochial Vicar at St. Rita Catholic Church. In July 2014 he was assigned as the Director of Vocations. The past several years and under Fr. Leonard’s direction the diocese has accepted over 80 new seminarians. In addition to Vocation work he was appointed in 2018 as Chaplain of Bishop Lynch Catholic High School and currently serves on the Executive Board for the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors. His work with the National Evangelization Team (NET) from 2003-2005 helped develop his ability to promote the Gospel with devotion. Fr. Leonard is a graduate of Franciscan University.

Rev. Neal Hock

Fr. Neal Hock grew up on a family farm in southwest Nebraska.  He received a BSBA in Accounting from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  He worked as an accountant for 5 years prior to entering Seminary for the diocese of Grand Island. Ordained in 2011, he is beginning his 5th year as vocation director and Newman Center chaplain.  He is also now director of the permanent diaconate in Grand Island and is serving as Treasurer on the NCDVD Executive Board.

Rev. Mike McCandless

Fr. Michael McCandless was born in Akron, OH in 1979 and has lived most of his life within the greater Cleveland area. After first beginning his college studies in Chemical Engineering he transferred to Borromeo College Seminary in the Diocese of Cleveland and after completing his philosophy studies he attended St. Mary Seminary in Cleveland and was ordained in 2008. In late 2010 he was named Director of the Vocation Office and since then has served  in this capacity. He also served as the NCDVD Region 6 Coordinator from 2015 until early 2021 and presently serves as Secretary on the NCDVD Executive Board.

Rev. Chuck Dornquast

Fr. Chuck was born and raised in the small town of Zephyrhills near Tampa, FL. His practice of the faith began after his family experienced the generosity of his local parish. He entered St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami, FL immediately following High School. He then attended St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, FL and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of St. Petersburg on May 16, 2015. He served 4 years as the associate pastor of St. Lawrence in Tampa where he also became the team priest for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In 2019 he was appointed Director of Vocations, serving as both vocations promoter and director of seminarians. He currently serves as a member-at-large on the executive board for the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors.

Rev. Brian Buettner

Fr. Brian Buettner graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Science in Zoology and Biomedical Science and minored in History and Chemistry in 2006. He completed the Pre-Theology Program at Conception Seminary College in 2009, received a STB from the Gregorian University in 2012, and a STL in Moral Theology and Bioethics from the Angelicum University in 2016. After his priestly ordination in 2013, he served as the  parochial vicar of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in OKC and was chaplain of Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School. He has also served as the pastor  of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church and St. Mary’s  Catholic School in Lawton, Oklahoma and is currently the pastor of St. Joseph’s Old Cathedral and Vocations Director for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and serves as Member-at-Large on the NCDVD Executive Board.

Mrs. Rosemary Sullivan

Rose is the Executive Director of the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors and has over 20 years of experience in the ministry of vocations for diocesan priesthood.  Rosemary’s work in this ministry began in 2002 as the Vocation Program Coordinator for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, including overseeing seminary candidate admissions for 10 years. This led to her being hired as the Events Coordinator for the NCDVD in 2006, and subsequently their Executive Director in 2009, while continuing her work with Rockville Center. Since 2009, Rosemary has also served as a consultant to the USCCB committee for Clergy, Consecrated Life & Vocations. In addition to her work in vocations, in 2012 Rose was appointed by Timothy Cardinal Dolan to serve as Program Director for the Sacred Heart Institute for the ongoing formation of Clergy, part of the St. Charles Borromeo Tri-Diocesan Partnership.  Rosemary is a member of the Board of Directors for the Foundation of Priestly Vocations. A graduate of St. John’s University with degrees in Business and Communications, Rose has been married to her husband Gary for over 35 years; they have four young adult children and 3 grandchildren.  One of their sons is a priest for the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

Dr. Emily Cash

Emily Cash, Psy.D., director of Saint Luke Center, is a licensed psychologist in Kentucky and an adjunct member of the clinical services department at Saint Luke Institute. She obtained her doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Spalding University in Louisville, and completed her doctoral training in a community mental health setting in New York City. From 2006-2010, she was on staff in the residential treatment program at Saint Luke Institute before returning to Kentucky to open Saint Luke Center. Her clinical services include individual and group therapy, psychological evaluation and assessment and teaching psycho-educational groups and workshops geared towards mental health and well-being. Dr. Cash also serves as the director of the Candidate Assessment Program for the Institute.

Rev. Joe Waters

Fr. Waters is Judicial Vicar of the Dioceses of St. Petersburg and Venice. He does canonical consulting with the Diocese of Orlando and Dioceses/Archdioceses around the Country, focusing on clergy matters. His JCL Thesis was Sufficient Human Maturity in Suitable Sacred Ministers.  From 1996 to 2000 Fr. Waters was Vice Rector of St. John Vianney College Seminary, Miami.  Fr. Waters presented at the NCDVD Annual Convention on several occasions.

The Pre-Convention Workshop

Monday, September 5, 2022
2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Deliverance Ministry for Priests

Msgr. Rossetti will speak about the spiritual attacks of Satan against priests specifically: how to recognize it and how to defend oneself.  He will also help priests safely and effectively assist the laity who come to him for deliverance.

Msgr. Stephen Rossetti

Msgr. Stephen J. Rossetti PhD DMin is a priest of the Diocese of Syracuse and a research associate professor at the Catholic University of America. He is a licensed psychologist and has been the Chief Exorcist of the Archdiocese of Washington for over 13 years. He is the author of many books and articles, particularly on priestly formation and spirituality. He currently heads the St. Michael Center for Spiritual Renewal, whose ministry involves exorcisms, deliverance praying and the support and renewal of priestly spirituality.

TUESDAY WORKSHOPS

September 6, 2022
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Session I
Carpe Summertime

Whether gathering at the beach or road trips across the diocese with our seminarians, the summer provides a unique change of pace for the vocations office. During this workshop, Fr. Tim Holeda and Fr. Chuck Dornquast will share of their experiences of summer seminarian assignments and discernment workshops which worked well and others which wilted under the heat.

Rev. Chuck Dornquast

Fr. Chuck was born and raised in the small town of Zephyrhills near Tampa, FL. His practice of the faith began after his family experienced the generosity of his local parish. He entered St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami, FL immediately following High School. He then attended St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, FL and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of St. Petersburg on May 16, 2015. He served 4 years as the associate pastor of St. Lawrence in Tampa where he also became the team priest for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In 2019 he was appointed Director of Vocations, serving as both vocations promoter and director of seminarians. He currently serves as a member-at-large on the executive board for the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors.

 

Rev. Tim Holeda

Fr. Tim Holeda was ordained for the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee in 2011.  He was baptized in Tallahassee while attending Florida State University.  He served in the United States Marine Corps reserve during his college years.  He has been the Director of Vocations and Seminarians since 2018, and served as the associate director for 5 years before that.  He is currently the Rector of the Co-Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Tallahassee.

SESSION II
Forming Priest Supervisors in Pastoral Placements

Becoming a priest is inherently exceptional and perilous, and utterly defines one’s life. It is imperative that guidance come from those who have made a similar commitment and have significantly progressed along the same path. This workshop will provide practical resources to equip priest supervisors and mentors for this essential pastoral role.

 

Rev. Andrew Turner

Fr. Andrew Turner was ordained to the priesthood in 2006 and currently serves as the coordinator of pastoral formation at Saint Mary Seminary in Cleveland, Ohio. He has published articles on seminary formation, received grant awards for his work in outcome-based learning, and is the developer of the seminary’s innovative online portfolio program.

SESSION III
A New Kind of Discernment Group

Introducing a six-week small group experience that helps young men understand what it’s like to be a priest. Every piece of it was designed to address actual questions and frustrations discerners often have. Trust me, you’ll love it.

 

Rev. Mike Pratt

Fr. Michael Pratt is from the Diocese of Tulsa. He attended public school growing up and played baseball through high school. After attending Oklahoma State University for two years he felt called to join the seminary. He studied at St. John Vianney College Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota where he obtained a degree in philosophy. After graduation, he began his theological studies at the North American College in Rome. There he earned a Bachelor’s degree from the Angelicum and a Licentiate degree from the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family Studies. He was ordained a priest in 2011. He has served as an associate pastor, chaplain at a Catholic High School, and a pastor. He has been the vocation director since 2017. He enjoys reading, fishing, and hanging out with brother priests. He currently lives at Holy Family Cathedral in Tulsa.

TUESDAY WORKSHOPS

September 6, 2022
2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Session I
Developing your Vocation Ministry Team

An essential part of vocation ministry is to build culture within your presbyterate, as well as, in the wider Catholic populations. This presentation will help you to understand the need of working with your brother priests, how to approach them within your diocese, and how to implement them into various levels of participation within your diocese so as to more effectively influence the vocational culture.

 

Rev. Mike McCandless

Fr. Michael McCandless was born in Akron, OH in 1979 and has lived most of his life within the greater Cleveland area. After first beginning his college studies in Chemical Engineering he transferred to Borromeo College Seminary in the Diocese of Cleveland and after completing his philosophy studies he attended St. Mary Seminary in Cleveland and was ordained in 2008. In late 2010 he was named Director of the Vocation Office and since then has served  in this capacity. He also served as the NCDVD Region 6 Coordinator from 2015 until early 2021 and presently serves as Secretary on the NCDVD Executive Board.

SESSION II
“After inquiry among the Christian people and upon the recommendation of those concerned with his formation…”

An examination and discussion of the “inquiry” and “concern” that Vocation Directors require for their testimony to the Bishop

Each spring many vocation directors will stand before their Bishop with the liturgical-dialogical moment that reflects years of formation.  Various seminaries, formators, psychologists, counselors, laity, and peers will have made observations and evaluations crucial to that testimony.  We will begin to examine how all of the Church’s experience with a man gets sifted for this moment.  With the PPF’s emphasis upon lifelong “integral” formation, the ecclesial recommendation will demand a new depth from all concerned, especially the vocation director.

Too often a negative question is prominent in the discernment:  “What might disqualify this man from Holy Orders?”  In this conference, we will outline a more positive approach:  What are the positive signs this man consistently and durably manifests for a lifelong commitment to celibacy, obedience and priestly ministry?  Moreover, do such behavioral indicators arise from a mature interiority and authentic attitudes that are sustainable in an apostolic age?  The PPF’s stage-specific growth emphasizes that a man be assessed “on the basis of his actual progress and maturation, not on the basis of the mere passage of time.”  In that vein, we continually ask:  Where is the man?  What has he yet to receive?  Is he ready?  These are not questions about the man’s goodness or sincerity, but his preparedness for a life that God has promised for his holy people.  Through examples, scenarios, and conversation, this session intends to equip the Vocation Director with some principles for gauging a man’s readiness to advance in seminary formation and for priesthood.

Rev. Paul Hoesing

Fr. Paul Hoesing is a priest of the Archdiocese of Omaha and serves as Vice Rector for Formation at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. Raised in rural Nebraska, Fr. Hoesing earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from the University of Saint Thomas in St. Paul in 1998, as well as a Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology and a Licentiate in Dogmatic Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 2001 and 2003, respectively. Since his ordination in 2002, Fr. Hoesing has served in parish ministry, taught in Catholic high schools and at the Institute for Priestly Formation, and worked as Director of Catholic Campus Ministry at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Fr. Hoesing was named Director of the Office of Vocations for the Archdiocese of Omaha in 2008 and was elected President of the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors in 2013. In 2015, Fr. Hoesing joined the faculty of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary as Dean of Seminarians and Director of Human Formation, before being named Vice Rector in 2019. Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski has appointed Fr. Hoesing as president-rector of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, effective July 1, 2022 for a five-year term. Fr. Hoesing is the author of Have I Been With You?, a primer on prayer.

 

SESSION III
Discernment of Spirits in Vocation Ministry: Remaining Anchored in the Lord

Attention to discernment of spirits plays a central role in the vocation director’s daily life.  For himself, the vocation director remains grounded in the primacy of his relationship with the Lord as central to his priestly life, amid the unique responsibilities of the vocation director.  Discernment protects the vocation director from becoming distracted or discouraged by influences that are not of God.  For candidates and seminarians, discernment helps the man to remain aware of God’s activity in his life, but also enables him to be conscious of those movements that try to pull him out of communion with the Lord, often through fear and doubt.  This presentation will help the vocation director to notice the dynamics of the diverse spiritual movements within his ministry.

 

Rev. James Rafferty

Ordained a priest of the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania, in 1994, Fr. Jim Rafferty currently serves as Director of Spiritual Formation for the Institute for Priestly Formation in Omaha, Nebraska. Fr. Rafferty completed seminary studies at the Pontifical North American College and earned a Licentiate in Sacred Theology with specialization in Moral Theology from the Gregorian University. Subsequently he obtained a Doctorate in Moral Theology from the Alphonsian Academy in Rome. Fr. Rafferty has served as a high school and university chaplain. He has also worked in seminary formation at the college program in the Diocese of Scranton, Saint Pius X Seminary and at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia. Prior to serving in Omaha with IPF, Fr. Rafferty was Vocation Director in Scranton. Fr. Rafferty is a member of the IPF Priests of Saint Joseph, a Public Association of Priests.

THURSDAY WORKSHOPS

September 8, 2022
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Session I
Managing Multiple Assignments

There are three seminary applicants at various stages, a discernment retreat is coming up in two weeks, two people died this week at the parish, and I still haven’t had a person apply for the maintenance position at the parish. This is the reality that many of us face as part-time Vocation Directors. Rather than buckling under the pressure, we will discuss ways to find a healthy balance to fulfill our obligations while also giving us the time and attention we need to deepen our faith and to find time for recreation. Working harder, producing more, and doing it better are lies that will only lead us to frustration and rob us of our joy.

 

Rev. Brian Buettner

Fr. Brian Buettner graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Science in Zoology and Biomedical Science and minored in History and Chemistry in 2006. He completed the Pre-Theology Program at Conception Seminary College in 2009, received a STB from the Gregorian University in 2012, and a STL in Moral Theology and Bioethics from the Angelicum University in 2016. After his priestly ordination in 2013, he served as the  parochial vicar of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in OKC and was chaplain of Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School. He has also served as the pastor  of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church and St. Mary’s  Catholic School in Lawton, Oklahoma and is currently the pastor of St. Joseph’s Old Cathedral and Vocations Director for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and serves as Member-at-Large on the NCDVD Executive Board.

SESSION II
Supporting Women’s Vocations

The departure of women religious from our schools and parishes has had an impact on priestly vocations that we have never fully quantified. Beyond the loss of the consecrated feminine encouragement for priestly discernment, the Church has suffered the loss of the spiritual motherhood that complements and calls forth the heart of the priest as flourishing father. While the Vocation Director’s focus is priestly discernment, vocations offices are often the first and best local resource for a young woman called by the Lord. In this workshop, Fr John Burns will be joined by Sr. Miriam James and a panel of religious sisters involved in vocations work. Through presentation and Q&A, they will examine the potential of the diocesan VD to contribute to the restoration of a balanced and healthy local Church, with particular focus on best practices for creating a culture of vocational discernment and encouraging or accompanying young women therein.

 

Rev. John Burns

Fr. John Burns is a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Ordained in 2010, he has served as associate pastor, pastor, vocation promoter, and adjunct seminary professor of moral theology. In 2019, he completed a doctorate in moral theology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, with research focused on the theology of healing through forgiveness. He is currently on special assignment to the renewal of women’s religious life.

SESSION III
Running “The Melchizedek Project” Priesthood Discernment Group

“After being a vocation director in Savannah for ten years and working in a seminary for eight, I have come to believe that a discernment group is the single, most effective way to help men discern priesthood and to move them towards seminary!” -Fr.Brett Brannen

Who the heck is Melchizedek, and what is The Melchizedek Project?  How do you start and run a priesthood discernment group? Why is it one of the most effective ways to “move the needle” for men who are discerning? Fr. Brett Brannen offers an overview of this tried and true Discernment Group program, sharing best practices and advice for well-attended, fruitful meetings. He’ll cover the genesis of the program, his experience running meetings in different environments, and the results for men who participate. If you’ve been thinking about starting a group, this is a good “boot camp” for how to get off the ground.  The Melchizedek Project is free to any vocation director, no matter how many groups he has in the diocese!  It is underwritten by The Foundation for Priestly Vocations.

Rev. Brett Brannen

Fr. Brett Brannen was ordained a priest in 1991 for the Diocese of Savannah, where he served as vocation director (10 years) and as a pastor of five different parishes.  From 2005- 2011, he was the vice-rector of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, MD.  Fr. Brannen has preached numerous retreats for diocesan priests, seminaries and religious communities, as well as discernment retreats for vocation candidates.  He taught many years at the Institute for Priestly Formation (IPF) in Omaha and with The Theology of the Body Institute (TOB and the Identity of the Diocesan Priest).  He is the author of “To Save a Thousand Souls: A Guide for Discerning a Vocation to Diocesan Priesthood” (2010) and “A Priest in the Family: A Guide for Parents Whose Sons are Considering Priesthood” (2014).  Fr. Brannen is currently Spiritual Director at The Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio.

THURSDAY WORKSHOPS

September 8, 2022
2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

SESSION I
Best Practices for Small Dioceses

During this facilitated conversation, (by a brother Vocation Director), our aim is to bring together vocation personnel from similar sized dioceses to discuss the application of best practices in vocation ministry. Sharing experiences, strategies, effective efforts for approaching common challenges and lessons learned, (what has worked and what has failed), will aid us in understanding how not to reinvent the wheel but rather build on the success of other vocation teams.

The criteria for determining the size of your diocese is determined by the participant who can freely select which of these conversations to join.

SESSION II
Best Practices for Medium Arch/Dioceses

During this facilitated conversation, (by a brother Vocation Director), our aim is to bring together vocation personnel from similar sized dioceses to discuss the application of best practices in vocation ministry. Sharing experiences, strategies, effective efforts for approaching common challenges and lessons learned, (what has worked and what has failed), will aid us in understanding how not to reinvent the wheel but rather build on the success of other vocation teams.

The criteria for determining the size of your diocese is determined by the participant who can freely select which of these conversations to join.

SESSION III
Best Practices for Large Arch/Dioceses

During this facilitated conversation, (by a brother Vocation Director), our aim is to bring together vocation personnel from similar sized dioceses to discuss the application of best practices in vocation ministry. Sharing experiences, strategies, effective efforts for approaching common challenges and lessons learned, (what has worked and what has failed), will aid us in understanding how not to reinvent the wheel but rather build on the success of other vocation teams.

The criteria for determining the size of your diocese is determined by the participant who can freely select which of these conversations to join.