Story by Kaelanne Jordan,
The Church and world at large are enduring a period of great challenge and change. In such environments, good leadership is crucial.
International leadership consultant Chris Lowney will challenge each person’s assumption about leadership and lead each to embrace his or her leadership opportunity and responsibility at an interactive Leadership Conference hosted by Catholic Religious Education Development Institute (CREDI) and School of Liturgy August 1 [Emancipation Day] at the Centre of Excellence, Torenia Hall from 8 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. Cost is TT$300.
The theme of the conference is Everybody Leads: Revitalising the Catholic Church in Trinidad and Tobago and it will end with Holy Mass celebrated by Archbishop Jason Gordon.
Persons from Ministry Animation Teams, parish councils, and all Catholics are invited to register. Registration ends Friday, July 19. Various archdiocesan commissions will be present via display booths, including Catholic Commission for Social Justice (CCSJ), Evangelization Commission, CREDI, Family Life Commission, and Liturgical Commission, among others.
Lowney, the day’s feature speaker, will introduce participants to why there is a need to create a “new culture of leadership” in parishes and help them understand what that ‘new culture’ will look like. He will also assist participants in developing a “durable” idea of leadership that is relevant to their own lives, colleagues and teams.
Lowney, a one-time Jesuit seminarian has authored seven books including the bestselling Heroic Leadership which has been translated into 11 languages. He is also author of Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way He Leads, and Everyone Leads: How to Revitalize the Catholic Church, which won a 2018 Catholic Press Association Award.
In an interview with Catholic News last Monday, CREDI Operations Manager Jenine Benjamin asserted that the organisation really wants to “bring back” the Church to where it used to be.
“…We don’t want to lose any more people. There’s a pull factor. We’re not sure what the pushes are but the pull factor is that the other churches are so much more vibrant…Everyone has to make a difference in the Church…not just the leadership teams but everybody who sits in the pews of the church needs to have a part to play in making sure that Catholicism is kept vibrant and alive,” she said.
The context of revitalisation and the focus on the parish is one of the main pillars of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Plan. The conference is also hinged on the 3 Hs- Hospitality, Homilies and Hymns.
“What we want to do in this leadership [conference] is for people to understand what is happening in Church globally [and] locally and how do we fashion or model a leadership that is relevant to our context today,” said Gary Tagallie of the Office of Pastoral Planning and Development.
He mentioned that the Church has “witnessed” what was happening “over and over” with regard to leadership in Church and society—another pillar of the Pastoral Plan.
Tagallie further highlighted that background research came from the 2009 Synod which identified leadership as a key issue. “And it still remains,” he said.
For more information, contact CREDI’s office at 623-2895/625-5765/627-9247. See page 7 for ad.