“The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few. …” —Luke 10:2

As the Diocesan Synod called for, the Diocese of Burlington is seeking to continue inspiring and equipping lay men and women for leadership roles in their parishes. Under the umbrella of the Diocesan Institute for Missionary Discipleship, the following three formation programs are being offered this year. Applications for each will be accepted this spring with the programs beginning in August/September. For additional information, contact Deacon Phil Lawson at plawson@ vermontcatholic.org.

Diocesan Lay Formation Leadership Program: This program seeks to form laity to assist in leadership roles in their parishes such as in serving as RCIA leaders, catechists, Pre-Cana leaders, leading evangelization efforts, facilitating adult formation and helping build vibrant parishes, etc. Key to this formation is inspiring and equipping the laity to serve and evangelize their parishes and communities as missionary disciples. This is a 2-year program that meets one Saturday a month in person with additional formation taking place via online courses. Contact Deacon Phil Lawson at plawson@vermontcatholic.org.

Deacon Formation Program: Deacons are ordained to be permanent ministers in the Church. Deacons are ministers of the word, of sacrament and most of all ministers of charity. They have significant theological education, a deep spiritual life and are formed in pastoral ministry. They must have good human relations ability. The total time in formation is five years, two of which are in the Lay Formation Leadership Program, followed by three years of Diaconate Formation. Deacon Pete Gummere, diaconate director, will present additional information and take questions on the Permanent Diaconate. Contact Deacon Pete Gummere at pgummere@vermontcatholic.org.

Pastoral Associate for Parish Life: This is a 1-year formation program designed to equip individuals with the knowledge and skills to serve their parishes as a pastoral associate when it is not possible for the bishop to appoint a full-time parish priest. This service will take the form of parish administration, pastoral care, pastoral counseling, finances, sacramental preparation, liturgical planning and assistance, human resources and faith formation. This ensures that Christian life and the evangelizing mission of the community is continued. Contact Deacon Phil Lawson at plawson@ vermontcatholic.org.

For more information regarding these programs please attend one of the following information sessions:

Monday, February 6 • 7 p.m. Register at: tinyurl.com/y6eawtj5

Wednesday, February 8 • 7 p.m. Register at: tinyurl.com/4vs3zx53

— Deacon Phil Lawson is the executive director of pastoral ministries for the Diocese of Burlington.

—Originally published in the Jan. 28-Feb. 3, 2023, edition of The Inland See.