US seminarians receive business training for future parish life

Seminarians from three US states are receiving specialist business, law and administration training to help prepare them for running parishes.

The first Seminarian Leadership Institute is being run at Villanova University in Philadelphia.

By the end of the course in mid-July, the 11 students will have heard talks on finances, human resources, facilities maintenance and security as well as a crash course in civil law.

New US clergy are likely to be running a parish within two or three years of being ordained.

The course happens in conjunction with pastoral experience the seminarians undertake in parishes.

St Charles Borromeo Seminary rector Bishop Timothy Senior said the main reason experienced priests in Philadelphia asked for a new assignment was the administrative burden in parishes.

He wants to help new priests avoid that pitfall.

“It’s not that you have to be able to do everything,” Bishop Senior said.

“But you certainly have to be able to recognise what needs to be done, and how to get the right people to do it.”

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