One problem is a blessing for Father Ken Van Haverbeke.
“Every year I receive the same comment,” he said. “Every year in the evaluation of the annual Parish Leadership Institute, someone writes how the day was so great; they learned so much, that it was too short of a day!”
“What a great problem to have!” the director of the center said.
Pastors are often reluctant to ask parishioners to participate in parish leadership positions because they realize the busy lives parishioners lead. Parishioners, however, are reluctant to accept this act of stewardship as a leader in their parish because they do not feel well formed enough to accept.
The Spiritual Life Center, the Diocese of Wichita is offering a day of formation for all parish leaders from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 28. The intent is to provide formation for parish leaders who participate in pastoral councils, finance councils, stewardship councils, parish and school staffs, and other parish organizations.
The Parish Leadership Institute consists of general leadership sessions and specific council sessions. This year Joe Dellasega, a parishioner of Our Lady of Lourdes in Pittsburg, will be presenting on the importance of a parish having an articulated mission. In this way, parishes can become missionary disciples, rather than maintaining the status quo.
Father Van Haverbeke, vicar of Stewardship and Parish Life, will present the history of the Diocese of Wichita, the organization and structure of the diocese, and how a parish pastoral council can stop reading the bulletin to one another and begin to move the parish to holiness.
In addition, Father John Jirak, pastor of Church of the Magdalen will present on how to integrate the four pillars of stewardship into the life and mission of the parish.
Workshops will include, Parish Council Formation, led by Father Ken Van Haverbeke for pastoral council members and other ministry councils; Parish Finance Formation, led by Bryan Coulter and Therese Seiler for parish finance councils and ministry group financial officers; and Stewardship Formation led by Audrey Ronnfeldt for stewardship council members and volunteer coordinators.
Topics covered in the day’s formation at the Spiritual Life Center will include best practice ideas, conflict resolution, working with different pastors and leaders, and more. The cost is $20 per person (with an additional $30 suggested donation if staying overnight), but no one will be turned down due to lack of funds.

Want to attend?
To register go on-line at, or call (316) 744-0167, or contact your pastor and say, “I really would like to go to this!” Mass and lunch are included in the day.