PASTORAL ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM
Pastoral Engagement is an expression of our personal response to God’s mission for building up the People of God and nurturing faith filled communities in the Catholic Tradition.
Pastoral Engagement if the foundation for integration of the four pillars of formation which are central to lay and ordained ministry. It is a formative experience for parish and community as well as the student/facilitator. It can be framed in terms of DIVERSITY, THE GIFT OF THE STRANGER, and RECEPTIVE LISTENING.
The Pastoral Engagement program is a requirement for all students in the Ministry Formation Program. The experience of engaging in a particular ministry initiative is structured for progressive development in competencies with emphasis on the context of the Church in Adelaide today.
Engagement with the diversity of people and gifts within a range of parish and community settings gives students a greater understanding of themselves, of the relevance of the Gospel in their lives and the call to personal transformation.
Through the Pastoral Engagement Program students and the team of the Ministry Formation Program builds closer relationships with parishes, communities, schools, hospitals and other sites of ministry.
Spirituality is one of the four essential elements of the Ministry Formation Program.
All participants in a four year MFP Certificate in Ministry pathway [with either ACU or Dayton theological studies] are required to participate in Spiritual Direction from the beginning of their second year.
A student may request to commence spiritual direction in their first year but this is contingent on the availability of a suitable spiritual director.
Students who are accepted in the Advanced Practical Ministry Certificate are also required to participate in Spiritual Direction during the two years of this program.
What can I expect in Spiritual Direction?
Spiritual Direction is a facilitation of and reflection on your prayer life in order to deepen your relationship with God.
The Spiritual Director assists you to talk about what happens when you pray. Because our life and prayer are bound together, life issues would be discussed, but always in the context of prayer that has taken, or will take place.
The Spiritual Director helps you notice how God communicates with you and how God’s personal Presence is shown in your life. You are guided to consider how you would like to respond to that personal Presence.
Spiritual Direction is not a substitute for counselling, therapy or problem solving. Your session with a Director is focussed on your prayer and your life in relation to that prayer.
The spiritual direction session is not a teaching time for theology or scripture rather you are assisted by suggestions for ways to pray with Scripture and to deepen your awareness of God’s Presence and your relationship with God.
Within intentional, empowering, unique relationships, Christian mentoring identifies and promotes the work of God’s spirit in others’ lives, assisting them to access God’s resources for their growth and strength in spirituality, character and ministry. – Mentor Handbook, Uniting College
The Ministry Formation Program requires that each student in a 4 year pathway is assigned a mentor at the beginning of their second year in the program.
What is mentoring?
Mentoring is a reflective process of ongoing discernment. It is based around two people having a connection that goes beyond the superficial, one that invites them to a degree of disclosure and vulnerability along the journey of lay ecclesial ministry.
The mentor creates a unique opportunity and space for the student to discuss personal or professional issues, academic progress and reflection on the student’s engagement in the ministry formation program.
The mentoring process is an opportunity to nurture one’s faith through walking alongside a person of faith. The student will experience how faith is integrated into life, how a Christian works through issues, makes decisions and lives a life of spirituality and discipleship.