Not just theology: Catholic seminarians go to summer school to learn management skills

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The Rev. David Couturier, who consults with dioceses around the world on management issues, explains the principles of what he calls "Franciscan economics" to nearly a dozen priests-in-training.

RNS photo by David Gibson

The Rev. David Couturier, who consults with dioceses around the world on management issues, explains the principles of what he calls "Franciscan economics" to nearly a dozen priests-in-training.

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RADNOR, Pa. (RNS) Newly minted Catholic priests often find themselves running a parish just two or three years after ordination. A new summer course aims to give them the business skills to make it work.

  • Would that such a course had been offered when I was preparing to be ordained! And would that someone of David Couturier’s caliber had been there to teach it!

  • Pat Barkey

    In the later 80’s the only lay professor on the faculty staff suggested that basic book keeping be offered as an elective. He was told by the ordained clergy (who had never been a parish as pastors) that the seminarians would never need to learn book keeping; they would never use the information that they learned.

    Ha! Besides the liturgical/Sacramental aspects most of my job is working with money (paying bills, setting up budgets, etc). While I learned those aspects over the years by being a Parochial Vicar, the younger clergy are being made Pastor earlier than they should. I hope ALL seminarians learn the financial aspects as part of the normal curricula, not an Elective.

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  • Atheist Max

    This just makes me sad:

    “These guys are also likely to be living alone,” said Zech. “Unless they find a mentor or someone to help them get adjusted, they’re going to make a lot of mistakes.”

    What do they do at age 40 when they discover that God is probably delusional nonsense? A few ex-pastors ought to speak up and help these folks get a more serious occupation.

  • gilhcan

    Catholic priests would not need “management” training if the “management” of parishes was shared with competent members of the parish community chosen by the other members of each parish. The Reformation Churches have demonstrated great success with a process that existed in the early Jesus communities. The Vatican should learn a very belated lesson.

    Of course, controlling the physical aspects of parish life provides the clergy with more control over what is presumed to be the spiritual life of the people in the pews. Sharing management is known as a division of labor. It’s successful in homes. It’s successful in business. And sharing “management” would allow clergy to concentrate more properly on their roles as spiritual leaders.

  • gilhcan

    Perhaps a crash course in civil law will create a force that prevents bishops from subverting justice by hiding pedophile clergy, moving them from parish to parish without informing the new parish of their past harm to young people. Of course, there’s always the sick mind of any bishop who would do that. He’s as guilty as the pedophile priest.

    The condition of the people in the pews who put up with this sinful and criminal behavior is analogous to the electorates in our cities, states, and nation. The evil behavior of institutions where dishonesty and other evil persists is aided and abetted by the people who should stand against it, but sit docilely by. The people as a whole are more to blame than individual sinful criminals.

  • Gerard

    Two words filthy lucre

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