Catholic Leadership Institute has received a $1 million grant to help establish a new service to revolutionize the discernment, appointment, and transitional support of priest assignments in the U.S. Catholic Church. It is part of Lilly Endowment Inc.’s Thriving in Ministry, an initiative that supports a variety of religious organizations across the nation as they create or strengthen programs that help pastors build relationships with experienced clergy who can serve as mentors and guide them through key leadership challenges in congregational ministry.
Lilly Endowment is making nearly $70 million in grants through the Thriving in Ministry initiative.
Catholic Leadership Institute’s new service seeks to transform the current reality of the priest placement process and provide crucial transitional support to pastors as they move to new parishes. The service will use technology to better align priests’ gifts and skills with the needs of parish communities, equip pastors and their new parishes with individualized, long-term transition plans, and offer targeted roadmaps for self-care and professional development to support pastors through their ministry transitions. Catholic Leadership Institute hopes that this new service will maximize the potential for effective leadership and support thriving parish communities.
“Our apostolate was founded on the belief that God’s gift to us is our potential, what we do with that potential, is our gift to God,” said Dan Cellucci, CEO of Catholic Leadership Institute. “We are very honored to have been awarded this Lilly grant and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the many bishops and priests committed to providing the best support for pastoral leadership.”
Catholic Leadership Institute is one of 78 organizations located in 29 states that is taking part in the initiative. The organizations reflect diverse Christian traditions: mainline and evangelical Protestant, Roman Catholic and Orthodox.
Thriving in Ministry is part of Lilly Endowment’s grantmaking to strengthen pastoral leadership in Christian congregations in the United States. This has been a grantmaking priority at Lilly Endowment for nearly 25 years.
“Leading a congregation today is multi-faceted and exceptionally demanding,” said Christopher L. Coble, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for religion. “When pastors have opportunities to build meaningful relationships with experienced colleagues, they are able to negotiate the challenges of ministry and their leadership thrives. These promising programs, including Catholic Leadership Institute’s Pastoral Placements program, will help pastors develop these kinds of relationships, especially when they are in the midst of significant professional transitions.”
Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by three members of the Lilly family - J.K. Lilly Sr. and sons Eli and J.K. Jr. - through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly & Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, the Endowment is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion. The Endowment maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and its home state Indiana. Its grantmaking in religion focuses on supporting efforts to strengthen the leadership and vitality of Christian congregations throughout the country and to increase the public’s understanding of the role of religion in public life.