Pastor’s Corner for the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C by Fr. Bruce Botha SJ

Formation IS  Leadership


On Saturday almost 500 delegates from around the archdiocese will be gathering for a formation event. They will be people from pastoral councils and finance committees and youth forums. These are the lay leaders of our parish communities, the ones tasked with working alongside their pastors in the ministry of service. I am happy to say that our parish is sending 12 delegates to the leadership conference. I am also proud of the fact that two of our parishioners are presenters at the conference, and that two of my Jesuit brothers are also presenting.

Our Archbishop has made abundantly clear to me that formation is of vital importance to the life and health of our parish communities. He believes that through formation we are able to empower the laity. He uses the idea of empowerment in a gospel way, not in the way of the world. Empowerment is for service. We want lay leaders who are more knowledgeable so that they are able to contribute more to the life of the church, so that they can serve it better. Empowerment is not for positions of influence but for service.

One of the ideas that the ongoing formation committee set up by the archdiocese is exploring is establishing a school for ministry and service in the archdiocese. If formation is important for leadership, then the archdiocese needs to make good formation events or opportunities available to those in the archdiocese who would like to exercise a ministry of service through leadership. I foresee a point in the future that those who are in leadership will need to demonstrate that they have engaged with ongoing formation by attending a certain number of formation events, either at the parish or diocesan level.

One of the cultures that our archdiocese is trying to promote is ongoing formation at every level of the diocese. Our parish is already committed to this culture, and I am excited to see how this culture grows and develops here at Holy Trinity.


Fr. Bruce Botha SJ