Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

The Associate Pastor

Associate Pastors

The Associate Pastor workshop helps newly ordained priests make a seamless transition from seminary into parish ministry.

Facilitating the Transition into Ministry

Preparation for the workshop begins in the fall after ordination with the transition facilitation process. A trained transition facilitator meets with the new priest, his pastor, and the parish staff to identify particular challenges, strengths and opportunities for growth that the new priest can address during the on-campus workshop in the spring.

While the transition facilitator can conduct his work remotely through questionnaires and telephone interviews, the effectiveness of the Associate Pastor workshop can be greatly enhanced by an on-site visit at the newly ordained priest's parish.

The On-Campus Workshop

During the spring, the newly ordained priest participates in a five-day workshop at Saint Meinrad with other new priests. This holistic program focuses on issues involving the transition period and adjustments from seminary to priesthood, including individual issues identified with the help of the transition facilitator.

The program employs theological reflection, group interaction and pastoral expertise. Participants have access to the sacraments, monastic prayer, confession and physical fitness facilities. Each participant departs with his personally crafted plan for human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral growth.

Date - February 9-13, 2015


  • On-Campus Workshop with Transition Facilitation by phone: $1,345
  • On-Campus Workshop with Transition Facilitation on-site visit: $1,695
  • Included: Overnight accommodations, meals from Monday supper through Friday lunch, program curriculum and printed materials, 
  • Not included: Purchases at Jack's Coffee Shop, the UnStable, Scholar Shop or Gift Shop.

The Institute for Priests and Presbyterates is able to offer workshops and programs at a lower cost due to the generosity of many benefactors. The actual cost per participant for "The Associate Pastor" workshop is considerably higher than the amount charged.

Assessing, Managing and Integrating our Transitions
The newly ordained priest undergoes a series of transitions from major seminary to parish life that lays a foundation for the future and provides a point of reference across a lifetime of ministry. Were one to compare this transition into priestly ministry to other kinds of human experience, it might be like leaving home, graduating from school, beginning a career, getting married, and starting a family -- but all at once.

In this day-long process, Fr. Richard Chiola leads participants in a discussion of the tasks and challenges, occasions of temptation, graces and discernments the newly ordained experiences in his first years of priesthood.
Creating Your Personal Growth Plan
Using the report generated from the Transition Facilitation process, workshop participants put together their personal growth plans moving forward in their priestly ministry. Where have you gotten off track in the four pillars of priestly formation? To what will you commit yourself to grow into the priest God has called you to be? 

Fr. Richard Chiola
 transitions participants from the previous day's process through one's commitment to continued growth. Growth plan coaches work with you in the afternoon to create an honest and achievable plan.
Income Taxes for Priests
If the U.S. tax code appears puzzling for the average American taxpayer, consider how much more so it can be for the clergy with their own special set of rules. What is taxable income for a priest? His salary? Stole fees? Stipends? Gift income? What about food, auto and insurance allowances? As a priest, are you paying your taxes quarterly?

In this session, 
Cecelia "Siggi" Hamilton covers the tax code as it applies specifically to priests and answers any questions you have about your personal situation.
Cecelia Hamilton
Sunday Homily Preparation
That Sunday homily isn't going to write itself! Fr. Brendan Moss, OSB, spends time on Thursday afternoon looking over the Sunday readings for the next few weeks providing insights, direction, and tips on homily themes and delivery.
Fr. Brendan Moss
Personal Finance: Budgeting, Spending and Saving for Retirement
Like his parishioners, a priest needs to know how to manage his personal finances, spend less than he takes in and prepare financially for his retirement. In this session, certified financial planner  Tricia Hollander-Henning takes workshop participants through the entire process from preparing monthly budgets to choosing the right investment vehicles for retirement.
Tricia Hollander-Henning_small
Exorcism and the Parish Priest
There is a lot of talk these days about demons and a general fascination with the topic of exorcism. In this presentation, Fr. Bob Rottgers, exorcist for the Diocese of Covington, will assist parish priests to better understand how to minister to those who come to them with the belief that they are up against the forces of evil.
Fr. Rob Rottgers 2014
Quick, Simple, Healthy Cooking for One
More than a presentation, this dinner-preparation session with Chef Josh Lashlee is designed to help the workshop participant gain some strategies for preparing meals that are both good and good for the priest. Taking care of ourselves is good stewardship of our bodies and allows us to serve well those entrusted to our care. Beyond having the knowledge and experience to prepare meals well, simply finding time to cook can be a big challenge.
Josh Lashlee

Note: The Transition Facilitation Process must be completed prior to attendance at The Associate Pastor workshop.

Mon., Feb. 9  
2:00-4:00 p.m. Registration
5:00 p.m. Vespers
5:30 p.m. Dinner
6:30 p.m. Orientation
6:45-8:00 p.m. Program Session - Assessing our Transitions - Opening Discussion
Tues., Feb. 10   
7:00-8:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:45-11:15 a.m. Program Session - Managing our Transitions
11:30 a.m. Mass
Noon Lunch
1:00-2:00 p.m. Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation available
2:15-4:30 p.m. Program Session - Integrating our Transitions
5:00 p.m. Vespers
5:30 p.m. Dinner
7:00 p.m. Seminary Program - Black History Lecture (optional)
Wed., Feb. 11  
7:00-8:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:45-11:15 a.m. Program Session - Creating Your Personal Growth Plan
11:30 a.m. Mass
Noon Lunch
2:00-4:30 p.m. Program Session - Creating Your Personal Growth Plan (Cont.)
5:00 p.m. Vespers
5:30 p.m. Program Session - Quick, Simple Healthy Cooking for One
Thurs., Feb. 12  
7:00 - 8:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:45 - 11:15 a.m. Program Session - Income Taxes for Priests
11:30 a.m. Mass
Noon Lunch
1:00 - 2:00 Program Session - Homily Preparation
2:30 - 4:00 p.m. Program Session - Budgeting, Spending and Saving for Retirement
5:00 p.m. Vespers
5:30 p.m. Dinner
Fri., Feb. 13  
7:30 a.m. Mass
8:00 - 8:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:45 - 11:15 a.m. Program Session - Exorcism and the Parish Priest
11:15 a.m. Evaluations and Announcements
Noon Lunch


Monday, February 9 - Friday, February 13, 2015

How the Process Works

Follow this simple  step-by-step guide for completing the Transition Facilitation process and registering for The Associate Pastor workshop.


Included in the cost is: 
  • Transition Facilitation process
  • Four nights' accommodations in St. Bede Hall
  • All meals from Monday supper through Friday lunch
  • All program fees and material costs

Base Rate with Online or Telephone Meeting
The base rate for "The Associate Pastor" workshop is $1,345, which includes an online or phone meeting between the Transition Facilitator and the workshop participant, his pastor, and the parish staff member who completed the transition questionnaires.

Rate with Personal Visit from the Transition Facilitator
For even greater effectiveness, the Institute for Priests and Presbyterates recommends a personal visit and meeting between the Transition Facilitator and the workshop participant, his pastor, and the parish staff member who completed the transition facilitation questionnaires.

  • $1,695 for (arch)dioceses within driving distance for Transition Facilitators
    • Cincinnati
    • Indianapolis
    • Louisville
    • Belleville
    • Covington
    • Evansville
    • Knoxville
    • Lafayette-in-Indiana
    • Lexington
    • Owensboro 
  • $1,345 + travel costs for (arch)dioceses not listed above

To Register

We have reached our maximum for workshop participants. Registration for The Associate Pastor workshop is closed. For more information on The Associate Pastor workshop, please call the Institute for Priests and Presbyterates at (800) 357-8477.

Facilitating a Successful Transition

As part of The Associate Pastor workshop, the Institute for Priests and Presbyterates provides a trained Transition Facilitator to meet with the recently ordained priest, his pastor, and a member of the parish staff. Through questionnaires and face-to-face meetings, the Transition Facilitator helps the new priest identify potential transition issues and concerns before they become serious problems.

The Purpose

Transition facilitation serves to ease the newly ordained priest's entry into ministry and increase his pastoral effectivity by affirming the good, encouraging his self-reflection and motivating his continued growth in priestly holiness.

The Transition Facilitator helps the newly ordained priest identify areas in his life and ministry that would benefit from continued, focused growth. The facilitator's written report serves as the basis for the newly ordained priest's personal growth plan.

Transition Facilitation

The Process

The process for transition facilitation begins in the fall following ordination. Questionnaires are completed by the newly ordained priest, his pastor, and a parish staff member. Those questionnaires are then reviewed by a transition facilitator. Meetings between the transition facilitator and questionnaire respondents are conducted. The facilitator provides a written report to the newly ordained priest that serves as the basis for creating his personal growth plan at the weeklong workshop.

View the entire step-by-step process

The Questionnaires