Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

Transition Facilitation

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Transition Facilitation

As part of the Settling into Priesthood Program, 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.

What it is, what it isn't

Transition facilitaton is not evaluation. Rather, transition facilitation serves to ease the newly ordained's entry into ministry: affirming the good, encouraging him in self-reflection, and motivating him to continue his growth in holiness, happiness and effectiveness in ministry.

The purpose

The Transition Facilitator helps name areas of needed growth the new priest will address at the Settling into Priesthood workshop held in the spring after ordination. Here at the workshop, with a written report from the Transition Facilitator in hand, the recently ordained priest creates a personal growth plan to articulate his specific goals and map out his process for achieving them.

The process

When registering, workshop participants need to indicate their first three choices of Transition Facilitators. The Institute will assign a facilitator from the choices indicated. Workshop participants, their pastors, and a selected member of their parish staff then need to complete the transition questionnaires and send them to their assigned Transition Facilitator. After receiving the completed questionnaires, the Transition Facilitator will coordinate the parish visit or telephone meetings to work through the process.

The Transition Questionnaires

Transition Facilitators

Fr . Jerry Bell Fr. Jerry Bell is a native of Louisville, where he attended Trinity High School and Bellarmine College. He earned his M.Div. from St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore, MD. Fr. Bell taught religion and led retreats at St. Xavier High School in Louisville. Ordained in 1973 and now retired, Fr. Bell has served in various parish and ministry settings and on several archdiocesan councils, commissions and consultative bodies.
   
Fr. Ray Brenner Fr. Ray Brenner is a priest of the Diocese of Evansville. Ordained in 1969, Fr. Brenner has held assignments at various parishes in the diocese and has actively participated in ongoing formation programs. He has worked with and mentored approximately 30 seminarians, deacons (transitional and permanent), and parochial vicars during his years of priesthood. An alumnus of Saint Meinrad, Fr. Brenner enjoys working with younger clergy.
   
Fr . Tony Ernst Fr. Tony Ernst was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Evansville in 1998. He currently serves as pastor of SS. Peter and Paul in Haubstadt, Holy Cross in Fort Branch, and St. Bernard in Snake Run. He is Director for the Newly Ordained Priests of the diocese and often ministers to the Teens Encounter Christ and Cursillo communities. Fr. Ernst is a member of the Institute for Priests and Presbyterates Advisory Board.
   
TF Fr . Dave Fleck Fr. David Fleck has been a priest for the Diocese of Evansville for 33 years. He has served his diocese in a variety of positions, including as associate pastor, a teacher in a Catholic high school, vocation director for the diocese and pastor of several different parishes. Fr. Dave is currently the pastor of two parishes in Vincennes, IN. Fr. Dave enjoys his ministry, particularly working with people.
   
Fr. Bernie Lutz Fr. Bernie Lutz was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Evansville in 1963. He has held various positions in parishes and at all levels of education. He earned post-graduate degrees in comparative religion, counseling and spirituality and certificates in interpersonal communication and spiritual direction. Fr. Lutz currently serves the diocese as Director of Ministry to Priests.
   
Fr . Gary Padgett Fr. Gary Padgett, pastor of the Church of the Ascension in Louisville, KY, was ordained in 1999. Fr. Padgett earned a law degree from the University of Louisville in 1983. For 10 years, he practiced law with the U.S. Department of Justice. Fr. Padgett serves the archdiocese as the Coordinator of Formation for the First Five Years of Priesthood. He is a member of the IPP Advisory Board.
   
Msgr . Bill Stumpf Msgr. Bill Stumpf is a priest of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis who served as its vicar for clergy from 1997-2006. Ordained in 1985, Msgr. Stumpf is an alumnus of Mt. St. Mary's of the West in Cincinnati, Ohio. He also earned MS and PhD degrees in pastoral counseling from Loyola College in Maryland. He has served on the staff of St. Luke Institute in Silver Spring, Maryland.
   
TF Fr . Ron Zgunda Fr. Ronald Zgunda was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Evansville in 1977. He has held various positions at parish and diocesan levels, including vocation director. Fr. Zgunda has been the pastor of four parishes, including some clustered parishes. He is currently pastor of St. Joseph in Princeton and Blessed Sacrament in Oakland City. Fr. Zgunda has participated in several ongoing formation workshops.