ILEM - Who and Why?
To set high standards,” said Pope John Paul II, “means both to provide a thorough basic training and to keep it constantly updated. This is a fundamental duty, in order to ensure qualified personnel for the Church’s mission.”
The Church values well-formed leaders!
"Lay persons who devote themselves permanently or temporarily to some special service of the Church are obliged to acquire the appropriate formation which is required to fulfill their function properly and to carry it out conscientiously, zealously, and diligently." -Code of Canon Law, Canon 231
At the Diocese of Trenton, we work hard to prepare well all our ministry leaders. Seminaries form priests. Religious communities form vowed men and women. The Office of the Diaconate forms deacons.
ILEM forms Lay Ecclesial Ministers. This exciting three year formation program offers men and women the opportunity for spiritual growth, study about God and Church, ways to become more well-rounded individuals, and development of the skills needed for ministry. For those who already have been formed, there's ILEM-Bridge.
The application process for ILEM is thorough and the requirements are clear. For those admitted to ILEM, the benefits are great!
What does ILEM offer?
“Lay ecclesial minister” is not itself a specific position title.
We do not use the term in order to establish
a new rank or order among the laity.
Rather, we use the terminology as an adjective
to identify a developing and growing reality,
to describe it more fully,
and to seek a deeper understanding of it
under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
” Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord, USCCB, Nov. 2005
The Institute for Lay Ecclesial Ministry (ILEM) provides formation for professional ministry to lay women and men who have leadership positions in the Church. Through ILEM and local Universities, ILEM candidates earn college credits toward an MA Theology or toward an academic certificate. They attend retreats together and receive individual spiritual direction that forms their spirits. They learn about core relationship skills, especially as pertain to ministry so that they approach ministry in a healthy and balanced way. They attend workshops and programs to build upon the gifts God has given them and develop and hone the skills needed for ministry. And, finally, they become candidates for Commissioning as Lay Ecclesial Ministers by the Bishop of Trenton.
Who chooses ILEM?
The men and women who choose formation through ILEM are already in positions of leadership in the Church and seek to be better prepared to do the work God has led them to – as well as to remain open to new possibilities the Spirit may invite them to consider. They represent all aspects of Church leadership, such as:
- Directors/Coordinators of Religious Education
- Youth Ministers
- Directors of Outreach to the Poor
- Adult Faith Formation Coordinators
- Directors and Staff of Diocesan Offices
- Campus Ministers
- Parish Business Managers
- Directors of Faith Development
- Religion Teachers
- Pastoral Associates
- University Graduate Assistants
- Catholic School Administrators
- Directors of the Catechumenate
- ...and other lay leaders in the Church!
IS ILEM FOR YOU?
If you are a lay leader serving in the Diocese of Trenton, if you are being called to enhance your ministerial skills and your own spirituality, if you would benefit from a formation program that brings you together with like-minded people…contact us!