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Young Priests Initiative


The Young Priests Initiative is an attempt to advance the cause of young vocations in the church. The initiative began by gathering the Bishops of Pittsburgh, Virginia and Massachusetts and clergy and lay people from those Dioceses. The first step was for these three Dioceses to develop pilot programs to encourage young vocations to the ordained ministry. The common goals of all three pilot programs are:
  1. Each program will seek to increase the number of priests under the age of 30.
  2. The central mission of each program will be to place people into the ordination process, although this does not mean that it will be a failure if a person participating discerns that he or she does not have a call.
  3. As a part of its project proposal, each participating diocese will articulate ways it can change (or provide an alternative to) the ordination process, particularly the structure of the Commission on Ministry and the criteria employed there to discern a vocation to ordained ministry.
  4. While the available funding will cover only projects that are part of the pilot programs, all efforts to change the prevailing culture that discourages young vocations will be discussed and shared.
  5. Recruitment will focus on the young people in each participating diocese. There will also be an appeal through the chaplaincies that are part of the member institutions of the Association of Episcopal colleges.
The pilot programs are currently under development. They will be put in place in the summer of 2000. For more information contact: The Rev. William Danaher (203) 287-0778 or The Rev. Vicki Zust (740) 345-5643.

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