USML | News

Institute for Lay Formation

Institute for Lay Formation | News

  • LMAP: Scripture-based Retreat 'Remain in Me' | 8/5/2014

    This past weekend 40 alumni of the Lay Leadership, Called & Gifted, and former lay ministry programs gathered for the first ever alumni retreat.  The participants represented 16 cohorts ranging from 1988 to 2014.  On Saturday Dr. Kate Wiskus led the retreat based on the theme "Remain in Me."  She had the group to consider their individual and collective discipleship.  Fr. Dennis Lyle presided at the celebration of the Eucharist which closed the retreat.  The participants departed renewed in mind and spirit.

    The retreat was also an opportunity to reconnect and share with classmates and fellow ministers from across the Archdiocese.  Alumni graciously shared their gifts of facilitation, Scripture reading, song, and even viola and mini-harp to make it a very enriching retreat for all.  The success of the event and the level of interest from alumni will ensure additional LMAP retreats in the future. 

    Other ongoing Formation Days are being scheduled for the coming year, and details can be found here.

  • Linda Couri Catches Up with IPS at the NALM Conference | 6/17/2014

    The NALM Annual Conference brings together coworkers in lay formation from near and far.  Linda Couri had the opportunity to meet with Brian Schmisek, Director of the Institute for Pastoral Studies at Loyola University and with Mark Bersano, Coordinator of Parish Leadership and Management Programs.

    The Institute for Pastoral Studies at Loyola is among the theological schools providing academic formation for Lay Ecclesial Ministry candidates in the Archdiocese of Chicago.  The others include Catholic Theological Union, Saint Xavier University, and the University of St. Mary of the Lake.

  • Institute at NALM Annual Conference | 6/17/2014

    Linda Couri and Kasia Kasiarz attended the National Association for Lay Ministry Annual Conference, The Fire Within: Lay Ministry in Today's Church, May 27-31.

    Pre-conference events included a roundtable for Lay Ministry Formation Directors, facilitated by Denise Simeone (National Catholic Reporter).  The conference commenced with the blessing of Francis Cardinal George, who made a special appearnace.  Keynote speakers included Stephen Bevans (Catholic Theological Union) and Joe Paprocki who recalled the role of the Second Vatican Council in sparking the flame of lay ministry in the church.

    The conference brought together coworkers from all over the nation and world and serving at parish, diocesan, national, and university levels.  In the photo, left to right: Maryellen Knuth (Lay Formation, Catholic Theological Union), Katarzyna Kasiarz (Institute for Lay Formation, USML), Graciela Sonntag (Crossing Over, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany), Harry J. Dudley (Secretariat for Catholic Education, U.S.C.C.B.), Linda Couri (Institute for Lay Formation, USML), and Mark Bersano (Institute for Pastoral Studies, Loyola University, Chicago).

  • LMAP Moral Decisions Day | 4/29/2014

    The Lay Ministry Alumni Project held its third formation day of the year on April 12 at St. William Parish in Elmwood Park.  Msgr. Dennis Lyle, S.T.D. presented "Moral Decision Making" and led a discussion on how Catholic lay ministers can help bridge the gap between faith and reason.  Interaction with the presenter allowed for mutual sharing of personal insights and the opportunity to reconnect with former classmates.  The day fostered thoughtful musing, challenging questions, and pletny of laughter.

    LMAP has provided ongoing formation days for the last two years.  The next event will be a summer retreat at the Cardinal Stritch Retreat Center on Saturday, August 2.  For more information visit the Lay Ministry Alumni Project page or click here.

  • Institute Opens New Lay Leadership Site at Benedictine University | 3/4/2014

    The Institute for Lay Formation is collaborating with the Diocese of Joliet to open a new site for the Lay Leadership program at Benedictine University in Lisle starting Fall 2014.  

    The site will serve the laity in the Diocese of Joilet as well as proximate areas of the Archdiocese of Chicago.

  • Director Linda Couri Attends 19th World Congress on Viktor Frankl's Logotherapy | 6/19/2013



    Director Linda Couri joined the Viktor Frankl Institute of Logotherapy for its Nineteenth World Congress on Inspiring Meaning-Centered Living in Diverse Disciplines, Cultures and Wisdom Traditions.

    According to Linda, Viktor Frankl's though lends itself well to Catholic theology, specifically as it relates to human suffering.  Logotherapy is a specific approach to psychotherapy deeply couched in existential principles.  

    She says, "Attending this conference gave me the opportunity to immerse myself in the 'language of meaning' central to mental and spiritual health.  This is important because the New Evangelization requires us to adapt our language to best communicate to our audience.  In a country with an increasing number of people who refer to themselves as having no religion, it is necessary to cultivate a language in which people can engage in conversations about deep existential issues.  I strongly believer that Viktor Frankl's logotherapy can guide us in cultivating a 'meaning centered language' which can aid all of us in our discipleship."

  • Director Linda Couri Attends Ministry Showcase at Catholic Theological Union | 10/4/2013

    On October 4, 2013, Institute Director Linda Couri attended the Ministry Showcase at Catholic Theological Union

    According to Linda, the Ministry Showcase at CTU provided a friendly discussion forum for those seeking ministerial positions. Such an event is a step forward in the conversation about the relationship between vocation and employment.

  • Institute Staff Attend INSPIRE Conference | 10/24/2013

    Linda Couri, Director, and Katarzyna Kasiarz, Associate Director, attended the INSPIRE Milestone Conference at Loyola University October 24-26, 2013.

    The INSPIRE Milestone Conference marked the culmination of a 10-year partnership of the Lilly Endowment Inc., the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, and Loyola University Chicago, focused on building excellent parish pastoral leadership teams.  

    The INSPIRE team reflected on the values and learning of INSPIRE and how those effects can be sustained and developed through ongoing projects and networks.  

    Local, national, and international speakers and panelists presented keynotes and break-out presentations and faciliated discussion with conference participants.

  • Director Linda Couri and Rev.Thomas A. Baima Write Book Chapter for "Called for Serve" Project | 5/1/2013

    Institute Director Linda Couri and Rev. Thomas A. Baima work to co-author a chapter for Called to Serve, an international project on lay ministry.

    Institute Director Linda Couri and Rev. Thomas A. Baima are co-authoring a chapter for a book entitled 
    Called to Serve.  The project is led by Rev. Dominic Robinson, SJ, of Heythrop University, London, and is a collaborative effort of scholars from the US, England, and Germany around the topic of lay ministry.

  • First LMAP Event of the Year: Fostering Contemplative Prayer | 10/26/2013

    LMAP kicks off its second year with a successful formation day led by Rev. Michael Fuller, STD.

    The first LMAP formation day of the academic year drew a crowd of 52 attendees, selling out the house.  The day provided an excellent balance of lecture, discussion, private time on campus, and group sharing.  The vast majority of attendees reported that they walked away having learned something new.

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