Ongoing formation, which strengthens ministerial identity, as well as enhances ministerial skills, is not a luxury to be pursued when time and resources allow, but is rather a permanent necessity for every ecclesial minister, lay or ordained.
(Coworkers in the Vineyard of the Lord, USCCB, 2005, p. 51)
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has designated funds for the education and formation of professional lay ministers who serve in its parishes and other archdiocesan ministries in paid positions. The Continuing Formation for Lay Ministry Fund (CFLMF) is available to assist lay ministers within the Archdiocese who meet its criteria. The Fund is available to assist lay ministers in the continuing formation and enhancement of skills that will increase the lay minister’s capacity to minister in parishes or Catholic institutions within the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Funds are not guaranteed, but are based on funding available.
- Applicants must be currently employed, at least 20 hours a week, by a parish or Catholic institution in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.
- Applicants may seek funding toward their registration and travel costs for seminars, conferences, conventions, classes, retreats, and other continuing formation in fields/disciples pertinent to their ministerial service. This fund does not have the capacity to provide support for someone interested in completing undergraduate or graduate degree studies.
- A maximum grant of $500 may be awarded within a fiscal year.
- As a first priority, all applicants are asked to apply for scholarships or support from the institution offering the training, conference, seminary or retreat, if such funding is available. This does not apply to Archdiocesan programs.
- All applicants should ask their parish or institutional employer for continuing education funds toward the program. Additionally, applicants should seek scholarships or support from their local professional organizations of which they are members (i.e. Mareda, etc.).
- Awards will typically be made payable to the organization offering the conference/seminar/ retreat, but with proper verification, reimbursement may be made directly to the applicant or parish. They are not to be applied to debts for education or programs previously undertaken.
- All requests must be for programs, seminars, conferences, retreats or courses that are consistent with the teaching of the Catholic Church.
- The Fund Board meets quarterly to approve grants for Continuing Formation Funds. Completed applications must be received prior to the program. Applications for programs already begun or completed will not be considered. It is strongly recommended that applications be submitted at least 90 days prior to the program taking place to ensure that the committee has sufficient time to review the application.
- Awards are determined by the CFLMF Board, chaired by the Director of the Office for Lay Ministry. If initial or continuing eligibility of an applicant is in dispute, the CFLMF Board shall make the final determination.
- Changes in these guidelines can be made with the approval of the CFLMF Board when strong and sufficient reasons exist, and with approval by the Moderator of the Curia.
- The applicant’s pastor or supervisor must approve of the program, and sign the application.
Applicant Contact and Follow-up
- The Director of the Office for Lay Ministry will email each applicant within 7 days to verify that the application was received.
- The Director of the Office for Lay Ministry mail each applicant a decision of their award within 30 days of the Board’s decision.
- Applicants are asked to submit an evaluation of the program within 30 days of the program. (Details not yet available). These evaluations will assist the Board in awarding funding to future applicants.
- If the applicant does not submit a review within 30 days of completion of training, the applicant will need to repay the Fund.
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