Advanced Ministry Formation
for Deacon Candidates and Lay Ecclesial Ministers

Diocese of Las Vegas – Group A (2008–2011)

Reading and Writing Assignments – Fall 2008

Here is a summary of the learning objectives and reading assignments for this year’s program, along with questions to be answered in the written reflections after each month’s session.

All readings should be done before coming to each month’s session.  Reading selections will be taken from our textbooks (see our initial bibliography), online sources, or other books available for purchase through the Diocese of Las Vegas (or from online sources, or in your local bookstore).

Monthly written reflections should be done within one week after each session, and emailed to Fr. Felix Just, S.J. at  Please write about one single-spaced page in response to each question listed below, for about three pages total.  Remember that this is not a Ph.D. program (so don’t make your paper merely academic), but it is more advanced than the LEMP (so spend more time reflecting deeply and personally on the questions).  All papers should be typed, single-spaced, have 1-inch margins, and include a brief heading (name, date, and topic). You may use any word-processing program, but please send your completed paper as a file attachment, rather than in the text of your email.

Sept. 20-21, 2008 – Ministry / Community / Diakonia  (with Gail Gresser, M.A.)

Learning Objectives:

Reading Assignments:

Written Reflections:

  1. What do I see when I reflect upon the members of my own parish community, including those who are less visible and less “involved”?  What are their needs?  What are their gifts?  Most importantly, how might I imagine, in my own ministry, helping to call forth their gifts and enabling them to serve the needs of other members of our community?
  2. When I honestly consider my own deepest images of the ministry to which I feel called, and the origins of this ministry within the Church, what do I discover are my own motives and needs in approaching my ministry?  Given what I have learned this weekend, what aspects of my approach to ministry would I like to strengthen, change, or explore further?
  3. Look at Exercise I in Part IV of Cardinal Mahony’s pastoral letter, As I Have Done for You.  Choose one of the thirteen scenarios, and answer the questions presented there.

Oct. 18-19, 2008 – Scriptural Prayer, esp. the Liturgy of the Hours (with Sr. Jeremy Gallet, S.P., Ph.D.)

Learning Objectives:

Reading Assignments:

Written Reflections:

  1. What is my experience of praying with the Psalms? How have I prayed the Psalms in the past? How might I like to pray them differently in the future?
  2. What do I see as some of the advantages of using the Liturgy of the Hours for community prayer in our parishes and communities today? What are some of the difficulties or disadvantages?
  3.  What aspect of the Liturgy of the Hours do I find most meaningful for prayer?  What aspect of it feels most difficult for me? Why?

Nov. 8-9, 2008 – Introduction to Preaching & Homiletics  (with Fr. Thomas Scirghi, S.J., Ph.D.)

Learning Objectives:

Reading Assignments:

Written Reflections:

  1. When I think back upon some of the best homilies I have ever heard, and also some of the worst, what stands out in my memory? What differences do I see? What are the most important factors that make for a good homily?
  2. Reflecting upon myself, what are some of my own gifts and talents that would help me become a good homilist? What are some of my weaknesses? What would I need to improve or overcome in order to be a good homilist?
  3. When I think about my own parish community, what do the people long to hear in a homily?  When I think about people visiting our church for the first time, what would I want them to experience in my homily?

Dec. 6-7, 2008 – The Roman Catholic Lectionary for Mass (with Fr. Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D.)

Learning Objectives

Reading Assignments (please do in advance):

Written Reflections:

  1. What has been my actual experience of using the Lectionary for Mass? How familiar am I with it, and what more do I need to learn to be able to use the Lectionary more easily and more confidently?
  2. What do I see as the most significant advantages of using the multi-year structure of biblical reading selections in the Lectionary for Mass (for Sundays and Weekday liturgies) in our parishes and communities today? What are some of the difficulties or disadvantages in using the Lectionary?
  3. How familiar are the people of my own parish – not only the “active” ones, but everyone – with the Lectionary?  [Do most of them even know what it is? Do they see the relationships between the three readings for each Sunday? Do they see any continuity between one week and the next?]  In my own ministry, how might I help them to grow in their understanding of the Lectionary, and in their ability to be nourished by it?

Click here for further assignments for SPRING 2009

Related pages on this website:

For more information, please contact:

Fr. Bill Kenny
Holy Spirit Parish
5959 S. Hualapai Way
Las Vegas, NV 89148

Phone: 702-459-7778;  Fax: 702-437-9548

Fr. Felix Just, S.J.
Loyola Institute for Spirituality
480 S. Batavia St.
Orange, CA 92868-3907

Phone: 714-997-9587 x28;  Fax: 714-997-9588

This page was last updated on January 5, 2011
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