Advanced Ministry Formation
for Deacon Candidates and Lay Ecclesial Ministers

Diocese of Las Vegas – Group B (2010–2013)

Reading and Writing Assignments – Fall 2010

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

All readings should be completed 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 bookstores, or in your local bookstore).

Monthly written reflections should be done within two weeks after each session, and emailed to Fr. Felix Just, S.J. at (Deacon Candidates) or Dr. Marc Gonzalez at (Lay Ministers). Please write one full page in response to each question listed below, making two 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 (your name; the month/year & 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.

NOTE: If you are absent from any session, then in addition to the monthly reflection papers mentioned above, you must also write a short paper (1-2 pages) on the readings assigned for that month: summarize their contents and what your learned from these readings.

Sept. 18-19, 2010 – The Roman Catholic Lectionary for Mass (Instructor: Fr. Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D.)

Learning Objectives (what you will hopefully get out of this session):

  1. To become thoroughly familiar with the structure and arrangement of the current Lectionary for Mass (second typical edition, Latin 1981; English 1998-2002, four volumes; and contemporary Spanish editions).
  2. To know the main stages in the historical development of the Lectionary (from its biblical origins, to the medieval Roman Missal, to the Lectionary for Mass in use today) and its relation to Lectionaries used by other Christians.
  3. To develop greater facility in using the Lectionary for Mass for celebrations of all the Sacraments, for religious education programs, and for other pastoral purposes.

Reading Assignments (please do before our weekend session):

Written Reflections (due two weeks after our weekend session):

  1. Theological: How does the Pastoral Letter “Gather Faithfully Together” suggest that the Liturgy of the Word be conducted at Sunday Mass? How best can the Lectionary readings come alive for all the worshippers?
  2. Pastoral: What has been my own actual experience of using the Lectionary for Mass? How familiar am I with it? What more do I need to learn to be able to use the Lectionary more easily and more confidently? How might I help other people in my parish grow in their understanding of the Lectionary?

Oct. 16-17, 2010 – Ministerial Ethics (with Fr. Richard Gula, S.S.)

Learning Objectives:

  1. To deepen my understanding of the vocational and professional dimensions of ministry in the Church.
  2. To become aware of the power of my role as minister, and how to use that power humbly, carefully, and ethically.
  3. To develop my commitment to virtuous ministry through self-development, clear boundaries, and ethical practices.

Reading Assignments:

Written Reflections:

  1. Theological: What are the most important theological bases for understanding ecclesial ministry as a profession as well as a vocation?
  2. Pastoral: What area of ministerial ethics do I struggle with the most? Why? What steps can and will I take to grow in maturity and professionalism in this area?

Nov. 6-7, 2010 – Liturgy of the Hours & Scriptural Prayer (Sr. Jeremy Gallet, S.P., Ph.D.)

Learning Objectives:

  1. To become very familiar with the Liturgy of the Hours and adept at using it for private and communal prayer.
  2. To understand the structure and biblical background of the Liturgy of the Hours, esp. its use of the Psalms.
  3. To develop a deeper appreciation for the role of scripture in the communal prayer of the Catholic Church.

Reading Assignments:

Written Reflections:

  1. Pastoral: 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?
  2. Personal: What is my own experience of reading and praying the Psalms? How have I prayed the Psalms in the past? How might I like to pray them differently in the future?

Dec. 11-12, 2010 – Introduction to Preaching & Homiletics  (Fr. Thomas Scirghi, S.J., Ph.D.)

Learning Objectives:

  1. To understand the similarities and differences between topical sermons and liturgical homilies.
  2. To appreciate the crucial role of biblical preaching in all of the sacraments and liturgies of the Church.
  3. To learn about some of the qualities and attitudes required to become a good homilist, and some of the resources available to help me become a better preacher.

Reading Assignments:

Written Reflections:

  1. Pastoral: Recalling 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. Personal: 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?

Continue with Assignments for Spring 2011

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
Copyright © 2008--2011