'Tending the Talents’
Chancery staff, parish leaders, take part in
first sessions of two-year program
Staff of the Catholic Chancery in Dodge City, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and parish leaders from across the diocese took part in the first workshop in a two-year process called “Tending the Talents,” Feb. 24-25 at the cathedral.
The program is presented through the Catholic Leadership Institute, which recently concluded the two-year “Good Leaders, Good Shepherds” program for priests.
Working with instructors from CLI, the process is designed to empower Catholics by teaching them leadership skills they can use to be stronger leaders and therefore be of better service to others.
The courses were taught by CLI instructors Lucille Smith and Donald McCrabb, who presented behavioral and personality models, which, when understood, can help one to better serve, lead, and empathize with others.
The highlight of the two-day program came when Coleen Stein became a “pastor”.
Granted, she was only role-playing the part of a priest. The part of “Edie” was played to rave reviews by Eric Haselhorst, who apparently has received acting tips from his wife, Chris, a performer at the Depot Theatre Company.
“Edie,” “Father Bob” and “Sister Linda” were characters in a fictional story that participants were asked to read and then play out in a skit, responding to each other based on what they had learned thus far in the workshop.
Edie was really upset. It seems that the DRE, Sister Linda, had made life tough on Edie, who was the director of ministries. Edie was an extrovert, always ready for a laugh, entertaining, and perhaps enjoyed too much time on the phone or talking to visitors.
Sister Linda was an introvert. She was matter-of-fact and had a difficult time dealing with what she saw as Edie’s loud, disruptive behavior. Both employees were valued members of the staff.
“I asked Edie to tell me about it,” said Stein of her role as a priest. “I ended up saying, ‘Would you be open to meeting with Sister Linda?’ I said that ‘the reason we hired you is because of your gifts. You still continue to do a great job.’
“I was corrected big-time on my meeting with Sister Linda,” Stein said, laughing. “I told her we needed to discuss both job descriptions. Don said that by telling her that I was making her co-pastor. So, I told her that the three of us needed to meet and discuss the situation together. I also thought of forming a Word Working prayer group that they could take part in together.”
For Stein and other participants, the program acted to reinforce what they already knew about themselves.
“But it also offered the opportunity,” Stein said, “to understand how my peers deal with things and what’s really important to them. It’s good for me to know that not everybody is going to have the same reaction to a given situation.
“It also reinforced to me what my assets are in my job. We learned about who we are when we’re stressed, and who we are when we’re not.”
For some people, how they respond to others is drastically different depending on their stress level, mood ….
For Stein and others like her, “I was the same,” she said with a smile. “What you see is what you get.”