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New Wine Lay Ministry Formation Program?

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Hello, all!

I hope it is okay to ask a question about this program here! To me it relates to religious life because I am contemplating Consecrated Virginity, partly because I want to help my local diocese. My brother is a diocesan priest here, and we often discuss the challenges of sharing the faith in times when many people are falling away from the Church. I would like to be able to help build up the faith, but I have no credentials. Also, I would find it very difficult to go live and study at an actual university because of health issues, and this appears to be a local (and not very expensive) program. 

The "New Wine" program is described as:

"New Wine is a 3 year lay ministry formation program developed in 1985 by the Center for Pastoral Life and Ministry in the Diocese of Kansas City - St. Joseph Missouri. The program has undergone many changes since its creation. These changes reflect the input of participants and the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This ministry formation program is for people who want a basic foundation in theology and pastoral skills and who seek to be leaders in ministry."

Personal benefits are:

  1. Deeper Faith
  2. Vision and Skills for Ministry
  3. Greater Effectiveness in Ministry
  4. Level III Catechist Certification

Parish benefits are:

  1. More Trained Ministers
  2. Enriched Spiritual Life
  3. More Effective Ministry
  4. Opportunity for Shared Leadership
  5. More Ministerial Possibilities

The courses include:

  1. Human Development & Communication
  2. Hebrew Scriptures
  3. Christian Scriptures
  4. Church
  5. Foundations
  6. Prayer & Worship
  7. Ministry & Minister
  8. Sacraments
  9. Morality
  10. Leadership
  11. Catechetics
  12. Introduction to Canon Law

On the back of the leaflet is a quote from Rev. Patrick D. Ryan: "The contemporary church is faced with decreasing credibility among youth, among adults and some ethnic groups... Traditional family values are being threatened. The need for ministry is everywhere.... We need the whole church to minister - ordained and lay alike."

Lay / religious ministers can't replace our need for priests, but at least they can help. Depending on the requirements of the program, I think this is something I could do, but I don't want to commit to three years unless it is a good program! It was suggested to me by my parish's Religious Director, and I like her personally, but in the past we've clashed over her preference (and the preference of her team) for teaching religion with a liberal slant. I'm more "traditional" myself, although I am "liberal" in the sense of "where there is no sin, you have all the freedom you could want"! (as an example, I don't find any justification for women priests credible, but I also don't want women confined to stereotypical "kitchen + looking pretty" roles).

I tried to find information about the program online, but couldn't, so I would really appreciate any information you can offer!

God bless you, and thanks in advance!

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Thank you for your reply! I did read that the program was reduced at some point, but it must have been started up again later because the Religious Director at my parish asked me to consider it! I haven't talked to her in-depth about it, but I'll post what I find out if it would be helpful to others.

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Francis Clare


This is the site for an association for Lay Ministry in the Catholic Church.  I saw that it has webinars available among other resources.  They may be able to connect you to a program in your area or perhaps there is one on-line.

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