To minister to the ongoing needs of seminarian couples as they prepare to enter into a life of ministry in the Church and to clergy couples as they navigate the challenges of parish life, particularly as these challenges impact the clergy couple and family.
The Need for this Ministry
With the increasing number of divorces and distressed marriages among the clergy, the leadership of the Church has recognized the need for an intentional ministry to clergy couples and their families. The development of this ministry is being driven by the lived experiences of clergy couples presently serving in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and the consistent findings of research studies, which indicate that the greatest challenges clergy couples/ families face in parish life are: isolation/ loneliness, lack of privacy/boundary issues, and time demands/unrealistic expectations.
The early phase of this ministry has primarily focused on the seminarian wives and couples at Hellenic College & Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology with an emphasis on healthy, holy self-care, spiritual formation and marriage enrichment in order to prepare them for parish life.
What is Being Done
- Retreats for seminarian and clergy couples
- Retreats for presvyteres
- A Study of the Impact of Ministry on Priests and Presvyteres (in cooperation with the Danielsen Institute at Boston University)
- Program for seminarian wives and couples at Hellenic College & Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (in cooperation with the administration)
- Classroom discussions at Hellenic College & Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology on the unique blessings, challenges of clergy couples/families
- A secure website with resources for clergy couples/families
- Development of a support and referral network for clergy couples in need
- Development of an email ministry listserv
- Ongoing education of the faithful about clergy couples/families
- A mentoring program for young presvyteres/clergy couples