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Diocesan Based Dynamic Discipleship Learning Communities

Would you like to start a dynamic movement in your diocese, built around a common vision for making missionary disciples? Our Diocesan Based Dynamic Discipleship Learning Community brings together ten pastors and their teams to learn, collaborate and plan for the future. This is not a prescriptive program or a one-time conference, rather it is a unique 18 month process that promotes discipleship innovation and invites teams to accompany one another in parish renewal.

“I cannot express what an energetic and meaningful gathering took place. It certainly inspired all of our parish teams! The principles and processes we learned are powerful tools to take back to our parishes, so that we can continue to encourage creative thinking and collaborative work.”

Bishop Michael Saporito, The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, NJ

4 Meetings

Comprised of ten to twelve pastors, each bringing two to four key leaders, a cohort meets four times at a central location in the diocese. Each meeting focuses on a specific topic necessary for transforming a parish into a dynamic, disciple making community. Areas covered include accompaniment, volunteer development, reaching the next generation and evangelization.

3 Days

Each gathering runs from 1pm on a Monday through noon on Wednesday. Over the three days teams are guided through a process of evaluating current outcomes, exploring new ideas and creating a plan for the future. A unique aspect of our process is the collaborative experience. Parish teams build supportive relationships as they learn from each other, share ideas and plan for the future.

18 Months

Lasting change requires time, commitment and consistency. Over the eighteen month journey, leaders are able to identify the areas of greatest need, try new ideas and adjust their plans in order to find the right fit for their parish. Our research shows that leaders who stay committed to this process see significant breakthroughs in creating a culture of discipleship. 

A New Catholic Approach

Hear what these participants say made the learning community process a win for their parish. Watch the video to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Diocesan Based Learning Community?

A Diocesan Based Learning Community is a group of ten to twelve pastors and their key leaders from the same diocese who want to transform their parishes into a disciple making communities. This cohort gathers four times over 18 months for interactive, facilitated meetings focussed on issues that are key to parish renewal. A Learning Community is not a program or a one-time conference, rather it is a unique process that invites teams to learn, plan and grow together.

What happens at a Dynamic Discipleship Learning Community gathering?

The Learning Community process is designed to inspire Catholic leaders and promote parish innovation. In this interactive experience,  participants will learn from practitioners and thought leaders, while given time to process, evaluate, discern and plan strategically for the future. To learn more about the content of the meetings, CLICK HERE. There are also opportunities to learn from and collaborate with other parish leaders through mixed group sessions and peer consulting. Every Learning Community gathering ends with each team creating a six month strategic plan with three to five goals and strategies.

How does a pastor get chosen to be a part of a Diocesan Based Learning Community?

Participants are nominated, usually by their bishop, and then sent information about the process. If the parish is interested, a member of the Parish Catalyst team interviews that pastor to determine if the process would be a good fit for the parish.

What results can I expect?

Parish Catalyst is grounded in extensive research and has proven to ignite and accelerate renewal in parishes. Parishes that have completed a Parish Catalyst Learning Community have shown measurable growth and positive change in parishioner engagement, small groups, volunteer development, young adults, evangelization and all areas relating to discipleship. To see the statistics from our alumni  parishes, CLICK HERE for our Impact Report.

Where do you meet?

Meetings are held at a central location in the diocese.

How many times do you meet?

Each Learning Community cohort will meet four times over the course of 18 months.

What does it cost to join a Learning Community?

The participants fee includes all meeting sessions(up to 4 team members), check-in calls, meals, resources and access to all resources after the meetings take place. The cost per parish is $6,000 split into two payments over 18 months. However, if a parish pays in full prior to the first meeting, the cost is $5,000.  Some diocese will subsidize this expense by contributing a portion of the fee. However, we recommend that individual parishes carry the majority of the cost. This investment in the experience increases a parish’s commitment to the entire process.

What is a parish team committing to by agreeing to be part of a Learning Community?

By agreeing to be a part of a Learning Community, a parish is committing to four three-day sessions over the course of 18 months, check-in calls, and an open mind and heart, ready to learn and grow their parish.

Who makes up a parish team?

Each parish team is made up of a pastor with three of their key leaders. A pastor should bring team members who are willing to think creatively and act courageously in creating the future of the parish. Additional team members can be included for $50 per meeting to cover meals and supplies.

Do you have more questions? Please reach out to Eileen Lynch at or give her a call at (908) 769-5400, ext.145.