Spring, Summer Courses and Conferences

Saint Vincent Seminary’s Institute for Ministry Formation will offer two new online courses as well as five other online courses this spring, in addition to the summer conferences on spiritual direction.

Father Stephen Peter Concordia, O.S.B., a monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey, will teach a course entitled IMTH 729 Introduction to Gregorian Chant. Father Stephen has a bachelor of music degree in piano performance from New England Conservatory, Boston (1980), where he also earned a master of music in theoretical studies (1984). He studied organ and Gregorian chant at the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, Rome, receiving the licentiate and magistero/diploma in organ in 2000, and the licentialte and magistero/diploma in Gregorian chant in 2004. He is a graduate of the Pontifical Atheneum of Sant’ Anselmo, Rome, where he earned a baccalaureate in philosophy (1993) and a baccalaureate in theology (1996). The 2-credit course will explore the chant’s place in the life of the church and include singing and/or listening throughout.

IMTH 725, Sacramental Theology and Liturgy, is a new 2–credit course. This course serves as an introduction to Sacramental Theology. It is theoretical and foundational in that it explores Sacramental Theology and thoroughly covers the teaching in Part II of the Catechism and the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy.  It is also practical and in depth in exploring such topics as the Liturgy of the East and West, the role of beauty (including art and music) in the Liturgy, the meaning of “full, active, conscious participation” in the Liturgy, and the Liturgy of the Hours. The instructor is to be determined.

IMSD 650 Sacramental Theology and Ecclesiology for Spiritual Directors will be taught by Helene Paharik, a member of the adjunct faculty of Saint Vincent Seminary and 2007 alumnus of the Seminary. She is completing doctoral studies at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. The course gave an overview of sacramental theology and ecclesiology for the formation of spiritual directors.

Dr. Michel Therrien, a former academic dean of Saint Vincent Seminary, where he also taught moral theology, will teach IMSD 660 Moral Theology for Spiritual Directors. The course focuses on how spiritual directors are called to help Christians grow in holiness with a focus on catechesis.

IMSD 700, Psychology for Spiritual Directors, will be taught by Dr. Timothy Heck, to help students learn to recognize some basic psychopathology and to know when and how to refer directees to psychotherapy professionals.  Heck presently serves as assistant professor, School of Behavioral Sciences, at Liberty University, Virginia.

Benedictine Fathers Thomas Acklin and Boniface Hicks, authors of Spiritual Direction: A Guide for Sharing the Father’s Love, and Personal Prayer: A Guide for Receiving the Father’s Love, will teach “Spiritual Direction I: Art of Accompaniment” and then for “Spiritual Direction II: Advanced Topics in Spiritual Direction” in two five-day summer sessions, May 17-21, 2021 and June 14-18, 2021. The courses will teach spiritual directors how to help others pray better, grow in their relationships with God and help accompany others on their spiritual journeys to become better Christians.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, last year’s conferences were moved to an online format. While the dates have been chosen for 2021, due to uncertainties with the virus for 2021, conference planners have not yet determined whether these courses will be entirely online, available in person, or in a combination of online and in person. Please visit the IMF website later in the spring for updated information: imf.saintvincentseminary.edu.

Father Boniface is director of the Institute for Ministry Formation, and the Seminary’s director of spiritual formation, and programming manager for We Are One Body Catholic Radio. Father Thomas is professor of theology at Saint Vincent Seminary, a psychoanalyst, author of The Passion of the Lamb and The Unchanging Heart of the Priesthood. Both have given retreats nationally and internationally.

For information visit imf.saintvincentseminary.edu.