Courses in Pastoral Psychology for Priests in the Czech Republic
Since 2012, the Archdiocese of Prague in the Czech Republic has offered psychology courses for priests, overseen by the Carmelite Fathers of Prague. The response to these courses has been quite positive, and demand is high. Many priests are not given psychological training during their formation and find themselves confronted with parish problems that require psychological understanding. So, this training compliments their prior studies, allowing them to better help those seeking counsel.
The courses also help the priests understand themselves and avoid many of the pitfalls that might affect them, like exhaustion, burnout, disillusionment, and frustration, which can leave a priest unable to lead his ministry or commit himself to the service of God and others. Given the history of priestly abuse and greater awareness of unacceptable behavior from authority figures, this work is especially urgent.
Usually, 10 to 12 priests and deacons take part in the courses over a 3 ½ year period. There are four meetings each year, lasting from two to five days and using both theoretical and practical approaches. They are conducted by Father Pavel Pola, a Carmelite priest with experience in pastoral psychology, and a professional psychologist.
Each participating priest makes a small contribution to the cost of the course, but since priests in the Czech Republic are financially limited, course fees must be kept low. To help cover the expenses involved, ACN has offered to give $4,900 for the year 2021.
Will you help us fund psychology courses for priests in the Czech Republic?
We are sure they will remember you in their prayers.
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