LOMBARD, IL, February 12, 2024 – The Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago today announced the expansion of its Higher Calling initiative to focus on developing and nurturing leadership skills critical to the priesthood.
Fr. Richard “Rick” Andrews, pastor of Saints Peter and Paul of Glenview, Illinois, volunteered to be the first priest to participate in the program. His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael began and completed the program in August of 2022 as the inaugural participant.
An evaluation tool developed and facilitated by the outside consultancy Ruotolo Associates, called the Multi-Source Feedback Process (MSFP), will be used to assess, measure, and encourage growth in leadership skills among priests.
“My calling as a priest, a husband, and a father is to do better in serving Christ. For that reason, I consider it a gift that people who I know, collaborate with, and love in my parish are working together to help me be a better servant of God. I look forward to the benefits of this process, to better serve my parish, and to advocate for Metropolis of Chicago endeavors like this,” said Fr. Rick Andrews.
The MSFP process depends upon self-assessment, individual interviews, written tools, and electronic surveys of individuals with a professional and/or interpersonal relationship with the clergyman. The process is supported by a steering committee of 4-5 parish leaders who provide support and accountability to the priest throughout the course of the program.
Following the assessment, a comprehensive report and analysis are created from the feedback collected. An Action Plan subsequently is created which identifies specific growth opportunities over the course of a year. The use of outside consultants helps ensure objectivity and professionalism and invites candid and thoughtful contributions by the individuals engaged in the process.
Outcomes that have been reported by clergy in a variety of faith settings include improved interpersonal communication, greater information sharing, better delegation skills, and improved time management. Clergy have also reported better quality of life through better eating habits, more exercise, and improved stress management.
“As spiritual fathers of their parishes, our priests have great and varied responsibilities–many of which are performed quietly and sacrificially without our knowledge. The faithful also must have a sense of responsibility for our priests and have a stake in the health of their spiritual, interpersonal, and familial lives. This process – which is intended to encourage the best in our priests – is a crucial step on that journey,” said His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael.
About the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago
Tracing its roots back to the early 1920s, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago is the bishopric of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, northern Indiana, and central Missouri, consisting of 58 parishes and two monastic communities. The Metropolis is one of nine eparchies in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and is presided over by His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago. The general offices of the Metropolis are temporarily located in Lombard, Illinois. For more information and to get involved, visit our website and/or sign up to receive Metropolis news. For further information, contact the Metropolis of Chicago at: email@example.com or 312-736-2280.