PIM Participants Discuss Servant Leadership

Jocelyn Thomas In the Headlines

Servant leadership was discussed with enthusiasm by participants in the Hartford, Conn., and the New York, N.Y., Partners in Ministry (PIM) workshops. These events, held on Oct. 14 and Oct. 21 respectively, were the first of four gatherings being held this fall for persons involved with ministry services through Holy Name Province.

The theme was described through a slide presentation by Melina Rudman, pictured above, director of the Servant Leadership School at St. Patrick -St. Anthony Church in Hartford and a member of the ministerial development directorate. 

Servant leadership is, according to Ms. Rudman, a way of living, serving and leading that is creative, respectful, prayerful and empowering. Servant leaders listen deeply, are empathic, self-aware and intuitive; they understand the paradoxical nature of power and seek to balance action and contemplation in their own lives, she said.

Each PIM day consisted of a keynote speech by Ms. Rudman, group discussions, and a presentation about the four-year-old Servant Leadership School including a question-and-answer-session.

In his address to Hartford PIM attendees, Provincial Minister John O’Connor pointed out that Holy Name Province has a reputation throughout the world for taking leadership. Other provinces tend to “follow us,” John said.

He emphasized the important role that lay people play in Church ministries today, saying that ministries are partnerships between the church and the laity who bring an objective perspective to friars.

During the group discussions, participants shared ideas about how six skills and qualities – empathy, deep listening, healing, power, vision, and self-awareness – are practiced under the servant leadership model. These characteristics were first categorized as important to servant leadership by Larry Speaks, chief executive officer of the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership in Indianapolis, Ind.
Participants in the program included staff representatives of HNP parishes as well as lay parishioners involved in leadership roles with various ministries and programs at the churches.

Two more PIMs are scheduled this fall — on Oct. 28 in Pompton Lakes and on Nov. 4 in Raleigh.

The programs were developed as a response to requests expressed at the 2005 Chapter and 2005 guardians’ meeting to provide leadership development.