Facing three ethical challenges
TEAM Days will address ethics for those in pastoral situations
By Jeff Kurowski
Compass Assistant Editor
What: "Doing the Right Thing," TEAM Days, two days of study and reflection for parish staffs and key volunteers, presented by Fr. Ray Carey, Ph.D., a priest of the Archdiocese of Portland, Ore.
When: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 22, and Friday, Feb. 23
Where: Radisson Hotel and Conference Center in Green Bay
Details: Cost of the two-day TEAM workshop is $65, or $45 if attending for one day. The noon meal and refreshments are included. Rooms are available at the Radisson for a special rate of $89 per single/double. Call 1-800-333-3333 and ask for the Green Bay Diocese Room Block. For more information, call (920)272-8289. The registration deadline is Feb. 13.
Next month, Fr. Ray Carey will add Green Bay to a long list of cities he has visited, when he presents at TEAM Days, offered by the Green Bay Diocese, Feb. 22-23 at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center.
Fr. Carey, a priest from the Archdiocese of Portland, Ore., travels worldwide to give lectures, present workshops and do consulting, yet he has never been to Green Bay.
It will be a special trip, he said.
"I'm a longtime Green Bay Packer fan," he said. "I'm originally from Youngstown, Ohio. My family moved around a lot. The Packers became my team. In the '60s, a friend of mine at seminary was also a Packer fan. We subscribed to the (Green Bay) Press-Gazette, just so we could get news about the team."
"My favorite player was Bart Starr," he added. "He was 'Saint Bart' to us."
The theme for this year's TEAM Days, a seminar for parish staff members and volunteers, is "Doing the Right Thing." Among his eight presentations, Fr. Carey will discuss moral values and choices in pastoral ministry.
"Each talk, I try to provide basic principles which people can apply in their ministries," said Fr. Carey. "I like to be very clear and very practical in my approach. I often try to
focus on three areas or three major points in my talks. I never stray far away from pastoral applications."
There are three major ethical challenges facing those serving parishes today, said Fr. Carey.
"The first is responsibility, fiduciary trust," he said. "Pastors need to take good care of the people they serve. All parish employees and volunteers need to take care of the people they serve. The priest sexual abuse scandal is obviously a violation of fiduciary trust."
"The second challenge is agency, making sure they keep clear whose agency (the church, not personal agendas) they are serving," he continued. "The third is learning the complexities and skills to be faithful to confidentiality."
In addition to his international lecture schedule, Fr. Carey serves as a counselor for priests, as an adjunct professor at Mt. Angel Seminary Graduate School of Theology in St. Benedict, Ore, and as a parish team member at Queen of Peace Parish in Salem, Ore. When he was ordained to the priesthood in 1970, he did not plan on becoming a lecturer or counselor.
"I was studying theology in the late '60s," he said. "I was serving a deacon assignment in the summer where I was in a position to help people who were grieving. I told the archbishop at the time that I didn't have the skills to help these people. I needed education in this area."
Fr. Carey earned a master's degree in counseling psychology from the University of Oregon and a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Ottawa in Canada.
He has done extensive consulting work with vocation and formation directors throughout the United States and overseas.
"It's been interesting," he said. "I've been to Australia, New Zealand and several European countries. The differences in the regions provide for interesting experiences. I've done a great deal of behavioral assessment training. There are differences in the needs in different regions, but there are common skills and experiences to look for in all candidates. You want to make sure they have the capacity to learn and benefit from the educational experience at seminary. You look for some relationship skills, work ethic, and a faith and prayer history. You look at their sexual life. Will they embrace celibacy in a healthy manner? I've met so many people from so many different backgrounds. I'm very thankful for those experiences."
Ethics and morals
Fr. Carey will focus on ethics and moral values on day one of TEAM Days. He will open with a presentation about moral choices on day two, but will also give a talk about reconciling differences, and presentations about Mary of Nazareth and Mary of Magdala.
"I plan to offer a fresh approach about these two inspirational women of the early church," he said. "My goal is to provide practical applications from their models of discipleship."
"I very much look forward to meeting the people in Green Bay," he added. "I really come alive and get my energy from the people. I'm a parish priest at heart, so it's a joy for me.
"The traveling part is the least fun. I have logged more than 1.3 million miles on United Airlines. It's 24,000 miles around the world, so I've been around the world several times, but it's worth it. I will continue to do this as long as the Lord blesses me with good health."