The Office for the Continuing Education and Priest Sabbaticals promotes, as Pope John Paul II so aptly said, the important task of rekindling within each priest the divine gift of Holy Orders.

The ongoing formation of priests, whether diocesan or religious, is the natural and absolutely necessary continuation of building priestly personality which began and developed in the Seminary or the Religious House with the training program which aimed at ordination. (Pastores Dabo Vobis, # 71)

It is particularly urgent today, not only because of rapid changes in the social and cultural conditions of individuals and peoples among whom priestly ministry is exercised, but also because of that “new evangelization” which constitutes the essential and pressing task of the Church at the end of the Second Millennium. (Pastores Dabo Vobis, # 70) This Office provides programs that address the formation for priests in an effort to support the priests working in the archdiocese to deepen their priestly identity and better exercise in their priestly ministry of pastoral charity to the People of God.  

Sabbatical Program

Priestly formation is a process which continues throughout all of life. It requires a willingness on the part of each priest to respond to the Spirit and take responsibility for his own personal and ministerial growth. The archdiocese, too, has a responsibility to provide opportunities, resources and time for this development.

The importance of continuing formation flows not only from the personal needs of the priest, but also from the needs of the Church community which he serves.

The priest needs an opportunity for spiritual and theological updating, physical and psychic renewal, and development of ministerial skills required for effective ministry.

The priest also needs a clear sense of his unique ministry and profession, so that a high level of morale, self-fulfillment and satisfaction is maintained in the presbyterate.

The Church community is entitled to a sense of excellence and professionalism when they express their faith and are served by their spiritual leaders.

Sabbaticals mark in a special way the commitment of the diocese to the call to renewal in the Church, both for the individual priest and for all the People of God.

Policy for Priest Sabbatical

As the primary shepherd who seeks to foster the personal and ministerial development of his brother priests, the Archbishop authorizes a sabbatical leave from an active ministerial assignment.

  • Every priest has the right and obligation to devote time to his continuing formation.
  • A sabbatical is defined as an extended period of time away from a priest’s normal assignment:
    • to study in a formal program which will enable him to become more effective in ministry;
    • to experience prayer at a place established for the development of the spiritual life.
  • Any incardinated priest who has served the Archdiocese for a period of 10 to 14 years may obtain a sabbatical for a period of three to four months depending upon the length of the specific program, or, if he has not yet had a sabbatical, after 15 years of service he is entitled to a full sabbatical of six months.
  • The parish or institution to which the priest is presently assigned will pay his salary, business expense, car insurance, medical benefits and pension premiums during this period.  The expenses of the sabbatical will be shared by the priest, the parish or institution, and the Archdiocese since the sabbatical will be beneficial to all three.  Accordingly, each will pay one-third of the cost.  If this is not possible, other arrangements can be made in consultation with the Director.
  • A priest who wishes to pursue a sabbatical must do the following:
  • the priest will write a letter to the Archbishop requesting a sabbatical for a stated period of time;
  • consults with the Director of Continuing Education and Formation concerning sabbatical opportunities;
  • the Director will interview the priest concerning the following:
    • the place and dates of the sabbatical, as well as arrangements for residence;
    • the consultation of the pastor or administrator of the parish/institution to which he is assigned
    • financial arrangements and sabbatical expenses
  • The Director will present the candidate’s completed sabbatical plans to the Archbishop for final approval.

I want to learn more about the…

Study Days

Mentor program

Annual orientation workshop for those to be ordained priests

Workshop for new pastors (Pastor Preparation Program)

Enculturation program to welcome foreign priests

International priests serving in the United States bring many gifts and talents to their ministry, but also face distinct challenges. This program is offered to assist those men who have accepted the invitation to minister in our parishes in their transition to the needs of our communities.

When a priest is appointed to his first pastorate, a new set of skills is required and new questions arise, both in his personal and pastoral life. Each year we schedule two special workshops for newly appointed pastors and parochial administrators. The workshop is also open to those pastors who might like a refresher course with respect to the finance and administrative functions of the parish, or priests who simply desire to learn more about this information

Retreat is very important in the life of a priest. It gives him time to pray, to meditate, to recharge and to plan for his life. It is a moment where he can experience a deepening of his relationship with Jesus who calls him to be his servant and leader to His people.
To fulfill the obligation of Canon Law, a priest may choose to make his own arrangements or be part of an Archdiocesan sponsored retreat for priests.

The first years of a priest’s ministry can be difficult as he makes the transition from a structured life of academics. Newly ordained priests have an amazing array of new responsibilities, and it can sometimes be overwhelming.

To help them make the transition, the Archdiocese of Newark provides a mentoring program for newly ordained priests of the archdiocese. The program pairs new priests with more experienced priests — those who have been in ministry for 10 or more years with the approval of the Archbishop.

The two meet on a regular basis for two years. Many have decided to continue to meet after this time.

In addition to meeting with their assigned partners, the mentors and recently ordained gather with the Director of Continuing Education for a discussion of progress and needs.

Priest study days are scheduled at various times during the year on topics of interest suggested by the priests of the Archdiocese or the availability of noted speakers in areas of interest to the priests. A meal is not necessarily part of the day and attendance is optional depending on your interest.


Fr. Charles Pinyan

Vicar for Clergy


Tina Frey

Administrative Assistant
Priest Sabbaticals and Continuing
Formation for Priests