Leadership Formation Programs

Bukal offers the following Clergy Retreats that embody the vision of a participatory church in the world and use creative and communal approaches to experience God and energise for mission.

  •  “Pari, Pari, Paano Ka Ginawa?” The Changing Identity of the Priesthood (designed 2018)

Let us reflect on the changing identity of the ordained priesthood in a diverse, changing and truly challenging environment. How would Jesus lead the clergy in this new era where trust in religious institutions has eroded, cultural shifts especially among the young defy conventional approaches, the active parishioners are agitating for something new while the regular baptized continue their inactive and sometimes indifferent attitude.

  • Leading The Journey To A Communion-Of-Communities-In-Mission (designed 2017)

Does the diocesan clergy live as a community? And is this clergy communion united in mission? Looking at the inspiration of the Early Christian Communities in the Bible, this retreat helps the clergy community to look into their own living of and witnessing to the communion-in-mission imperative of Vatican II/PCP II. The retreat also provides a framework for continuing and being guided by a communion-in-mission framework in their respective assignments.

  • Leading with ‘Sense’ (the Senses): Pope Francis and Leadership in the Body (of Christ) (designed 2005 and redesigned 2013)

In today’s world, the body has received special importance with the proliferation of wellness and beautifying programs for men and women, young and old everywhere. On the other hand, we also see so many bodies oppressed by poverty, human trafficking, terrorism and environmental destruction. How does this affect the way Vatican II has defined the church as the ‘Body of Christ’? How does this affect the way the clergy leads the body (of Christ), especially at a time when some members of the clergy themselves are charged with violating the body?

This retreat also focuses on the leadership style of Pope Francis, who popularised leadership attitude as ‘taking on the smell of the sheep’, journeying with ‘muddy feet’, choosing the option of ‘beauty’ in ministry, among other things. For the priests leading the Body of Christ, let Pope Francis’ thoughts which bring us back to the Jesus of history, inspire the clergy community in having a different perspective on the body.


  • Clergy Leadership in a Participatory Church (designed 2001)

Our style of leadership depends on our image of church. This retreat clarifies the leadership spirituality, roles and attitudes needed for leaders facilitating a ‘participatory church in the world’. Spiritual experiences, talks and community liturgies that explore the role of clergy-leaders as Visioner, as People Grower, as Change Agent make up this retreat. Peter, known as one of the main leaders of the first Christian Communities and his life story recorded in the Scriptures guides this retreat.

  • BEC Spirituality and Diocesan Clergy Spirituality (designed 2004)

This retreat focuses on the face of a participatory church in the world we call ‘Basic Ecclesial Communities’ (BEC) and how its spirituality dialogues and strengthens the Diocesan clergy spirituality. Such dialogue also energises the clergy community towards mission, renewing one’s fidelity to Christ. Guided by the powerful biblical story of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, this retreat looks into the possibilities and limitations in the lives of the clergy and how they can create spaces so that miracles can happen in their lives and ministries.

A new way of being church needs a new style of leadership with a new set of skills. Most of the time pastoral skills do not receive ample time in seminary formation yet are most needed as soon as priests are assigned to a parish or an institution. The following skills are based on the skills needed for a journeying process towards a participatory church in the world

‘Greater’ is designed specifically for a leadership team to grow in community and mission. It provides a comprehensive framework for building up personal leadership, team leadership and leadership in mission. It will have three main tracks: motivation, innovation, multiplication.

It is entitled ‘Greater’ because it wants to take this biblical theme. Jesus himself said to his followers that they will do greater things than he did. But for Jesus, to be great is to be a servant and the greatest in God’s Kingdom is the servant of all, especially of the poorest and marginalized. This leadership formation program is patterned after the leadership style of Jesus and will explore the spirituality of ‘great’ in the Bible.   

Motivation is the most important aspect of leadership. Leadership is not just a set of skills or principles. It is a calling, especially in our church context. Church leaders believe they are called by Jesus to serve in this ministry. Their leadership therefore is their discipleship story. Their leadership praxis is their way of following Jesus in their lives.

Energized by Jesus and the Spirit of God, leaders innovate. Jesus was the great innovator: his good news is always new and fresh because it resonates with what is in people’s hearts and responds to their context. The spirit of God is a creator spirit. It accompanied God in God’s creation of the world and accompanied the disciples as they grew faith communities and churches in all parts of the world, in different contexts and cultures. A leader motivated by Jesus, his conviction and mission, and inspired by the Spirit of God will always be in the path of innovation, creatively faithful to the Christian tradition but responsive to present-day experiences, contexts, and cultures.  

Such a leadership multiplies. It is an energy that attracts and influences people and therefore affect others by their witnessing and praxis. Because it is witnessing and influential, such leadership is not limited by space or structures or programs and can only multiply. 

All the sessions will be facilitated in trademark Bukal way: communal learning, hands-on practical skills training, and spiritually-integrating experiences. In a more important way, Bukal wishes to partner with the local teams in the dioceses/parishes in terms of inputs and facilitation. Bukal is very much aware that it is an outsider and leadership is really entering into a cultural mind-set. It is best that people from the local culture and context partner with Bukal for more effective leadership formation.

  • BEC Leaders’ Training 1

This course shares on what is needed for a leader in a participatory church in the world, especially in neighborhood settings or BECs. It reflects on a different leadership style of leading and focuses on the leadership style of Jesus.  This course also shares basic skills needed to lead BECs:  training on facilitating community prayer and community meetings; people skills such as community-building, conflict management, encouraging cooperation; task skills such as communication, participatory decision-making, evaluation and planning, networking with other local groups such as NGOs (Non-governmental Organizations) and LGUs (Local Government Units), etc.

  • BEC Leaders’ Training 2

This course builds up on the skills of the first course and learning from the experience of leading BECs for quite some time, especially all the challenges that went with community-organizing. Additional people and task skills are added, for example, motivating people and planning community action, especially socio-political engagement. It has more sessions on exploring a different kind of leadership needed for this community-way of being church. It emphasizes that the entire community has a leadership role and not only its designated leaders. What does communal leadership mean and how do the designated leaders build up the leadership of the community is one of the main concerns of this cours

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