Towards a framework of creating coping strategies for newly ordained Roman Catholic priests engaged with major transitions in their lives

Coyle, Rory (2017) Towards a framework of creating coping strategies for newly ordained Roman Catholic priests engaged with major transitions in their lives. Doctoral thesis, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

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Abstract

‘To live is to change and to be perfect is to have changed often.’ The axiom of John Henry Newman is true for everyone in living out their lives. There are certain times when transitions in a person’s life-cycle have a greater impact. One of these stages is when a person is ordained a priest. On this occasion a number of significant occurs in his life. This thesis will explore how newly ordained priests cope with these transitions to assist with creating a new framework for coping strategies for priests engaged with this major transition. When he is ordained, the new priest leaves the seminary which has been his home for the previous six or seven years. The seminary is the primary place of preparation for priesthood. Part of the function of a seminary formation is to assist priest to enter ministry. This thesis will explore how seminary formation assists priests with coping with transition. This thesis will explore various theories of transitions drawing on the disciplinesof anthropology, theology, psychology and ministry. Through the sacrament of ordination, a person becomes a priest. There are many symbols within the ordination rite which highlight that this person is assuming a new ministerial role within the Roman Catholic Church. This thesis will evaluate how this rite of passage assists a newly ordained priest cope with his new public role. When a new priest begins his ministry, he often encounters situations that he never had to deal with prior to his ordination. Having a structured model to guide him, as he embarks in his pastoral work can be beneficial. There are five models reviewed in this thesis. These are the sink or swim model; the military model; the domesticating model; the internship model and the apprenticeship model. Through the use of semi-structured in-depth interviews seven newly ordained priests offer their views, experiences and observations on how they have coped with the transition from the seminary to ministry, a major transition in their lives. The findings from the interviews are related to the theoretical frameworks on coping strategies, practical theology and ministry. The findings suggest that Roman Catholic clergy avail of an amalgam of coping strategies as they adjust to the new realities,relationships and roles that they receive as they embark on their ministerial career.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Roman Catholic priests
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
Divisions: Institutes and Academies > Institute of Education and Humanities
Depositing User: Lesley Cresswell
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2020 16:57
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2020 16:57
URI: http://repository.uwtsd.ac.uk/id/eprint/1265

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