Father Jeffrey Kegley, St. Mary Parish pastor, second from right, takes a photo with members of Encounter Ministries and faithful of the Diocese during the New Jersey Catholic Charismatic Conference held in May at the parish. Matt Marzorati photo
Father Jeffrey Kegley, St. Mary Parish pastor, second from right, takes a photo with members of Encounter Ministries and faithful of the Diocese during the New Jersey Catholic Charismatic Conference held in May at the parish. Matt Marzorati photo
The Diocese of Trenton Catholic Charismatic Renewal is gaining a new partner in its mission to promote growth in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Encounter Ministries, a Catholic organization that seeks to educate and train laypersons in proclaiming the Gospel, will begin operating one of its satellite campuses in St. Mary Parish, Middletown, this September.

The two-year Encounter School of Ministries (ESM) program “offers an in-depth formation in identity and sharing the Gospel through growing in the knowledge and equipping of the spiritual gifts,” said Father Jeffrey Kegley, liaison to the DOTCCR and pastor of St. Mary Parish.

For those wanting to learn more about the two-year program, the parish is hosting a Summer Intensive July 15-17, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

The three-day intensive will provide attendees an opportunity to “come and see” what the Encounter Ministries School of Ministry will teach. Presenters include Father Kegley; DOTCCR director Jim Tortorici and worship leader Gez Ford. Keynote speakers from Encounter Ministries presented at the annual New Jersey Catholic Charismatic Conference held May 22-23 at the parish.

Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., Father Kegley noted, has welcomed the partnership between DOTCCR and Encounter Ministries as a means “to support the mission of the Diocese to make disciples who are equipped and sent to share the Gospel in their sphere of influence. Encounter Ministries of New Jersey is combining the existing ministries of the local Charismatic Renewal with the structure, curriculum, and anointing of Encounter Ministries.”

Training through the ESM program combines Catholic theology with practical experience, he said. “Students are formed and sent as ‘disciples’ to share the love of Jesus in their daily lives and particular vocation,” Father Kegley said. “The goal of the training is not ‘membership,’ but discipleship – to empower and encourage students to grow in sharing the Kingdom with those around them.”

Cost to attend the Summer Intensive workshop is $80 – but $65 if registered before June 15. Registration and a full schedule can be found at www.dotccr.org. For more information, contact Jim Tortorici, newjersey@encounterschool.org