The document, Pastores Dabo Vobis, which directs the Church on the formation of priests, is clear about the necessity for ongoing formation in the four areas of the priests: the human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral. Chapter six of this document notes that the “proper foundation and original motivation for ongoing formation is contained in the dynamism of the Sacrament of Holy Orders.” It goes on to say that; “Thus permanent formation is a requirement of the priest’s own faithfulness to his ministry, to his very being.” The responsibility for ongoing formation is the Bishop. (“He is responsible for ongoing formation…”) “This responsibility leads the Bishop, in communion with the presbyterate, to outline a project and establish a program which can ensure that ongoing formation is… a systematic offering of subjects…”
The Office of Continuing Education for Priests in the Diocese of Charleston has the responsibility to implement this directive by providing, at the direction and approval of the Bishop, classes, programs and seminars to meet the continuing education needs of diocesan priests. The Director is also responsible for information on sabbatical programs, the yearly convocation of priests and attendance at the national meeting of NOCERCC. And other projects, at the direction of the Bishop of Charleston.