Where Clergy Embrace Christ’s Heart for Life and Family

Shepherd’s Heart and Servant’s Heart are pastoral conference series equipping and inspiring priests and deacons to address, through preaching and pastoral care, the pressing issues facing human life and families.

These conferences are brought to dioceses when we are invited to provide the educational component of presbyteral or diaconal convocations, assemblies, and workshops. The conferences provide continuing education on topics that our families and culture are struggling with, supporting our clergy as they preach and provide pastoral care with greater confidence, conviction, clarity, and compassion.

  • Expert faculty with an appreciation for pastoral situations
  • Updates on medicine, social science, and best practices
  • Themes, topics, and faculty tailored for the needs and interest of the diocese
  • Focus on preaching and pastoral care, not partisan politics

We are honored to be a trusted resource and partner for bishops, priests, and deacons across the nation. With utmost respect for the clergy of the Catholic Church, the St. John Paul II Foundation supports them as they feed God’s sheep the bread of truth, love, and life.

Shepherd’s Heart assists priests and seminarians to grow in their appreciation of their mission to seek and to serve the needs of the faithful with a joyful heart. Now more than ever, we need priests who selflessly and generously serve the needs of every person and every household. The Church calls upon priests to become faithful fathers to all families and to help build a culture of life. Shepherd’s Heart offers two tracks:

  • Shepherd’s Heart for Life
  • Shepherd’s Heart for the Family

“God promises the Church not just any sort of shepherds, but shepherds ‘after his own heart.’ And God’s ‘heart’ has revealed itself fully in the heart of Christ the good shepherd. Christ’s heart continues to have compassion for the multitudes and to give them the bread of truth, the bread of love, the bread of life, and it pleads to be allowed to beat in other hearts – priests’ hearts.” -St. John Paul II


Servant’s Heart assists deacons, diaconal candidates, and their wives to grow in their appreciation of the gift of the diaconal ministry in serving all people with the witness of Jesus the servant. The identity and mission of the Deacon is uniquely positioned to serve the Bishop and the Church as a whole. Servant’s Heart will assist deacons to become joyful missionary disciples and faithful servants of the Truth. Servant’s Heart offers two tracks:

  • Servant’s Heart for Life
  • Servant’s Heart for the Family

The service of the deacon is the Church’s service sacramentalized. Yours is not just one ministry among others, but it is truly meant to be, as Paul VI described it, a ‘driving force’ for the Church’s diakonia. By your ordination you are configured to Christ in his servant role.” – St. John Paul II


[The presenters] are wanting to form us into holy fathers, not just spiritual business leaders. The very human outlook on priests as fathers was very helpful. –San Francisco Participant, Shepherd's Heart

Thank you for a wonderful weekend on family, marriage, and evangelization in this very difficult time in the culture and Church. I am now encouraged in my faith and sharing with family members and the broken society in which we live. –Reno Participant, Servant's Heart

The presenters have been credible, compassionate, and knowledgeable in the needs and challenges faced by the Church, along with effective in offering hope for the future. –Dallas Participant, Servant's Heart

Working full-time in a wing of the 'field hospital' of the Church, it’s always a joy for me to talk to the clergy who are serving on the front lines of the spiritual battlefield, providing pastoral first aid to the individuals and families they serve. I am grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with the Shepherd's Heart program to provide valuable formation opportunities for my brother priests and deacons, as we share in the Church’s mission to speak the truth in love. –Fr. Philip G. Bochanski, Executive Director Courage International

BY THE NUMBERS: Surveys of Attendees

  • 97%

    Clergy Initiatives accomplished its mission and purpose very well or exceedingly well

  • 96%

    the themes discussed were relevant and important for pastoral ministry today

  • 96%

    Clergy Initiatives offered them greater confidence, conviction, clarity or compassion in their preaching or pastoral ministry to families

  • 98%

    Clergy Initiatives would assist them in their preaching or pastoral care to address family or life issues





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