What is MFP?
The Ministry Formation Program for Catholic Deaf Persons is a four-year program of education and formation for Catholic Deaf and hard-of-hearing women and men to acquire and develop ministerial skills necessary to serve as active Catholic lay ministers in a Deaf community.
How did MFP get started and where?
In the 1980’s several pastoral workers across the USA saw a need for training Deaf persons to become Church ministers since there was no program in existence. A recommendation was made to the National Catholic Office for the Deaf in the late 1980’s. The gauntlet was taken up by Sr. Maureen Langton, CSJ to help get the program up and running. With backing from Cardinal Joseph Bernadine and the enthusiasm of Reverend Joseph Mulcrone, both from the Archdiocese of Chicago, and in co-operation with the Chicago Lay Ministry Office Sr. Maureen began the task of establishing the Ministry Formation Program. Sr. Maureen became the first director of the program.
MFP began in 1993 in Chicago, Illinois.
Where are the students from?
Initially the program was set up to serve the Deaf of the Chicago Archdiocese, however news of it spread throughout the Great Lakes. Pastoral Workers from the Great Lakes area began sending potential leaders to the program. This was done to take advantage of the opportunity for learning in a deaf environment. Students who have participate in MFP have come from 14 states.
Where are the classes held?
Currently the classes are held at Marytown Retreat Center in Libertyville, IL. This is half way between Chicago, IL and Milwaukee, WI. Depending of scheduling classes could be held elsewhere.
What are the requirements to complete MFP?
For a student to receive a certificate of completion from MFP the student needs to do the following:
- Attend classes each year during the four years in MFP – if a student misses a class it must be made up.
- Complete a ministerial project with the approval of the MFP director and Board of Directors
- Evaluations from the instructors during the four years in the program
- Recommendations for the student’s mentor
- Active involvement in Catholic deaf community affairs and/or conferences