National Organization for Continuing Education of Roman Catholic Clergy (NOCERCC)
NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION OF ROMAN CATHOLIC CLERGY (NOCERCC)
A network of diocesan and religious directors of presbyteral continuing education/formation that attempts to educate and motivate clergy for more effective ministry in the Church. It frequently serves as a consultant to the Committee on Priestly Life and Ministry of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. In 2001, there were 257 dioceses, one Ukrainian diocese, and 62 religious congregations and provinces as full members. Full membership is limited to dioceses and religious provinces; affiliate membership comprises universities and agencies offering resources in continuing education.
NOCERCC was founded in 1973 at a meeting of directors of continuing education of priests convened by the National Federation of Priests' Councils. During this meeting at the university of Notre Dame, a Board of Directors was named with representation from each of the twelve (now thirteen) episcopal regions, and the first president was elected. The first representative for men religious was elected to the Board in 1974. There are now two places on the board for representatives from religious congregations. An advisory council is comprised of lay people and clergy. In October 1979, NOCERCC established its national office in Chicago where it remains to this day.
NOCERCC promotes continuing education of priests through current research, resources, and training for continuing education directors of dioceses and religious communities and to committees of the USCCB; encourages supradiocesan and regional cooperation of directors of continuing education; acts as liaison with ecumenical groups; and sponsors an annual convention. NOCERCC has funded research projects and developed programs in: priestly spirituality, preaching, policies on alcoholism, social justice, management and leadership styles, shared ministry, sexuality, seminary training, and models of parish planning. NOCERCC works closely with the Catholic Coalition on Preaching. It also publishes a bimonthly newsletter, News Notes.
Bibliography: e. e. larkin, and g. t. broccolo, eds., Spiritual Renewal of the American Priesthood (Washington, DC 1972). d. hoge, "Expressed Needs and Attitudes of Newly Ordained Priests" (Chicago 1999). NOCERCC, Handbook for the Continuing Formation of Priests (Chicago n.d.); Convention Proceedings (1991–1994, 1997). j. m. white, A Work Never Finished: The First Twenty-Five Years of the National Organization for Continuing Education of Roman Catholic Clergy (NOCERCC), 1973–1998 (Chicago 1998). United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, The Basic Plan for the Ongoing Formation of Priests (Washington, DC 2001); National Conference of Catholic Bishops, Program for Priestly Formation (Washington, DC 1992).
[j. b. dunning/
p. j. hayes]