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A Gift for Bishops and Priests

C HRISTOPHER INN INTERNATIONAL is a gift from the faithful to the Church’s priests... a gesture of thanksgiving to God for the gift of the priesthood. It will be a place for Catholic bishops and priests to be refreshed, to engage in ongoing personal formation, and to experience the richness of priestly fraternity on an international scale. Set in the natural beauty of Ireland, a land with a rich history of saints and scholars, the Christopher Inn will provide a serene, spacious and holy place in which priests can deepen their awareness of being configured to Christ for the service of His people.
a unique international destination
offering refreshment, formation and fraternity
exclusively for
Catholic clergy
Throughout the Catholic Church’s two-thousand-year history, the faithful have received countless gifts of Christ’s grace through the hands and hearts of His priests. Priests have baptized us, nourished us with the Eucharist, served as ministers of Christ’s forgiving and healing love, witnessed our marriages, taught and counseled us, and prepared our loved ones for their journey home to the Father. Through the offering of their lives, priests have made it possible for us to experience the richness of God’s love in the sacraments of the Church. Their very presence witnesses the reality of Christ the Good Shepherd in our midst.
The entire
people of God,
in each and every one
of its members,
can and should offer
precious assistance
to the ongoing formation of its priests.
Pope John Paul II, Pastores Dabo Vobis
The mission of The Christopher Inn International is born of gratitude, and the mission is simple: to encourage and sustain priests in their vital service of shepherding the faithful. Priests need refreshment, opportunities for continued spiritual and intellectual development, and the chance to deepen bonds of fellowship with their brothers in the priesthood. The Christopher Inn will offer all of these opportunities on-site, and will also provide a website for priests to continue their personal formation, to communicate with each other, and to assist one another with their knowledge and experience.
 - The Christopher Inn, Inc. is both a U.S. 501(c)3 non-profit corporation and also an Irish charity -

Words of Thanks

The week was a time of rest,
prayer, fellowship, and wonderful insights...
“Greetings to you in Christ Jesus!

From the bottom of my heart, I wish to thank you for the wonderful conference in Ireland. The work you are doing with the Christopher Inn is certainly worth while, and I am honored to have been a recipient of your generosity and good work.

The week was a time of rest, prayer, fellowship and wonderful insights from Fr. Philippe. Having a small group and a simple format was a great way to go. In addition, your respectfulness and consideration of our time and space is much appreciated. You know first-hand the need for priests and bishops to have time with each other where we can let our hair down and just be brothers to one another. Thank you for being so considerate of us.

That being said, I must say that it was an absolute joy and honor to spend time with you and your family. Your faith, your generous and loving service, and your kindness made the week for me. I felt so loved and cared for while there because of you all. Your hospitality towards us inspires me to want to be a better priest and to serve my parishioners with the same kind of love that you all have shown me. You reflected the scene in the Gospels where Jesus washes the feet of the disciples and says, “as I have done, you must do to one another.”

By the way, you have an exceptional family. I really enjoyed visiting with them. It’s not often that I have the privilege to be in the company of men and woman of my generation who have such a love for God and His Church. That was a great boost to my heart. . . . The Christian community is meant to build up one another in faith and love, and I felt that this past week. Please extend my profound and most heartfelt “Thank you” to all of them.

Know that you will be in my prayers.”

Fr. Caleb Vogel
Vocation Director for the Diocese of Boise, Idaho, USA
A priest invited to the May program, but unable to attend, writes:

“Happy Easter to you and many thanks for the invite to the forthcoming Program for Priestly Renewal in Limerick. It is unfortunate that due to parish commitments it is an invitation that I am unable to avail of. However, if in the near future another such event is organised please let me know and keep me in your consideration for attendance.”

“I have heard very positive things about what you are undertaking and I wish you every grace and blessing for the Adare meeting and for future gatherings. I will be praying for its success and please keep me in the mailing list!”
“The Christopher Inn International proposes to offer refreshment, priestly fraternity, and ongoing personal formation in an environment that would be a welcome change from just another program in an institutional setting. Such formation will likely be well-received and a benefit to those engaged in priestly ministry.

...A program in Ireland surely has natural international appeal. Ireland is centrally located for the Catholic Church in Africa, Europe, North and South America. This would serve as an extra benefit for all who will delight in the international reality of our Church. As Scripture says, ‘How good it is when brothers come together sharing their delight in the Lord.’

I welcome the possibility of a place of refreshment and renewal for the priests who are under my care.”

Most Reverend Peter F. Christensen
Bishop of the Diocese of Boise, Idaho, USA
“Dear Beloved Friends of Priests,

Thank you so much for this great initiative to assist priests in such a unique way. It is surely a precious gift in this year of the priesthood. I am a priest and I know that the relevance of an on-going formation should never be under-estimated, especially at times like this. To say that this came at the right time is to say the least. Thank you so much.

I promise to continue praying for its complete realization; for the glorification of God, honour to Our Mother Mary, renewal of priests and salvation to all.

May God continue to sustain you all. All to Jesus, through Mary, Our Mother!

Bless you.”

Fr. Innocent Ezeonyeasi
Assistant Chaplain, The Nigerian Catholic Chaplaincy, England & Wales

Ongoing Personal Formation

Priests will be able to engage in ongoing personal formation in a non-institutional setting, following a program that meets their particular needs. Courses will be organized and conducted by bishops, priests, theologians, and experts in various areas of priestly life and ministry.

Human Formation

“The priest should be able to know the depth of the human heart, to perceive difficulties and problems, to make meeting and dialogue easy, to create trust and cooperation, to express serene and objective judgements.”1

Spiritual Formation

“[Spiritual formation] introduces [the priest] to a deep communion with Jesus Christ, the good shepherd, and leads to the total submission of one’s life to the Spirit, in a filial attitude toward the Father and a trustful attachment to the Church.”2

Intellectual Formation

“[Intellectual formation] is a fundamental demand of the human intelligence by which one ‘participates in the light of God’s mind’ and seeks to acquire a wisdom which in turn opens to and is directed toward knowing and adhering to God.”3

Pastoral Formation

“[Pastoral formation] initiate[s] the candidate into the sensitivity of being a shepherd, in the conscious and mature assumption of his responsibilities, in the interior habit of evaluating problems and establishing priorities and looking for solutions on the basis of honest motivations of faith and according to the theological demands inherent in pastoral work.”4
1.  Pope Saint John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis, 43
2.  Ibid., 45
3.  Ibid., 51
4.  Ibid., 58

The Mission and Vision

The Mission

The Christopher Inn International seeks to provide Catholic bishops and priests with an international setting in which to experience the presbyterate1 as a universal community of pastors2 helping one another, fellow pilgrims in solidarity of faith and service. The natural beauty of this environment will provide relaxation and an ideal setting for the priest to continue his ongoing personal formation3—human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral—and to strengthen his sense of communion with all the brothers in the presbyterate.

The Vision

The Place

“House for clerics”4
  Spacious, private, secure environment
  Beautiful, peaceful, dignified, yet comfortable and non-institutional
  Extensive library with materials specific to priesthood and priestly ministry
  Conference rooms or other large rooms suitable for conferences/discussion
  Relaxed atmosphere
  Extensive grounds suitable for various types of exercise, relaxation and meditation
  Recreation—offering a number of opportunities for physical recreation
  Media available—video library, archived courses, etc.
  Use of technology—to form, inform, unite, connect, and encourage
  Gracious guest rooms

The Guests

  Exclusively for Catholic bishops and priests

The Formation Course

  On-going personal formation: human, spiritual, intellectual, pastoral
  Presented by bishops, priests, theologians and other experts in priestly life and ministry
  Under the direction of an resident priest presenter
  Practical, non-accredited, in a non-institutional setting
  One and two week courses
  Responsive to the particular needs of priests in different areas of the world
  Presenters available after sessions
  Confessors and spiritual directors available on-site

Down Time

  Chapel with reservation of the Blessed Sacrament
  Plenty of time for relaxation, meditation, recreation, and priestly fraternity

The Presenters

  Bishops, priests, theologians and experts in appropriate fields5

The Management/Staff
  Lay people provide and maintain the place6 where bishops and priests can come together for ongoing personal formation, priestly fraternity, relaxation, and recreation
  Executive board
  Clergy advisors
  Lay operated
  Lay funded

The Support
  Donations accepted worldwide
  Goods donated—internationally
  Endowments—Operational and Scholarship
  Scholarships available
  Laity encouraged to gift priests with a stay at The Christopher Inn International
  Gift certificates available

The Website

The Christopher Inn International will also offer ongoing support to Catholic clergy through its website—CI Online.

CI Online is envisioned as a web-based resource dedicated to assisting priests in continuing the “fiat” to God that is at the heart of their vocation. Catholic clergy worldwide will be able to use CI Online to engage in ongoing personal formation, and to share knowledge and advice related to pastoral concerns.

CI Online will avoid entering into the fray of theological and ecclesiastical disputes because it is envisioned as a site which should lift the spirits of all priests. CI Online will endeavor to present the Church in its teachings, sacraments, and charity as that “pearl of great price” which is a great gift of God to the world. The site, while addressing the difficulties and challenges priests sometimes face, will seek to convey the honor and privilege all priests share in their role as “other Christs.”

CI Online has as its target audience Catholic bishops and priests, and access to the site will be limited to Catholic clergy. The website will take full advantage of technologies emerging within the Internet. Content will be well-organized and frequently updated.
1.  Congregation for the Clergy, Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests, 27
2.  Ecumenical Council Vatican II, Decree Presbyterum Ordinis, 12-14
3.  Pope Saint John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis, 69
4.  Congregation for the Clergy, Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests, 84
5.  Ibid., 90
6.  Pope Saint John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis, 78
A gift on the part of laypeople to the Church's priests: a unique international destination offering refreshment, formation and fraternity for Catholic clergy.
© Copyright 2023
Christopher Inn, Inc.
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