Established in 1997, the Catherine of Siena Institute is a program of the Western Dominican Province dedicated to equipping parishes for the formation of lay Catholics for their mission to the world. The Institute, directed by Fr. Michael Fones, OP and Sherry Weddell, provides innovative resources and programming that are faithful to the teaching of the Church and will enable parishes to become lively and dynamic centers of evangelization and formation.
The Church clearly teaches that all of the baptized are called by Christ to proclaim his Gospel in the world. However, rarely do parishes provide a formation that prepares Catholics for so great a mission. The Catherine of Siena Institute seeks to bridge the gap between the Church’s vision for the laity and their participation in the Church’s essential mission of evangelization, and the typical reality within the parish where there is little awareness of the mission of the Church, lay responsibility for the proclamation of the Gospel, and the necessity of lay formation for effective participation in evangelization.
Pope John Paul, II taught that "Formation is not the privilege of a few, but a right and duty of all." (Christifideles Laici, 63.) The Catherine of Siena Institute works to ensure that every Catholic has access to a formation that: