A priest for nearly 40 years, Father Steve Sallot has about as much experience as any pastor in Orange County, as well as five years serving as vicar general for the Diocese of Orange.

And yet, Fr. Sallot knows all too well he’s no know-it-all.

“At 65, I think there’s still an opportunity to teach an old dog a few new tricks,” he says.

Sallot made the comment in reference to a conference he attended in May in Cincinnati, along with Father Eugene Lee of the Korean Martyrs Catholic Center in Westminster.

And now, The Amazing Parish Conference in coming to Orange County – and Frs. Sallot and Lee are singing its praises and urging O.C. pastors and members of their leadership teams to attend the workshop-style event and experience it for themselves.

“I found it to be a fun and exciting experience,” Fr. Lee says. “It gave us the opportunity to revisit some of the essential qualities of what makes an efficient and effective parish leadership team.

“Most parishes function with the philosophy, ‘That’s just the way it is,’ but sometimes there need to be adjustments made here and there with how a parish is run,” he adds.

The Amazing Parish Conference, to be held Oct. 28-30 at the Hilton Anaheim, aims to equip pastors and their leadership teams to lead their parishes effectively and prayerfully.

Speakers include New York Times best-selling author Patrick Lencioni, leading Catholic speakers Matt Maher, Chris Stefanick, Sr. Regina Marie Gorman, O.C.D., Kevin Cotter, and musician Sarah Kroger. Registration and more information is at amazingconference.com.

Lencioni and business leader John Martin founded The Amazing Parish in 2013 to provide pastors with the tools they need to create support within their parish. In addition to bi-annual conferences like the one coming to Anaheim, Amazing Parish personnel also provide pre-conference support and ongoing support and follow-up after the confab, as well as other free resources.

Katie Dawson, director of Parish Evangelization and Faith Formation for the Diocese of Orange, says Lencioni is applying what he’s learned in the business world about organizational health to parishes.

“Priests are trained to be deep thinkers, spiritual advisers and scholars,” Dawson says. “But sometimes leading a parish is like herding cats, and some pastors are good at that, but others can find it challenging. In the past, they were not really trained in leadership skills. There are two different things going on there.

“So how do you actually cast a vision and get everyone heading in the same direction to support the same effort? That’s what The Amazing Parish Conference is all about.”

Full story at OC Catholic.