A two-year program created to develop Catholic leaders within the professional world is expanding beyond the Diocese of Phoenix in a move that reflects the success and popularity of the still relatively young initiative.

Leaders of the program, now known as Tepeyac Leadership, Inc., announced during their graduation dinner and awards presentation June 27 at Mount Claret Retreat Center in Phoenix that TLI will launch this year in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

“This was one of my dreams for a long time; that we would have training and real leadership being built on being good professionals being a person of virtue and a person of faith,” said Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted at a reception following a Mass at the retreat center prior to the dinner. “We are already seeing it having a big impact in our own diocese, and now the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has invited us to help them begin the same thing there. That’s really wonderful.”

This year, 30 individuals working in fields including religion, education, business, health care and public service completed the five-month program, which teaches students Church teachings and Biblical principles for growing in their faith while allowing it to influence their professional and personal lives.

A longtime vision of Bishop Olmsted, TLI was launched as Tepeyac Leadership Initiative in the Diocese of Phoenix in 2017, with the first class graduating the following year. Participants gain practical knowledge through the training as well as develop bonds with fellow classmates that help encourage them to grow and share their faith.

“The idea is by planting seeds through lay Catholic leadership, we are creating a more fertile ground for the Church to do what it does,” said Pereyra. “These people are not going out into the streets with a Bible. They are going to make the world a lot friendlier to the Gospel so the Church can continue its mission.”

Full story at The Catholic Sun.