An essential part of apprentices’ Echo experience is the relationship they enjoy with their mentors. Echo mentors are seasoned parish ministers who work on-site with apprentices to help them develop the skills and capacities for effective leadership in ministry and to nurture their abilities to engage in faith formation.
Mentors are brought to Notre Dame’s campus every summer for a mentor weekend, composed of workshops, constructive conversations, and personal reflection in an atmosphere of prayer and community. Apprentices and mentors work together during this time to prepare for the year ahead and, in the second summer, to reflect on the past year.
Apprentices and mentors create a learning covenant together to formalize their relationship. This covenant details the goals and responsibilities they will undertake in their parish ministry. The apprentice and mentor then meet regularly, collaborate on projects, and continually assess the ministerial growth of the apprentice. The mentor guides the apprentice over the two years in Echo into positions of greater authority and leadership as a professional minister.
Echo staff members also support the mentoring relationship through parish visits, regular telephone and email contact, evaluation of the learning covenants, and end-of-year assessment conversations.