How the Pope Leo XIII Institute Serves the Church

By Supporting Bishops: The Institute understands the primacy of the role of the Bishop in the ministry of deliverance and exorcism. The Bishop designates a priest or several priests to serve in the role of exorcist for the diocese. Bishops trust the Pope Leo XIII Institute to support them in assisting in the formation of the exorcist and his local team. The Pope Leo XIII Institute serves each Bishop by providing information and programming designed to assist in the formation of all those in his diocese who will be involved in this ministry.

By Educating Priests: The Pope Leo XIII Institute provides a unique formation for priests who are already involved–or are soon to be involved–in the ministry of deliverance and exorcism. The Institute provides historical, theological, and liturgical information as well as training in the practical aspects of the ministry. The program encourages collaboration with medical and psychiatric professionals. Legal implications of the ministry receive emphasis. Those priests who have completed the two-year course of study are eligible to participate in graduate seminars hosted by the Institute, consisting of more in-depth studies of topics related to this ministry. The Institute aims to support priests through ongoing formation, mentorship opportunities, team in-service experiences, and networking opportunities.

By Educating Deacons: In this ministry, deacons provide valuable service to the exorcist, the prayer team, and the family and friends of the afflicted individual. A deacon may be asked to help coordinate the liturgical and spiritual roles of the laity on the prayer team, or the priest may delegate some of the time-intensive areas of the ministry (such as initial interviews or aftercare) to the deacon in company with one or more team members. As each deacon gains more familiarity with the ministry, he will better understand some of the struggles of the afflicted individual’s family and may assist in the coordination of practical ways to further their healing process as well. Additionally, deacons may bring some expertise in a related field (such as medicine, law, or psychiatry) which can be of great help to the priest. Mindful of the many ways in which deacons may serve the ministry of healing in their dioceses, the Institute provides resources and formation opportunities for deacons, in order to facilitate their important role.

By Forming Laity: There are different supporting roles for laity in this ministry, if called upon by their bishop or priest. Some laity participate as members of a prayer team during a session, working to ensure the safety of the afflicted person and others who are present. Medical and mental health professionals also may be called upon either to be present at a prayer session or to consult regarding details of a particular case. Finally, some laity serve as intercessors, praying for the afflicted individuals and for their family and friends, as well as for the continued safety and fidelity of the exorcist and those who assist him. The Institute wishes to ensure that laity who generously answer these needs receive the proper formation to serve well. To that end, the Institute provides resources and outside workshops for both initial team formation and ongoing education.