Upcoming Events






PROCLAIM!'s mission is to participate in the evangelical efforts of the Church by enabling lay volunteer ministers to be confident, enthusiastic, and competent in fulfilling their ecclesial function and living their Christian calling in the secular world. Working closely with pastors and lay leaders, PROCLAIM! determines the specific needs of each parish. Based on data gained in individualized surveys PROCLAIM! then recommends and designs programming and events to address those needs. 



Through PROCLAIM!, the McGrath Institute for Church Life targets volunteer lay ministers in parishes at the grassroots level to enrich ongoing faith formation and to strengthen the central role of the parish in the life of the Church. The initiative supports and motivates lay volunteer ministers on their journey by offering to parishes custom-tailored tools designed to invigorate the volunteer ministers’ prayer lives, to boost their doctrinal knowledge in apologetic dialogue, and to enliven their pedagogical skills.

Patricia Bellm, Research Associate for the MICL who leads PROCLAIM!, surveys about four to six parishes per year. She compiles detailed reports for the parish leadership which allow them to assess and focus their adult faith formation programs. Surveys conducted in both English and Spanish yielded detailed feedback from over 800 respondents in the South Bend/Mishawaka area. Additionally, Patricia Bellm has developed a number of original and highly successful events, based on the responses gathered. These experiences are designed to complement existing parish offerings and to foster inter-parochial collaboration:

  • Focus on Church History and Scriptureposter_augustine

Restless Heart: A Night with Augustine  - December 2012 ||  September 2014

In a brief presentation, a member of the Notre Dame Theology faculty introduced the audience to the life and theology of St. Augustine before the screening of the film Restless Heart: the Confessions of Augustine in the Andrews Auditorium of Geddes Hall. A pizza-dinner enabled families to attend the three-hour event.




  • Focus on Prayer and Spirituality      

Be Still: The Contemplative in the Active World – January 2013, 2014 and 2015

New series planned for 2016

During a series of four Evenings of Reflection, distinguished speakers explored the place of contemplative prayer in an active world. Following each presentation, participants shared their own experiences over light refreshments. A common Centering Prayer, led by Sr. Judith Anne Beattie, C.S.C., concluded the evenings. Twenty participants have committed to a one-year long journey of practicing Centering Prayer under the guidance of Sr. Judith Anne. 

We offer participation in two Centering Prayer Circles - contact us if you are interested in joining.



  • Focus on Science and Theologyall_creation_gives_praise_for_web

All Creation Gives Praise   |  Find out more |

This program hopes to close and heal a perceived cleavage between science and religion. Utilizing the Digital Visualization Theatre at the University of Notre Dame, a theologian and an astrophysicist will jointly lead the audience on a journey through space and time to the very beginings of the universe.

So far, over 1,300 people in the Michiana area have exerienced this thrilling journey. Presentations will be offered in February/March and again in May.



Being a Lector

  • Focus on Volunteer Minister Training

Enrichment Workshops for Lectors and Eucharistic Ministers  

Our goal is to foster among liturgical ministers a deeper theological understanding of God’s dynamic Word recorded in Scripture and the Sacraments so that they can better serve their parish and the Church.


  • Focus on Saints and Church History


A Breakfast with Oscar Romero

September 7th, English  ||  September 14th, Spanish  ||  9.30am - 11.30am  || Geddes Hall


During this bilingual event Fr. Pelton, C.S.C., and Fr. Groody, C.S.C.—both very familiar with the situation of the Church in Latin America—introduced participants to the history and life of Archbishop Oscar Romero. Learn more.


  •     Focus on Church History

Sophie Scholl

Supper with Sophie Scholl

December 2,3, and 6, 2013  || Geddes Hall || Dinner @ 5:30 pm

March 16, 2014 || Christ the King Lutheran || 6 pm

With the help of the movie The Last Days of Sophie Scholl, Professor Robert Krieg and Patricia Bellm will invite the participants to reflect on the situation of persecution and martyrdom.



  •  Focus on Church History, Scripture and Doctrine 


Mary in the Experience of the Church

March 27, 2014 || 7:30 pm || Geddes Hall

October 12, 2014 || 4:30 pm || Lindenwood Retreat Center, Donaldson

How do the faithful see Mary, portray and venerate here? What does the Church teach about the mother of Christ? 

Rev. Brian Daley and Danielle Peters highlighted some landmarks in the Church's journey to come to understand Mary.



These programs, successful as they are, do not constitute the core of PROCLAIM! We believe that parishes, as the tangible sign of the Church in the life of the faithful, have to be the center of faith formation. Based on information gained in parish surveys PROCLAIM! aspires to enrich and to complement the parishes’ efforts through an inter-parochial approach - for example leasing a first-class feature movie, offering a series on a very specific topic such as contemplative prayer, or communicating the opportunities offered by the University in general and theMICL in particular. Partnering with PROCLAIM! allows pastors to concentrate funds and energy on parish-specific efforts in a more effective way. Along these lines, PROCLAIM! is exploring the possibility of organizing inter-parochial workshops for catechists and lectors. In the coming twelve months PROCLAIM! will conduct surveys in six more parishes within the local diocese.



For more information, contact Patricia Bellm, 574.631.1379 | 321 Geddes Hall  |  Notre Dame, IN 46556