Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 21, 1999
Laity trained to lead
Formation for Pastoral Service grads learned to get others involved
By ANH HOANG
WCR Staff Writer
On a sunny Sunday afternoon in June, Archbishop Thomas Collins blessed and sent forth 20 parishioners to use their new knowledge of faith to serve God and their parishes.
Clutching the red folder which held their newly received Formation for Pastoral Service certificate, the graduates were ready to head back to their local parishes and convert everyone.
Well, not exactly.
"When Archbishop (Joseph) MacNeil talked during one of our classes, he cautioned us," said Carol Hoven. "He said, 'Don't think you'll go home and change your parishes.'"
After two years of commuting from their home in Evergreen to Newman Theological College, Hoven has learned the FPS program is not designed to churn out graduates who return to their parishes and implement new ideas and programs.
"It taught us to serve in a leadership role, that we don't have to do everything," said Hoven, who attended the graduation ceremony at Holy Family Church in St. Albert, June 13. "Our role is to get everybody involved."
Hoven attended the course with her husband Cecil. Both are active in their parish, Jesuit Martyrs Church.
"Even in our small church, everyone has a role," Carol Hoven said. "I don't think it'll become that Carol and Cecil do everything (in the parish) because we took this course. This helps us to get people involved, so that it will be sustained whether we're there or not."
This is the second graduating class of the FPS program. The two-year program in a retreat and classroom setting is designed to develop skills for parish ministry and formation as well as training for lay ministers to better serve their parishes.
"For Jesus, service was total giving of himself," said Archbishop MacNeil. "That's what these graduates have bought into - giving of themselves, giving their lives.
"For our graduates, this is service in the name of Jesus, not just personal service."
For Terry McGhee, the graduation ceremony was one more celebration for her family. Two of her children graduated from the University of Alberta the same week.
"It's nice to have all these graduations at the same time," she said.
The FPS program has strengthened McGhee's faith and made her a better advocate for God, she said.
"It's built a great confidence for me in my Christian belief. I'm not as hesitant to defend my faith. This has given me greater strength and knowledge."
Along with McGhee and the Hovens, graduating from the program this year are Cathy Bethune, Anita Blatz, Jeanne Boutin, Paul Boutin, Sue Boyne, Virginia Coes, Marian Emter, Gary Garrison, Annie Hruza, Darlene Jenson, Anna Lovell, Bill Mudie, Elizabeth Quinlan, Corinne Rider, Noe Roncesvalles, Janice Sargent and Annette Specht.