Last Updated: Tuesday - 01/04/2011
June 18, 2001
An army of lay ministers
Formation for Pastoral Service has sent 130 peopole out into parishes
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
EDMONTON — Formation for Pastoral Service has produced a small army of God's people wanting to serve others.
That is how Rick Randleman, sees FPS, a two-year certificate program in lay ministry taught at Newman Theological College, which has produced close to 130 graduates since it began in 1994.
In his home parish of Sacred Heart in Edson, FPS graduates and current students oversee baptismal and marriage preparation, RCIA and all other programs, said Randleman.
Sacred Heart has supported 13 lay people who are all active in ministry.
Randleman is one of the 21 lay men and women, who graduated from FPS June 10.
At the ceremony attended by more than 250 people, the graduates received certificates from Archbishop Thomas Collins, Newman President Kevin Carr, Newman's dean of theology Father Bob Mokry, and Kim Wanner, program director.
Aiming to provide opportunities for pastoral enhancement founded on sound theology, the Edmonton Archdiocese developed this program for lay people. Courses on Scripture, spirituality, liturgy and pastoral skills are provided.
"You have come to reflect, grow and share your faith. You are anxious now to get out and begin to share everything you have learned," guest speaker Shirleyan Threndyle told the graduates.
"But passing on that knowledge is useless unless our souls are touched by the love of God," added Threndyle, a retired Newman professor.
"I wanted to serve in the parish and I wanted to serve as a trained and experienced person," said Angela Blais of St. Thomas More Parish, Edmonton.
"I learned so much about the sacraments and why we do things and that was important to me," said Blais, a 35-year-old mother of two who converted to Catholicism.
Tanya Vogrincic, 44 of Sacred Heart, Edson, and Mary Buck, 49 pastoral assistant at Our Lady of Mercy, Enoch, share a common experience. The program has given them a greater appreciation of what it means to be lay members of the Church.
Both claimed to be inspired by people in their parishes who took the program.
"I also felt as an active lay member that it is my responsibility to grow in my faith and this is an ideal opportunity for that," said Vogrincic.
Buck is looking forward to more involvement in sacramental preparation and pastoral care of the sick and elderly.
"This program has been the best experience of my life," shared Debbie Sackiw of St. Alphonsus Parish Edmonton.
Sackiw, a single mom, appreciated the supportive environment for learning and experiencing ministry that FPS provided.
The program has given Roni Iwanciwski, pastoral assistant at Our Lady of the Foothills, Hinton, the confidence to speak what is in her heart about God. She became a better leader, who is willing to help the people in her parish.
"Come and see the passion of the instructors, who had been Christ-like for us, so that you too can bring Christ to the rest of the people," said Iwanciwski when asked how she would recommend the program to others.
Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 -- Western Catholic Reporter
Our mission: To serve our readers by bringing the Gospel to bear on current issues in the Church and in secular culture through accurate news coverage and reflective commentary.