Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 23, 2003
Program for laity teaches the faith
Christian community built through Formation for Pastoral Service
By RENATO GANDIA
"It gives you confidence to talk about your faith."
- Ardis Beaudry
In his homily at the Mass, Collins said, "The Trinity is the most basic reality there is. It's the most grounded and profound reality because it tells us why we are a community."
However, people's attempt to fathom this mystery failed over the centuries.
"We can fathom the gods that we make ourselves, like riches, fame, glory, health and other things, but we cannot fathom . . . and grasp the God who made us."
One thing that this mystery teaches is to live in community and in communion, which is central to who we are, explained Collins. "The Lord when he came called together a family and not individuals disconnected with each other."
Collins reminded the people, "We're not connected when we worship the unholy trinity of Me, Myself and I."
He also emphasized that to live in the mystery of the Trinity is "to wash each other's feet in the love of God."
Echoing what the archbishop said, graduation guest speaker Pauline Burkinshaw said, "If we pray together, if we affirm together, our mission will work in spite of our differences."
Burkinshaw, a graduate of different programs at Newman, asked the graduands, "Are you more prayerful, hopeful, faithful and faith-filled? Are you more accepting of other people in your life and more loving? Are you more in love with God so much so that you can go forth wherever God is sending you? Will they know us by our love?"
She said lay people have an important role in the society and they should speak through their actions and words. "I think we have stories to tell our world, that . . . is longing for the Good News."
Beaudry, a Eucharistic minister at the basilica, said she can't keep to herself what she learned from the program. "You have to share with other people and encourage them to come. It's a great opportunity to learn more about your faith."
Luella Marie Yakymyshyn of St. Basil Parish of the Ukrainian Eparchy took part in the two-year program.
Her aim was to deepen her spirituality to give back to her parish.
"I think it's a wonderful experience. I look forward to the weekends. We've covered so much. It gave us a real good foundation on what Scripture is about. It really whet our appetite to go on and delve into more in-depth learning."
The experience deepened her spirituality as she learned more about her faith, about God, the love of God, neighbour and oneself.
It gave her an experience of generosity and sharing.
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