Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 14, 2004
Bible school graduates 41
By HOPE BRUCE
Special to the WCR
The 2004 class year for students of the Radway campus of the John Paul II Bible School came to a close June 5-6 when 41 students received their diplomas.
The event marked the 20th annual graduation exercises for the school and the first one officiated by Bishop Luc Bouchard since being appointed bishop of St. Paul two years ago.
Graduating students were presented a diploma in sacred studies, while four others, who completed only one semester of the program, received certificates in personal and spiritual growth. Three hundred and fifty guests attended the ceremonies which were preceded by a coffeehouse-variety show the evening before.
In his remarks to the graduates, Director Ernie Chauvet noted the recent spectacular rise in the number of students, which two years ago necessitated the opening of a second campus of the school in Hinton as well as an affiliation with the Catholic School of Evangelization in St. Malo, Man., at which 10 overflow students were placed.
"We are anticipating up to 100 applications coming in for the next year," he said. "God has used and continues to use the John Paul II Bible School as leaven in the Church. The results have been well beyond my expectations."
In addition to the two campuses in Alberta and the affiliation with St. Malo, the school operates four teams of parish youth workers as well as a full-time travelling retreat team which toured the three western provinces plus the Northwest Territories from August to May.
"All we do at John Paul II Bible School - our formation program, our two campuses, our outreach retreats, our parish program - it's about sharing God's love," Chauvet said.
Bouchard, the main celebrant at the graduation Mass, shared similar thoughts in his homily.
"We know that it is not easy being a Christian today, but we will not abandon our belief that God is love. Hope is not something that might happen," he said.
"When we see the word 'hope,' we must replace it with Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ does not disappoint us. Christ came to bring us life - life in abundance. Christ came to reveal to us a loving God."
The Bible school's Hinton campus finishes its school year on June 13 with graduation ceremonies at Our Lady of the Foothills Church.