Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of September 29, 2008
Final group of liturgists graduate from Newman summer school
- Photo by Linda Boire
The last graduating class of the Summer School for Liturgical Studies and their home dioceses: Back row (L-R): Michael Perras (Regina), Heidi Epp (Prince Albert), Veronica Fraser (Edmonton), Margaret Greenwood (Kamloops), Deacon Brian West (Calgary). Second row: Marie Phillips (Edmonton), Patrick Nixon (Prince Albert), Susana Borges (Prince George), Joan Poitras (Prince George). Front Row: Marilyn Holtby (Prince George), Kathy Klassen (St. Boniface), Johnnie DesRochers (Calgary).
By BERNADETTE GASSLEIN
Special to the WCR
Joy and pride mingled with sadness as the final graduation of the Summer School in Liturgical Studies unfolded at Newman Theological College on July 31.
Twelve graduates from the dioceses of Western Canada received their certificate in liturgical studies from Newman President Bryn Kulmatycki and Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith.
These students have spent several summers in coursework and practical studies at the college. The certificate in liturgical studies is one of the programs cut in Newman’s recent restructuring into a graduate-studies only facility.
Bishop Gerald Wiesner of Prince George addressed the graduates, families, friends and faculty.
Wiesner, who has taught in the SSLS every summer since it began, reflected first on the past. Drawing inspiration from Margaret O’Connell, the former coordinator of the liturgical office of the Archdiocese of Edmonton, Wiesner remarked: “Just two days before she died, in a visit with a friend, Margaret shared that she felt we were far too preoccupied with the future and needed to spend more time recounting the past.
“For herself personally she felt overwhelmed by the many blessings she had received in her life.”
Beginning with the documents of Vatican II, Wiesner outlined how the Summer School in Liturgical Studies has responded to the council’s insistence on lay involvement in the life of the Church, and described how the summer school had fulfilled that mandate.
“Over these 18 years great numbers of persons in Western Canada have participated in Summer School in Liturgical Studies. And as a result, they have been able to help their local communities to become, to be, Church as willed by Jesus.
“Through Summer School in Liturgical Studies many persons have helped the Church to better become the sacrament, the sign and instrument of communion with God and of the unity of the entire human race.
“It can also be said that through the Summer School in Liturgical Studies they have been helped in their special task of illuminating and ordering temporal matters in such a way that these are always carried out and developed in Christ’s way and to the praise of the Creator and Redeemer.”
Patrick Nixon of North Battleford, Sask., gave the address on behalf of the graduates.
Commenting on what the graduates gained through their time at Newman, he said he had heard from fellow graduates that “the time spent at Newman Theological College was life changing.
“Something happened here that is much deeper then liturgical training. We were transformed, and our lives enriched.”