by Tom Scott
Five people graduated with a Diploma of Pastoral Ministry and 52 people gained other qualifications at the Maranatha Institute graduation Mass on December 7.
Bishop Don Sproxton concelebrated the Mass with Fr Vincent Glynn, Director of Adult Faith Education Programs in the Archdiocese, Fr John Jegorow and Fr Joe Parkinson, and presented certificates to all graduates.
The Diploma course qualifies people to be employed as Pastoral Ministers in a variety of Church-related fields. It requires completion of 13 courses in adult faith education and a year of supervised pastoral ministry, under the direction of Sr Josephine Dillon RSM.
This year's graduates are:
Adri Sudjana, who completed their pastoral ministry with the Indonesian Catholic Community.
Joy Pullen, who worked with the Servite parish in Joondana.
Sr Maureeen Williams RSJ, who worked at East Victoria Park parish.
Gerry Smith, who worked at Mirrabooka.
Anita De'Souza, who worked with teams of catechists.
Seven students received the Graduation Certificate for completing the 13 AFE courses, and 25 people received Accreditation certificates for completing four or more of the AFE courses.
A highlight of this year's graduation ceremony was the presentation of certificates to the first graduates from a new adult faith education theology program called "Beginning Theology".
This program that has been brought to the Archdiocese by the Maranatha Institute of Adult Faith Education and is directed by Sr Margaret-Anne Beech. It is a parish and home based program for adults interested in extending their spiritual knowledge and faith life.
The first 20 graduates of the program were presented with their Certificate II in Systematic Theology by Bishop Sproxton and were most enthusiastic about about their experience with the program.
Joy Bromley says she would 'recommend the course to anyone'. She explained that she had undertaken the program over 18 months, meeting every three weeks on a rotating basis in the homes of the four people she undertook the program with from the Greenwood Parish.
Joy found it a 'rich' experience as did Patrice Wringe who undertook the program with another small group in Applecross. Patrice explained that as well as the group meetings there is a reading program and four assignments that have to be completed to satisfy the requirements for graduation.
Sr Margaret-Anne Beech, who coordinates the Beginning Theology program, explained that more than 50 people had been involved in the program around the Archdiocese, but most of them were involved for personal interest rather than seeking the formal certificate.
She said the program has been developed by the Institute of Faith Education in Brisbane and the Certificate in Systematic Theology is recognised nationally. Some 3,000 people around Australia have participated in the program since it was introduced in 1995 and it is now rapidly expanding in Perth.
Graduates from the Beginning Theology program are being offered a more advanced course next year called 'Foundations' and the Beginning Theology course will be offered in more places as word is spreading of the personal benefit that individuals are finding in this program.
The general enthusiasm that was evident in the discussion with these first graduates suggests that the program is meeting a need in the lives of many people seeking to deepen their understanding of their faith, and enrich their spiritual life in a parish and home setting.
Report and Photos ©2005Tom Scott/Vias Tuas Communications