Lay Ministry Commissioning

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By Frank Flegel

Rod Degenstein is one of the five Lay Ministry candidates who was commissioned at a special celebrationheld June 23 at Little Flower Church. He said the program changed him. “We have such a big wonderful Church and there are so many things that I still don’t know about it. I don’t want to stop learning. I realize I am such a small part of such a large creation, yet I know how much God loves me as an individual.”

Archbishop Donald Bolen began his remarks to the Lay Ministry graduates by calling the occasion “a day of great joy.” He thanked the graduates for taking the program, and all those who supported them, and those who taught them. The commissioning of these five candidates was a little more personal for Archbishop Bolen as one of his sisters, Judith Corkery of Holy Family Parish, is among the graduates.

Referring to the readings chosen for the mass, Bolen talked about the gifts, gifts given to Jesus’disciples by the Holy Spirit. “You have received the Holy Spirit,” he told the graduates, “He has been at work in your lives. There are many gifts in the church, but there is only one Spirit.”

The Archbishop continued, “We need each other’s gifts, we need each other. You are sent forth to be a healing agent to a world that needs it; your own healing, but more so the healing of others around you, the healing of society.”

He quoted Pope Francis, who acknowledges that if the Church reaches out to places of suffering and brokenness, itis going to be messy. “I hope that your lives become lovinglycomplicated as you go to bring hope and God’s love.” Bolen ended.

Patricia Schiissler is from Resurrection Parish, Regina. She thought, “The program is fantastic and it does change you. You grow in your faith, you grow in your relationship with others, and of course you grow in your love with God.” As a retired teacher, she said, she would like to work in spiritual education.

Program Coordinator Eric Gurash reminded graduates and their friends and family who witnessed the commissioning that this is the 35th commissioning class of the longest running lay formation program in North America.

“There is nothing similar that has been running this long,” said Gurash. There are 564 alumni working and/or volunteering in a variety of capacities throughout the Regina Archdiocese. The Lay Ministry program is offered during the fall and winter months, one weekend a month for three years.