Graduates celebrate three-year journey
REGINA — Nine graduates of the Archdiocesan Lay Ministry Formation Program celebrated the end of their three-year journey in a June 11 graduation ceremony at Little Flower Church.
Verna Angielski of Holy Family Parish, Regina, decided after retiring that she wanted to learn more about her faith and in some sense, calm a biblical quote that kept popping into her head. “It’s from the Old Testament and it says ‘if you are lukewarm in your faith I will spew you out of my mouth,’ (it’s actually from Revelations) and every once in a while it would pop into my head, so I decided to do something and learn more about my faith.”
Angielski was joined by Dorothy Seiferling from Holy family; Farrah Semegen and Ivan Paska from Holy Child; Donna Loran, Lori Bresciani and Georgina Churcko from Resurrection Parish; Julie Lemoine from St. Jean Baptiste and Pat Herauf from St. Paul’s in Vibank. Archdiocesan administrator Rev. Lorne Crozon celebrated the mass and commissioned graduates, assisted by co-celebrants Revs. Louis Abello, J.B. Okai, Jose Peryilkatte and Carlos Jimenez, SVD.
“It is a fabulous program,” Angielski said in an interview with the PM, “it enhances and broadens your faith and teaches you about the history of the church.” She enjoyed the close fellowship and comradery of the group. “I formed many beautiful friendships.” Angielski has become much more involved in her church since she began the program and is currently organizing a bereavement group to help people experiencing times of sorrow.
The program began 35 years ago as a vision of the late Regina Archbishop Charles Halpin. The anniversary was celebrated the same evening with about 114 alumni, several priests and former administrators present. Current administrator, Eric Gurash, in his keynote address to alumni, told a story about a cat who wanted to be a lion and hunted zebras, to illustrate that evangelization is about telling good stories, “and we’ve got the best story ever told.” It’s the heart and soul of evangelization, said Gurash, but it’s words that cause Catholics to shrink.
“They haven’t been part of our recent stories — we don’t evangelize. That’s a Protestant thing.”
Evangelization is not about carrying a Bible and annoying people with quotes, and it’s not a recent invention of Christian fringe groups, he said. It’s been around since Christ told his disciples to go and make disciples of all nations. “It is the number one mission of the church,” said Gurash. He quoted St. Catherine of Sienna and three popes — John Paul II, Benedict XV1, and Francis in Evangelli Gaudium: “All of them challenged us to be silent no more.”
— With notes from Eric Gurash