REGINA — The Regina Archdiocese Lay Formation Program added seven more graduates to the list of 550 alumni at a graduation mass celebration held June 10 at Little Flower Roman Catholic Church.
“Welcome to this service of joy,” said Archbishop Donald Bolen in his greetings at the beginning of mass. “The Holy Spirit is at work in our church.”
Five of the seven graduates came from Regina parishes, St. Cecelia (2); Resurrection, Holy Child, Holy Trinity (1 each); and two from St. John the Baptist, Estevan. Lay Formation Program co-ordinator Eric Gurash called each graduate by name, reminding them that Christ called each by name to come forward, as the archbishop commissioned and presented each with a medallion emblematic of their accomplishment.
In his homily prior to the commissioning, Bolen said their mission, as it is the mission of everyone, is nothing more than to carry out Christ’s mission: “To love and serve the world, to bring healing to the world, to speak joy to the world. To transform the world and prepare the world for the kingdom.”
He referred to Pentecost and the descent of the Holy Spirit to be among us. “It moves us in three directions: it turns us inward to cultivate a deep faith; outward toward the world and a focus on service; and toward others as members of the Body of Christ. Each part of the body is different and we need each other, we need you in the church today with your gifts,” he told the graduates. The archbishop ended his homily by saying, “The work of the Holy Spirit grows within us to be visible. Thank you for taking this journey.”
Becky Franke from St. John the Baptist Church, Estevan, speaking on behalf of the graduates, thanked everyone for what she called “this God journey.”
“I would love for people to know how we feel when we are together. There are not many places to go where the common theme is to be in the presence of God, to learn about God, to question God. We get to be ourselves. We learn about our Creator and his teachings in a safe place. So we say thank you to all who journeyed with us.”
She had a special thank you for the support of their parishes and families and ended by blowing a kiss to the congregation.
The Lay formation program began 37 years ago and this was the 34th graduating class. Candidates attend at Campion College one weekend a month, except for the summer months of July and August, for three years to complete the program.
Graduates perform in a variety of roles throughout the archdiocese — as pastoral assistants and in church ministries such as music, proclaimers, and the eucharistic.