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MAM graduates called to be ‘co-responsibles’ in the mission of the Church


Faculty of the Masters of Arts in Ministry Program pose with the 2010 class following the May 26 commencement at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton. Pilot photo/George Martell, The Catholic Foundation


BRIGHTON -- At this year’s Master of Arts in Ministry Program graduation ceremony, the commencement speaker challenged graduates to change their mentalities and to fulfill their roles as lay people in the Church.

“My own area of study, research and writing for the last 20 years or so has been the theology of the laity,” said Dr. Aurelie A. Hagstrom, chair of the Department of Theology at Providence College, who gave the commencement address. “What is the vocation and mission of the laity in the Church and in the world?”

Hagstrom referenced a homily given by Pope Benedict XIV on March 7 at St. John of the Cross Parish in the diocese of Rome. In his homily, the pope told parishioners that “there is a need to change mentalities, so as to see laypeople as co-responsible for the Church, and not merely as collaborators of the clergy,” she said.

“That was a remarkable statement by our Holy Father,” Hagstrom said. “The laity are not merely collaborators of the clergy, but actually co-responsible for the being and activity of the Church,” she said. “He’s calling for a mature and dedicated laity -- such as we see here this afternoon in this graduation ceremony.”

Eight students received a Master of Arts in Ministry from St. John’s Seminary on May 26 in St. John’s Chapel. The graduates were: Jeffrey Thomas Cahill, Sr.; Louise M. Morrissey Cocuzzo; Elizabeth D. Estler; Joan McCann; Joan M. Nelson; Patricia F. Pineo; Charles E. Vernon; and Linda Walsh-French.

The Master of Arts in Ministry Program (MAM) at St. John’s Seminary is a graduate program of academic, spiritual, human and apostolic formation. It takes its inspiration from John Paul II’s document on lay formation entitled “Christifidelis Laici.”

Hagstrom ended her address by encouraging the graduates in their work and vocation. “Here, on this ‘Pentecost Wednesday,’ you graduates are part of the ‘New Pentecost’ of grace and charisms that God is pouring out on the Church of Boston,” Hagstrom said. “Thank you for saying yes to God’s invitation to co-responsibility in the mission of the Church.”

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