42 graduate from Hispanic lay formation program

CHELSEA -- A new class of the Instituto de Formacion de Laicos Institute for Lay Formation, received their certificates in leadership from Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, April 29 at St. Rose of Lima Parish in Chelsea.

The 42 graduating students have completed a two-year course of study that has prepared them to serve as lay ministers in parishes with Hispanic Apostolate across the archdiocese. The formation focused on catechesis and evangelization, marriage and family life, adult faith formation, youth ministry, liturgy, and ministry to prisons and hospitals.

More than 350 family members and friends of the graduates attended the graduation Mass and ceremony. Father Terrence Moran, pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish and an instructor in the IFL program, offered his church and hall for the Mass, graduation ceremony, and reception because Bethany Chapel at the Pastoral Center could not accommodate the large number of graduates and their guests.

Bishop Emilio S. Allue, SDB celebrated the Mass. Pastors of the graduates and priest faculty, 12 in all, concelebrated. Deacon Marcio Fonseca from St. Ambrose Parish in Dorchester and Deacon Francesco Guerrios of Holy Family Parish also in Dorchester, assisted Bishop Allue. Five permanent deacons and one transitional deacon participated as well.

In his homily, Bishop Allue congratulated the graduates for their hard work and achievement.

Following the Mass, Cardinal O’Malley presented diplomas and spoke to the graduates about the work of being a missionary. Citing the example of St. Patrick, patron saint of our archdiocese, he encouraged graduates to go forth and be genuine evangelizers in our communities. Cardinal O’Malley reminded the assembly of the work of the early Church, as St. Luke describes in the Acts of the Apostles.

Each IFL class chooses a theme which describes the group. Echoing the opening words of the U.S. bishops’ document, “Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord,” “God calls. We respond,” the IFL class of 2010 chose Class of Service as their theme indicating their pledge to serve their parishes and the Church of Boston.

Janet Benestad, Cabinet Secretary for Faith Formation and Evangelization and Susan Abbott, Director of the Office of Religious Education attended the Mass and were present for the graduation ceremony.

IFL classes met at the Pastoral Center on Saturdays afternoons for two years. Each weekly session began with prayer, followed by two 90 minutes classes.

The institute is a program of the Office of Religious Education designed and directed by Pilar Latorre, Assistant Director for Hispanic Catechesis. Since its inception, over 200 people have graduated from IFL, prepared to serve in parishes across the archdiocese.