Master of Arts in Ministry program holds commencement

BRAINTREE -- Ministering to God's people both at home and abroad, members of this year's class graduating from the Master of Arts in Ministry (MAM) program at St. John's Seminary can use what they have learned to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.

"You cannot give what you don't have," said graduate Hermina Hyacinthe, who serves as executive director of a charity that works to alleviate poverty in her native Haiti.

On May 25, Hyacinthe and 16 other students graduated from the MAM program in a ceremony at St. John's Seminary.

The graduation included remarks by Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley and a keynote address by South Region Auxiliary Bishop John Dooher. Pete Braudis, a longtime active parishioner at Our Lady of Grace Parish in Pepperell, was this year's graduate speaker.

Cardinal O'Malley discussed the laity's important role evangelizing in today's Church, and Bishop Dooher highlighted the Church's sense of mission and discipleship.

Braudis reflected on his and fellow classmates' shared experiences as MAM students, saying how participating in the program brought them together in community. Braudis recalled communal prayer, class discussions and the field education experience, which requires students to participate in 200 hours of ministry work.

MAM director Aldona Lingertat noted that this year, the program graduated its 100th student. In 11 years of existence, the MAM program now has 112 alumni, including the Class of 2011.

She praised this year's class for their active participation in various ministries throughout the Archdiocese of Boston, and for the enthusiasm they brought to their studies.

"It's a very distinguished class," Lingertat said. "They come from various backgrounds -- many of them from the business world, the sciences. They came with such dedication and commitment, and participated in the MAM program with a great energy and a positive attitude."

"They themselves gave a lot to the program," she added.

Hyacinthe came to the United States in 1978 after completing high school in her native Haiti. She earned a bachelor's degree in business from Boston University and a master's degree from the University of Massachusetts.

She previously worked as an auditor in the financial sector.

Wanting to provide humanitarian relief in Petit-Coave, the town in Haiti in which she was raised, Hyacinthe founded the Ste. Jeanne D'Arc Haiti Foundation in 2006.

The organization is a federally recognized non-profit agency, and has helped to establish a soup kitchen that today serves about 250 people daily and installed a water system to deliver fresh water to the people. Following the 2010 earthquake, which resulted in the collapse of the water system, she went to Petit-Coave to help install wells.

"That has saved a lot of people from the cholera outbreaks," Hyacinthe said.

In the near future, she said, she wants to provide a home and an education for orphans in Petit-Coave.

Hyacinthe enrolled in the MAM program because she was seeking spiritual formation for her work. She also said that before completing the MAM coursework, she viewed her relief efforts as social work, but not quite as a calling from God.

She said participating in MAM has helped shape her perspective on her work with her foundation.

"It helped me understand my faith better and what I'm doing in terms of understanding God's call," Hyacinthe said.

Barbara Dury, another 2011 graduate, will be putting her talents to work closer to home.

Dury is currently business manager and pastoral associate at St. Bartholomew Parish in Needham.

"I was just very pleased and very grateful that I was able to do the MAM program because it's so important for the work I do," Dury said. "As a pastoral associate and business manager, everything I learned I use all the time."

She said the program fosters deep spirituality and makes students aware of God's work in their lives. She also recalled praying the Liturgy of the Hours with her classmates.

"You're with people who believe what you believe," Dury said. "It's a great support for each other."

Dury said the program helped bring participants together in community, and for her, its 2011 commencement ceremony illustrated that.

"It just wasn't individual people receiving a degree," she said. "It was a class receiving a degree."

Master of Arts in Ministry class of 2011

Mary Beth Brady has been a full time staff member at Sacred Heart Parish in Braintree/Weymouth for the last 8 years, working especially in music and liturgy. She directs three parish choirs and teaches music to all of the students at Sacred Heart School. Her role in the parish has grown to encompass other ministries. Mary Beth particularly enjoys working with young people, respecting the complex spirituality of children and the power of liturgical music in the development of Catholic identity.

Pete Braudis and his wife Therese are the parents of three grown sons. Pete and Therese live in Groton, where they have been parishioners at Our Lady of Grace for 37 years. Together they have served as catechists, parish council members, lectors and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. They have been active in marriage ministry, both preparing couples for the sacrament and working to enrich the experience of couples already married. They have presented Bible studies and served as speakers for the archdiocese on lay spirituality and marriage and family life. Pete has been active in a small men's group for the last 5 years.

Cynthia Crino is a member of St. Theresa's Parish in Sherborn. She currently works for John Hancock in the Advanced Markets group, where she strives to preach without words in the secular world. She has been involved in many different ministries over the years. She has enjoyed working with the next generation through youth ministry, catechesis, and confirmation class. She attended two World Youth Days and was also a leader in St. Theresa's ARISE program. She currently serves in a variety of liturgical ministries at St. Theresa, including as an usher, lector, and extraordinary minister of Holy Communion.

Ann M. Cussen has been married to her husband, Richard, for 37 years and is the mother of three children.

Ann hails from Kingston, where she served in her parish community of St. Joseph's as religious education director and coordinator of youth ministry for over 25 years. Currently she works for the Archdiocese of Boston in the Office for Worship and Spiritual Life. The office has collaborated with RENEW International for the past four years, to implement the ARISE Together in Christ/Lenten Longings process for the archdiocese. Ann is most grateful to be serving the Church of Boston in this particular way and looks forward to working with parishes throughout the archdiocese as they begin, "Why Catholic? Journey through the Catechism."

Anna Danahy originally comes from the Philippines, where she ministered to single young adults in the Family Ministry of Couples for Christ (CFC), a Catholic Renewal Community based in Manila and present in other countries. She also served the poor through Gawad Kalinga in the same community for several years. She continued her ministry among single young professionals and fundraising for Gawad Kalinga's projects for the poor when she moved to Canada to be with her family in 2003 and to the U.S. when she got married in 2005. Since then, she has been serving in her parish of St. Charles Borromeo in Woburn, helping out in their marriage preparation program and currently teaching religious education among 3rd and 4th graders. Anna lives in Winchester with her husband, Bill, and their three-year-old son, Joseph.

James J. Donahue, Jr. is a licensed Massachusetts teacher and has instructed United History 1 and 2 at Whittier Regional Vocational High School in Haverhill since 2005. He is a former volunteer for the Archdiocese of Boston and he also worked as a religious education director for All Saints parish in Haverhill. He plans to continue administering the Eucharist to the sick and homebound after he graduates. He has one son, Frederick R. Donahue, who is nine years old.

Barbara Dury is the mother of two adult children and a grandmother of two. Earlier in her career she was a physics teacher but left teaching to be a stay-at-home mom and all-purpose volunteer. In her parish, she has served on the parish pastoral council stewardship committee; she has been a catechist and still serves as a lector and extraordinary minister of Holy Communion. About twenty years ago she accepted a part-time job at her parish and eventually became a full-time parish business manager and was a member of the first class of business managers to complete the certification program. She enjoyed the classes and soon enrolled in MAM. She is now the pastoral associate/business manager at St. Bartholomew Parish.

Mayre Hammond is a commercial underwriting manager for a local insurance company and the mother of two grown daughters. Mayre is an involved member of the lay community of Glastonbury Abbey in Hingham, where she is a eucharistic minister, a member of the liturgy and inter-religious lecture series committees as well as co-director of Sunday Supper, a community outreach program of the Abbey.

Cheryl Harris has been married to her husband, Tom, for 22 years and is the mother of Paul, who is 20 years old. She worked as an accountant for 25 years, until she left work to be a stay at home mom during her son's adolescent and teen years. During this time she became involved in various ministries at St. Francis Xavier Church in South Weymouth. Cheryl is a lector, a member of the finance council, taught CCD for 10 years, and with her husband, directs the marriage preparation team. She is also a parishioner of St. Mary's of the Sacred Heart in Hanover, where she and her husband attend the Life Teen Mass most Sunday evenings, and she led an Arise group there for five seasons.

Hermina Hyacinthe is the mother of two children. Born and raised in Petit-Goave, Haiti, she later immigrated to the United States. Upon her arrival to the U.S., she obtained a bachelor's degree in business administration from Boston University and an MBA from the University of Massachusetts. She has held various positions in the financial industry. In 2006, Hermina founded Ste Jeanne D'Arc Haiti Foundation, a US based non-profit organization whose mission is to help alleviate hunger and poverty in Haiti.

Prudence Kashala is married to Dr. Oscar Kashala and is the mother of five children. She was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Prudence attended a Catholic school run by the Ursuline Sisters in Tournai, Belgium. Thereafter, she returned to the DRC where she attended Dental School at the University of Kinshasa Medical School. Later, she joined her husband in Boston, and was appointed as Research Fellow at Harvard University and was a recipient of a research grant from the Fogarty Center at the National Institutes of Health. During her tenure at Harvard University, she was part of a scientific group that led breakthrough research on HIV. Prudence later obtained her certification in Pharmacy in Massachusetts and worked as a Pharmacy Assistant at Harvard Vanguard in Wellesley before entering the MAM Program.

Jane Kuklis has worked for St. Mary of the Nativity in Scituate for the past 16 years. She began as a youth minister and transitioned into the roles of DRE and pastoral associate. After many years of desiring to further her education, she was accepted to the MAM program in January of 2009.

Dominic Margaglione is a native of Quincy, Ill. With an extensive music background, he pursued a career in opera before deciding to focus his studies on parish ministry. He has been an employee of the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 2003 and has recently begun the position of pastoral associate at St. Mary of the Annunciation Parish in Danvers. Margaglione is a professed member of the Secular Franciscan Order and has served as minister of the Paschal Baylon Fraternity in Boston. Margaglione and his wife Rachel will soon be celebrating their fourth wedding anniversary and are parents of a one year-old daughter, Francesca.

Diane McCarthy is a mother of three and a lifelong resident of Stoneham and member of St. Patrick Parish, where she has served as a catechist and as a member of the RCIA team. She currently serves as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion and is looking forward to working on a parish committee to help implement the upcoming changes to the Roman Missal. Diane has a Bachelor's Degree in Medical Technology from Merrimack College and worked in a clinical laboratory for 20 years. She is currently employed as an administrative assistant in the Special Education Office of the Stoneham Public Schools.

Andrea Swiecicki Morrissey is married with two adult children. She is currently a biology and environmental science teacher at Arlington Catholic High School. In addition to her teaching duties she serves as science department chairperson and is moderator of the Humanitarian Club. Andrea is a member of St. Theresa Parish in North Reading where she serves as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, a guest speaker for the adult confirmation and RCIA programs, the faith formation coordinator for the religious education catechists, and a hospitality assistant at the weekly coffee hour.

Barbara Mullen Neem, along with her husband Mark and their son Francis, were posted overseas where she was active in ministerial outreach to the poor and the forgotten on three different continents; Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

Overseas, she facilitated contact and projects between her parish community and St. Gilles Center for the homeless and refugees in Brussels, Belgium. She had the opportunity to study Music, Theory and Voice with members of the Cairo Opera House for her own enrichment but with an eye toward supporting liturgical music at her parishes. It was also in Cairo that she worked alongside the Missionaries of Charity at their orphanage and women's home in Mokkatam. At her parish she assisted in co-founding Project 2000, an ongoing program to supply materials for basic needs to the emerging refugee community.

In 2006, she completed the requirements for a Parish-based Catechetical Certificate offered by The Maryvale Institute of Birmingham, U.K. More recently she was accepted to the Master of Arts in Ministry Program, intending to support Catholic Education and has within the last semester had the opportunity to teach Theology and Morality at the high school level.

Jose H. Rivera is a member of St. Ignatius Church at Chestnut Hill, where he attends both the English and Spanish Masses and is working to embrace cultural diversity through unity in the Holy Spirit within the dynamics of a youth ministry program. The son of Catholic parents who emigrated from Orocovis, Puerto Rico when he was five, Rivera grew up in the city of Boston. His upbringing centered on Catholic family values while surrounded by an extended English and Spanish community at St. Gabriel's Church in Brighton. He has worked at the Perkins School for the Blind for the last 21 years.