Master of Arts in Ministry moves with the spirit

St. John Seminary Master of Arts in Ministry is on the move — again. After just one year conducting classes in the refurbished lower level of St. William Hall, the MA Min is packing up for a move across campus to Peterson Hall. Peterson had been the heart of the Seminary College, regrettably closed in 2003. Now, the brick building attached to St. John Hall will provide a home to the Master of Arts in Ministry program, the permanent dia-conate and other archdiocesan offices affected by the sale of church property to Boston College.

While moving presents some challenges, students and staff of the MAM have found in it an opportunity to build community. In the midst of the program’s summer session, books and materials are being packed and unpacked, boxed and unboxed. The new space at Peterson will be transformed into a hospitable and welcoming center for lay formation. The work is done with enthusiasm by the community of support that has both built the Master of Arts in Ministry program and, in turn, been built up by it.

Not everyone will be making the move to Peterson, however. Six new graduates will be moving on to positions of service within the church and their communities. Linda Muldoon will continue as pastoral associate — no longer “in training” — at St. Francis of Assisi in Braintree. Jeff Eckelkamp will bring what he has learned to his ongoing work in the church at St. Mary Lifeteen program in Dedham, Campus Ministry at Bentley College, and adult faith formation with the AIM program. Jeff plans a transition to full-time ministry in the near future. Kristelle Angelli, currently the Executive Director of the St. Vincent Pallotti Center which promotes volunteer service, is a co-founder of Our Lady of Hope Charities which aids impoverished parishes in Rwanda and Southern India. While committed to her current work, Kristelle’s plans include seeking further theological education in the future. Vincent Capodilupo, previously serving in religious education programs at St. Theresa of Lisieux in Billerica, plans to continue in his position as Director of Religious Education at St. Julia Parish in Weston. Brendan Egonu, a youth minister originally from Nigeria, plans to seek employment as a campus minister or Catholic high school teacher. Brother Ted Psemeneki, BH, novice director for the Brotherhood of Hope, will put his ministerial formation to use in campus ministry at the University of Florida in Tallahassee.

Not unlike graduating students, Father Robin Ryan, CP interim Director of the MA Min, will be moving on to further serve his order at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Ill. His departure will be noticed particularly in the areas of expertise he brought to the MAM program over the past four years: Christology, ecumenism, and the meaning of human suffering. Students will surely miss Father Ryan’s dry sense of humor and his unwavering dedication. All associated with the Master of Arts in Ministry are also grateful to Father Robert Murray who, as Director of Field Education, established the apostolic formation aspect of the program. Father Murray will also be moving on from the seminary to embrace a new assignment. The richness of his experience is sure to benefit those he serves.

Taking the wheel of the Master of Arts in Ministry for the foreseeable future is Father Robert Oliver, BH. He, along with Associate Director Aldona Lingertat and Office Manager Mary Ellen Lenihan, are certain to keep the vision for the MA Min intact and growing. The Master of Arts in Ministry enjoys the full support of the leadership of the archdiocese and St. John Seminary. The program provides lay persons with the solid theological conversancy necessary for service in and to the Church. Through the MA Min., properly formed lay ministry is affirmed as a joyful complement to the vocation of diaconal and priestly ordination. The twofold emphasis of MAM is pastoral care and evangelization. Through human, academic, apostolic and spiritual formation, the Master of Art in Ministry prepares lay persons to live the fullness of their baptismal vocations, and bring the mission of Jesus Christ to bear on the secular world.