Master of Arts in Ministry program awards degrees

BRIGHTON — The chapel at St. John’s Seminary was filled May 21 with family and friends on hand to witness the 13 graduates of the Archdiocese of Boston’s Masters of Arts in Ministry program receive their diplomas.

Receiving their degrees as members of the class of 2008 were: Vincent Cerasuolo, Kathy Donohue, Roseann Furbush, Mary Gabriel, Doris Hallee, Heather Hannaway, Donna Hegan, Pamela Marie Hulme, Mariola Milik, Kaitlyn Nutley, Sharon Smart, Sheila St. Sauveur and Susan Troy.

The ceremony began with an invocation delivered by St. John’s rector, Father Arthur Kennedy, after which assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at Tufts University E. Joanne Angelo delivered the commencement address.

In her remarks, Angelo recalled the themes employed by Pope Benedict XVI in his address to Catholic educators in Washington during his April apostolic visit. She focused particularly on the role of Catholic educators’ Christian witnesses.

As a psychiatrist, she said, she is a natural observer of people. Angelo went on to offer what she called “case vignettes” of observations she has made of the personal witness of others.

Using the example of her parents, both of whom were physicians, Angelo cited the many ways they sacrificed for their family and gave to others through the strength of their faith.

Following the presentation of diplomas by Father Kennedy and Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, associate director of the MAM program, Aldona E. Lingertat, introduced the program’s student speaker, Heather Hannaway who offered remarks on behalf of graduating class.

In her address, Hannaway called on her fellow graduates to fulfill their special vocation to “make the Church present and fruitful in those places and circumstances whereas only through our unique position as laity, that we can become the salt of the earth.”

“As we go forth as graduates from this program, let us be living instruments of the mission of the Church itself,” she continued.

Before offering the ceremony’s concluding benediction, the cardinal congratulated the graduates and thanked the faculty and staff of St. John’s Seminary who devoted their efforts to make the program possible.

The cardinal added that, throughout that week, he had had several opportunities to encounter the great gift of the laypeople of the archdiocese, including the graduates. He said he was impressed by the dedication of the MAM students and the commitment they had shown, not only in academics but also in their commitment to deepening their faith.

“I thank you for all the sacrifices that you have made to serve our Lord and his spouse, the Church,” he concluded.

Begun in 2000, the first class graduated from the Master of Arts in Ministry program in 2002.

The program is open to Catholic lay persons with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. It “is geared for those who seek to serve the local Church as pastoral associates, religious educators or in a variety of administrative and ministerial positions that are open to the laity in contemporary Catholic parish life and in other settings such as hospitals, campuses and prisons,” according to seminary literature.

Degree requirements can be completed in as little as two years on a full-time basis or in as many as five years on a part-time basis.

To earn the degree, students must take a set of 10 core courses that provide them with a background in subjects such as philosophy, systematic theology, Scripture, Church history, sacramental theology and moral theology. Electives allow them to specialize in specific areas of ministry including catechetics, liturgy, or care of the sick.

Those interested in learning more about the program may call 617-779-4104 or visit the St. John’s Seminary Web site at