byChristopher S. Pineo
Graduates from the programs at St. John's Seminary's Theological Institute for The New Evangelization pose with Cardinal O'Malley, commencement speaker Providence auxiliary Bishop Robert C. Evans and seminary faculty and staff following the ceremony. Pilot photo/George Martell, Pilot Media Group
BRIGHTON -- The Theological Institute for The New Evangelization graduated 20 in their 2014 class of the Master of Arts in Ministry and Master of Theological Studies program at a commencement ceremony, May 22, the largest class in the program's history at St. John's Seminary.
Kevin Baril, Deborah A. Byrne, Deacon Peter Cote, Mike Cunningham, Stephen M. Gannon, Patsy Gillespie, Adriana D. Goodfellow, Sue Gormley, Constance June Kapitan, Jennifer Linnehan, Edith McDaniel, Katheryn McMillan, Dianne Mills, Paul E. Minear, Farzenah M. Najmabadi, Jane Rogers, Michael Patrick Ruane, and Ching Kin Yim received Master of Arts in Ministry (MAM) degrees.
Maria Cusack and Camille Mainardi received Master of Theological Studies (MTS) degrees.
"As graduates of this ministry program, you have now set your hand to the plow and cannot look back. The field which you have all come to plow, and in which to plant the Word of God, is in a very special way the secular world," said auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Providence, R.I., Robert C. Evans in the commencement address.
The ceremony also included talks and prayers from faculty, staff and one of the graduates.
As the director of the MAM program Aldona E. Lingertat introduced the class speaker, she commended the work of the class for their hands-on learning as they earned degrees.
"They have been involved in their parishes, in various pastoral ministries, in prisons, hospitals, nursing homes, college campuses, pro-life marches, and every apostolate," she said.
Michael Cunningham, a parishioner of St. Catherine's in Westford, spoke on behalf of the class of 2014.
"Now the time has come for us to take forth this knowledge and put it to good use," he said.
His wife, Sally Cunningham, said she was very proud of her husband and has appreciated expressing intentional Catholicism in her marriage over the years.
"It's a beautiful thing to be able to participate in everything we fully believe in together and to have our family with us as well, and to be able to share that with other people as well. We are very fortunate," she said.
Camille Mainardi, received her MTS degree and serves as assistant director of religious education at St. Malachy Parish in Burlington.
Her husband, Daniel Mainardi, said the Theological Institute and its professors are a blessing to his family, and his own work teaching at Pope St. John XXIII in Everett.
"I'm teaching theology, so it's a huge help for me. Getting involved in ministry we meet so many people. We want to do ministry for the Church and work for the Church, and we're meeting all of the people that we will be working alongside in this diocese," he said.