Bishop Dennis Sullivan presented certificates to lay men and women on June 21 in Hammonton, congratulating the 150 individuals who completed degrees in the Camden Diocese’s Lay Ministry Formation Program and are now ready to apply their skills to build up the church of South Jersey.
The occasion at Saint Anthony Church, of Saint Mary of Mount Carmel Parish, combined evening prayer with the conferral of degrees. Clergy, religious, family, and former and current Lay Ministry Formation students joined the 150 in support.
The degrees represented a culmination of the recipients’ hard work in classroom and online Parish Ministry/Catechist and Adult Faith Formation classes, either at Saint Elizabeth, Convent Station, N.J; Saint Joseph’s College of Maine; Georgian Court College, Lakewood, N.J; Villanova University; University of Dayton; the Church Ministry Institute of Camden (CMIC), or its equivalent for the Spanish-speaking community, Instituto de Ministerio Eclesial de Camden (CMIC).
Calling the evening a “celebration of church,” Sister Kathy Burton, SSJ, co-director of the diocesan Office of Faith and Family Life, noted that the ceremony, which recognized diverse individuals working and planning to minister throughout the six counties of South Jersey, “highlighted the strength of the church, in the collaboration between the clergy and the laity, and our primary, baptismal call” to spread the Good News.
Andrés Arango, Bishop’s Delegate for Hispanic Ministry, states that the celebration “was an important moment in the life of the Hispanic women and men receiving certificates for fulfilling their formation.”
“For so many members of the Latino community, this celebration allowed them to experience a sense of belonging to the church in the U.S. and also motivate them to continue serving their communities in South Jersey,” he said.
Arango added with joy, “it was beautiful to see so many Latino families together celebrating the formation accomplishment of their family members.”