BRISBANE schoolteacher Majella Deegan entered Brisbane archdiocese’s Foundations for Evangelising Ministry course to learn more about the history of the Catholic faith and came away with much more.
“The course brought to life the story of my faith, the history of God’s people,” she told those gathered at a March 13 ceremony for graduates of the course, developed by the Institute of Faith Education and run in partnership with Evangelisation Brisbane.
“I came to realise that ours is a faith story with incredible depth and passion and was able to recognise that I play an important part in this ongoing story.
Mrs Deegan, who is also involved in baptism preparation in her parish of The Gap, spoke of other skills developed as well as a heightened spirituality gained through the course.
“We developed skills of communication, organisation, the ability to invite people into our ministry and involve them in a meaningful way,” she said.
“We also learnt to encourage others to share their ideas, to appreciate each person’s contribution and perhaps most importantly of all, the skill of listening attentively.
“Finally, the shared prayer and prayerfulness of our sessions has helped and supported my ministry by contributing to my personal spirituality, and providing ideas and alternative experiences for future prayer sessions.”
Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge presented the awards at the graduation ceremony.
IFE director Dr Allie Ernst said the archbishop “had offered an engaging and insightful keynote address, focusing on the second anniversary of the election of Pope Francis and the freshness of his approach, leadership, and teachings, for example, Evangelii Gaudium”.
Dr Ernst said the course had been redeveloped as Foundations for Lay Pastoral Ministry for 2015.
“The course provides faith and leadership formation as well as a foundation for understanding liturgy and sacraments, ministry and mission, the Scriptures, theology and Catholic Social Teaching,” she said.
“For 2015, targeted practical ministry strands have been developed, focused on baptismal preparation, family sacramental preparation and formation for RCIA ministries.”
Another graduate, Michael Locke, also spoke at the ceremony on the value of the course.
Mr Locke, who works with adults preparing for Christian initiation, said the course has provided both depth and confidence in his RCIA role.
“I now pay more attention to how I can make my catechesis activity with candidates and catechumens a more engaging and a personal expression of my own faith journey, as well as having a more informed theological understanding of the Church’s faith content,” he said.
This year’s course, Foundations for Lay Pastoral Ministry, will begin in May.
For further information on this course contact the IFE on (07) 3336 9167, by email at email@example.com or visit the website, www.ife.qld.edu.au.