Monday, February 15, 2010

Notre Dame: Terrific Theology Students

Good Monday to you all.

I wanted to write a bit more about my experience at the University of Notre Dame this past Friday and Saturday. I will pepper this posting with some photos I took while there.

19 students in the Master of Divinity program attended a two-day workshop on the RCIA, led by my good friend and colleague, Mary Birmingham (second from the left in the photo above) and me. When we do these kinds of workshops and institutes—sponsored by the North American Forum on the Catechumenate—the people in attendance are usually members of RCIA teams from parishes. We spend a considerable amount of time teaching them how to reflect theologically; how to take an experience of a rite and "unpack" it in such a way that the beliefs expressed in the rite can be unearthed and discussed.

It was such a pleasure to work with these theology students at Notre Dame; since they are immersed in theological studies, they were easily able to articulate the theology embedded in the rite.

As I mentioned in Friday's post, this group of young adults gave me so much hope. I earned the Master of Divinity degree (as part of seminary formation) in 1984. Many of these graduate students are nearing the end of their degree program and are on the job search. They are so eager to enter ministry. Part of me wishes I was back in a parish that could welcome one of these young adults as part of a parish staff. I will pray that they find ministerial settings that are meaningful and will help them to grow. As I said to them, it is the first full-time parish job that constitutes the "real school."

We celebrated our liturgies in the chapel at Moreau Seminary. Here's a photo I took on Saturday. The light coming through these windows is quite lovely.

I hope that your week has opened with hope and grace.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

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