Elizabeth Julian rsm
2 December 2011
Two more graduates of the Diploma in Pastoral Leadership were among 37 students who graduated from The Catholic Institute of Aotearoa New Zealand Te Pūtahi Katorika ki Aotearoa.
The diploma is a requirement of the lay leadership training programme, Launch Out.
The ceremony at Sacred Heart Cathedral on November 30 also acknowledged the completion by 18 students of the Master of Educational Leadership from the Australian Catholic University.
In his homily Archbishop John Dew asked the students what their vision was in terms of how they would use their study and qualifications for the service of the Church. Remember the Vision for the Catholic Institute speaks of formation, ‘as members of the People of God and their roles in the mission of the Church’.
If Jesus’ mission was to announce news of liberation, ‘Your study forms you for the mission of the Church … even if you have [just] studied for interest, any such gift of God’s is for the good of others.’
Two graduates, Dietmar Muck and Megan Meulenbroeks offered a personal reflection on what their study had meant to them.
Scientist, maths teacher at Rongotai College and Diploma in Religious Studies graduate, Dr Muck, said the Catholic Institute provided a fertile environment to combine faith and reason and the opportunity to encounter a Catholic teaching deeply different and much more diverse than the image portrayed by the media.
‘The opportunity to study in depth the documents of Vatican II, enables us to learn about a much richer, more modern and much more vivid church, than the one I at least thought I knew.
‘As Catholics we have a great heritage of wrestling with ourselves to gain a better understanding of God. And of course, to whom much is given, much is expected.
‘But what does hard work and sacrifice necessitate? Well above all humility.
‘One must be willing to lean on others, to listen and to learn from others.’
Reflecting on challenges and benefits of study at the Institute, catechetical studies graduate Megan Muelenbrooks said she didn’t really have much of an idea of what she was signing up for at the start of the year.
‘None of the educational experiences I have undertaken prior to this Certificate have had the ability to change the way in which I perceive myself as a religiously located person – a Catholic.
‘Having cause to consider what Catholicism means to all of us, past, present and future, is a critically important element of what we have learnt throughout this year. It is clearly crucial for us as future teachers because we could not attempt the huge task of supporting students on their journeys of faith if we were entirely lost on our own.’