On Tuesday evening, September 29, our staff — from the Archdiocesan Office of Lifelong Formation & Education (OLFE) — hosted our annual Catechetical Appreciation Dinner. This event was held at the Flaget Center.
A main feature of the evening, as with similar annual celebrations, was the chance for OLFE Faith-Formation staff to honor all persons within the Archdiocese of Louisville who have achieved an Associate Catechist, Advanced Catechist, Master Catechist, and/or RCIA Coordinator Training certificate, during the last 12 months, to enhance their catechetical knowledge and skills.
A high point during this element of the evening was the announcement of Roncalli Award winners for this academic year. This Archdiocesan award is named after St. John XXIII (Cardinal Angelo Roncalli) who convened the Second Vatican Council. The award recognizes key persons who, through years of faith-formation endeavors, have been led by the spirit of Vatican II to spread the faith through various types of catechetical ministry.
The three Roncalli recipients identified for 2015 were Rev. Terry Bradshaw, Ms. Margaret Ann Underwood, and Ms. Mary Waskevich.
Many of those who were honored with certificates or the special awards were accompanied by family members, parish co-workers, and/or school faculty colleagues.
A special feature of the Appreciation Dinner this year came next through introductions and recognition of all recipients of either a Masters Degree or Continuing Education Certificate (in Pastoral Studies or Religious Education), over the past 10 years, through the LIMEX program. LIMEX is an acronym for the Loyola Institute for Ministry Extension program. It is implemented through collaboration between the Archdiocese and Loyola University New Orleans.
In addition, all adult students currently pursuing LIMEX graduate degrees and certificates, and their group facilitators, were invited to be guests at the dinner. They were likewise recognized for their efforts aimed at advanced ministry education credentials.
In the absence of Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, who was in Rome preparing for the upcoming Synod, the main speaker on the Appreciation Dinner agenda was Thomas Ryan, Ph.D. — Dr. Ryan is the Director of the Loyola Institute for Ministry in New Orleans. He spoke to attendees about “The Joy and Challenge of Pope Francis.”
Following his presentation, Dr. Ryan, along with the Archdiocesan Director of Faith-Formation, Art Turner, acknowledged four very recent recipients (all from the Louisville metro area) of Loyola degrees and certificates through LIMEX.
Picture: Taken immediately following the Catechetical Appreciation Dinner, on September 29, this picture includes some of the LIMEX alums and current Loyola students within the Archdiocese. Also pictured are the LIM Director, Dr. Tom Ryan (front, center), and the Archdiocesan Director and Associate Director of Faith-Formation, Art Turner (red shirt) and Butch Ekstrom (blue shirt).
Congratulations from OLFE, once again, to all who received awards and recognitions at the Appreciation Dinner of 2015.