Ministry Formation Certifies 69 for Service
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
November 9, 2023
ROCKFORD—Members of the Ministry Formation class of 2023 — the 20th graduating class of the program — came together to be commissioned in their work on behalf of their parishes and the Church on Nov. 5 at the Cathedral of St. Peter.
The 69 graduates of the two-year program — offered for the first time this year in both English and Spanish — were supported by family, friends and several pastors who attended. Certificates were distributed to each person by Bishop David Malloy during the ceremony, which also included songs, readings and a homily.
“It is a contribution
to the Church.”
—Bishop David Malloy
Calling the event a “moment of real joy and satisfaction … and gratitude to God,” the bishop spoke of how their work is “not just a task that we’re carrying out. It is a service; it is a part of the calling that somehow God has for us …
“It is a joy, it can be a sacrifice, but it is a contribution to the Church.”
The need for “faithful, loving, humble servants who will serve their brothers and sisters,” he said, has been seen in the Church since its beginnings when laity began to help the apostles in their work. “In a practical sense (it is) the completion of the living out of the faith that Christ entrusted to the Church,” he said, adding that “because of the importance of that lay ecclesial ministry dimension, we have this ceremony of certification, of commission.”
Bishop Malloy also gave thanks for how “in a particular way, we really worked to establish a bond and have a greater degree of integration between the English and the Spanish in this (session’s) formation.” He called it “a deeply good thing,” counseling all to be “so aware of the unity that Christ prayed for … the night before He died.”
He encouraged participants to pay “a deeper attention, you might say, to your spiritual lives,” asking them to “draw closer to the Eucharist,” to realize that confession is “another opportunity to meet Christ (and) receive His grace,” and to pray the rosary including with family when possible.
“All of this,” he concluded, “is a part of the totality, (the) unity of what this task is that you’ve been called to … Our task is to be truthful, to be faithful, to be energetic, to be loving, to be humble, and then the rest will be the work of God Himself.”
A light reception followed the church ceremony where many gathered for pictures with Bishop Malloy individually or with family members.
The Ministry Formation Program is designed and administered by the Diocese of Rockford Adult Faith Formation Office. 
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