GREEN BAY — Bishop David Ricken will lead a Celebration Liturgy to Certify the Emmaus Program Ministerial Leaders on Sunday, May 3, 4 p.m., at Nativity of Our Lord Parish, 2270 S. Oneida St.
The ceremony, at which four lay persons will receive certification from the bishop, will mark the completion of their participation in the Emmaus Program, the lay ministry formation program of the diocese. The program is a joint effort of the Green Bay Diocese and Silver Lake College, Manitowoc.
The program is a three-stage process involving personal and spiritual experiences, academic studies and a supervised practice of ministry. It provides preparation in five basic areas to assist the pastor/pastoral leader: faith formation; youth ministry; pastoral ministry; liturgy; and parish business administration.
Those will be certified ministers this year are:
Nancy Baldschun, Faith Formation
Baldschun is the religious education coordinator at Prince of Peace Parish in Green Bay, which is her home parish. She also serves as an extraordinary minister of holy Communion. Nancy and her husband, Brad, have two sons: Alexander, 21, who will be graduating from Ripon College, and Nicholas, 17, a junior at Preble High School.
Molly LaFond, Pastoral ministry
LaFond, a certified spiritual director, owns her own business, Third Chair Spiritual Direction. Molly’s home parish is St. Francis of Assisi in Manitowoc, but she and her husband, Jerry, spend much time at their “away from home” church, St. Mary of the Lake, Lakewood and Silver Cliff.
She serves as a lector, extraordinary minister of holy Communion, altar server, choir member and usher at St. Mary of the Lake.
Sr. Regina Rose Pearson, OSF, Faith Formation
Sr. Regina Rose, who is originally from northeastern Arkansas, is a temporary professed sister of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity, Holy Family Convent, Manitowoc.
She is currently serving in various roles at St. Mary Parish, Omro, and St. Mary, Winneconne, including pastoral associate, youth minister, sacrament coordinator and catechist.
Sr. Regina Rose said she enrolled in the Emmaus Program to take a few classes that would help in her parish ministry. “As time went on, it was evident to me and my religious community that it would be beneficial to complete the program,” she said.
She found that networking with other lay ministers was one of the most beneficial parts of the program.
“These lessons have been invaluable to me over the past years and have empowered me to be better in ministry and leadership,” she said.
Sr. Regina Rose has already applied some of the lessons learned from her Emmaus classes to her ministry in Omro and Winneconne.
“I try to use what I have learned … by being more accepting of those I meet from different walks of life, by being more open to the thoughts, gifts and experiences of others and by having more of a servant’s heart for those around me.”
She believes active ministry “stems from a call by God,” and the Emmaus Program “aids in this preparation and strengthens each person to fulfill that call.”
“The Emmaus Program is a wonderful opportunity for those who are seeking to be ‘fully engaged and fully alive’ in their service to the church and in a life as Christ’s disciple,” she added.
Sandy Salentine, Faith Formation
Salentine is a member of St. Therese de Lisieux Parish, Stangelville, where she works part-time as faith formation coordinator for grades 1-12. She serves the parish as a lector, extraordinary minister of holy Communion and Scrip coordinator, assists with church decorating and is a member of the Christian Services and Time and Talent committees. Sandy and her husband, Wayne, have four children: Jeremy (Krisy), Christopher (Wendy), Eric (Megan) and Sadie; and six grandchildren: Lorelai, Jonathan, Riley, Kalista, Savanna and Addyson.
Salentine admitted that enrollment in the Emmaus Program was a stipulation for being hired as a religious education facilitator. “However, while attending the classes I found them to be enlightening and very interesting,” she said. “They also helped me to gain a deeper understanding of my own faith.”
She believes that the “wealth of knowledge” learned in her classes will prepare her for better leadership. “Having a better understanding of the history of the faith, to the many faces of Christ, to the different types of prayer, to moral and social justice issues, will help me give the students and teachers a better understanding of their faith and help them develop a close relationship to God.”