M.A. Theology Grads Honored

Recent graduates join diocesan personnel at a reception at the Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston. From left to right, front: Rosa Gomez, Beverley Madar, Mary Susan O’Keeffe and Nelsa Elias, Pastoral Institute; back: Rosemary Burchik; Gerald Tortorella, Pastoral Institute; Catherine Crimmins, Donna Spoto, Shirley Lascano and Sister Angela Gannon, C.S.J., secretariat for Catholic Education and Formation.

At a recent reception, the Office of Faith Formation and the Diocese of Brooklyn’s Pastoral Institute honored 11 people who completed their master’s degree in theology from St. John’s University, Jamaica, and the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Douglaston.

Those honored were Rosemary Burchik, Catherine Crimmins, Gladcia Drew, Marie Fouche, Rosa Gomez, Dawn Hewitt, Shirley Lascano, Beverley Madar, Steve McDonald, Mary Susan O’Keeffe and Donna Spoto.

The M.A. Scholarship Program was inaugurated in 2003 to prepare individuals for parish staff positions as directors of religious education, pastoral associates or youth ministers as well as other leadership roles in the parish or diocese.

These individuals receive a tuition grant from the Catholic Foundation of Brooklyn and Queens toward their graduate studies in theology.

Because they are sponsored by the diocese, the students also receive a tuition discount from the universities. Recipients have a choice to study at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, St. John’s University or Fordham University.

Besides their engagements in parish ministry, many of the graduates serve on their parish pastoral council, the diocesan pastoral council and as instructors and retreat directors in the Pastoral Institute’s lay formation programs.

The financial assistance of the Catholic Foundation of Brooklyn and Queens has provided immeasurable opportunities for the individuals in the M.A. Scholarship Program in theology. The diocese is experiencing the fruit of that endeavor in the lives and ministries of its graduates.