The Institute for Leadership in Ministry English Class of 2017 started out as more than 30 students. We came from various parishes here in the Diocese of San Jose. From the beginning we had to agree and sign a learning covenant. Could we meet the challenges and live up to the covenant? As we advanced through the various courses we saw some of our classmates leave the Institute for various reasons. One of our classmates, Sharon Irving, passed away suddenly in our second year. She was a dedicated faithful classmate and friend. Others have had medical and physical problems. We as a group have had our struggles yet here we are today.
The ILM has a very comprehensive curriculum and the best instructors that are well prepared and challenging. In one of our recent courses the instructor said to us, “We are not the stars of the movie.” What a tremendous insight. We are gathered here today to be acknowledged for the work we completed, but really the class of 2017 is here to say thank you to you the Diocese of San Jose for supporting us in so many ways. Financially, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And isn’t this what our Catholic Community is about? Without your generosity in all these areas none of this would be possible.
The Class of 2017 is already active in many different ways in their parishes. Lectors, sacristans, home ministries, liturgy committee, Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, scripture study, religious education, youth ministry, altar society, greeters, finance council, social justice and the list goes on. You can look at your own parish bulletin and see what it takes to run a parish. We are here to serve you so please utilize us. We came unsure of what ILM would mean to us, but we are leaving here today ready, willing and desirous to serve our community with love.
These past three years have helped each one of us grow in knowledge and faith. In addition to that, we have made wonderful friends who have been supportive to one another. We would like to say a special thank you to Bishop Patrick McGrath, Linda Cunha-Ricchio and Zaira Martinez-Robles. On behalf of the Class of 2017 from the Institute for Leadership in Ministry, we are grateful for all your support and we look forward to serving you for the greater glory of God. May God Bless you.