By Annette Moreira
Has it been three years already? My, how time flew by! As graduates, we celebrate three years of memories.
I still remember orientation day, “school” pictures taken, nervousness and excitement filled the air. The writing of our first essay…our second essay…our never-ending essays! The long nights and lost weekends writing our reflections, our dinners before class, our summer picnics and bible trivia games, the teasing and banter in class, the camaraderie we built through designing our ILM shirt, the sharing of our experiences of joys and sorrows, the sadness from the passing of Lerma’s dad, and of Gabe’s father, the jubilance in the birth of Joey and Chloe’s fourth child, the birth of Zaira’s youngest boy, and the coming of Maria’s nineth grandchild.
From classmates, we became friends, we became FAMILY.
Three years of learning Catholic theology, spirituality, and pastoral ministry, the institute taught us of God’s unconditional LOVE. We learn to live a humble posture of service to God and to each other. We are always reminded that it will require our greatest charity, patience, and acceptance.
On behalf of my fellow graduates, we say thank you to our pastors and parochial vicars. We appreciate your recommendations, and for seeing our potential.
To our professors, mentors, to Linda, and Zaira, thank you for sharing your time and knowledge, your kindness and encouragement.
To our families and friends, no words can express, no act of gratitude can relay, no gift can represent what your love and support mean to us. God bless you for always being there to cheer and to guide us.
And finally, to our beloved Bishop, Most Reverend Patrick McGrath, to Father John Hurley, and to Monsignor Francis Cilia, thank you for continuing this leadership program instituted by our first Bishop, Most Reverend Pierre DuMaine. Your shepherding and trust in your lay ministers in this great Diocese of San Jose is much appreciated.
In his recent apostolic exhortation, “Gaudate et Exsultate,” our Holy Father reminds us of our call to holiness. And Bishop, you have imparted to us the same counsel, to be human beings, to be kind, compassionate, not to judge, and to always lend a listening heart. We will do our best to recognize God in every person and event of our lives. May we serve this Diocese to the best of our ability, “Together in Christ!”