Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
February 7, 2010
Called to Serve as a Young Adult Leader
By Angie Raddin*
It’s not secret that the Church in New Hampshire is going through a transformation. Without enough priests to maintain the status quo, things by necessity have to change. This does not have to be a crisis. If enough laity step forward and bring their gifts of energy, talent, and leadership to the table, this transformation could be a beautiful thing. So I am hereby calling all young adults to step forward. If you feel a little unprepared, I would like to suggest considering Called to Servant Leadership.
When the diocese first introduced the laity formation program, Called to Servant Leadership, I was intrigued but hesitant about the length of the commitment. It is a three-year program with classes held one evening a week during the months of September – May, and three day-long formation days. The first two years are mostly coursework and the third year is devoted to a ministry practicum. When a friend announced her interest in the program we decided to join together.
With almost two years down and one year left to go, I have a deep appreciation of my experience. In some ways, the program is nothing like what I expected. In other ways, it has exceeded my expectations. But one thing is clear; there are not enough adults taking advantage of this opportunity. As another participant recently said in class, “It’s great that we are learning all of this stuff but wouldn’t it have been great to know it earlier? I wish we could get more young people in here.” I couldn’t agree more.
The materials covered in class are basic but essential Church teaching. We explore scripture, liturgy, papal encyclicals, and canon law. The participants are from all age groups, education levels, and parts of the state. Since you attend every class with the same group from the start of the program until the end, you get to know these people, you become a community. However, these are all aspects of the program that I anticipated before I even went to the first class. What I did not anticipate, and am most grateful for, is the exposure to some of the great minds our local Church has to offer.
Our instructors have all been, if not experts in their field, well-qualified and excited about bringing the teachings of the Church to us. We have college professors, directors of diocesan offices, religious, campus ministers, and many others eager and prepared to engage us, and they are all here, in New Hampshire, actively engaged in their own ministry to the Church. These people know their stuff and they want to share it. I feel blessed that I am one of the people they get to share it with but more than that, I now see more clearly the landscape of our local Church
Our Church is going through some changes and there may be some bumps in the road ahead. Yet, my experience in the Called to Servant Leadership program has opened my eyes to the strength of our Catholic community in New Hampshire. It has deepened my faith and understanding of the teachings of our beloved Church. My hope is that more people of all ages will take advantage of this opportunity. I know that there are many young adults in this diocese motivated and capable of becoming leaders in our Church today because I have met you. Our Church needs us now, so it is time to step forward.
(*Angie is a graduate of Notre Dame College and works full time as a manager of a Mobile Home Park in Concord)