In the last month I've attended three very interesting and engaging training programs offered in the Diocese of Trenton. The first was a 5 hour class (hardly time to get more than an inkling on the topic) on Multiculturalism in the parishes. This is a new reality for many parishes, especially ours (Our Lady of Mt. Carmel and Holy Spirit in Asbury Park) or will be in the near future.
The next program was an all day session with Sherry Weddell, author of Forming Intentional Disciples and co-founder of the Catherine of Sienna Institute. Her work on getting to the depths of discipleship are having a major impact on parishes and dioceses around the country.
The third program called Evangelization 101 discussed and reviewed the challenge to the Church to be welcoming and inclusive to all its members. We need to look at our parishes as home to all disciples, like the mustard plant is home to all of birds.
Multiculturalism in our parishes will be a topic from time to time because it is so important and, afterall we are all sisters and brothers in Christ.
The Diocese of Trenton, as well as most dioceses, offer a lot of interesting training and continuing education classes and programs that engage all ages and interest levels. While deacons are required to experience at least 15 hours of continuing education each year, I believe everyone is able to find something offered that will help them on their journey of discipleship. How are we to follow our Lord's command to go and make disciples of all nations without being properly formed and informed in His teachings and in His Church.
Deacon Don Ronning