The diocesan Office of Lifelong Catechesis and Family Ministries is offering several opportunities for adult faith formation. Over the past few years, parishioners and clergy have identified their greatest priorities, including ministry with youth and young adults, marriage preparation and the need for learning opportunities that nurture spiritual growth. These priorities are reflected in this year’s Catechetical Enrichment Days, Pre-Cana Retreats and the upcoming installment in the Emmaus Retreat series on The Church. Additional programs are available as well.
Catechetical Enrichment Days are one-day conferences, offered in both Grand Junction and Pueblo. The theme for 2014 is “Cultivating Discipleship: Evangelizing and Integrating Youth into Parish Life.” This topic will inspire participants to view youth ministry as central to the life of the Church, rather than as a separate out of sight, out of mind “program.” What are the critical issues that will nurture a lifelong relationship with Christ and a sense of belonging in the Church?
The Catechetical Enrichment Day in Grand Junction will be on Saturday, September 13, at Holy Family School. The keynote presenter is Jim Beckman of YDisciple and the Augustine Institute in Denver. The Pueblo conference on the same theme will be held on Saturday, October 18, at Christ the King parish with Frank Mercadante of Cultivation Ministries.
Break-out sessions will be offered on the Blessed Virgin Mary, Catholic moral teaching, Church history, engaging youth through the liturgy, and religious education that focuses on the needs of the learner. Both keynote presenters will also offer break-out sessions on their work to evangelize youth in parish life.
Registration is currently open for the September conference in Grand Junction, and registration will open soon for Pueblo in October. Participants can register online by clicking on this link, or by downloading this brochure. The cost for the day is free, includes lunch, and all adults are welcome and encouraged to attend. Participants can also track the sessions they attend for diocesan catechetical certification credit.
Deacon John Tochi Nkwocha was ordained to the priesthood on June 20 by Bishop Stephen Berg.
Read about the diocese's newest priest in this short narrative he wrote prior to his ordination.
"My name John Tochi Nkwocha. Tochi is my Igbo name. I’m from the Eastern part of Nigeria and our language is Igbo. Tochi is a short form of Tochukwu which means “Praise God.” My parents gave me the name; I think they were filled with joy when I was born.
I hold a diploma in Latin from St Joseph’s Seminary, Ikot Ekpene, Nigeria. Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Psychology from Imo State University in Nigeria, Bachelor in Philosophy from the Pontifical Urban University in Rome, Bachelor in Religious Studies from Imo State University in Nigeria, Bachelor in Divinity from the Pontifical Urban University in Rome, Master in Theology - Pastoral Care and Leadership from Dublin City University in Ireland and diploma in Social Justice and Public Policy from Dublin City University in Ireland as well as a certificate in Clinical Pastoral Education.
I like drawing and painting, especially landscape. I like watching soccer, especially English Premiership League. My favorite team is Chelsea Football Club. I play badminton and basketball. I like to play Scrabble and chess."
Bishop Stephen Berg ordained Carl Wertin and Isaac Kariuki to the transitional diaconate on June 6 at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Pueblo. This was his first ordination as Bishop of Pueblo since his own ordination in February.
Carl Wertin, the son of Deacon Henry and the late Mary Beth Wertin, is from St. Francis/Our Lady of Guadalupe parish in Lamar and one of ten children. He is a graduate of Colorado State University at Pueblo.
Isaac Mungai Kariuki, the son of Charles Kariuki Mungai and Margaret Wanjiru Kariuki, is from Gaichanjiru Catholic Parish in Muranga Diocese in Kenya. He attended college at Queen of Apostles Philosophy Center Jinja in Uganda.
Both currently attend Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in Indiana.
St. Therese Catholic School in Pueblo graduated its largest 8th grade class in the school’s history. Bishop Stephen Berg celebrated Mass for students, families and staff on May 30. Of the 21 students, seven will be returning next year to be part of the school’s high school program.
The graduates are: Emily Bernard, Toni Catulli, Sydney Dawson, Arianna Gomez, Kevin Hughes, John Keating, Daniel Lira, Dylan Manns, Elisabeth Martino, Caleb McIntyre, Sean Meier, Sydney Parker, Lillie Perko, Jaydon Rangel, Alexa Rodriquez, Peyton Roth, Isabella Serena, Isaiah Serena, Yesina Silva, Stratton Velarde and Daniel Vigil.
By Blaine R. Wells
Our Lady of the Rockies, Knights of Columbus Council 11731 of St. Philip’s Catholic Mission awarded a $600 scholarship to Alejandro Alejandre on Sunday, May 25. This is the fourth year such an award has been given to a graduating senior of Cedaredge High School who is also a member of St. Philip’s. Alejandro is the son of Martin and Maria Alejandre. Alejandro graduated from Cedaredge High School on May 23. He is planning on attending Western State University in Gunnison next fall where he will have a double major in psychology and art education. Alejandro’s immediate goal is to become a school psychologist as he enjoys working with people of all ages. His long term goal is to earn a master’s degree and since Alejandro is bilingual he knows that he will be in demand.
Renowned musician and composer Father Jan Michael Joncas headlined this year’s study days held in Pueblo May 12 and 13. Speaking with him was Vicki Klima, a parish minister at Pax Christi Catholic Church in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Over 130 people attended. Study Days is an annual event that brings clergy and lay leaders from across the diocese together for days of study, prayer and fellowship.
Father Joncas, a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, MN, is the artist in residence and research fellow of the Center for Catholic Studies at the University of Saint Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he is also an associate professor of Catholic studies and theology. In addition to liturgical music, he has expertise in the history and theology of worship and theological aesthetics.
Msgr. Stephen Berg was ordained and installed the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Pueblo on February 27 in front of a packed crowd in Pueblo’s historic Memorial Hall. It was also televised on Pueblo’s local station and streamed live on the internet for countless others across the country to view.
The Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, or Pope Francis' representative, Most Reverend Carlo Maria Vigano, read the papal bull of Berg's appointment as bishop of Pueblo. Reverend Matthew Wertin, chancellor, presented the bull to the college of consultors of the diocese.