By Father Matthew Wertin
Two of the famous “Inklings” (an informal group of Oxford scholars who became friends), C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein, both born in the final years of the 19th Century, and both publishing their major works in the early 1950’s, continue to have their literature turned into Hollywood Blockbusters. This is quite a remarkable accomplishment in light of our highly stimulated, sound-bite, flash-mob, gadgets-galore culture. What they wrote still appeals enough to people to sell big. And what is it exactly they wrote about? Well, all the stuff that matters: sin and grace, human dignity and its perversions, all in the great struggle for redemption through the victory of good over evil.
In the first installment of the Chronicles of Narnia (the order of the books, not the movies), we come across a mighty queen whose vanity led her to witchcraft, which caused her to only notice those people who are of use to her, or else those who are getting in her way and thus need to be destroyed. Does that ring any bells? She causes all kinds of trouble in a world where a mighty Lion has, by song, created all things new, with various individuals unique in their personality (and role), though equal in their dignity. Our world is not much different, it seems.
The Office of Lifelong Catechesis will hold two Catechetical Enrichment days in the diocese this fall. The theme for this year’s Enrichment Days is “Cultivating Discipleship: Evangelizing and Integrating Young People Into Parish Life.” Two popular Catholic speakers who have extensive experience in the field of youth ministry will travel to the diocese to deliver the keynote remarks.
These are day-long opportunities of ongoing faith formation for catechists and adults. Through prayer and worship, keynote presentations, break-out sessions and fellowship, these days allow each area of the vast diocese an accessible means by which adult Catholics can grow in their ministry and life as disciples of Jesus.
By Deacon Dan Leetch, Bishop’s Pastoral Associate for Institutional Ministries
There are five major college or university campuses in the vast area of the Diocese of Pueblo. These are Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, with an enrollment of over 9,500 students; CSUPueblo, with an enrollment of about 4,500; Ft. Lewis College in Durango, with an enrollment of about 4,100, Adams State University, with an enrollment of about 3,300, and Western Colorado State University in Gunnison, with an enrollment of about 2,100. Each of these campuses has a campus minister assigned to aid students in continuing their practice of the Catholic faith as they work their way through college life. They are supported through the Diocesan Ministry Fund and a Catholic Extension Grant, as well as smaller private donations.
At each campus we strive to incorporate the six aspects of Catholic Campus Ministry as outlined in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops document Empowered by the Spirit. This document represents the capstone of the development that has taken place in Catholic Campus Ministry (CCM) in the past 100+ years, beginning with a petition from 300 Catholic students at the University of Wisconsin to their bishop to provide ministry to them in 1906. Fr. Henry Hengell was appointed by Archbishop Sebastian Messmer and the history of CCM at non-Catholic universities and colleges began.
In today’s CCM, each minister has the following goals:
1) Forming the Faith Community
2) Appropriating the faith
3) Forming the Christian Conscience
4) Educating for Justice
5) Facilitating Personal Development
6) Developing Leaders for the Future.
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.