Wednesday, May 13th, 2015 saw the last convocation for students of the Department of Theology of Assumption University. It was a bittersweet celebration for all of us. Our five graduates, from both the Windsor and Saginaw programs, well represented the over 150 grads who had gone before. They were part of a community of learners, rooted in Jesus Christ and His Church, made up of wonderful people, believers who experienced a call to more intentionally participate in the building of the reign of God and to educate and be educated for mission and ministry in the church and in the world.
This program began with a pilot project in 1992 because ecclesial lay ministers in the Windsor Essex area hungered for Theology courses to help them minister. Bishop Sherlock and then President, Fr. Ulysse Paré, CSB., were joined by a committee of Basilians, adult centre directors, a school board representative and a diocesan priest to develop the Institute of Pastoral and Educational Ministry for the diocese. The committee members were Fr. Bill Stoba, CSB., Fr. Michael Lehman, CSB., Fr. Jim Carruthers, CSB., Fr. Paul McGill, CSB., Mrs. Elaine Damphouse, Ms. Connie Paré, Mrs. Betty McCrindle, Fr. Tony Daniels. Sr. May Ann Flanagan, IHM and Anne Shore became the directors of the program and taught within it. Later on, Sr. Mary Ann became the director of the Saginaw branch of the program.
In 1996, we held our first convocation with Beverley Bryans and Sue Bitacola receiving their Certificates in Pastoral Ministry. On May13th, 2015, we held our last.
We are grateful for the many blessings and graces both received and given. IPEM/The Department of Theology continues on in the lives of its graduates and the many who have been affected by them. We thank God for the opportunity to have been part of something so wonderful.