Annual Pathways to Ministry celebration honors catechists

Members of the diocese’s catechetical community gathered for the annual Pathways to Ministry celebration June 2, recognizing and honoring the accomplishments of faith formation teachers and leaders throughout the regions.

   Following remarks from Bishop Robert J. Cunningham, individuals were recognized for completing Level I and II Catechist Certification, Associate of Faith Formation Recertification and Director of Faith Formation Certification and Recertification; milestone service anniversaries and retirements were celebrated; and graduates of the Loyola Institute for Ministry program (LIMEX) were honored, as were individuals who completed advanced LIMEX certification.

   Sister Katie Eiffe Seeds of Faith Awards were presented to a certified catechist from each region. The awards, named in honor of the diocese’s former director of the Office of Faith Formation, recognize catechists who have completed at least Level I Certification, plan creative lessons, foster and support parents in their roles as primary catechists, show a commitment to ongoing formation and model the Catholic Christian faith and lifestyle. This year’s recipients were Maureen Wills from St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Oswego, Carola Tubbs from St. Patrick’s Church in Oneida, Mary Niemi from All Saints Church in Syracuse and George Barlow from Ss. John and Andrew Church in Binghamton.

   The fifteenth annual Bishop Frank J. Harrison Award was presented to Debra Krisher. Named for the seventh bishop of the Diocese of Syracuse, the award recognizes outstanding service in catechetical ministry and is presented to individuals who have significant length of service; mentor and encourage others; live the vision of Vatican II in ministry; witness to the importance of ongoing, lifelong faith formation for self and others; and stand in the midst of the people of God to serve.

   Krisher has served in catechetical ministry for more than 25 years, including ministry at St. Joseph the Worker Church in Liverpool, St. Margaret’s Church in Mattydale, St. Lucy’s Church in Syracuse, and for the last 15 years, at St. Augustine’s Church in Baldwinsville, where she is the director of Adult Faith Enrichment.

   In her remarks at the dinner, diocesan Director of the Office of Faith Formation Cathy Cornue quoted from a nomination submitted for Krisher, which described her as “a source of stability and strength to the parish when it would have been far easier to simply move on to a new chapter. She could have ‘taken her glue and gone home.’ Instead, she’s been a glue which reaches well beyond the catechetical ministries” in her parish.

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