UNIVERSITY of NOTRE DAME

INSTITUTE FOR CHURCH LIFE

Mary Wright

Director of Children’s Formation • St. Ignatius Loyola Catholic Church • Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

How, when, and why did you get started in ministry?
I got started in Ministry 12 years ago because God called me to it. I was teaching CCE at my parish, had received my catechist certification, and the DRE approached me regarding a part-time position. I had to turn him down because of finances, but a year and a half later I had another opportunity and was able to quit my full time job to begin working at the church. I was excited about this for several reasons: I wanted to grow my faith; wanted to work with children in ministry; and I wanted more time at home with my own children.
 
What have been some of your favorite moments or experiences working with an apprentice?

Favorite experiences have been planning and brainstorming for class activities, retreats, etc. Working together during sacrament preparation has been a great pleasure.

What are some of the transitions or challenges you helped an apprentice to overcome?

Moving into a house when appliances were not working properly; offering friendship and advice when looking for a peer/social group; surviving a hurricane; staff changes.

What have you found helpful about the way Echo staff prepare apprentices for ministry?

The staff is very supportive. You take much effort in matching the apprentices and mentors so that they will be able to work well together. Although the apprentices have many questions and unknown factors when they arrive at the parish, the Mentor Weekend and opportunity to meet each other is very helpful. The mid-semester retreats and visits are also very helpful for the apprentices – as well as the ability to contact Echo staff when they have issues that need to be resolved.

What do you consider the lasting impact of Echo?

The lasting impact for our parish would be the sight of a young adult sharing his/her faith and enthusiasm for ministry with all they come in contact with. The greater impact is having confident, experienced catechetical leaders able to join parish and school staffs and share their enthusiasm and ideas enhancing their catechetical programs.

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