Women only lay pastoral leaders and mentors

Launch Out and mentors

A photo of candidates for this year’s Launch Out for lay pastoral leaders shows a lot of smiling faces.

But not one of them is a male.

There have been 38 candidates going through the the Archdiocese of Wellington’s lay leadership programme since 2002, including this year’s six; fewer than originally hoped for.

Established in 2001, Launch Out is the formation programme for lay leaders in the Wellington Archdiocese. It prepares candidates to be lay pastoral leaders or lay ecclesial ministers.

The programme, where participants work around their other activities, can last four to eight years.

Its three-strand formation entails candidates receiving formal spiritual direction, undertaking theological study, currently through Te Kupenga, and preparing and presenting pastoral projects within their own parish.

Launch Out mentors are essential: the NZ Bishops Conference says the pastoral element of formation requires this.

Candidates at various stages of their formation are undertaking various roles in parishes, as chaplains or as Catholic Centre staff.

The Archdiocesan-prepared and led programme fulfils a Catechist’s formation requirements. These requirements are specified in Pope Francis’s Apostolic Letter instituting the Ministry of the Catechist in “Antiquum Ministerium”.

The training doesn’t enable a candidate to become a Catechist. The Launch Out website cautions that this requires a special installation from the Bishop that guarantees graduates have gone through the prescribed formation to carry out the responsibilities of a Catechist.

Launch Out’s March Newsletter introduces the six new candidates and their mentors.

Pictured in the image above are – first row from left: Bridget Taumoepeau (Pastoral Mentor); Maya Bernardo (Manager); Telesia Alaimoana, Bernadette Patelesio. Second row from right: Cecily McNeil (Pastoral Mentor), Lisa Beech (Graduate), Susan Apathy (Pastoral Mentor), Margaret Bearsley, Vicky Raw, Jude McKee, Cardinal John Dew and Catherine Gibbs (Pastoral Mentor).


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