To attain the kind of success of which they dream, graduates of the Catholic Religious Education Development Institute (CREDI) were asked to commit to clarifying their purpose in society and to persevere.
Msgr Christian Pereira made the call at CREDI’s graduation January 18, at the Seminary of St John Vianney and the Uganda Martyrs, Tunapuna. The theme of the ceremony and his address was Purpose, Perseverance and Possibility.
Msgr Pereira suggested that something was lacking in the society as those who are seen to have succeeded “are unable to deliver the service and leadership the society continually longs for”. Some persons who are successful have great difficulty sharing the responsibility of serving.
Msgr Pereira, CREDI’s chairman, highlighted a different approach for the CREDI graduate in the society. As they strive to achieve personal goals, they were instructed to be aware of another “truth”: that goals cannot be divorced from the realities of their situation. “More important than achieving a goal is the ability to respond to a calling, to answer the need which your presence in society is calling on you to fulfil,” he clarified.
As an institution, CREDI also had to clarify its purpose, get back to its roots and realign itself. “We still long for the reality that allows us to embrace the real possibilities, and a true understanding of our purpose would enable us to be embraced by, and be together with, those for whom we exist,” Msgr Pereira said.
He ended by urging the graduates to persevere in times of struggle and remember to work with those they are commissioned to serve. He said, “Holding their hands, you will not only get to the top, but you will be able to realise the true purpose of getting where you are destined to go.”
CREDI Chief Executive Officer Simone Aguilera-Hay congratulated the graduates on their achievement despite varied goals and different starting points in their lives, as well as the long hours, challenges from assignments, and setbacks.
She also stressed that the CREDI graduate serves others, regardless of newly acquired qualifications, job title, pending promotion, or level of job satisfaction. Aguilera-Hay encouraged them to meet the day’s challenges by keeping at the forefront of their minds why they felt compelled to choose their career path—those “whose needs you intend to serve”.
‘Servant Leadership’ is one of the core values of CREDI and this will require many things. Aguilera-Hay advised, “remember these things if nothing else: always listen attentively and with empathy to those around you; show up for your commitments even when you don’t feel to because someone is relying on you; seek to develop others whenever the opportunity arises; and last but not least, be an example, be committed to serve the needs of others.”
She “officially” welcomed Archbishop Jason Gordon, thanked Msgr Pereira for embracing his role as CREDI chairman, and Fr Jason Boatswain, CREDI president, for “stretching” himself to accommodate the needs of the institution. Both were appointed last year.
Aguilera-Hay expressed gratitude to the faculty staff “for their continued commitment and unrelenting efforts to ensure our students got to this point”.
An opening address was given by Fr Boatswain and welcome remarks from Dr Launcelot Brown, Chair in the Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership of the University of Duquesne. Graduate Jason Le Andre, Bachelor of Education Guidance and Counselling gave a student reflection.
Thirty-two students graduated from CREDI. Diplomas in Pastoral Ministry: Caribbean Liturgical Ministry were conferred on five graduates and six others received Associate Degrees in Pastoral Ministry–Bible Study.
Bachelor of Education with honours degrees were awarded to 12 graduates who specialised in Early Childhood Care and Education (2), Guidance Counselling (3), and Special Education (7).
The Anthony Pantin CSSp award, Diploma in Pastoral Ministry: Caribbean Liturgical Music Studies, was presented to Marian Andrews for highest grade point average (GPA) 2017. Kesondae Ramsaroop got the Deborah de Rosia award for the highest GPA 2017, Associate Degree in Pastoral Ministry. The St Thomas Aquinas award, Masters programme Duquesne University went to Carla Greene who had the highest GPA.
Archbishop Gordon presided at the graduation Mass which preceded the awards ceremony. – LPG