One of the great rewards of being in the ministry of handing on the faith is that one has the opportunity to celebrate catechists and other adults who achieve great milestones. Last Sunday provided one of those opportunities as the Archdiocesan Catechetical Office celebrated the graduation of 46 men and women from the New York Catholic Bible School program. Thirteen of them earned advanced certification in scripture study, meaning that they completed a grueling four-year study program and encountered every single book in the Bible. The other 33 earned basic certification and most are signing up to return for the next two years.

This was the 18nth annual ceremony for the Bible School program, which was started here in the Archdiocese of New York in 1999 by Sr. Joan Curtin, CND, director of the Catechetical Office, and Dr. Ann Marie Wallace, director of the Center for Spiritual Development. More than 750 people have graduated from the program. During the past year alone, the Bible School program hosted nine classes at sites throughout the archdiocese; more will open in the fall

 We are grateful to the Rev. Robert J. Robbins, pastor of the beautiful Church of Our Saviour in Manhattan, which hosted the graduation. Thanks, too, to Paul J. Murray, the parish music director, and cantor Eric Sorrels for providing a beautiful setting. Several of the instructors, who have master’s degrees in scripture or a related field, were present to cheer on their students. Several pastors attended as well

Most of all, however, we thank the men and women who came to 30 two-hour classes each year after a day at work, did additional hours of reading and other assignments each week, and studied for exams at the end of each 10-week trimester. This is no lightweight program. It requires real dedication, time, and energy, but it provides important knowledge, especially for catechists as they hand on the faith

Are you interested in an in-depth study of the Bible? Do you want to be part of a community (no more than 20 people per class) that prays, shares, and learns together? If so, be sure to visit our New York Catholic Bible School website today