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Pastoral Ministry Formation Program to begin

One class designed to break down language barriers,

another to examine roles of the laity

As the Pastoral Ministry Formation Program (PMF) of the Diocese of Dodge City opens its virtual classroom doors for another season, program organizers hope that one of the classes being offered this year will help break down the barrier between English and Spanish-speaking Catholics.
“Pastoral Spanish for English Speakers” will be presented from 6-8 p.m., Sept. 26, Oct. 3, 10, 17, and 24 and Nov. 7, by Mercedes Helms.
“The course is to help pastors, parish staff, catechists, and lay ministers learn some words, phrases, and sentence constructions so that they will be able to communicate basic information in Spanish…,” said Coleen Stein, coordinator of the PMF program. Learning a new language can be intimidating, which is why Helms does not suggest that the course will make the student fluent in Spanish. The class includes a small booklet with a number of words and phrases designed specifically for ministerial work.  
Helms, a native of the Republic of Panama, is a pastoral minister at Prince of Peace Parish in Great Bend. She also serves as a Command Spanish Instructor for Barton County Community College.
Also being presented this year is “Theology and Methods of Ministry,” which will take the participant on a tour of different roles of the laity in ministry.
Presented by Father Robert Schremmer, Vicar General of the Diocese of Dodge City and pastor of St. Andrew Parish in Wright, the course will be offered from 8:30-Noon on Saturdays, Sept. 25, Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30 and Nov. 6, 13, and 20.
For those who have wanted to get involved in the Church but don’t know in what capacity they could serve, the class will offer several ways in which the laity can become involved in ministry.
“This course offers a foundational theology of ministry rooted in Baptism,” Stein said. “Particular focus will be given to the role of the laity in ministry, and various types of ministry will be explored. This course provides experience and formation to enable the student to learn a variety of ministerial skills.”
All PMF classes are presented through the Interactive Television Network (ITV) system in association with Newman University.
Participants of any PMF class can attend courses at one of several sites throughout the diocese via ITV, where they can communicate one-on-one with the presenter. Classes can be taken for personal enrichment or college credit.
The goal of the PMF program, which is open to any adult with a desire to learn more about their faith, is to help people become stronger witnesses and, if they choose, pastoral ministers for the Diocese of Dodge City.
“Pastoral Ministry Formation provides solid grounding in theology to empower the laity to become increasingly responsible for the life and ministry of the Church,” Stein said. “It strives to equip the participants for fulfilling the roles to which they are called by their baptism and for which their gifts and the needs of the times challenge them.”

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