Immersion Day shares catechetical careers with students


Rania Saade, a teacher from Jesuit High School in Tampa, FL gives a talk on “Life as a Catholic School Teacher” (Photo by: by Daniel O’Loughlin).

“You must be his voice, you must be his arms, you must be his lessons,” exhorted the Rev. Louis Molinelli, SDB, to catechetics majors on Saturday, Feb. 16, at Franciscan University of Steubenville’s annual Catechetical Immersion Day.

Molinelli was one of several speakers invited to address catechetics students in order to give them insight into the different career options available to them. Students of all years attended the all-day event and listened to the perspectives offered to them by these many speakers.

After beginning the day with Mass in Christ the King Chapel, the students arrived at the St. Joseph Center for a light breakfast and opening announcements. From there, the future catechists were dismissed to three rounds of workshops with speakers from several different parts of the catechetical field.

“You really need to know yourself and your gifts,” reflected Franciscan University alumna Ann Lankford, now Director of Catechesis and Evangelization for the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin. Lankford gave some insights into her experience of working inside a diocesan office.

Tim Carpenter, another alumnus of the university, also shared similar insights into the life of a parish director of religious education.

In another session, Andy and Coreen Wagenbach, a married couple working in youth ministry together in St. Paul, Minnesota, discussed their experience of living as husband and wife while also sharing a mission.

Rania Saade, a Catholic school teacher at Jesuit High School in Tampa, Florida, shared about her career path as a theology teacher.

To round out the guest speakers for the day, Joe Buganski, a missionary from St. Paul’s Outreach, shared the great need and mission of campus ministry on college campuses. “College campuses are third world countries for spiritual poverty,” he said. Buganski emphasized how important it is for those working in this ministry to “authentically live what we say we are.”

The event concluded with a keynote from Molinelli on the life and teachings of St. John Bosco, the founder of his religious order. In reminding the students to always remember the importance of their field, he said, “We do what we do because of our vocation to serve the young.”