Theological College’s pastoral ministry program was instituted in 1971 under the leadership of Sulpician Father Jerry Brown. The program was one of the first of its kind in the country. More than fifty years later, it is still going strong, thanks to the mentorship of excellent supervisors. TC seminarians are placed at any of a choice of 28 different area parishes, three campus ministries, eight venues for direct service with the poor and vulnerable, two hospitals, and one detention center.
This year, 27 supervisors and support personnel in these ministries joined the seminary community for Evening Prayer and an annual banquet celebrating this collaboration with gratitude. In his homily, vice-rector and coordinator of pastoral formation, Father Chris Arockiaraj, highlighted the ministerial inspiration and pastoral accompaniment of two diocesan priests who had great impact on the people they served: the Guatemalan missionary, Blessed Father Stanly Rother, and the founder of the Knights of Columbus, Blessed Father Michael McGivney. He also highlighted the theme of pastoral accompaniment through the lens of the new Program for Priestly Formation (PPF).
As has become custom, two awards were bestowed at the end of the evening: the Direct Service to the Poor Award to the Little Sisters of the Poor in Washington, D.C., and the Fr. Jerry Brown, P.S.S., Pastoral Supervisors Award to Monsignor Walter Rossi, rector of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The award was accepted on Msgr. Rossi’s behalf by Fr. Mel Ayala (TC Class of 2010), Associate Rector and Director of Liturgy for the Shrine.