Notre Dame Echo program graduates honored at Mass

Author: Jenny Monahan

Echo Faith Formation seventh graduating class Echo Faith Formation seventh graduating class

A Mass of blessing and missioning for the seventh graduating class of the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Church Life Echo Faith Formation Leadership Program was celebrated Saturday (July 28) in the Holy Cross Chapel of Stanford and Keenan residence halls.

Archbishop Joseph A. Fiorenza, emeritus archbishop of Galveston-Houston, presided at the Mass for the 12 members of the “Echo 7” cohort, who were joined by families and friends to celebrate their completion of requirements for master of arts degrees in theology while serving as catechetical apprentices in parishes nationwide.

The graduates of the “Echo 7” cohort lived for the last two years in four communities serving in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and the dioceses of Manchester, N.H.; Wilmington, Del.; and St. Petersburg, Fla.

“It is inspiring to see the ways in which these 12 Echo graduates have grown over the last two years,” said Echo director Colleen Moore. “As our friend Father Paul Doyle says, ‘These folks give Jesus a good name.’ I am so proud of the ministers they’ve become and am grateful to the theology faculty, Echo staff, diocesan partners, parish mentors and spiritual directors who have helped form them into men and women who see and respond to their own and the world’s need for a love that heals, transforms and unifies. They will be such gifts to the diocesan offices, parishes, schools and universities they’re going on to serve.”

Echo, a two-year service and master’s degree program, was established in 2004 in response to the need for a new generation of well-formed and informed catechetical leaders. Today, Echo apprentices serve in 24 parishes across six dioceses. While studying for a master’s degree in theology, apprentices live in faith communities and are invited to deepen their relationships with Jesus Christ and the Church by participating in a rich sacramental life, ministry leadership, comprehensive formation retreats, personal and communal prayer, and required spiritual direction.

Echo graduates go on to pursue professional ministry in parishes, Catholic high schools and dioceses, to serve in collegiate and university campus ministry, and sometimes to continue their studies.

Contact: Jennifer A. Monahan, assistant director, Institute for Church Life, 574-631-9195,