On Friday, September 20, 2019, the Archdiocese of Chicago celebrated Noche de Gala, the annual celebration of Hispanic ministry. This year was an occasion to recognize a sample of the outstanding efforts of various groups to bring vitality to the life of the local Church of Chicago. Among the groups recognized as the Instituto de Liderazgo Pastoral of the University of Saint Mary of the Lake.
Cardinal Blase Cupich personally presented the Saint Stephen Award for Formation to Director Nelly Lorenzo. Present with Nelly was the staff of the Instituto, along with Sister Kathleen Mitchell, from the faculty of Mundelein Seminary.
“We are very proud of the Instituto” said Fr. Thomas Baima provost of the University, who was also present at Noche de Gala. “The catechetical leader certificate, administered by Instituto, will directly benefit the parishes and support the efforts of Renew My Church by providing women and men with the needed competence to coordinate religious education which contributes to parish vitality.”
Father Baima also commended Nelly and her staff for reinventing the Instituto to keep pace with the times. “The needs of the Hispanic community are different in 2019 from what they were in 1982. ILP has a comprehensive approach, from lay leadership, to catechetical leadership, to diaconate, and to ongoing formation serving all areas of Hispanic ministry. More than simply a program in Spanish, the Instituto follows an integral methodology consistent with Hispanic culture.”
The uniqueness of the Instituto de Liderazgo Pastoral can be recognized in its growth. Having the largest enrollment of the several schools and institutes at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake, to date ILP has graduated 1600 pastoral leaders from five dioceses and 133 parishes. Additionally, 150 deacons are graduates of ILP.
We congratulate Nelly Lorenzo and the staff on this fine accomplishment.