I confidently turned to St. John's Seminary's Master of Arts in Ministry Program to seek the truth and knowledge for which I longed. Thus, began a fun, six-year journey.
I have always loved God and his Church -- imperfectly, of course -- but the love was always there. In my young-adult years, my love for him began to mature. In 2009, I began regular eucharistic adoration, a devotion that I had rarely experienced previously. I marveled at the fact that our Lord desired my company. Jesus Christ, truly and humbly present before me in the Eucharist, transformed my heart -- which I recognize now, a decade later.
By 2010, as my relationship with him deepened, I desired to know him more. I also felt a sense of responsibility to know better the Catholic Church, which he founded -- the Church I often represented to friends, coworkers and others. I confidently turned to St. John's Seminary's Master of Arts in Ministry Program to seek the truth and knowledge for which I longed. Thus, began a fun, six-year journey.
I had such a wonderful experience in the MAM program. Trekking to Brighton by bus or T for years was an absolute joy -- despite the weather and the work for my job that awaited me when I returned home -- because of what happened when I arrived. Evenings started with the Liturgy of the Hours and occasionally Mass. The community -- students, faculty and staff -- provided a warm welcome. Classes included a mix of subjects: Christology, Church History, Marriage and Canon Law, and a variety of practical ministry-related courses, all taught in an engaging and accessible way. For fun, I took a course through Loyola University of Chicago in Rome and another at the Theology of the Body Institute in Philadelphia and transferred the credits.
The MAM program provides not only academic formation but also spiritual formation, human formation and field education. My favorite part of the program was the monthly formation workshops. For the first two years in the program, the same group of students gathered together monthly for a meal and spiritual formation. This regular evening bonded us as a community, nourished us, and prepared us for mission. For the field education, we were encouraged to broaden our ministerial experience; I enjoyed my time at St. Francis House in Boston and Marian Manor in South Boston, as two examples.
During my time in the MAM program, the Lord gently invited me through prayer to consider a new path for work. Eventually, I took a leap of faith when leaving the corporate work, I had loved to explore what this invitation might mean. A year after graduating from the MAM program, I began working for the Secretariat for Evangelization and Discipleship at the Archdiocese of Boston. What a gift it has been to work for the Catholic Church I love. The St. John's MAM program provided me a solid foundation in evangelization and discipleship -- by the focus on prayer, by the fostering of community and one-on-one relationships, by the beautiful truth taught, and by the commission to share the Good News with others.
Rosemary Maffei is a 2016 graduate of the Masters of Arts in Ministry Program of St. John's Seminary.