Viterbo University Strides Magazine Online

Collaboration Benefits the Laity

A charter class of 16 graduates of the Viterbo-Diocese of La Crosse collaborative Pastoral Education Program (P.E.P.) were honored in a ceremony on campus April 21 during the First Biennial Conference on the Laity.

The conference provided a forum for the students, who had earned 26 credits in the program, to present their research on topics as far ranging as Aging Spirituality to Humor in the Church.

According to coordinator Tom Thibodeau, “This program has really had a positive influence in the diocese. Most of the participants already have prior experience in ministry and are committed to deepening their understanding of their faith while developing competencies in ministry.

“The program is designed as a communal project so that students take all their courses together forming a cohort which prays, studies, and interacts together,” Thibodeau added.

Participants in the P.E.P. took two years to complete the program. Another cohort class is starting up. Classes are held on weekends at St. Joseph Parish in Black River Falls.