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Kohler receives certification


Mrs. Geralyn Kohler recently received her certification as a Catechetical Leader through the Diocese of Gaylord’s Center for Catholic Studies. She serves as Director/Coordinator of 6th -12th Grade Faith Formation Programming for the parishes of St. Ann in Cadillac, St. Stephen in Lake City, St. Theresa in Manton, and St. Edward in Harrietta.

Geralyn first enrolled in the Center for Catholic Studies in 1995 and completed the Discipleship Program in 1998.

“I did so, originally, at the encouragement of the St. Ann School Administrator at the time, Mary Anne Palacios, and the pastoral support of Fr. Bob Bissot,” Geralyn said. “ I wanted to learn more about my faith as an adult, primarily for the benefit of raising our four children in the Catholic faith. But soon the desire to grow personally, and the wonderful people I met in our diocese, had me hooked on adult learning. “

Geralyn had served as a parent volunteer for many years, but learning through the Center For Catholic Studies “instilled in me the vision of lay ministry and how my identity as a Catholic Christian was to overflow well beyond my own children.” She and the rest of her class who had completed the three-year Institute for Ministry program that year were “sent forth” by Bishop Cooney during a special liturgy in 1998. “But I didn’t know where that would eventually lead me,” Geralyn said. “After our youngest was in school I returned to work full time in a secular job, but I always wondered why I had so enjoyed the adult faith formation I’d had.”

In 2003, she was offered the job to coordinate the 6-12th grade Faith Formation Program at St. Ann in Cadillac by now-Monsignor Francis Murphy. He encouraged and supported her continuing formation and she formally enrolled in the Catechetical Leaders Tract as required by the Diocesan Certification Standards.

“The classes were wonderful introductions into so many aspects of our faith tradition,” Geralyn noted. “What I learned from them and those who taught them, along with my Spiritual Director, really nurtured a desire to go even deeper.”

Currently, Geralyn is enrolled at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in the Associates of Art in Ministry degree program. She is expected to graduate in the spring of 2013.

“I’m an advocate of lifelong learning and spiritual maturity, as I seem to be living that motto myself,” Geralyn stated. “The Center for Catholic Studies in partnership with the University of Dayton, will continue to be an avenue of personal growth for which I am grateful.

“My advice to others pursuing certification tracks through the Center for Catholic Studies is this: ‘Throw yourself into it and persevere, so others can be blessed by your experiences.’”

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