The Annual General Meeting of the Institute for Pastoral Ministry was held on Friday 8th July. During this event certificates were awarded to 77 students who successfully completed courses offered by the Institute during the past year. These courses included the Award in Safeguarding of Minors, the Award in Liturgical Formation and the Award in Inclusion of Vulnerable People in the Community.
Amongst the speeches delivered was that by the Director of the Institute, Fr Noel Debono. He discussed the main scope of the Institute, that being to offer pastoral formation to members of the Diocese so that they may be better prepared to offer their services within the community. Fr Debono gave a brief overview of the courses that were offered this year, thanked all those who made them possible and concluded by giving an indication of the courses in the pipeline.
His Excellency, Bishop Anton Teuma, also shared a brief message whereby he expressed his satisfaction upon seeing the successful students and he compared his joy with that felt by parents as they see their children pursuing further education. Bishop Teuma continued to discuss the need that those planning courses within the Institute remain attentive to the needs of society as well as the importance of addressing current needs, amongst other things. He spoke of the reality of the impact of social media and of families and their wellbeing, a subject very close to his heart.
He mentioned a new course about the Bible which, together with another course on Morals, is being planned for the coming year. Bishop Teuma insisted upon the importance of such courses in light of the priority being given to the Word of God in the upcoming theme for the Pastoral Plan 2022-2023.
Another speech was delivered by the student’s representative, Mr David Grech, a leader of the Victoria Scout Group who successfully concluded the Award in Safeguarding of Minors. Mr Grech emphasised the importance of such a course in raising awareness about how dangerous situations can be recognised and avoided. He added that it is essential that such a course continues to be offered to educational and social entities as well as to parents. He also suggested that it may be worth exploring the possibility of offering such information to children as well.
This event also marked the launch of the Institute’s website, www.ipm.edu.mt, through which prospective students may access information regarding courses, apply online as well as eventually accessing academic material related to their course.
The event was held at the Nadur Teen and Youth Centre.