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Sacred Heart Launches Webinar Series to Expand Career Services and Explore Volunteer Possibilities

Learn about Sacred Heart Major Seminary's new webinar series, "Sent on Mission From the Heart," which connects mission-driven students and alumni with Catholic organizations, schools, parishes, and non-profits in southeast Michigan.

by Karla Dorweiler

Sacred Heart Major Seminary has long been known for its sound formation in the Catholic faith, its strong academic programs, and its distinguished professors. Now the seminary will add valuable career services to the mix with an ongoing webinar series, Sent on Mission From the Heart.

The webinars, presented by Sacred Heart’s Institute for Lay Ministry (ILM), will connect current students and alumni with local Catholic organizations, schools, parishes, and non-profits for networking, volunteer, and career opportunities.

The first installment of Sent on Mission From the Heart was presented on May 9 by Natalia Gambin, Lay Minister Development Coordinator. The webinar featured representatives from Catholic Charities of Southeast Michigan (CCSEM) who highlighted areas in which volunteers and staff are needed in CCSM’s many programs and initiatives.

“Volunteering is a great way to build a resume while still taking classes,” said Gambin. “At the same time, we have many students with the goal to work for the Church upon graduation, whether it be teaching or church ministry. It’s important for us to offer ideas and data for what they can do with these degrees.”

The webinar series will be helpful not only to students and alumni but also to Catholic organizations as they showcase their programs and connect with enthusiastic volunteers and potential team members.

“Sent on Mission From the Heart is a webinar series created to meet the ministerial and vocational needs of our students and alumni. This is one of the primary reasons we wished to ‘lead off’ with Catholic Charities, to use a baseball analogy,” Dr. Kevin Clarke, Dean of the ILM, told Mosaic. “Some of the topics we have in store may be a bit more niche, but no matter who you are, if you are a disciple of Christ, as our students and alumni are, the works of mercy are part of your vocation.”

Mark Stepien, a 60-year-old Master of Art in Pastoral Studies (MAPS) student, was one of 32 students and alumni who registered for the seminar. He has been retired for two years.

“I’m discerning what God is calling me to in this next phase of life. I took the webinar to find out what’s out there,” Stepien said. “The breadth of available opportunities for Christian service is much broader than I realized.”

Stepien, who worked for U.S. Customs and Border Protection for 35 years, also sees the value of the webinar series for young people studying at Sacred Heart.

“I was a public servant, and now I see there are so many paths I could have taken. I think it’s good for young people to see that you don’t have to go into the business world if you don’t want to. You can serve God and still make a living,” said Stepien. “They also made a point of saying in the webinar that your education at Sacred Heart will imbue everything you do in your service and in your job. It’s a great reminder that what we learn will be applied to real-world situations in service of Christ.”

New Sent on Mission From the Heart webinars will be offered one or two times per semester, with no end date in mind as long as interest continues. Future topics may include interviewing and resume writing, vocational discernment, and panels featuring Catholic organizations similar to the May 9 webinar. Surveys will be sent to students and alumni to glean feedback and suggestions.

“These sorts of webinars are meant to be places where participants can ask their burning questions, whether those questions be related to vocational discernment or geared toward career or ministry. The webinars are also more practical and oriented toward the ‘next steps,’” said Dr. Clarke.

Dr. Clarke and Gambin encourage students and alumni to reach out to the ILM with ideas or questions.

by Karla Dorweiler

Karla Dorweiler

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Sacred Heart Major Seminary is a Christ-centered Catholic community of faith and higher learning committed to forming leaders who will proclaim the good news of Christ to the people of our time. As a leading center of the New Evangelization, Sacred Heart serves the needs of the Archdiocese of Detroit and contributes to the mission of the universal Church.