Irving, TX (05/25/21) — The University of Dallas honored 130 parish ministry leaders and deacons for completing certificate programs through the Ann and Joe O. Neuhoff School of Ministry at a special Commencement Liturgy and Graduation on Saturday, May 22. Held one week after the 62nd annual Commencement ceremony for the university’s academic degree graduates, the special Neuhoff event was held to accommodate both 2020 and 2021 graduates, since the pandemic prevented an in-person celebration last year.
“We are here today together to first of all thank God and to celebrate the achievements of our brothers and sisters,” said the Rev. Rafael Ramirez, S.S.D., principal celebrant. “Let us celebrate this Eucharist by thanking God and for especially committing ourselves to being better disciples.”
Indeed, as Fray Luis Gerardo Arraiza, O.F.M. Cap., noted in the opening homily, “The University of Dallas remains a beacon of light for the Diocese of Dallas.”
Seventy graduates from nearly 40 parishes in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and across the country were honored for completing the Certificate in Pastoral Ministry and 45 for completing the Catholic Biblical School program in English and Spanish. Additionally, 15 men who completed the six-year diaconate formation program were honored.
Effective June 1, 2021, the Ann and Joe O. Neuhoff School of Ministry will transform into the Ann and Joe O. Neuhoff Institute for Ministry and Evangelization. Non-degree continuing education programs in English and Spanish will continue to be offered through the Institute, while academic degree programs, such as theology and pastoral ministry, will be offered through the Constantin College of Liberal Arts and the Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts. The change was announced in February as part of a comprehensive, university-wide restructuring plan: University Announces Restructuring Plan to Set Course for Growth.