Saint Paul Seminary’s Catechetical Institute celebrates 269 Pillars Program graduates

catechetical institute pillars program graduation 2023
The Saint Paul Seminary’s Catechetical Institute celebrated the graduation of 269 students from its Class of St. Joseph Pillars Program class.

Herb Brooks and hockey. Growing Jesus’ kingdom and St. Joseph.

The connection between the late United States 1980 “Miracle on Ice” team and University of Minnesota Hockey coach and the foster father of Christ were made apparent by Saint Paul Seminary instructor and renowned catechist Jeff Cavins at this year’s seminary Catechetical Institute graduation Mass.

When Brooks was building the U.S. hockey team, he said “‘I’m not here to assemble all of the stars, but I’m here to build the best team that I possibly can,'” Cavins said. “‘I want to bring the people together who will make up that great team.’

“You have become part of a team. … We’re part of the Kingdom of God. As we leave here and go out to our parishes and our schools and our jobs, it’s the agenda of Jesus, the will of Jesus, that we want to live out in our lives.”

Cavins founded the Catechetical Institute in 2008. Since then, more than 2,000 lay Catholics have graduated with a new understanding of the Catechism and how to share their faith with others.

Cavins spoke afterMass at Transfiguration in Oakdale, Minnesota celebrating 269 graduates of the 14th class in the institute’s Pillars Program. Each Pillars class takes on the moniker of a patron saint, and this year’s was christened after St. Joseph.

Fittingly, Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Williams of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis celebrated the liturgy.

“Be bold,” Williams, an alum of The Saint Paul Seminary, encouraged the graduates during his homily. “To whom much is given, much will be required.”

Bishop Michael John Izen, fourteen priests, two deacons and five seminarians helped Williams lead the Mass. The evening honored graduates from eight parish locations around the Twin Cities.

The group of grads even included Williams’ mother.

“I want to share the Good News of God’s love for us,” said graduate Candy Huncovsky. “The graces that I continue to receive and my growing relationship with the Holy Spirit have helped me to fulfill by baptismal call to holiness.”

Another group, from the Catechetical Institute’s Des Moines satellite location, graduated May 22.



Catechetical Institute 2023 Class of St. Joseph

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