DALLAS, TX—In tribute to her national leadership in catechesis, Maria Sedano received the F. Sadlier Dinger Award from the noted publisher of religious education and Catholic school texts and resources on May 22.
Sedano, who is the Director of the Ministry Formation Institute for the Diocese of San Bernardino, has authored articles and books on catechesis, adult formation and Hispanic ministry in her many years of service to the Church.
“Reflecting on how you have supported and furthered catechesis across the country, you clearly deserve this recognition,” reads the letter from Company President William Sadlier Dinger, “…your example and service have helped lead countless people to a closer relationship with our loving God.”
Before taking leadership of the MFI in 2014, Sedano served as Director of the Office for Catechesis and Youth Ministry in the Archdiocese of Chicago and Director of the Office of Religious Education in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, among other noted positions.
Sedano said her call to catechetical ministry first came about when national Catholic organizations did not have adequate outreach to Hispanics, and particularly the Spanish-speaking. While she has been part of great advances in serving Hispanic Catholics, Sedano said, in reflecting on her award, that the same challenges exist today with other cultures.
“There’s still a lot of work to do,” she said. “We need to open the path for leaders and ministers from other cultures and languages that still are not included in the “main” ministries of the Church. It is imperative that we open the way for young adults of all languages and cultural groups, invite and prepare them to ministry and form them to hold leadership positions in our Church.
“I am just very grateful to God for the opportunities He gave me to be at His service and at the service of His people!”
Sedano received the award at the annual gathering of the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership (NCCL) in Dallas, Texas on May 22. She has previously served as president of the NCCL.
Under Sedano’s leadership, the MFI has become a full department of the Diocesan Pastoral Center. In addition to the Parish Ministry Formation Program (PMFP) and Coordinator of Ministry Formation Program (CMFP), the two primary elements of the MFI, a new bridge program to prepare students for the CMFP has been added. Other new expansions of the MFI program will be announced over the summer.