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Weekend Recognizes Importance of Lay Ministry

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“Love is the characteristic that must distinguish us as ministers. And I see such great love in the service rendered by lay ministers in this Diocese. But we can do even more.” Those were the words of the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge as he spoke to 80 lay ministers at a Celebration of Lay Ministry liturgy on Saturday, August 30 at Saint Raphael the Archangel Church in Raleigh. The day began with a Mass at which the Bishop recognized 12 lay ministers celebrating anniversaries of service:

  • Veronica Archambault, 30 years
  • Janice Bashore-Scott, 10 years
  • Marion Danforth, 40 years
  • Michael Ellison, 25 years
  • Pat Foran, 15 years
  • James Hynes, 10 years
  • Terri Kasopsky, retired after over 30 years
  • Joan Rose, 10 years
  • Cathy Rusin, 20 years
  • Mary Lynn Whittaker, 20 years
  • Dianne Young, 15 years
  • Gene Pipas, 30 years

Angela Flynn, Director of Music Ministry at St. Stephen the First Martyr Parish in Sanford, was also recognized for receiving her Master’s Degree from the Church Music Program at St. Joseph’s College in Indiana.

After a luncheon following the Mass, Bishop Burbidge met with the group for a dialogue on issues involving lay ministry and evangelization.

On Sunday, the Bishop marked the first Lay Ministry Sunday in the Diocese with Mass at St. Patrick Church in Fayetteville. The Bishop established Lay Ministry Sunday “to recognize in a special way those who serve as lay ministers in our Diocese.” In his homily, the Bishop pointed out that service must be rooted in thanksgiving and love. “The gifts we have are not ours because we deserve them. They are ours as a result of God’s graciousness and generosity,” the Bishop said. In sharing these gifts, he continued, “We give glory and honor and praise to the One who is the source of all good gifts.”

The Bishop said that “the love that compels us to offer our lives and to use our gifts without counting the cost is the same love that leads us to be faithful to God’s commands and ways.”

After Communion, Ms. Bea Callery, Diocesan Director of the Office for Lay Ministry Formation, thanked Bishop Burbidge for establishing Lay Ministry Sunday. “The best way we can honor Bishop Burbidge’s establishment of this Sunday,” Ms. Callery said, “is by continuing to serve God with love in our parishes, our churches and our communities; by collaborating respectfully with the Bishop, the clergy and all who serve alongside us; and by encouraging others to answer God’s call, so that they too might experience the joy of service.”