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Diocese Celebrates 2nd Annual Lay Ministry Weekend

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God’s call to Christian community was the theme of this year’s Lay Ministry Sunday in the Diocese of Raleigh, celebrated the weekend of August 29th.  The day acknowledges and affirms the ministry of lay women and men who work for the Church in parishes, regional offices and the Diocese serving God’s people.

The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge marked Lay Ministry Sunday with the celebration of Mass at Saint Eugene Catholic Church in Wendell, where he also presided over a groundbreaking for the parish’s new church building. (See story on St. Eugene Groundbreaking.)

In his homily, Bishop Burbidge noted how the theme serves as a reminder that “by our Baptism, we all share a common vocation, a universal vocation, to know, to love and to serve the Lord so that we might live with God both now and forever.” The Bishop pointed out that the Diocese looks for special moments to highlight particular vocations such as ordained clergy, religious life, marriage and single life, and lay ministry.

“It is a profound joy for me, on behalf of the Pastors and Pastoral Administrators, to extend a sincere thank you to all lay ministers throughout the Diocese for the countless ways you show your love to Jesus and His Church and the countless ways you enhance community in our Diocese,” Bishop Burbidge said.

The Bishop also commended the Saint Eugene Parish community, which is working together in the planned construction of a new church building. The Bishop, who presided at the groundbreaking for the new facility following Mass, said, “What a joyful day this is in the life of Saint Eugene and the Diocese.” He extended congratulations to all parishioners, living and deceased, who have been and continue to be a vital part of the Wake County parish.


On Saturday, approximately 60 men and women involved in lay ministry had attended their annual gathering, which was held at Saint Raphael Catholic Church in Raleigh. Father Robert Hussey, S.J,. Pastor of Saint Raphael, celebrated Mass for the group and presented gifts to individuals who recently retired, reached a milestone anniversary in Lay Ministry, or obtained an advance degree in ministry.

  • Teresa Aldahondo - retired 19 years of service
  • Martha Carter-Bailey - 10 years of service
  • Linda Bedo - Certificate in Spiritual Direction
  • John Bunting - 15 years of service
  • Aloise Burian - retiring 23 years of service
  • Elizabeth Edens - 15 years of service, Bachelor of Religious Education
  • Blanche Ellison - 25 years of service
  • Pok-Hui Folsom - 20 years of service
  • Ann Herring -  25 years of service
  • Barbie Izlar - M.A. in Pastoral Studies
  • Rick Miller Haraway - 25 years of service
  • J. Eugene Pipas - retiring 31 years of service
  • Lynn Sale - 25 years of service
  • Carole Sears - 25 years of service
  • Donna Smith - Certificate in Pastoral Studies

Above: Father Robert Hussey, S.J., Pastor of Saint Raphael Catholic Church, extending a blessing following Mass August 28 at annual gathering of Diocesan Lay Ministers in the Diocese.  

Below: Dr. Michael J. Fedewa, Superintendent of Catholic Formation and Education in the Diocese of Raleigh, participating in a discussion on Lay Ministry in the Diocese at Saturday’s gathering.