Lay Ministries Recognized during Year of Faith celebration October 10, 2013, WORCESTER, MA – On Friday evening, October 11, the Diocese of Worcester will hold a Lay Ministry Banquet at the DCU Convention Center in Worcester as part of the Year of Faith celebrations. Most Reverend Robert McManus, Bishop of Worcester, will greet and recognize lay people who have been selected by 25 parishes in the Diocese and the Catholic Schools Board. Msgr. James P. Moroney, rector of St. John Seminary, Brighton, MA, will be the keynote speaker.
This will be the fourth such Lay Ministry recognition banquet in recent history. Previous banquets include the Jubilee Year 2000, 2004 for the Year of the Eucharist, and 2009 during the Year of St. Paul.
As Bishop McManus noted in his letter to the pastors about the event, “While the overall year has been an opportunity to reflect upon the impact of the Second Vatican Council on the life of the Church, one reality of the Church’s mission that the Council vigorously promoted was the role of our lay people. As noted in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Chapter IV: ‘the laity can be called in different ways to more immediate cooperation in the apostolate of the hierarchy, like those men and women who helped the apostle Paul in the Gospel, working hard in the Lord.’”
Honorees include Mary Lou Anderson, Ph.D., Diocesan Catholic Schools Board; Iris Jennings, St. Joseph, Charlton; Cynthia Murphy, St. Denis, Douglas; St. Anna Society, , St. Anna, Leominster; Holy Family of Nazareth Founding Members, Leominster; Christine Baldiga and David Baldiga (posthumously) , St. Gabriel, the Archangel, Mendon/Upton; Aline Bourdeau, Our Lady of the Assumption, Millbury; Stephen and Jill Palmisano, St. Brigid, Millbury; Darlene M. Lavin, St. Joseph, North Brookfield; Eleanor Friend and Dan Carbonneau, St. Roch, Oxford; John and Susan Stone, St. Columba, Paxton.
Other honorees include Sharon Bushway, Carolyn Oberhelman, and Diane Trachimowicz, Religious Education at Prince of Peace, Princeton; Nick Todisco, Director and Catechist, along with Andy Cesnickas, Jaime Cesnickas-Doane, Tracy Flynn, Helena Gagne, Sarah Swift, and Ellie Smith, all catechists at St. Anne Parish Confirmation Team, Shrewsbury; “Christ Renews His Parish”, Blessed John Paul II, Southbridge; Sheila Grady, Mary Rice and Una Rice, St. Mary, Uxbridge; Ray and Jean Guerin, Sacred Heart of Jesus, Webster; Samuel and Mary Belluardo, Our Lady of Good Counsel, West Boylston; Stanley Skamarycz, St. Edward the Confessor, Westminster; Curt Fitzmaurice and Monique Connor, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Winchendon.
Worcester Parish honorees include Deacon Francisco Escobar and Fanny Escobar, Cathedral of St. Paul; Lee Morin, Immaculate Conception; Antoinette (Ginger) Rinaldi, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel-Saint Ann ; Mark and Lynn Lorusso, Sacred Heart-St. Catherine of Sweden ; Michael Pandolfo, Sheila Slik and Therese Murphy, St. Christopher ; Michele Belisle, Gerald Collette, Ann Collette, Michelle Deignan, Barbara DelGreco, Betsy Drake, Dolores Ginga, Pat Horgan, and John Horgan, St. Joan of Arc.
According to Bishop McManus, while this event will serve to thank specific lay ministers from throughout the Diocese, he hopes parishes will use this opportunity to encourage and support lay ministry in all parishes in order to assist pastors in their daily mission. He underscored the Council’s teaching in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, citing “Many benefits for the church are to be expected from this familiar relationship between laity and the pastors. The laity’s sense of their own responsibility is strengthened, their zeal is encouraged, they are more ready to add their strengths to the work of the pastors. The pastors, helped by the experience of the laity, are enabled to judge more clearly and more appropriately in spiritual and in temporal matters. Strengthened by all its members, the church can thus more effectively fulfill its mission for the life of the world.”
“It is fitting that on this 50th anniversary of the Council, and in this Year of Faith, that we reflect on how well lay ministry is helping us all fulfill our call to serve one another by virtue of our baptism.”