Thursday, September 16, 2010

Comissioned Lay Ministry and Evangelization

I was blessed last Sunday to celebrate in the rich tradition of Commissioned Lay Ministry here in the Diocese of Saginaw. This formation program, began by my predecessor, the Most Rev. Francis F. Reh (the fourth Bishop of Saginaw) in 1978, has proven to be a true gift to the people of this local church. 

I was honored to commission eight men and women for the first time. Congratulations and thank you to Joanne Dana, Terrie DeWaele, Pamela Kahler, Linda Oeschger, Loretta Puvalowski, Denise Ryman, Robert Stoma, and Wallace Tenbusch - the Class of 2010. In addition, 50 others re-committed themselves for another three years and 17 men and women were granted permanent status as commissioned  lay ministers. 

In my homily at Sunday's Mass at the Cathedral, I challenged our commissioned lay ministers to grow into the evangelists our Church so dearly needs today. I truly believe that we need to develop our programs, attention and sight on our brothers and sisters, who, for whatever reason, are no longer worshiping with us. If we are truly missioned and commissioned to preach the Good News, then to whom better can we do it than our brothers and sisters who have lost a sense of the power of the Lord Jesus Christ and the grace of the Sacraments in their lives? Where could we do any better work than that?

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