In an evening prayer service at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle on June 20, 2023 at 7:00 p.m., Bishop Emeritus Robert N. Lynch presented eight individuals with a Certificate in Lay Leadership Ministry. Bishop Lynch, substituting for Bishop Gregory Parkes, formally commissioned these students to serve in ministry leadership in parishes throughout the diocese.
The 2023 commissioning class represents four parishes from the diocese. To receive the certificate and be commissioned, the participants completed one year of discernment and three years of academic and spiritual preparation. In addition to the time spent in class, in the second year of formation participants spend 20 hours of Apprenticeship observation in a ministry outside of their parish. In the third year and final year, they initiate or enhance that ministry in their home parish as a Practicum in ministry. Some of the ministries that members of the Class of 2023 have been involved in include parish liturgy committees, welcoming to new parishioners, RCIA, RCIA adapted for children, sick and homebound outreach, Altar Server/Acolyte training, and human trafficking awareness.
Those who were commissioned, and their parishes are:
Gretchen Covine Ammons, Resurrection
José Orlando Colón, Resurrection
Joseph A. McEvoy, St. Thomas the Apostle
Mary-Chris Peterika, Espiritu Santo
Judi Helen Prinzivalli, Resurrection
Deb Reedy, Espiritu Santo
Denise Sanders, St. Paul, St. Petersburg