Bishop Noonan Commissions 15 Lay Ecclesial Ministers

Rose Tuttle of Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church prayerfully waited in the narthex of St. James Cathedral. The summit of a long journey of faith was about to be realized, as she, and 12 others were to be commissioned as lay ecclesial ministers (CLEM) in the Diocese of Orlando. Bishop John Noonan commissioned the men and women, representing 13 parishes, during the Rite of Commissioning and prayer service on Oct. 11 at St. James Cathedral. Two others were commissioned in absentia earlier.

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Rose Tuttle of Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church prayerfully waited in the narthex of St. James Cathedral. The summit of a long journey of faith was about to be realized, as she, and 12 others were to be commissioned as lay ecclesial ministers (CLEM) in the Diocese of Orlando. Bishop John Noonan commissioned the men and women, representing 13 parishes, during the Rite of Commissioning and prayer service on Oct. 11 at St. James Cathedral. Two others were commissioned in absentia earlier.

“This is the most beautiful moment,” said Tuttle, who is the coordinator of her parish’s Mother Sharing ministry. “It has been three years of a journey that has had its ups and downs, answering a call to the Spirit. It feels like everything is right with the world, that I am in the right place in this moment and the future will be as the Spirit leads. I am ready to embrace it all.” 

The public commissioning is the culminating event of a three-year journey for the laity of the diocese who answered a call to ministry, demonstrated leadership qualities within their parishes and organizations, and benefited from theological education and ministry formation. With the induction of this year’s class, more than 400 men and women have become Commissioned Lay Ecclesial Ministers in the diocese since the program’s inception in 1981.

During the prayer service, Bishop Noonan called on the newly commissioned to be the messengers of Jesus Christ, centering their lives in prayer.

“In your lives, prayer has to be the most important thing,” Bishop Noonan said. “If we are not people of prayer, how can we become messengers of Jesus Christ?  In order to be messengers of Jesus Christ, we have to know him in our very heart and our very soul.”

“Today as you come forward, as we come to recognize you, we call you to that authenticity of knowing, loving, believing Jesus Christ,” he added. “We ask you to truly become the messengers of Jesus Christ, the messengers that are called to bring forth God’s blessing to the world.”

“This is a joyous occasion in the Diocese of Orlando,” said Dennis Johnson, Jr., secretary for evangelization and family life for the Diocese of Orlando.  “Baptism enrolls all of us into ministry but these 15 leaders have taken that commitment seriously with additional formation, study, and practical application. We are grateful for their efforts and look forward to their years of service in their parishes.”

2014 Lay Ecclesial Ministers

The following individuals were commissioned Oct. 11:

  • Evelyn Bean, St. Stephen Catholic Church, Winter Springs
  • Jon Bean, St. Stephen Catholic Church, Winter Springs
  • Carlos Bernard, Blessed Trinity Catholic Church, Orlando
  • Manuel Castaneda*, Holy Redeemer, Kissimmee
  • Jim Cushing, Holy Family Catholic Church, Orlando
  • Russell Hoffman*, St. Peter Catholic Church, DeLand
  • Juan Mendez, St. Isaac Jogues Catholic Church, Orlando
  • Rosana Mourad, Corpus Christi Catholic Church, Orlando
  • Luisa Negret, St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, Kissimmee
  • Luis Padilla, Annunciation Catholic Church, Altamonte Springs
  • Nilsa Patterson, St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, Winter Park
  • Miriam Perez, St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church, Altamonte Springs
  • Margie Steinbarger, Most Precious Blood Catholic Church, Oviedo
  • Elsie Torres, Holy Cross Catholic Church, Orlando
  • Rose Tuttle, Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, Winter Park

* Commissioned, In Absentia