At its 2012 Annual Conference held outside of Washington, D.C., the National Association for Lay Ministry (NALM) presented its Juan Diego Award to Sister Angela Gannon, C.S.J., secretary for Catholic Education and Formation of the Diocese of Brooklyn.
The award honors Sister Angela’s outstanding witness to the spirit and values embodied in the life of the lay minister, Juan Diego, the first saint of the Americas, and recognizes her tireless work and fervent advocacy for lay ministry on the diocesan and national levels.
In her current ministry, she supervises four major departments: the Office of the Superintendent – Catholic Schools Support Services; the Office of Faith Formation; the Diaconate Formation Office; and the Pastoral Institute, for which she served as director from 2000 to 2009. It was in this capacity that she was responsible for the development and implementation of programs for lay leadership formation.
Sister Angela’s previous ministry has included elementary and secondary education, parish ministry, and higher education. She worked for the diocese for many years and served as associate superintendent for Religious Education and Christian Formation.
At the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Huntington, L.I., she directed the Master of Arts in Theology program – a program specifically designed for preparing lay persons for leadership positions in their parishes and dioceses.
In June 2009, Sister Angela received the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal from Pope Benedict XVI for her contributions to the life of the Church and the formation of the laity. Sister Angela has also received an honorary Doctorate degree from St. Francis College, Brooklyn Heights, in recognition of her educational leadership in the diocese and Fordham University’s, the Bronx, Sapientia et Doctrina Award for service to the Church.
The award was presented on Friday, June 1, by Gerald Tortorella, director of the Diocesan Pastoral Institute and new vice-chairperson of NALM. The wording on the Juan Diego Award reads:
“The National Association for Lay Ministry proudly bestows its Juan Diego Award on Angela Gannon, C.S.J. for outstanding witness to the spirit and values embodied in the life of the lay minister, Juan Diego, the first saint of the Americas.”
NALM is a professional organization that supports, educates and advocates for lay ministers and promotes the development of lay ministry in the Catholic Church. Formed in 1981, it currently has 1,000 members serving across the country.