Diocese Celebrates Five Decades of Lay Leadership

By Theodore Musco

Fifty years of lay leadership in the diocese was celebrated with a grand gala at Roma View this fall. In attendance were, from left to right, Theodore Musco, secretary for Evangelization and Catechesis in the diocese; honoree Michael McGovern; Bishop Raymond Chappetto; Msgr. Sean Ogle, whose parish was honored; Msgr. Joseph Malagreca, whose parish was also honored and honoree Jennifer Baptiste. (Photo courtesy Theodore Musco)

Close to 200 people gathered at Roma View in Howard Beach to celebrate the 50th anniversary of lay leadership in the Diocese of Brooklyn this fall.

The evening was planned by the staff of the Secretariat for Evangelization and Catechesis to highlight the importance of missionary disciples and missionary disciple parishes, an ongoing effort to promote the call to “go and make disciples.”

The purpose of the celebration was to honor two missionary disciples, Jennifer Baptiste of Our Lady of Refuge parish, Ditmas Park, and Michael McGovern of Our Lady of the Snows parish, N. Floral Park; to honor two missionary parishes, Holy Cross in Flatbush (Msgr. Joseph Malagreca, pastor) and Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Astoria (Msgr. Sean Ogle, pastor) and to raise funds to support the master’s degree scholarship program of the diocesan Secretariat for Evangelization and Catechesis.

Father Joseph Gibino, chair of the 50th anniversary committee, paid careful attention to all the details, and worked closely with the Secretariat staff members as well as other collaborators to make the evening truly memorable.

Outstanding Service, Leadership

Although two individuals and two parishes were honored, Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Chappetto, vicar general, noted that all gathered were honored as well for their outstanding service and leadership.

The theme of missionary discipleship is an ongoing one for the secretariat. This event built upon many others that have been held recently in the diocese, namely the Diocesan Assembly on Evangelization and the Celebration of the V Encuentro at St. John’s University in April; the Magnificat Day held at Kings Theatre on Oct. 6, and the Women’s Conference held on Oct. 23 at St. John’s University.

These have been a few of the opportunities for people of all ages and walks of life to gather to share the Good News and “put out into the deep.”

The Church is truly stronger and richer because of the contributions of so many over the past 50 years. But let’s remember the contribution of lay people and clergy alike over the entire history of the Church, for 2,000 years.

Let this celebration be a reminder to all of the importance of sharing our faith, not with hesitation, but with joy.

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