The National Association for Lay Ministry (NALM) will present its Spirit of the Conference Award to Gerald Tortorella, director of the Pastoral Institute for the Diocese of Brooklyn, at its 41st annual conference in Indianapolis, Ind., June 1-3.
The honor recognizes an outstanding person that exemplifies, through his or her life and ministry, the spirit of the annual conference theme for their service on behalf of lay ministry.
Tortorella has been responsible for overseeing the lay formation programs of the diocese since 2009. He has a master’s degree in theology from St. John’s University, Jamaica. Prior to joining the Pastoral Institute as the associate director in 2007, he worked in business as an employee benefits consultant for 27 years.
He was a member of the board of directors of the National Association for Lay Ministry from 2010 to 2016, serving as vice-chairperson, 2012-13 and 2013-14. He currently serves as chair of the Membership Committee and as convener for the regional representatives.
Previously, he served on the Publications Committee.
He also will be honored by the Pastoral Institute on May 18 at its commissioning of lay leaders as he retires from his current position.
Tortorella and his wife Maria recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. They have two children and four grandchildren. For the last 35 years, they have been active members of St. Andrew Avellino parish, Flushing, often serving in ministry together. They have been involved as lectors, extraordinary ministers of Communion, RCIA team members, part of the adult faith formation team and as members of the liturgy committee, among other roles.