Following prayerful reflection and review of feedback from staff and deanery meetings, Bishop Michael Burbidge decided to create a Secretariat for Lay Formation, Marriage, and Family Life effective January 2016. Ministry areas within this Secretariat include: Marriage and Family Life, Respect Life and Social Concerns, Hispanic Ministry, African Ancestry Ministry, Youth Ministry, Lay Ministry, Catechesis and Faith Formation, and Native American Ministry.
The Secretariat has four Senior Directors who are responsible for the implementation of initiatives and projects within strategic focus areas, while sustaining the effort toward greater integration of our diverse and growing multicultural populations. The goal of this team is to strengthen the collaborative efforts within our offices to better meet the pastoral needs of our local Church.
Within the Secretariat of Lay Formation, Marriage, and Family Life, this leadership team provides resources and support to assist parishes as they minister to individuals and families of all ages and in every stage of their faith journey striving to live their Catholic Faith in the world today.
Focus Area: Children and Families
Mrs. Joyce Blum
As Senior Director of Children and Families, Mrs. Blum works toward the administration and implementation of a comprehensive approach to ministry for children and families, in an effort to support these as a vital part of our Church. Using the most current methods, Mrs. Blum administers and coordinates diocesan programs and initiatives, while extending effective support, training, and resources for parish leadership ministering to children and families. Mrs. Blum holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Technology from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a Master of Pastoral Studies with a Focus in Youth Ministry from Loyola University in New Orleans. She also holds a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership. Most recently, Mrs. Blum was the Director of Religious Education and Campus Youth Ministry at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic School in Apex, NC.
Focus Area: Youth and Young Adults
Mr. Michael Bayer
As the Senior Director of Youth and Young Adults, Mr. Michael Bayer is responsible for the implementation of a comprehensive approach to diocesan programs, initiatives, and policies related to adolescent, youth, and young adult ministry. Michael has earned both a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Theology and is fully bilingual in English and Spanish. Michael has previously served as the Director of Outreach and Education at the Newman Catholic Student Center at the University of Iowa and as the Director of Youth Ministry at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Focus Area: Married Life
Ms. Monica Martinez
As the Senior Director of Married Life, Ms. Martinez administers and implements diocesan initiatives and programs in support of the vocation of married life. In this role, Ms. Martinez provides pastoral support for parish leadership effecting sacramental marriage preparation and addressing current pastoral needs of married couples, such as marriage enrichment and other support programs. Ms. Martinez’s bilingual abilities and understanding of Hispanic culture add great value in this role. Ms. Martinez holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Communication from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Theological Studies in Marriage and Family Life from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute at the Catholic University of America. Most recently, Ms. Martinez was the Director of the Marriage and Family Life Office for the Diocese of Toledo, Ohio.
Focus Area: Lay Leadership
Mrs. Jacqueline Bonk
As the Senior Director of Lay Leadership, Mrs. Jackie Bonk oversees the implementation of programs, initiatives, and functions related to the ministerial needs and pastoral realities associated with adult laity. She works to develop, coordinate, and administer support and resources for parishes in their ministering to adults, including programs that enable parishes to prepare adults to work in specialized ministry. Mrs. Bonk holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Metro State College and a Master of Business Administration from Meredith College. Most recently, Mrs. Bonk was the Director of the Office of Human Life and Dignity in the Diocese of Raleigh.
In 2016, Bishop Burbidge also appointed Msgr. Joseph Ntuwa as the delegate to the African Ancestry Communities and Fr. Bill John Acosta-Escobar as delegate to the Hispanic Community. In these roles, they serve as representatives of the Bishop of Raleigh through planned pastoral visits to parishes and deaneries, and as a resource as we foster the diocesan vision of one Church while embracing the cultural contributions of these communities, always encouraging their presence and participation in the life and ministries of parishes and of the Diocese.