Diocesan Gospel choir director honored for years of service as she retires

Photos by Renee Nix, Holy Cross Parish

Gloria Burton, director of the Diocesan Gospel Choir, retired earlier this year. At the African Heritage Mass held at Holy Cross in Durham, she was presented with a special recognition award by Bishop Zarama for her many years of service to the Diocese of Raleigh and to the AAMEN office. Equally important as acknowledging the time, in marking Burton’s retirement, the place in which she was recognized was also significant. Burton had also served as choir director at Holy Cross.

The distinct musical character of Holy Cross that Burton helped develop continues to shape its worship and ministries today. As Burton explained, “I tell the choir that they need to make the words they sing transfer to and touch people. We are worshipping and praising God through our music, which helps reveal him to us in amazing ways.”

Gloria shared her gifts to coordinate the music for the African Heritage Mass, provided the gospel music for the diocesan funeral of Monsignor Thomas Paul Hadden, the first diocesan African American priest and countless other AAMEN activities,” said Jennifer Jones, AAMEN & NAC Administrator. “Her musical talents will be missed; however, we wish her a happy retirement!” 

You can read more about Gloria Burton’s work in this earlier NC Catholics profile.