Lay Minister Spotlight – Suzanne Billen, Lay Minister

Christ Our Light Parish, Cherry Hill

Ministry:        Faith Formation Catechist, 25 years;

Liturgical Ministry Lector, 10 years

Institutions:  Georgian Court University, M. A. Degree in Pastoral Theology

Center for Ministry Development, National Certificate for Youth Ministry

Camden Diocese of Camden Certificates: Master Catechist, Liturgical Ministry

Personal Background:

Participant in Mitzvah Day Service Opportunity to Parish and Community

Certification for Studies in Pastoral Leadership – SPLC

NCEA Award for Commitment and Service to Catholic Education (1999)

Queen of Heaven School Award (1999)

Elementary and Pre-School Teacher

Wife, Mother of four Sons; “Grand” mom of six grandchildren

How did the Lay Ministry Formation Program prepare you for your ministry?

Lay Ministry formation guided me to believe that “My mission is to ‘listen first;’ for the ministry of Christ follows.” In listening first, the Holy Spirit opens my heart to understand and God will speak through my words and actions.

How has Lay Ministry molded you as a person?

Lay Ministry directed me with an outline to take stock of myself so I could realize the importance of my witness of the Presence of God to others. In so doing, the realization is made that “each one of us is sacred,” and brings a gift “package” intended to serve God’s intent for the world. I am here to help someone else to know God, who He is and what He has done.

What has been a “memorable” moment?

When the pastor signed the recommendation form so I can participate in the Lay Ministry Formation Program, it showed the pastor believed in me, had faith in me. His stamp of approval said, “I am capable, trust worthy, honest, responsible and inspired by the Holy Spirit.” My self-esteem skyrocketed to the heavenly angels.

Why would you encourage others to become a lay minister?

To fire-up your partnership with the Spirit for the common good of the Church and the world, to begin a journey to forge new ground to new relationships, and to gradually begin to see and feel a bond building with your pastor, classmates, sponsors, faculties, staffs, and bishop. These bonds expand your reach to fellow parishioners and the community, to build the kingdom of God here and now.

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