Eight complete Emmaus lay ministry formation

ALLOUEZ — Eight lay ministers from around the Diocese of Green Bay will receive certificates acknowledging their completion of the Emmaus Program for Ministerial Leaders, the lay ministry formation program of the diocese. The program is a joint effort of the Green Bay Diocese and Holy Family College, Manitowoc.

This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the celebration liturgy will not be held on its original date. “The Mass and blessing of certified ministers have been indefinitely postponed. We hope to reschedule that event as soon as it becomes possible,” said Jamie Whalen, lay leader formation director.

Emmaus is a three-stage process involving personal, pastoral and spiritual experiences, academic studies and a supervised practice of ministry. It provides preparation in five basic areas to assist the pastor/pastoral leader: faith formation; youth ministry; pastoral ministry; liturgy; and parish business administration.

Those who will be certified ministers are:

Javier Gómez, Pastoral Ministry

Javier has been married to Lorena for 17 years. They have five children: Ryan, 17, Chris, 15, Isabella, 10, Isaac, 10, and Alex, 9. He owns a marketing magazine that advertises for the Hispanic community. Javier is an extraordinary minister of holy Communion at his home parish, St. Willebrord, Green Bay, and is helping with the V Encuentro process. Javier has a big family and loves spending time with them, chatting and cooking.

Lorena Gómez, Faith Formation/Youth Ministry

Lorena and her husband, Javier, have been married for 17 years. They have five children: Ryan, Chris, Isabella, Isaac and Alex. She is a volunteer in Spanish faith formation, lector, commentator, extraordinary minister of holy Communication and V Encuentro parish coordinator at St. Willebrord Parish in Green Bay. She is part of the diocesan team for V Encuentro. Lorena enjoys spending time with her family.

Ashley Gordon, Faith Formation/Youth Ministry

Ashley is a member of St. Mary Magdalene Parish in Waupaca, where she wears multiple hats. She is known for her energy, creativity, love of Catholic theology and general disposition as a “Pollyanna.” A mother to her three children, Ashley was called by the Holy Spirit to be the coordinator of religious education, where she helps run a robust curriculum for high school students and sacramental preparation for confirmation candidates. Ashley also helps provide opportunities for a vibrant youth ministry. In her new added responsibilities, she will help advise as the liturgist at St. Mary Magdalene.

Jenifer Jensen, Faith Formation

Jenifer Jensen has been married to Mark Leafgren for 29 years and they have three young adult children: Ellie, Abby and Ian. Now in her sixth year as the elementary religious education coordinator for St. Raphael the Archangel Parish in Oshkosh, her favorite ministries, besides RE, are facilitating “Marriage in the Lord” retreats, being a FOCCUS marriage preparation couple and, for the past 10 years, leading children’s Liturgy of the Word. In the greater community, she is active as a neighborhood leader and part of the Oshkosh Neighborhood Alliance. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family, traveling with her twin and gardening.

Brittany Masak, Pastoral Ministry

Brittany Masak and her husband, David, were married on Jan. 10, 2020. She ministers as the adult discipleship and pastoral care coordinator for Kaukauna Catholic Parishes. Brittany is originally from Janesville, and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in theology and psychology from Holy Family College in 2012. Prior to ministering in Kaukauna, she worked in faith formation and youth ministry for several years. In addition to serving Kaukauna Catholic Parishes, Brittany works part time at All Seasons Coffeehouse. Brittany enjoys attending Broadway shows at the Fox Cities P.A.C., hiking and visiting local wineries.

Nancy Mueller, Pastoral Ministry

Nancy and husband, Mark, have been married 37 years and have four grown children and four granddaughters. Since leaving her job as a registered nurse, she has been a volunteer care coordinator for Holy Family Parish in Brillion. She also volunteers as lector, commentator and extraordinary minister of holy Communion. She also brings Communion to the homebound. Nancy assists with faith formation to high school students. In addition to helping manage her family’s dairy farm, Nancy enjoys reading, flower gardening and spending time with her family.

Tina Peirick, Faith Formation

Tina and her husband, Nathan, have been married for nearly 16 years and have four sons: Bryce, Alec, Brett and Chace. She is coordinator of religious education for middle and high school youth at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Neenah. A lifelong member of St. Margaret Mary Parish, she enjoys volunteering in eucharistic ministry roles for Mass and being part of the parish community. Tina enjoys traveling with her husband and sons and spending time with family and friends.

Jennifer Poehlmann, Liturgy

Jennifer and her husband, Mark, have been married for 18 years and they have two children: Emanuel and Lillianna. Jennifer has served the church as the liturgical coordinator for the Quad Parishes of Green Bay since 2015. She also participates in music ministry as choir director and accompanist. Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family and friends, sharing music with others, playing tennis and golf, cooking and volunteering.