Deb Popielarz named Vicariate Liaison and Coordinator of Lay Ecclesial Ministry

SAGINAW – Deb Popielarz has accepted the position of Vicariate Liaison and Coordinator of Lay Ecclesial Ministry for the Diocese of Saginaw. Her appointment to this ministry is part of the ongoing diocesan re-envisioning process, initiated by Bishop Robert Gruss. The hope of the re-envisioning process is to position the diocesan offices to better support the people and parishes across our 11 counties.

In her new position, Deb will be the human bridge (or connection) between the resources of the diocesan offices and an assigned vicariate, its parishes and lay leaders with respect to pastoral resources. As a Vicariate Liaison, Deb will have direct parish contact, including attending assigned vicariate meetings, listening to and assessing needs within and among vicariates. 

As coordinator of Lay Ecclesial Ministry, Deb is responsible for working with all parish leaders to draw forth individuals who are being called to adult lay ecclesial education. During formation, lay minsters deepen their knowledge of the Faith, their commitment to Our Lord Jesus Christ and service to the Church. Deb will be responsible for bringing in qualified and dynamic instructors; ensuring full participation in all components of the lay ministry formation process: theological, spiritual, pastoral, human and ministerial; ensuring all requirements are met for individuals seeking (re)commissioning; she will provide on-going opportunities to grow, including retreats, seminars and assemblies. She is also responsible for regular communication with parish leaders in hopes of fully utilizing the gifts and talents of each lay ecclesial minister under her care.

Deb is highly familiar with the lay ministry program, having served as a lay minister for the last 24 years. She has been ministering in the Office of Liturgy for the Diocese of Saginaw for the last four years and previously managed the Diocesan Book Nook in the Center for Ministry. In these roles, she encountered many people from across the diocese. She is looking forward to moving into this new ministry and continuing to cultivate and grow these relationships.  

Deb and her husband, Ed, have two grown children and one grandson. She is a parishioner at St. John Paul II Parish in Carrollton, where she is active in liturgical ministry as a sacristan, server, Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion and Proclaimer of the Word.  She serves on the Worship Commission and she and her husband are co-ministers of the parish’s pre-marriage prep ministry.

Deb will transition into her new role effective September 13, 2021.

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