By Marnie McAllister, Record Assistant Editor
Four church workers recently have accepted new leadership posts in the Archdiocese of Louisville. And active parishioners are likely to encounter one or two of them in the coming months.
Sal Della Bella is now the director of the Office of Evangelization. This office was established by the archdiocese in response to directives from the recent Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization. The office is designed to coordinate evangelization efforts throughout the archdiocese.
Eva Gonzales has been named the director of Hispanic ministry, part of the archdiocese’s Office of Multicultural Ministry.
Martine Bacci Siegel is the new director of counseling services in the Office of Family Ministries. And Art Turner will become the director of faith formation in the Office of Lifelong Formation and Education.
Sal Della Bella, who served as the director of faith formation until accepting his new post, has worked in the archdiocese for 18 years in formation and education ministry.
He said in an interview on May 6 that he is excited about the “possibilities and opportunities” presented by his new role in evangelization.
“For me, evangelization is all about Jesus,” he said. “People, whether they know it or not, want what Jesus has to offer.
“People are searching,” he said. “I think people are hungry for mystery and hungry for meaning. They want to know why we exist, what’s their purpose. For me, faith is what provides answers to those things.”
Della Bella said his aim in the Office of Evangelization is to support parishes, schools and other archdiocesan groups “to be welcoming, evangelizing
communities where people can experience and deepen their relationship with Jesus.”
He intends to begin by highlighting what is already being done well, he said.
“And then we’ll begin to share those best practices with each other,” he said, adding that “there are really a lot of good things going on.”
Della Bella may be reached at the Chancery at 585-3291 or by email at email@example.com.
Eva Gonzalez, the new director of Hispanic ministry, previously served in a support role in the same office. She began working with the archdiocese while serving as a volunteer catechist at her parish, Annunciation Church in Shelbyville, Ky., several years ago.
“For me, formation is very important and I really enjoy it,” Gonzalez said in an interview last week. “I would like to see more formation for everybody.”
To that end, Gonzalez is carrying out ministries established by her predecessors and hopes to see these ministries expand.
The office currently offers formation programs for Spanish-speaking adults who want to become catechists or parish leaders. The office also provides retreats for teenage girls, the Quinceañera Retreat, and another retreat for couples preparing for marriage.
In addition, Gonzalez offers Spanish classes for those interested in Hispanic ministry. And special celebrations are planned each year for special devotions, such as the feasts of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Our Lady of Cobre.
“The archdiocese embraces the Hispanic community and I want the people to know that they are welcome to the life of the church,” Gonzalez said.
Martine Siegel, a clinical nurse specialist in psychiatry and a registered nurse, is the new director of counseling services for the archdiocese. She will also be the victim assistance coordinator for the archdiocese.
Her two-pronged position was created after the departure of Dr. Tom Robbins who previously led the counseling arm of the archdiocese. With the change in leadership, there will be some significant changes in services.
At the end of this month, the archdiocese will no longer provide on-site counseling services. Instead, it will provide referrals.
Siegel is turning much of her attention to elementary and high schools in the archdiocese. She wants to offer support to school counselors, as well as to parishes and archdiocesan agencies that might experience a crisis.
“I’m a resource for schools and parishes on mental health issues, sensitive issues,” she said during an interview last week. “I will support them any way that I can.”
As the victim assistance coordinator, Siegel will “meet with anyone who alleges abuse under the auspices of the church.”
Siegel most recently served as the pastoral associate at Holy Trinity Church and previously served as the school’s counselor. She has also served for 35 years as a triage coordinator for psychiatric services at Norton Hospital Downtown. It was a job she did at night for seven years (until last summer) to help fund Catholic education for her four children.
Art Turner currently serves as the pastoral associate for St. Stephen Martyr and Holy Family churches. He will begin his new position, as director of faith formation, June 1.
His relationship with the Office of Lifelong Formation and Education isn’t new, though. He has taught catechist certification classes in the Archdiocese of Louisville Ministry Institute (ALMI) and served as a facilitator in the Discipleship Program for several years. He will now lead the department that coordinates these programs.
“I’d like to continue the vision of that ongoing faith formation for all age levels that the diocese has had for a longtime,” Turner said in a recent interview. “Some people have asked about new classes for catechist certification, especially in Scripture. That’s something I’d like to explore.
“I’m also looking forward to working with Sal (Della Bella) in the evangelization office,” he said. “I’m looking forward to seeing what direction we go with that in the diocese.”