Associate Spotlight: Cheryl Archibald

What is your present ministry?

I can see God working in my life and using me for His glory. My "yes" has continued into my present work as parish life coordinator at St. Matthew the Apostle Parish.

What services do you provide?

As parish life coordinator, I am the pastoral leader of the parish, which “has the responsibility of administering and overseeing the temporalities of a designated parish, as well as participating in and giving pastoral direction to the parish,” according to the archdiocese’s definition.

According to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, there are approximately 566 persons in parishes where a bishop has entrusted the pastoral care of the parish to a deacon or some other person (e.g., a religious sister, religious brother, or other lay person).

How did this ministry start for you?

I had been working as pastoral associate in the parish for the last five years. The pastor and I started around the same time. With both of us being the new leaders for the parish, working as a team was the only way forward. Other than a few areas, we served the parish together. When the pastor was given a new assignment, the Jesuits asked if I would accept the appointment of parish life coordinator.

How have you been moved or enlightened in your ministry? What rewards do you see?

Martha and Mary is my signature scripture. I am such a Martha, but my pastoral work of journeying with our homebound members has given me the balance and reward that I so badly need. Just learning to “sit at the feet of Jesus” with others who have no choice but to be dependent on others has developed and enriched the Mary in me.

What challenges do you face?

The challenge I face is being well balanced and not overextending myself. I love what I do, but I need to make sure I get away and enjoy the other joys in life.

How does your ministry reflect our charism of loving unity?

An African-American lay woman in this position reflects a bond of loving unity between religious and lay—men and woman—black and white. I am required to serve for and with our church, which reflects all of these qualities and more.

The church needs us to build the Kingdom of God and lead our church in new ways. My hope for accepting this appointment is to chart the path for other women to lead our church in loving and nurturing ways.

Where can people go for more information?

For further information about my ministry, you may contact me at chirarch21@sbcglobal.net. To learn more about St. Matthew the Apostle Parish, visit our website at stmatthewtheapostle.org.