10 commissioned to assist with marriage cases

By: By Jennifer Willems

Translating something from English to Spanish isn’t just a matter of finding comparable words. It often involves explaining concepts that may be more difficult to understand than the language, according to Esmeralda Cruz of St. Hyacinth’s Parish, LaSalle.
On Saturday, she became the first bilingual notary-auditor to be commissioned for service in the Diocese of Peoria. Cruz said she is pleased that she will be able to use her training to communicate the church’s teaching about marriage, divorce, and annulments to the Spanish-speaking community and extend the church’s pastoral care to them.
Cruz was one of 10 notary-auditors commissioned for three years during a prayer service at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria on Jan. 24. Presiding was Father Jason Gray, JCL, judicial vicar of the Tribunal, who represented Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC.
Also making a profession of faith and taking an oath to observe the Code of Canon Law and maintain the confidentiality of their new office were:
Debora Breen of St. Edward’s Parish, Chillicothe; Deacon Lawrence and Patricia DeCapp of St. Mary of Lourdes Parish, Metamora; Carrie Harp of St. Mary’s Parish, Canton; Shaun Hermes of Holy Trinity Parish, Bloomington; John Mackoway of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Peoria Heights; Deacon Edward Mohrbacher of Holy Cross Parish, Champaign; Deacon Martin Van Meltebeck of St. Mary’s Parish, Kewanee; and Kristina Zehr of Epiphany Parish, Normal.
In addition, six notary-auditors were recommissioned for a period of six years. Seven others unable to attend were also recommissioned.
When those who have been divorced begin the process of seeking an annulment, the notary-auditor is usually the first person they will see. Trained in the canons relating to marriage and marriage cases, as well as Tribunal procedures, the notary-auditor can answer questions and get the necessary paperwork started, said Sister Marianne Burkhard, OSB, JCL, director of the diocesan Tribunal office.
She thanked those who are assisting in this work “for your generous, loving spirit.”
“One of the things we must always do in every moment of Tribunal work is to show love and charity to those we might encounter,” said Father Gray. “Of course it’s easier to say that than to do that sometimes, because we deal with some very difficult circumstances.”

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