Two area residents will be commissioned as pastoral ministers in the Diocese of Allentown during a ceremony scheduled to be held on Sunday, May 16, in the Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena, Allentown.

Barbara Braun of Weatherly and Del Rey McArdle of Nesquehoning are among 28 people from the five-county area who will be commissioned by the Most Rev. John O. Barres, Bishop of Allentown.

A pastoral minister is a person responsible for a specific area of pastoral duties, such as visitation of the sick or Rite of Christian Initiation, parish outreach and the like. A pastoral minister is under the direction of the pastor, pastoral associate or other pastoral member.

Each of the 28 people to be commissioned has completed a three-year ministry formation process offered by the diocese's Institute for Lay Ministry, which exists to educate, form and qualify committed laymen and laywomen to fulfill their baptismal call to service.

The commissioning will bring to 178 the number of people commissioned as pastoral ministers in the diocese. Sixty-five other persons are currently enrolled in the formation program.