Be A Lector or Eucharistic Minister!

Many things change in our lives when summer comes alongextraordinary-minister-of-holy-communion. More than just the temperature outside or the amount of kid’s homework, our very mode of being changes, our esprit de corps as we walk through a summer street festival or take in a sunny day.

Traditionally, a mild change in the life of Saint Andrew Parish occurs as well. We historically minimize the number of Masses on Sunday morning. This usually effects the 11:30 AM Mass.

But not this summer.

The main purpose of this pastoral letter is to announce that We will continue to have the 11:30 AM Mass this Summer. But stay tuned for the secondary purpose of this letter, it is important too.

A major contributing factor for us keeping the 11:30 AM Mass this summer is the unique circumstances we face. Within the last year, numerous priests have been assigned to assist Saint Andrew Parish. The role of an assisting priest is unique because he has ministry outside the parish which he must fulfill (hospital chaplaincy, diocesan tribunal, doctoral studies), but he is also expected to fulfill the role of leading Mass in the parish. We need to have the 11:30 AM Sunday Mass or we would not have the ability for each priest at Saint Andrew to fulfill their responsibility to the Church.

This is a gift to our parish for which we are grateful, but it also gives rise to the second purpose of me writing this letter. We are calling for more for help in serving at Mass as Lectors and Eucharistic Minsters.

A tome underlying this request is something that challenges us as Catholics. It is tempting to think that Mass is all about the priest. After all, he’s like the starting pitcher, he has the bulk of the words spoken during Mass, and is one of the most visible members. However, to hold such a point of view is contrary to what we believe as Catholics. A reanimated theme of Church teaching for the last 50 years (since the Second Vatican Council) is the aide-mémoire that the People of God – you and me – are co-responsible for the celebration of the Mass. We have important roles such that, without us fulfilling them, the Mass is somehow bankrupt of the intention behind them. The songs, the proclamations, the responses, the prayers, the giving, the encounters, all are incumbent upon the laity of the church in order to attain “full, active, and conscious participation” in the life the Church. (SC 14)

A much deeper conversation might be, “How to experience ‘full, active, and conscious participation’ in the very way we attend Mass?” But a certain reality as of now is that we do not have enough trained people to fill the necessary roles at Mass for the summer. Holding a Mass requires more than just having a priest, we also need lay ministers who can serve the church community.
So please consider stepping forward to serve in liturgical ministry for our parish. Here is how.

Step One: Pray about it and ask if God is calling you to serve. (Hint… He probably is)
Step Two: Put in your schedule a plan to attend one of the following training meetings:

Potential Lectors: 7 PM on either Thursday, June 2 or Tuesday, June 7
Potential Eucharistic Ministers: 7 PM on either Thursday, June 9 or Tuesday, June 14

Step Three: Contact the rectory at 773-525-3016 or email christinaomalley@saintandrewchicago.com to let us know about your interest in attending one of these meetings.

To fulfill these roles on a normal basis, an individual should be above the age of 14 and a confirmed, practicing Catholic. We’d especially invite high school students and young adults to consider volunteering.
-David Heimann, Pastoral Associate

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