I have been a member of Saint Anne for over thirty years—part of the Liturgy Department for over twenty and part of Fr. Bernie’s Core Staff for three.
I have a certification in liturgy from the Diocese of Chicago. During this time, I have been inspired by the dedication of our over 450 liturgical ministers – Mass Coordinators, EMs, Lectors, Altar Servers, Ushers, Greeters, Choir Members and Instrumentalists.
I remember quite a few years ago when we had a blizzard on Ash Wednesday. Many churches in the area cancelled their liturgies; we did not. We worried that not enough Ministers would show up to serve the people who would come. We need not have worried. They knew they were needed, so they came. They may have been snow covered and bedraggled, but they were here and they were smiling.
I have seen Altar Servers hurry out of the pew and run to the sacristy to vest when they see we are short of servers. I remember one year at the last Mass on Easter Sunday, a young adult, who had retired from serving several years before, saw no servers in the procession as it lined up. He jumped up, ran to vest, grabbed the cross and served. He knew he was needed.
This year, due to Holy Week coinciding with Spring Break, no Server Captains, who carry the large wooden cross, were available for Holy Thursday. I asked someone who had retired from serving if he would consider serving and acting as Cross bearer; he knew he was needed and said yes.
Also, this year, one of our Lectors signed up to lector at two Masses. He and his wife were on vacation and were coming home on a Saturday. When they got to the airport, their plane had been overbooked. They were offered $1,500.00 to give up their seats and fly home Sunday. He said they looked at each other and he said, “I have to go home; I am needed.”
I have Mass Coordinators who have volunteered to serve at two Confirmation Masses in one day and also two First Communion Masses in one day. I have another Mass Coordinator who comes in almost every day during Holy Week to help prepare for all the liturgies.
I am grateful to all of our Liturgical Ministers for all that they do. They know they are needed, and they respond YES.
I especially want to thank Susan Doody, Joe Abbate and Marcia Stevens for all that they do.