The Catholic Church in Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains has been blessed with 100 new liturgical ministers – lay people who can now take an active role in Masses and other liturgical celebrations in their parish.
The new Ministers of the Word, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and Ministers of the Altar were commissioned by Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, during Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta, on Thursday 27 May.
“This is a significant step in life, faith and discipleship where we serve the Lord and draw others to Christ,” Bishop Vincent said during his welcoming remarks.
“I offer my sincere congratulations and prayers for you as you exercise your ministries in your parish communities,” he said.
New ministers to be “humble servants of one another”
In his homily, Bishop Vincent said it was with “great joy” that he was commissioning the liturgical ministers, explaining that Pope Francis challenges us to be humble servants of the Gospel and to be “the sign, the sacrament of God’s love for the world.”
“I wish to acknowledge the spirit of Christian service which you seek to carry out in humility, patience and love.
“They say the proof of the pudding is in the eating. After all that is said and done, the quality of our discipleship must shine through.
“We pray that you may be ambassadors of God’s mercy and the faces of the Church that we believe in.
“Let us pray that as a community of disciples, we learn to be humble servants of one another.
“May the example of Christ who came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for others inspire us to be servants of one another, especially the least of our brothers and sisters,” he said.
Penrith parishioner takes on first parish ministry as Reader
Ahead of their commissioning, ministers complete the Liturgical Ministry Formation Course, run by the Diocese’s Office for Worship.
Dan, a parishioner from St Nicholas of Myra Parish, Penrith, who was commissioned as a Reader, told Catholic Outlook that this was his first parish ministry. He explained that he had thought about becoming a reader for some time.
“It was a very special day – it was so much more than I expected.
“I’m looking forward to being able to go back to my parish and try to let what’s important to me shine through and hopefully become important to other people,” he said.
Sky’s the limit for new Minister of the Altar
It was also a special celebration for new Minister of the Altar Belinda Da Ruos from St Madeleine Sophie Barat Parish, Kenthurst, who was literally jumping for joy following Mass.
“I’m so honoured. I just can’t wait to be able to minister communion to people and bring Christ to them,” she told Catholic Outlook.
“I want to be able to touch people’s hearts, and let them know that there is someone greater than us that loves them and will never leave them.”
Speaking on the Pope’s announcement, Belinda said it was a wonderful feeling and described how she’d love to serve the altar in every parish in the Diocese.
“I just want to keep serving, and I just love it.
“The sky’s my limit.”
The Liturgical Ministries Formation Courses start up again in August 2021. Keep an eye out on the Office for Worship website for more information about registration.
View images from the Liturgical Ministers Commissioning Mass here or below.