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Stewardship is alive and well at St. Joseph’s Church, Ellinwood

Editor’s Note: The following was presented in the July newsletter, “The Spirit of St. Joseph Parish (Ellinwood), and Immaculate Conception Parish (Claflin).”  It is reprinted with permission

By CURTIS WOLF
Bishop John B. Brungardt recently emphasized the Four Pillars of Stewardship: hospitality, formation, prayer, service. The following is part of a series presented by St. Joseph’s Parish highlighting parishioners who give their time, talent, and treasure. Although the Mass is led by a priest, there are many parts of the liturgy that require lay ministers.

Following is an interview with Eucharistic Minister, John Clayton:
Curtis Wolf: What do Eucharistic Ministers do at St. Joseph’s?
John Clayton: Eucharistic ministers assist the priest with distributing the Holy Body and Blood. They are also responsible for caring for and cleaning the vessels after Father has purified them.           
Some of the Eucharistic Ministers also are responsible for taking Communion to Woodhaven [Care Center], the hospital, and the home bound. A schedule for Eucharistic Ministers is put out each month. Most Eucharistic Ministers are scheduled to serve about one weekend Mass each month.
C: How does one become a Eucharistic Minister? J: Parishioners can indicate their interest in being a Eucharistic Minister on the annual Stewardship pledge forms.
Or, parishioners are also welcome to contact Father or myself. From there, I meet with the person and conduct a training session to show the person the ropes of how and why Eucharistic Ministers do what they do.
The new Eucharistic Minister receives a Certificate of Commissioning from the diocese. Every three years, the Eucharistic Minister must be recommissioned. We are always looking for new Eucharistic Ministers.
C: Why is being a Eucharistic Minister important to you?
J: I am humbled that Jesus allows me to do this important task. I feel like it brings me closer to Him by basically being a proxy for Him. I also really enjoy taking Communion to the home-bound and sick. They are all so grateful and it makes me feel good to be able to visit with them.

Following is an interview with Leroy Thill, lector:
Curtis Wolf: What is the job of lectors at St. Joseph’s?
Leroy Thill: Well, it is rather simple: If there are two readings at Mass, there are typically two lectors scheduled. Each lector reads one of the readings at Mass. One of the lectors also is responsible for reading the prayers of the faithful. Lectors are asked to go over the readings and prayers of the faithful before Mass so they are familiar with the words in the readings and the names. Each of the lectors are given text of all the readings for the year, which include explanations of the readings and pronunciations of names and places in the readings.
C: What skills does it take to be a lector and how does someone sign up to become a lector?
L: If anyone is interested, they can contact Father John or myself and we can train them. [Individuals should contact their pastor.] I typically meet with lectors and go over the procedures.... I try to give pointers to each lector on pronunciation, putting emphasis on words, and making the reading meaningful to everyone without making them a theatrical production. Probably the biggest obstacle for new lectors is nervousness. Everyone is nervous when they first start lectoring, but that goes away with practice. We are glad to work with anyone who is interested in becoming a new lector.
C: What have you gained through lectoring and why do you do it?
L: I enjoy reading Scripture, and I felt like I could do a good job professing the readings out loud. Being a good lector is a gift of talent, and I thought it was something I’d like to share with the Church.

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