What It Means to Me to Be an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion – Sharon Janning

My name is Sharon Janning.  My husband and I have been members of the St. Andrew community for six years.  I currently am an Eucharistic Minister for the Parish and assist with Communion Service at the SEM Haven Health and Residential Care Center on Sunday mornings.  I work with a very gifted team of 5 adults and a student from Mc Nicholas High School.  This is a group of dedicated individuals who take great pride in bringing the Word and Body of Christ to the residents of SEM Haven every week.

Through this ministry, I have found a way to contribute my time to the Parish Community by assisting in the distribution of Communion to those who might otherwise be unable to experience its greatness and benefits on a weekly basis.  I have also had an unexpected benefit by being able to re-connect with a very dear friend.  This individual lost her husband a little over ten years ago.  She moved out of the area to assist her daughter with the care of her children.  We lost touch with each other over the years.  On the first Sunday I was at SEM Haven, I saw a name on the list of residents who were receiving communion that I thought I recognized.  I wondered if it could be her.  To my great surprise I found it was.  She may have more trouble today getting around than she had ten years ago, but she still has the twinkle in her eyes and the beautiful smile I remember from so long ago.  We now look forward to Sunday mornings when we can get together sharing each other’s company praying to God and sharing in His Body.

Sharon Janning

I consider myself rather shy and not to be a very outgoing person.  When I was asked to help with this Ministry I was not sure I could do it.  However, I took the chance to participate and now I can say I am very happy that I did.  I enjoy my Sunday visits with the residents of SEM Haven.  I have been truly blessed in my life with all that I have received from God and my faith.  It is nice to be able to give back to God through this Ministry.

What it Means to Me to be an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion – Ulrich Attiogbe

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “You are worried about many things,  but few things are needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke10:41


There are many ways to serve and adore, our living God, and one avenue in particular is very important to me.

Since I was a child, I always enjoyed Sunday Mass. However, as I grew into a teenager and young adult, I discovered something special beyond just attending Sunday Mass.  My discovery has continued to grow since I became part of the St. Andrew community and became an Extraordinary Minister.

About a year ago I was living in New Jersey and found out that my job would be relocating me to Milford, Ohio.  I did not know anyone in Milford, but my Catholic faith led me to St. Andrew.  As I settled into my new home, I was immediately welcomed at St. Andrew.  Seeing that I was new at St. Andrew, people stopped to greet me and learn a little bit about my background.  I was directed to many members of the Church who welcomed me.  Right away I felt at home.  This is how the House of the Lord should be and St. Andrew has continued to be my God Family home. 

A couple of months ago I was invited to serve at the table of the Lord as an Extraordinary Minister.  Being called to be an Extraordinary Minister has been a way for me to stay with the Lord like Mary and Martha in Luke 10:41.  In this ministry, I feel like Martha as I stand around the altar preparing to receive the Eucharist.  I also listen as Mary did when I hold the Lord in my hand and share Him with the rest of the parish.  Being a Eucharistic Minister gives me time to meet with the Lord personally.  It has taught me that as we push the boundary of our personal comfort zone when it comes to our faith, it can lead us to spend more time with Jesus.  Jesus can reveal himself to us in new ways, and the better we get to know Jesus, the more we grow in blessings according to our faith in Jesus through the Eucharist.

We may hesitate to accept the call to serve the Lord as an Extraordinary Minister because of our imperfections, but openness and time will prove this thought wrong.  At first it might be overwhelming to try to be a good Extraordinary Minister, but I have found that serving in this ministry has helped me to prepare for Sunday Mass.  On Saturday, I ponder my approaching encounter with the Lord on Sunday.  Every time I remember that I am scheduled to be an Extraordinary Minister the next day, I run to the Lord beforehand to ask for penance so that He can welcome me to His table.  This ministry motivates me to keep peace in my life, just like the peace I strive for between the Lord and myself.  In addition, this ministry always reminds me of the Lord’s faithfulness, since the Lord never misses Sunday Mass.  Overall, I believe that serving as an Extraordinary Minister will help us to perfect ourselves for the Lord and become faithful to Him, just as He is to us from the first moment at our birth.    

Finding more ways to stay close to Christ in the Eucharist is important for all of us.  In doing so, we are convinced by Jesus that He is truly present in the Eucharist and still performs many miracles for us today.  This can help us strengthen our Catholic faith no matter what our imperfections may be.  For we will always strive to follow Jesus Christ who was, is, and will continue to be in the Catholic Church through the Eucharist just as He faithfully promised more than 2,000 years ago.

Ulrich Attiogbe

Like it is written: If we are not faithful, he will still be faithful, because he cannot deny himself.

2 Timothy 2:13

Bread From Heaven

LogoAlthough we often think of Jesus as a Christian he was a devote Jew who followed all the precepts of Judaism. He was born of a Jewish woman, in a Jewish town in Galilee, was circumcised, studied the Torah, celebrated Jewish feasts, took pilgrimages to Jerusalem, taught in Synagogues, and celebrated Passover with his apostles. So, why is this important to Catholics? It is simple; the origins of the Catholic Mass are rooted in Jewish customs, history and scripture.

Exodus 16:4-6  Then the Lord said to Moses; I am going to rain down bread from heaven for you. Each day the people are to go out and gather their daily portion; thus will I test them to see whether they follow my instructions or not. On the sixth day, however, when they prepare what they bring in, let it be twice as much as they gather on the other days.

Scripture tells us that the Jewish people were waiting for a political messiah who would set them free, a new Exodus, if you will. As the Jews were fleeing Egypt, God took care of them every morning and night for forty years. Each morning in the desert the Jews found dew on the ground and when it dried, it was like flakes and they asked what it was. Moses said, “It is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat.” And, each evening, they were fed quail. The bread was called manna and in the desert, any manna that was not consumed was stored in a tabernacle. A candle was lit next to the tabernacle to indicate that there was manna stored within. The Lord fed the Israelites for 40 years, manna in the morning and quail in the evening. The manna was referred to as “bread from heaven.”

Source:  The Jewish Roots of the Eucharist, Brant Pitre

Tabernacle and Lamp

Today the unused consecrated hosts remain in our tabernacle for the sick and dying. When the candle next to it is lit; you know the tabernacle has consecrated hosts in it.

The Tabernacle at St. Andrew The Apostle Church

The Worship Commission

 

 

 

This Is My Body, Which Will Be Given Up For You; Do This In Memory of Me. Lk. 22:20

Serving as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion has been part of my faith life for the past 13 years.  I started when I was a freshman at Archbishop Moeller High School, continued while I attended the University of Dayton, and now I enjoy serving as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion at St. Andrew.  I participate in this ministry because I have the opportunity to share the sacrament of the Eucharist with the parishioners of St. Andrew.

I invite anyone in St. Andrew who is discerning the possibility of becoming an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion to join in this ministry.  It is a great way to become involved in the Church and experience the sacrament of the Eucharist.  If you are interested, feel free to email me at matt.geyman@gmail.com to learn more about this ministry and to sign up for our next training session.  The training sessions are very informative and cover everything that you need to know.

I would like to pray for the members of the church that form the body of Christ.  While Christ is the vine, we are the branches and all who live in him will bare great fruit.  I believe that everyone has a talent that can be used to spread the faith, so let it shine.

matt-geymanI grew up in this area and attended St. Columban Grade School.  I have been a parishioner at St. Andrew since my wife, Mandy Geyman, and I got married at St. Andrew in 2013.  I work as an engineer at GE. 

May It Be Done To Me According to Your Word. Lk 1:38

I met Carol at a Christ Renews Weekend 8 years ago. We had a lot in common; we were both were introverted, wondered why we had signed up for a CRHP Weekend and both knew no one present that weekend. For some unknown reason, we both committed to go on for six months. Each week, as we left our meeting, we would say to each other – “We are not going back.”  And, each week we found ourselves planted in the same seats on Thursday evenings. Carol referred to God as the ‘Hound of Heaven.’  Indeed, he hounded us!

Along the way, I got to know Carol’s husband, Charlie. They were nearly inseparable. Carol and I became dear friends. After CRHP, Carol became involved in several ministries and Charlie followed. They both went to Bible Study which they loved. Carol became an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, a Lector and a Lay Spiritual Director of Christ Renews.

Charlie had coped with major health issues throughout his life and suddenly was faced with another. As a Marine, he was ready for the fight.  Charlie was diagnosed with cancer, as was Carol within a few weeks of each other. They had different types of cancer and therefore, different doctors and chemo regimens, different treatments at different hospitals. Their lives revolved around fighting cancer.

Involvement in ministries became increasingly difficult. So, both of them being very practical, investigated the Rosary Makers knowing that if they were homebound they could make rosaries to help the missions. When I would visit them they would be sitting in their living room making knotted rosaries. Carol died on Ash Wednesday a year and a half ago and Charlie was lost without her. He stopped making rosaries.

In April, I asked him if he would make knotted rosaries for the pilgrims going to the Holy Land since they were also receiving a book,  Mary, Undoer of Knots. He said he would try. Several weeks later he delivered 40 knotted rosaries. Some were in process so he completed them and others he had just made. The pilgrims were very thankful for their rosaries which will always remind them of their time spent in the Holy Land. Charlie died about 3 weeks after we returned from our pilgrimage. After his funeral, I took the remaining rosaries to Bible Study for his friends. They also cherished those rosaries and now both the pilgrims and the Bible Study group pray for Charlie and Carol as they recite their rosary.

Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for us as we deal with the inconceivable knots in our lives. Be always at our side to help us through these difficulties and let us never feel, despite our situation, that we are useless or unable to serCarol and Charlieve others.

If you are interested in becoming a Rosary Maker contact Jane Kneipp at ckneipp@fuse.net

Written by Cathy O’Toole in memory of her dear friends Carol and Charlie Drummond! May they rest in peace together forever.

I Sought the Lord and He Answered Me

It wasn’t too long ago that my faith wasn’t a top priority. In 2013 my outlook changed due to a life challenge and by attending a Christ Renews His Parish weekend. My eyes were opened on that weekend and the months and years after. I sometimes wonder what took me so long.

My longest journey within the journey was my visit to the Holy Land. My wife and I recently went on pilgrimage with a group of St. Andrew and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parishioners lead by Father Rob Waller, Pastor Emeritus at St. Andrew. What I thought this experience would be and what it turned into was awe-inspiring. I walked where Jesus walked. Every time I say that and or write it goose bumps appear! Most of my pilgrimage was a feeling of complete joy at the locations and with the people we met.

We started in Jordan traveled through Galilee, Palestine and ended up Jerusalem. Every location had a significant impact on my faith journey. It is impossible to pick one place or event that affected me the most.  I touched the place where He was born, walked where He taught and finally stood at the place where He was resurrected.

One particular day, a group of us walked from the Sea of Galilee up to the Mount of Beatitudes. Along the way Father would lead us in prayer and taught us as we walked. I remember thinking this is what happened on the day of the Sermon on the Mount. When we reached the top, I fully expected to turn and see a multitude of His followers behind me.

I Sought the Lord and He Answered Me, Delivered Me From All My Fears. Ps 34:5

That part of the trip led me to my decision to begin the Lay Pastoral Ministry program at the Athenaeum of Ohio. A year ago I met with Dr. Susan McGurgan, the director of the program and was accepted as a student, but I never started. My pilgrimage was my time to reflect on this and decide if this was the path I was to take.  On the top of the Mount of Beatitudes, at the hostel we stayed, I heard a familiar voice. When I turned, it was Susan with another group of pilgrims. I start my classes this fall. I’m not sure where this next journey will lead me, but I am open to His will and know my path is leading toward Him.

“Being a Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but an encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction” Pope Benedict XVI.

I pray that you have an encounter or meet someone who will inspire you and lead you to a new horizon on your life’s pilgrimage.

Tom Hodson is a Lector, Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, member of St. Vincent de Paul, on the RCIA team, and Stewardship Committee at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. Tom also chairs the St. Andrew/St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Continuation Committee for Christ Renews His Parish. He and his wife Debbie have been parishioners at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton for 8 years.

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The Women’s Christ Renews weekend is coming up on Aug. 6-7, 2016. To register contact Patty Norris, Director of Religious Education at St Elizabeth Ann Seton; phone (513)575-0119 or email pknorris@cinci.rr.com.

 

 

It is More Blessed to Give Than Receive

While enjoying an ice cream with Sister Lucia Castellini one evening after Monday night Mass at St. Andrew Church, Ray and I received an invitation to volunteer at Hope Emergency Program. Sister Lucia, a parishioner of St. Andrew, and a Brown County Ursuline Sister is the Director of the Hope Emergency Project.  Ray and I were recently retired and we couldn’t say no to her invitation to help on Wednesdays.  We didn’t realize how serving others could be so rewarding.

We started volunteering in January of 2014. We love the ministry of helping the needy of Brown, Clinton, Highland and Adams Counties. The Hope Emergency Project serves hundreds of families, helping approximately 1,000 people every month.  Some families need services for a short time in order to recover from a loss of a job or personal disaster while some need more long-term assistance to make their income stretch to cover their necessities. Everyone who comes for food, clothing and household items must qualify and then receive services at no charge.

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Acts 20: 35

Hope does have a few paid employees but couldn’t serve so many households if they didn’t have volunteers. On Tuesdays and Thursdays food deliveries and donations are accepted, catalogued and set up for clients who come on Wednesdays for distribution. Ray and I do a variety of things at Hope. Each week we pick up bread from Panera for distribution at Hope, we help clients make decisions on produce, frozen meats, bread, canned goods, and toiletries and even help clients to their cars with their groceries.  We have also delivered the items collected from St. Andrew parishioners for our Year of Mercy Project to Hope Emergency. We have gotten to know the people and look forward to seeing them weekly, they are always so thankful for the food and appreciative of our work.

If you are interested in helping people and are looking for a volunteer opportunity, please consider Hope Emergency. We are very thankful to be involved in serving others. It has enriched our lives, humbled us and each week brings us closer to God.

We thank you Lord for all the gifts you have bestowed on us. Open our hearts to share our gifts and talents with those less fortunate.

Sharon and Ray Lamping have been members of St. Andrew Church since 2003. Ray serves at weekday Masses and is a Lector.  Both Sharon and Ray are Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. They recently returned from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with other St. Andrew and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parishioners. Both are retired and enjoying traveling and babysitting their grandchildren.  Lampings

I Make All Things New !

My RCIA experience began 15 years ago with an invitation, unexpected and unsettling. I was asked to sponsor a young woman going through the process, and my heart sank as I wondered how I could walk with her on her faith journey when my own seemed at a standstill. My husband had been gone for about 5 years and my youngest child was away at college. I was feeling alone and disconnected, not knowing who I was, if not a wife and mother.

In the end, I agreed, and something amazing happened. While walking with another, I found my own relationship with Jesus growing.  By the end of that year, watching the joy-filled faces of the catechumens and candidates receive the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil, I had a new sense of purpose and belonging.

I am still part of the RCIA team, and continue to be inspired and taught by those seekers who want what we have, and so often take for granted. I have learned so much about Church teaching, developed a love of Sacred Scripture, and have received a hundred times more that I could ever give in return. Looking back, I can easily see that God was at work in my life, using my brokenness in ministry to another, and to remind me that my identity as a child of God is not dependent on my state of life.

So…consider this your invitation, unexpected and unsettling as it may seem.  Consider joining RCIA, or find another ministry at St. Andrew that may be calling to you. Something amazing will happen! “Behold, I make all things new”.  Rev 21:5

Dear Lord, with unexpected grace, You have made me new. Thank You for the gift and blessing of ministry and service for Your glory. Amen.

Monica Clark has been a member of St. Andrew parish since 1973, and considers it her home. She has been on the RCIA team for about 15 years, and also serves as Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, as well as a Lector. She has 4 children, 10 grandchildren, and retired in 2015 from Anderson Hills Pediatrics.Monica