The past few weeks have been very affirmative for me, considering my church.
Last week at Mass, I was given a pin by Sister Bea to wear when bringing Holy Communion. It’s a red circular pin with gold inlay, featuring a cross. It says, “Minister of Care.” It made me feel wonderful, and I wear it when I go– I decided to affix it to my coat.
Yesterday I re-scheduled my visit with her for today, since I didn’t make it to Mass. I went to Father Ray this morning to ask for the hosts, and he did the most exciting thing. He gave me permission to go get it myself from the church.
Wow! That means so much to me. I knew where the key was because someone else had showed me once, but he went with me this time to make sure. He showed me the key, and opened the Tabernackle. He reached inside for the hosts and gave them to me. I held open my pix and put them inside.
To know that I’ve been attending long enough now that Father Ray trusts me on this level means so much to me. At first he didn’t always know who I was, but now he knows me by name.
When I signed up to do this, I was nervous. And I’ve had to re-schedule a few times, and still feel a bit nervous when I administer Holy Communion each week. But now the woman I bring it to and her daughter have come to trust me as well. We have our agreed-upon times, and she leaves the front door open for me to come in. We don’t spend a lot of time chatting, but we do make familiar small talk. And they both call me by name and squeeze my hand when I leave.
It’s the most wonderful feeling, the way these relationships are growing within a church community. I’ve never really had that. I always went to Mass but never felt connected to many people in the parish, since I wasn’t involved. I was usually one of those fleeing right after Communion, like many Catholics. Now I stay for the whole service and linger afterwards– and I enjoy that immensely.
This church is changing my heart. That’s what God does!