The Heart and Hands of Christ The Catholic Churches in the Valley have embarked on a mission to create a Catholic culture in our community. In order to make this vision a reality, we need to commit ourselves to outwardly responding to the love of God. Many opportunities exist to deepen our understanding of our faith by actively sharing in the liturgy, faith formation programs and service to others. When we see with the eyes of God, we recognize his presence in those around us. As Christians this recognition demands a response from us. How we choose to respond can effect a change in the culture around us.
BeFriender Ministry is one way for individuals to respond to God’s invitation to love. We all befriend people on an informal basis when we make a meal for a friend in need, send a card to someone after surgery or a family funeral, call someone to make sure all is well, assist someone with transportation to church or an appointment, or any other way we extend a kindness to one another. The Tri-Parish BeFriender Ministry is another way to provide pastoral care to members of our parishes. It is no longer possible for the clergy to meet all of the pastoral needs of parishioners in hospitals, nursing homes or those isolated in their own homes due to frail health. Increasing lay participation in the Church was called for by the Vatican Council and our understanding of that role continues to evolve.
BeFriender Ministry provides an opportunity for lay men and women to receive formal training. BeFrienders bring a caring, listening presence, and a living reminder of God’s love to those who are most vulnerable. Eucharistic ministry is an important part of their role. They bring Eucharist to Catholics in our local hospitals, area healthcare facilities, assisted living facilities and in private homes. They assist the clergy and pastoral minister to maintain a strong connection between the parish and those unable to come to Church. In their commitment to reach out to others, BeFrienders feel their own faith enriched by the Holy Spirit present in the lives of the people they serve.
If you have been searching for a way to be involved in an outreach ministry at St. Michael’s Church this may be just the ministry for you. I encourage more men and couples to give this consideration. For more information, contact Ann Newlander, Coordinator of Pastoral Ministry and Volunteers.