What makes my parish special? (CNY, Editor’s Report, Feb. 27). That’s easy. It’s the people.
When time seems like such a hot commodity because there never seems to be enough to handle life’s tasks and obligations, the people of Blessed Sacrament parish, Staten Island, nevertheless, show up.
They show up in the pews, week after week, forming friendships and checking in on each other.
They show up on Thursday nights for choir practice and then on Sundays to sing at 11 a.m. Mass. During Easter and Christmas there are extra Masses at which to sing and concerts to host.
They show up to clean the altar linens and decorate the church to bring to life the seasons of our faith.
They show up as cantors, lectors reading at Mass and as Eucharistic ministers distributing Communion. They deliver Communion to those who can’t be with us.
They show up to usher us to our pews for Mass. They show up to teach our parish children their faith and prepare them for their sacraments. They prepare and welcome adults to our faith, too.
They show up at the back of the church selling raffles to raise money for the parish, selling tickets to our annual pasta dinner or selling gift cards to give to the poor.
They show up in our parish hall sorting through nonperishable food items, packaging them up and delivering them to our neighbors in need.
They show up in our gym giving our kids a sports team to be on or a part in a play.
They show up in our school volunteering in countless ways, helping to create so many special events for our students.
They show up in fellowship at our senior meetings and gatherings. They show up to pray together as a group.
They show up at ad hoc committee meetings held in parish members’ homes to brainstorm on how to make parish life better, and how they can engage the members of their parish family they haven’t seen in the pews.
Our young parishioners show up as altar servers, Mass greeters, student lectors, youth choir members or performers in our live Passion Play.
Our clergy, of course, show up for us every single day.
Too much attention is placed on those who don’t show up for organized religion. Let’s celebrate the ones that do. It’s the reason why my parish has always been so special to me.