Eucharistic Outreach Ministry
Testimonies From People Just Like You
I became an Outreach Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion because I saw a need for it posted in the bulletin for several weeks (maybe even months) in a row. It wasn’t something I looked forward to doing. But, to provoke my spiritual awareness and growth, I decided to volunteer and make it one of my “sacrifices”.
It has evolved into anything but a sacrifice.
I look forward to my Sunday at Morningstar every month. I enjoy being able to share commentary on the Scripture readings and enjoy the time spent with my outreach partner. Mostly though – I enjoy the people I have the privilege of serving. They show and genuinely feel gratitude unlike anything else I have witnessed. To be able to bring the Body of Christ to another person is a humbling and overwhelming experience and one that can’t truly be described; it must be lived.
It’s really only an hour a month and it may just turn out to be the hour you look forward to the most. It will without a doubt, become the hour those you serve look forward to, long for and most graciously receive.
I enjoy Outreach because I am bringing Jesus to the elderly or ill. One thing that is wonderful, when I take communion to a confused person and when I pray the Our Father, they remember the prayers and join right in. Outreach means a lot to people to receive the blessed sacrament, and they are always so thankful. It is bringing joy in such a simple way. I see Jesus in each of them and I hope they see him in me. ( not very well written it’s hard to put into words)
I became an Outreach Minister at a local retirement center because I wanted to serve God’s people and the Church in some way that I could. It was a communion service once a month and I felt like this was a way that I could serve. It started out as a way that I could serve, but I learned very early that I was getting way more out of this than the people that I was serving! The people at the retirement center are so grateful to have someone come to bring them Holy Communion and for the fellowship the service provides. I wanted to do something in service for people and have gotten far more from them than I could possibly bring to them. It has been such a rewarding experience to bring Jesus to people that can’t get to church on a regular basis.
My role in offering Holy Communion to patients and their families at St Al’s Hospital is both a highly emotional and a very rewarding experience. I leave the hospital with an inner peace and thank God for the opportunity to help do his work. I sometimes wonder if I’m there for me or for the patients.
During my almost three years tenure in that capacity I have been thanked, kissed, hugged. Smiles are abundant. As are tears of joy and gratitude. I am frequently called Sister. Though unworthy of the title, I accept it — hopefully graciously — with a smile.
I have been followed out of patient rooms by family members who whispered to me how much they appreciate the comfort I have just given to their father or mother or sister or brother or child.
I’ve been chased down the halls by doctors and nurses on Ash Wednesdays asking if I have the ashes.
Probably the most jaw-dropping experience came after I had given Holy Communion to a gentleman and his family. As we were chatting, he asked my parish. When I told him St Mark’s he smiled and said he knew Father Ben. After a brief silent pause, he admitted he was the (rector, parochial vicar, or some official) at St. John’s!
I am grateful to have the opportunity to share God’s love in such a small way.
My experience as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion has been very fulfilling in several ways. I volunteer at Valley View retirement Center, the people are just so appreciative and grateful for the Sunday communion service and for us bringing the Holy Eucharist. They really are thankful and express it quite openly for our efforts to make sure that they can at least receive the Body of Christ very Sunday without having to leave the facility.
This gratitude and their part and the joy they exhibition every Sunday makes this ministry a true reward for all parties involved.
I have no idea how many years I have served in this capacity, but I am sure, all total probably 8-9 years. I was first asked to serve a darling “older couple”. It was a little daunting at first, but they made me feel very comfortable. It wasn’t long before our two families were interacting. I was so thrilled when they invited my husband and I to join their 50th anniversary celebration. They were a beautiful couple, and they taught me a lot about our faith. I was privaledged to serve them for about 3 1/2 years at which time the gentleman passed away. His wife was able to then attend mass with her children and we continued to have friendly visits for some time.
I enjoyed the one-on-one so much, I was looking forward to another assignment like this, however there were new assisted living homes popping up and the need for Eucharistic Ministers was great. I took an assignment in one of them and partnered with a friend. Well that was a long time ago, and I am still at Morning Star and loving those beautiful people so much. I look forward to my visits with them, short as they are, before and after our service. They love being able to receive Jesus. Some are ill and so we minister to them in their room following the service. They are all so grateful for this beautiful opportunity. I am so thankful for that first invitatation to join a large group of such dedicated and blessed people.
Okay, I like the outreach ministry because if gives me a good feeling when I go to someone with Jesus and see how they appreciate the effort made by someone who cares that they receive Him.
Also, it gives the individual someone to visit with. Sometimes family are too busy or just cannot make it to visit with them. I enjoy the feeling some of the people have when they talk about the “old days” and I have learned a lot from them also.
It surprises me that some of them do not know they can receive a visit from a priest for anointing when they are sick or before and after surgery.
I have been serving one gentleman for about 7 (seven) years, and his wife just cannot believe that I have been so faithful about coming every Sunday. I also have served a couple of ladies for longer that that.
I really appreciate it when someone who knows me and knows that I am an outreach minister asks me to come to serve them or a family member. It gives me a good feeling that someone knows I am capable of doing this service and that I care. I love being a servant of the church and of God our Father.
My most inspiring visits have come when I didn’t really want to go. I had other things that I wanted to do, like lay back and do nothing, but each time I thought, what I would feel if someone in my family asked for communion and how would I feel, so I went thinking that it would be easy, instead what I found was totally unexpected.
First time I was at the hospital, the family was waiting for me to give communion to their dad/ husband before they removed the machine which was keeping him alive.
as I gave him communion he looked up to me and said – thanks for coming, now I can go. I stayed much longer than expected not because I had to but because I was drawn to him like a moth to the flame, I still cherish every Holy second I was with him and his wonderful family. minutes later he died. I will never forget what was so simple for me was so Holy for him.
Another time I was able to be with a gentleman, visited him weekly during his final weeks, sometimes twice a week to bring him communion and to just pray with him or listen to his telling stories of how he met his wife or how much he loved the Broncos. again I didn’t think anything about it, but latter after the funeral, his family made a point of telling me how much he enjoyed our little visits. Again I failed to realize how little effort it took on my part that meant so much to him and his fam ily giving them hope and peace.
This week I am doing a funeral because a 101 year old lady asked to me to do it for her, I do not remember, but she told her family and requested me because when no else would come visit her, she said I did. it was not a long visit but it showed her that the Church cared, that someone cared how she was doing.
these moments may be rare, but they will forever be an example of how little we do, but with God working through us, nothing can measure how important it is to the ones we visit.