I may have mentioned (a time or two!) how amazing my daughter, Abby is. Well, today I want to brag on her once more. 😀 Last night, she was commissioned to become an Extraordinary Eucharistic Minister in our parish!
Now, I am well aware that there is quite a debate raging among Catholics as to whether or not lay persons should ever distribute Holy Communion. I have a dear friend who will go out of her way to make sure she only receives communion from a priest or deacon, and I respect that. However, there are extraordinary circumstances in which lay persons may, indeed, legitimately serve in that capacity.
Like in our parish. We have over 6,000 families. Nope. Not a typo. We really do have over 6,000 families. Which translates to over 20,000 members. As one of our priests puts it, if he were the only one distributing communion, he’d be dead before he was finished! (For a rather thorough discussion on the validity of this practice, please read the article “EXTRAORDINARY MINISTERS OF THE EUCHARIST”, by: Peter A. Kwasniewski on EWTN’s website.)
So, back to Abby. She made the decision that this was a ministry she wanted to become involved in, and came to us to ask permission. Like becoming a lector, this was 100% her choice. And she knows that I am one of those old-school Catholics who thinks there shouldn’t be any altar girls, and that nobody should receive communion in the hand. But I know that my daughter is very prayerful and dedicated to serving God. So Gaylon and I gave her our blessing, and she spent most of a Saturday in training for this. And finally, yesterday at the 5:00 p.m. Mass, she was commissioned!
She is so excited, and so happy to be able to do this. When I asked her what it was that attracted her to this, she said “Because! I get to give my friends Jesus!” Wow. I am, again, humbled by her pure, childlike love of our Lord and our Church. When I was her age, I the last thing on my mind was giving Jesus to anyone. In fact, if memory serves (and I’m afraid it does) the main thing on my mind was ME.
So congratulations to my sweet little girl! What an amazing young woman she’s becoming.