An Opportunity to Serve

Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all. (Mark 9:35)

Washing of the FeetToday’s gospel reminds us of the centrality of service to Jesus’ identity, and thus the centrality of service to our living the mission of Christ.  Sharing in the death and resurrection of Jesus means that we share in the work of the one who knelt down and washed the feet of his disciples.

One way that we can place ourselves at the service of God and our neighbour is through engagement in liturgical ministry.  The Second Vatican Council reminds us that “in the liturgy the whole public worship is performed by the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, that is, by the Head and his members.” (Constitution on the Liturgy, no. 7).  Every one of us has a role in offering worship, in union with Jesus, to God the Father.  From the assembly of all the baptised, people are called to help lead our prayer through particular ministries.

14642123_10154646129558256_4872787870172841618_nEach year, we seek to support people in these ministries through formation opportunities.  This year, we would like to gather all liturgical ministers together for a workshop to clarify and refine our practice at Sunday Masses, so that we are supporting the assembly in its prayer as effectively as possible.  Parishioners who are thinking about joining a ministry are also most welcome to come.

Please claim these dates in your diary now!

Ministers can choose from one of two times:

  • Wednesday 17 October at 7:00 pm or
  • Saturday 20 October at 10:00 am.

You can register online now.  Paper sign-up will be available in the parish centre from next weekend.

We will also asking people soon to consider joining a renewed ministry of hospitality; welcoming people as they come to Sunday Mass.

Keep reading over the coming weeks to find out more.

Serving Others

Carmel Bulletin, 4 June 2017

You may have heard the saying:

You can please some people all of the time, or everyone some of the time, but you can never please everyone all the time.

Photo: Alphonsus Fok, © 321 Photography

Imagine, then, trying to consider the needs and desires of a parish community as diverse as ours when it comes together to celebrate the liturgy.  Pleasing everyone starts to become a monumental task!

Certainly it is important for those who prepare liturgical celebrations (such as liturgy committees, priests, musicians, sacristans, artists…) to consider what will draw people into prayer and shape and form them as disciples of Christ.  Trying to define a ‘typical parishioner’, however, and make choices to suit their particular tastes will result in a celebration that may appeal to some, but ultimately alienate others who don’t fit that mould.

While liturgical ministers have a responsibility to prepare and lead good liturgical celebrations, it is up to all of us to give a little as well.  Sacrificing some of what we ‘like’ during Mass so that everyone finds something that moves and engages them in the liturgy can be a challenge, but is ultimately an act of service where we seek to be mindful of the needs of others.


Carmel Bulletin, 7 December 2014

When we recently met with Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, we discussed the qualities they bring to their ministry.  One of these was humility.

The quality is closely linked with service.  We must be prepared to put aside our own interests and place ourselves at the service of Christ, with whom we are united in our worship.

The liturgy also unites us with each individual who worships with us, and in whom Christ is present.  It is only when we recongise the presence of Christ in others, and we place ourselves at the service of our brothers and sisters that we truly and completely place ourselves at the service of Jesus.

Stool, bowl, jug of water for the Washing of FeetThe great example Christ gives us of humble service is his washing of the feet of his disciples. Peter originally refused to have his feet washed because he realised what Jesus was doing – placing himself in the position of a servant or slave, someone who would never have been considered ‘great’ in the society and culture of the time.  When we think about it more deeply, Peter’s refusal may not have only been to the confronting act of Christ’s humility, but also to the confronting realisation that Jesus would expect the same from him.

We can find words in the liturgy to express our humility; the Penitential Act and our response to the invitation to Communion (Lord, I am not worthy…) being probably the most obvious.  Yet for us as Catholics, both within our worship and within our daily lives, we are challenged to make humility part of our way of being.

20/9/09 – A Model of Humble Service

Have you ever wondered who makes sure the holy water fonts at the doors are filled and cleaned?

Until recent times, it was one of the many important but often taken-for-granted jobs performed by Pat Le Mottee.  Pat passed away on 9 September, and her funeral was celebrated on Tuesday.

Pat was very much engaged in liturgical ministry here in Wentworthville.  Despite her reservations, she served as a Minister of the Word and Minister of Communion.  She performed many tasks belonging to sacristans, such as washing linen, polishing brassware and keeping plants and flowers topped up with water.  Even though she disliked the task, she was ever-diligent in recording the use of overheads for our copyright records and filing them away so music ministers could find them the next weekend.  After Mass, on Saturday mornings, Pat would lead parishioners in praying the rosary at the Marian shrine.  There is probably even more that she did that I cannot recall, or am simply not aware that she did.

This brings me to the point of my writing about Pat.  For those of us in liturgical ministry, Pat gave us an example of humble service.  Everything she did was done for the honour and glory of the God she so dearly loved and whom she knew loved her.  Never at any time did she draw attention to herself.  No matter how seemingly insignificant the task, no matter how much she liked or disliked it, Pat did it humbly out of dedication and love.

Pat’s liturgical ministry and her faith serve as a model for us all.

May the angels lead you into paradise;
may the martyrs come to welcome you
and take you to the holy city,
the new and eternal Jerusalem.

from the Rite of Committal, Order of Christian Funerals