Santha Mother Theresa Sevadarshigalu
Santha Mother Theresa Sevadarshigalu (St. Mother Theresa Service Ministry)
St. Paul instructed the assembled community to “welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, to the glory of God” (Rom 15:7).
“The people are coming as invited guests of the Lord himself, to share in his supper as sisters and brothers” (Introduction to the Order of Mass, #23).
“Hospitality is a vital element in creating a sense of community for worship. A person who feels welcomed and valued is much more likely to enter wholeheartedly into the celebration of the liturgy, giving thanks to God for the love that God pours out on us.”
The importance of the ministry of hospitality is clear in the above quotations. Christian hospitality is first and foremost centered in Christ. It is an expression of reverence for the presence of Christ in each member of the assembly; it is rooted in the sacrament of baptism. True hospitality draws us together and opens us up to participate in the liturgy. An ancient Christian saying expresses it this way: “When a guest comes, Christ comes.”
We are All Called and Chosen
We have been informally functioning since the year 2013. However we were encouraged to give a name to our group by the present assistant parish priest and our spiritual guide Fr. Christy OFM. As a result on 08/07/2017 we were named as “Santha Mother Theresa Sevadarshigalu.” We were guided by the Word of God “Let us serve the Lord with gladness” (Ps 100:2).
We all have gifts from God, and we are all called to serve one another through our Baptism. We do not always recognize how or even where to begin. As with most of us, we find it difficult to believe that we have something to share. But we do! When we are willing to share a piece of ourselves with others, our gifts unfold, and we, as well as others, benefit in ways that only God knows and directs.
Too often ushers are considered to be “those people who take up the collection.” That is the most visible aspect of the duties of the usher, but not the most important. The primary role is to provide assistance to the members of the congregation and thereby facilitate the full and active participation of the laity in the mass.
Assembly & Processional
In order to allow for the orderly assembly and unimpeded procession of ministers, we strive to keep late arrivals from shouldering their way in front of the processional party or cutting through the procession. There will be ample time for people to be seated after the ministers have processed down the center aisle.
Our role is one of offering a friendly welcoming presence to those coming to worship, providing assistance in securing seating for latecomers, providing assistance in emergencies, providing assistance in taking up the collection, providing assistance at the time of the presentation of the gifts and at Communion, providing assistance in the dissemination of the parish bulletin and participating in the clean-up of the church after the completion of Mass.
We take up offertory collection immediately after the the Prayer of the Faithful. The collection boxes are immediately put in the assigned place. The boxes are then taken after the mass to the rectory.
About the time the celebrant takes communion, we process up the aisle to the communion stations. After we receive, we go down the aisles to assure an orderly flow to the various communion stations. We are particularly attentive to the needs of any disabled members of the congregation and inform the Eucharistic ministers if any persons need the Eucharist brought to them in their pews.
We put up a stall on Mission Sunday in order to help raise fund for evangelization. We provide majjige (butter-milk) for all the faithfull after participating in the Way of the Cross on Good Friday. We also sponser food for the Kannada lenten retreants. We decorate the Church and the altar with flowers for the 3 days of novena of St. Anthony.
A Final Note
At the Last Supper Jesus himself provided the example of hospitality as service when he washed the feet of the Apostles. When we offer our service as an usher, we are responding to Christ’s example. We view our ministry as an act of prayer, an attempt to witness to the living Christ. In so doing we begin to see the face of Christ in the faces of those whom we serve.
How does one become a Minister of Hospitality?
If you would be interested in serving in the Ministry of Hospitality, contact Fr. Christy ofm.