A missionary is someone who brings the Good News of Christ to another. When Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth in the Gospel of Luke, she became the first missionary because she literally brought Jesus with her to share with her cousin. Elizabeth was filled with joy as she replied, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb” (Luke 1:42).
The Eucharistic Ministers who bring Holy Communion to the homebound are similarly serving as missionaries in the church as they literally bring the Body of Christ to those who cannot come to receive Him. These ministers seek to bring the Holy Eucharist to those who are unable to leave their homes or assisted living facilities to attend Mass.
Michael Hayes has been serving in this ministry for over 30 years and has been the coordinator for the past five years.
“It’s important to bring the Eucharist to the homebound,” he says. “We also grow relationships with the people we serve. They are so grateful that we are there and they can’t say ‘thank you’ enough. Our priests do bring Holy Communion to the homebound on First Fridays, but it is important that we are able to bring them Communion every Sunday.”
There are 24 devoted Eucharistic Ministers. Having the opportunity to share the Body of Christ with others is a special gift. At the end of 9:30 a.m. Sunday Mass, the priest gives pyxes containing the Blessed Sacrament to four ministers. After the priest’s blessing, they leave on their individual routes to bring Communion to those who are unable to join us at Mass. It usually takes the ministers about 45 minutes to one hour to complete their route.
When the ministers visit an assisted living facility, those who are there to receive Communion have been gathered in a chapel or conference room. They have a small prayer service, receive Communion, and have a final prayer. The process is the same for those in their own homes.
This beautiful act of service to the homebound evangelizes by physically bringing Christ to the homebound and sharing the faith and love of Jesus with any others who may be present. The Eucharistic Ministers are on a rotation and serve about every six or seven weeks. Being a missionary and bringing Jesus in the Holy Eucharist to those who are unable to attend Mass is a beautiful gift. This also provides a connection to the parish so the homebound feel that they are still an important part of the community.
Those interested in serving with this ministry may contact Michael Hayes at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you or a loved one needs to receive Communion at home, please contact the parish office at 402-423-1239.