Angella Maloney felt like she was floating around in life. She was 28 years old and knew that she had reached a crossroads.
“I needed to take the path to the right or to the left,” Angella says. “I made the decision to embrace the Catholic Church. I was a little overwhelmed at first but then decided to pursue a deeper understanding of my Catholic faith, and everything from that point on has been a big blessing for me.”
Angella was baptized and confirmed at St. Mary in Morrice, Mich. on May 7, 1989, and then joined St. Mary in Williamston on Feb. 3, 2017. She felt that everyone in the faith community was very welcoming.
“At the same time, it took me quite a while to grow relationships and put myself out there,” Angella says. “I was uncomfortable, and I am finding that God keeps putting me out there. He also has my back. He won’t put me out there and let me sink. Over time, I have built confidence in myself.”
At St. Mary, Angella decided to join the Alpha program. Going through that program was how she started meeting different people in the faith community and then started volunteering at the Alpha classes. Shortly thereafter, she began attending daily Mass a couple times a week.
“What I’ve found lately is that I am actually really understanding the Mass more and getting a deeper faith by fully participating in the Mass,” Angella says. “Before, I went to church because it was my obligation — but now, I sit there and close my eyes during the prayers and the readings so that I can actually focus and get into the Mass.”
While attending daily Mass, Angella watched as parishioner Celeste Sura served in multiple roles as sacristan, lector, and Eucharistic Minister of Holy Communion. Eventually, they became friends, and Angella started training to become a sacristan.
“I was apprehensive at first, but the longer I am on this journey of serving, the more relaxed I become,” she says. “I pray to God about it all the time, and He’s answering me. Now, I am also a Eucharistic Minister.”
When she first began serving as a sacristan, Angella was afraid that she would have to substitute as a lector.
“I felt God telling me to practice the readings beforehand,” Angella says. “So every time now I go to the ambo and practice the readings out loud. Now I have lectured several times. The first time was really hard, but I am more comfortable now.”
Angella would encourage other people who want to become more involved to take the initiative and take a small step.
“Look for chances to introduce yourself and offer assistance to the people around you,” Angella says. “By being involved in the community, I thought I was helping them, but truly, God was helping me. I have opened my heart and am not so scared to let people in.”
Angella would like to thank the faith community for their support, which allowed her to grow in her faith over time. Today she feels like she belongs to a community and several parishioners are truly like her family.
“The deeper I go with my faith, my service, and my friendships in the community, the more joy I have in my life,” Angella says. “It is all interwoven and started with one little step. Just take a tiny step. Reach out and God will do the rest.”