Although joining a parish and being a “parishioner” is important, it won’t make you feel instantly connected. Getting involved in a parish ministry undoubtedly will, whether one serves as a greeter, lector, or catechist. When you get involved, you feel connected. Jim and Colleen Duering, who have been members of the parish for 19 years, know this firsthand.
Jim is a member of the Liturgical Ministry and Knights of Columbus, and he serves as a lector. Colleen serves as a Religious Education catechist and an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion.
“I enjoy being around youth and helping them grow in their faith,” Colleen says. “What we learn by being involved in church ministries guides us on how to follow God, improve our spirituality, and live better lives. As a catechist, I have learned the importance of facilitating communication between our youth and God’s teachings.”
“Being part of the Liturgical Ministry helps me relate to the homily,” Jim adds. “As a lector, studying the readings beforehand allows you to understand their meaning.”
Jim and Colleen work in the service field. Jim is a captain in the police department, and Colleen works with the victim/witness unit.
If you aren’t part of a ministry, Jim and Colleen would encourage you to take that first step. Even if you are involved, consider how you might give more gifts to benefit the parish.
“Getting involved really magnifies your church experience,” Colleen says. “It makes us feel more connected to the other members of the church.”
The Duerings have triplets — Connor, Kade, and Addison. Colleen attended Catholic school and was raised Catholic. Jim fully entered into the Catholic faith in 2012. Colleen and Jim agree that sharing the faith with their children has made a difference.
“Our open faith and conversations have led to great kids,” Jim says. “Not that they do not make mistakes as young people will, but that they are honest about them, have grown from them, and have a great moral understanding of their responsibilities.”
What stands out the most to the Duerings about Blessed Sacrament is the parish family. They enjoy the community of parishioners.
In her free time, Colleen volunteers for various nonprofit and school functions. Jim and Colleen enjoy being involved with the children’s interests. When they have free time together, they play board games or watch a movie. They also enjoy traveling.
When the triplets go out on their own, Jim and Colleen hope that they keep their faith and continue to grow.
“We hope that they grow in faith and the best form of themselves that God can create,” Colleen says. “Mostly, we hope that it brings them peace and happiness.”