Our parish family extends beyond those who attend our weekend Masses. Some of our longest-standing parishioners are those who are homebound or residents of nursing homes, unable to make the trip to Mass anymore — their value to our community is beyond measure. So, our Nursing Home and Homebound Outreach ensures that these parishioners know they are not forgotten.
The Cathedral has a group of parishioners who currently minister to those who are homebound or in nursing homes. About 20 people serve or are being trained to serve. Some volunteers are Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion who are able to bring Our Lord in the Eucharist to those who cannot make it to Mass. Others simply offer their time to visit and pray together. The outstanding work of the St. Joseph Serves Planning Committee and Volunteers also ensured the Cathedral’s first St. Joseph Serves Day in April 2023 included visits to local nursing homes and homebound parishioners.
Steve Meystrik assists in coordinating the volunteers who visit the homebound. His experience working with the elderly sparked an appreciation for our aging parishioners.
“This desire to serve was strengthened when I experienced caring for my own parents upon their placement at Heisinger Bluffs Senior Living Community and wanting to ensure they were still being served sacramentally,” Steve says.
Parishioners who are served through this ministry often have a long history with the parish. They helped to create the parish and community that we all enjoy today.
“This ministry allows us to care for and remain connected with those who have been so instrumental to the building of the Cathedral of St. Joseph, our parish and school, and who remain important members of our parish family,” Steve says.
Moreover, these parishioners still serve the parish and the Church in a profound, quiet way.
“The prayers and sacrifices of all our parishioners are very powerful,” Steve says. “Those who are homebound or in a nursing home continue to pray and offer their sacrifices for our parish, diocese, and in particular for an increase in priestly and religious vocations.”
Through the work of our volunteers, the life of the parish extends beyond the walls of the church building. Each nursing home in the diocese is assigned a deacon from a local parish and we work with them to bring prayer services, penance services, and the sacraments into the homes of those who are in the care facilities.
“Our family members and dear parishioners and friends want so desperately to remain connected with their faith,” Steve says. “They want to receive the graces that can only come through participation in Mass, reception of the Eucharist, and through the Sacrament of Penance.”
Those who serve in this ministry are richly rewarded by fellowship. The time given in this service is invaluable to the individuals who are served and to the parish. Volunteers only need to complete their VIRTUS training, sign a Pastoral Code of Conduct agreement, and have a background check, all to ensure that everyone is cleared for their volunteer work. If bringing the faith, sacraments, and community to those in need calls to you, you are invited to participate in this ministry.
To learn more, or to begin serving, contact Steve Meystrik at 573-635-7991, ext. 303 or firstname.lastname@example.org.