For seventh-grader Miah Wanderscheid, being an active member of St. Alexius parish alongside the rest of her family has, in turn, placed her family within another family — a church family. Miah is currently a student at Sauk Centre Middle School after attending Holy Family School where her mom, Jeni is a teacher and her two younger siblings, Mason and Kelsie, currently attend.
Being at the Catholic school allowed Miah the opportunity to be involved in the church family in many different ways. She was an altar server, lector, gift bearer, and choir member for Masses at the school and now uses the experience she received to serve in the parish at St. Alexius.
“It is important for our family to be a part of the parish community because it makes us a part of another family in our church,” Miah says. “We know these people well and that they will pray for us and be there for us when we need anything.”
Being a part of the parish family, volunteering, and taking part in the different activities that are at the parish not only provide Miah and her family a parish home but also helps to strengthen her faith which is an important part of her life.
“I need my faith in God to help me get through each day,” Miah says. “When I am sad or scared, I know I can pray and that He will help me. He is there for me when I am happy and He helps me when I am sad, nervous, or worried. I would worry a lot more without Him in my life. He has given me so many blessings and gifts, and that makes me want to give back more.”
As a busy middle schooler who takes part in many extracurriculars such as dance, volleyball, and softball, Miah’s family is intentional about active church participation and involvement. Her mom, Jeni, serves as an Extraordinary Minister, and her dad, PJ, volunteers at Holy Family School. Her siblings take part in VBS and Totus Tuus and serve in the different roles at Mass at school. Additionally, they volunteer for the Sausage Supper and other events at the parish. Miah is active as an altar server and an assistant for Children’s Liturgy of the Word.
“I like being an altar server because I had other people who helped me learn and understand what I was supposed to do,” Miah says. “They taught me a lot so I am not nervous anymore. It is also neat to be near the altar during the Consecration. Being so close and understanding what is taking place on the altar is so special.”
The importance of the parish family, the gift of an education incorporating her faith, and knowing she has a place here have all given Miah a strong foundation in her faith.
“I always feel better when I am doing something in church,” she says. “I may not be having a good day — and then when I am in church and serving Mass or reading, I just feel so much better. I think it is because it helps me remember that Jesus is always with me.”