Father Joseph asked me if I wanted to write the reflection for this week’s bulletin. I wasn’t quite certain what I would write, so I decided to share a bit about this year as the Disciple in Service.
This has been a remarkable year. I applied for the Disciple in Service program because, like many college graduates, I had no idea what I should do with my life. So, I applied as kind of a gamble in the wind. I had the best interview of my life and I felt amazing coming out of the interview. Well, history shows that I must have rocked the interview as later that week Twi called me and offered me the job.
Being in love with the Mass, I got involved with the liturgy and serving as an Acolyte, writing the prayers of the faithful, and helping plan liturgical events. I was blessed with being the Master of Ceremonies at the Easter Vigil Mass merely one year after my own entry into the Church.
I was incredibly blessed with being able to help with both the high school Bible study and the middle school EDGE program. I actually went into helping youth ministry rather begrudgingly, but I fell in love with it. There are so many amazing youth in this parish; I urge you all to get to know them.
Probably one of the most amazing projects I’ve worked on has been the Bethlehem Well Project. I’ve had the privilege of being able to interview Bishop William Shomali of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. My year has been filled with truly incredible experiences.
This is all thanks to all of you, the parishioners of Sacred Heart. I came into this position as a new Catholic and all of you have welcomed me into this incredible family. You have all truly fostered my faith. I’ve gotten to know so many different groups of people here at the parish. There’s the adoration people, the Knights of Columbus, the Prayer Shawl ministry, St. Vincent de Paul volunteers, the Social Justice committee, the youth here at the parish, etc., etc., etc. etc. There are so many ways to be involved in the parish; so many diverse groups. If there is one thing that I have learned about church ministry throughout this last year it is that there are so many ways one can serve at the Church.
I urge you all to get involved with some ministry at the Church. Maybe try lectoring or being an extraordinary minister. Come learn how to knit with the Prayer Shawl Ministry. Take an hour of adoration on the weekends. Do you like to serve the homeless or disadvantaged? Come help out with CAST.
I say this, not to tell you what to do, but because these experiences have helped my faith grow exponentially. I have gotten to truly appreciate in a deeper way what it means to be Catholic. Thank you all for helping me to experience this and grow in my relationship with God. Fortunately, the good Lord has blessed me with a job as a mail carrier here in Bellingham, so you will still see me around.
Cheers and blessings,
Kevin W.P. Ernest