In Your Midst


Summer 2002

In This Issue:
“On Sunday we have a common assembly of all our members, whether they live in the city or in the outlying districts...The Eucharist is distributed, everyone present communicates, and then the Eucharist is taken to those who are absent.” This account of Christian worship could have been written yesterday in fact, it was written in the second century by St. Justin the Martyr. For Christians, community has always extended far beyond the church walls to embrace those who through sickness or age are unable to gather for worship. At St. James, ministry to the homebound, coordinated by Sister Claudette Conrad, involves more than fifty dedicated volunteers who serve the spiritual, social, and physical needs of the elderly and homebound in our extended downtown neighborhood.

Some volunteers tape record the 10:00am Sunday Mass so that those who are absent can experience the prayers, the preaching, and the music of our liturgies. Others visit the elderly in their homes to run errands and help with simple cleaning and repairs help that often means the difference between independent living and a group home. And still others bring the Eucharist, and with it the spirit of the whole cathedral community, to those who are unable to be with us in person.

I was privileged recently to spend a day with two of our extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, and to meet some of the equally extraordinary people whom they serve. Linda Condes is part of a team that provides a weekly Liturgy of the Word with Holy Communion service at First Hill Care Center. Regina Glenn visits parishioner Kay Layton in her home on a “communion call” each Sunday afternoon. The photos in this article provide a few glimpses into this important ministry the homebound members of our community.

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Corinna Laughlin is Liturgy Associate at St. James Cathedral.

To learn more about ministry to the homebound,
please contact Sister Claudette Conrad at 206-382-4513.

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