When my father’s health was deteriorating when he reached the age of 95, I realized how isolated and lonely he had become. I lived in California, Dad in Wisconsin. When he passed at age 97, struggling with “Why, God, have you not taken me yet?”, it was then I knew I had to serve the shut-ins. His struggle helped me understand how desperately the elderly and hospitalized need to feel a Spiritual connection, especially at this time.
The training provided for Eucharistic Ministers helped me feel confident in serving those in need. We learned about the needs of the bed-ridden, both physical and emotional, and the process of serving the Eucharist in various circumstances.
When I visit these wonderful people, I feel I am filling a tremendous void for them, and allowing them to reconnect with what they may feel they had lost at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Their physical needs may be met, however so often their spiritual and emotional well-being is set aside, while nurses, doctors, and family, honorably attempt to improve their health or mobility.
I have been serving Eucharist to those home-bound for several years, and often jump at the opportunity to do this more than the once-a-month schedule. My dear husband, Doug, often volunteers to accompany me, so we can “run” as the need arises. The joy and blessing I receive surely must be more than what the recipient receives. Knowing how much our presence and reconnection with St. Paul’s is so important to each person we visit, is evident on their faces, which may be the only way of expressing their gratitude.
God surprises me almost every visit, such as when I was visiting Rita and Dorothy at their nursing homes. Rita, although blind and bedridden, found no obstacle too great for her to express her love for the Cathedral, and joy in having me serve Eucharist. I discovered through Rev. Dorothy Curry, that they loved music, and that Rita was a long-standing choir member. I made sure to bring my music and play songs that may have familiarity. Rita loved classical music, and could even remember the names of various compositions, so I included Bach and Mozart. They both loved being able to recite The Lord’s Prayer or Psalm 23.
A special bond is created with those we serve. I am blessed to provide that Spiritual Presence, as a vessel from God. It’s the slow paced quiet, reverent time for both recipient and provider to share their love in Christ.
You may want to consider becoming a Eucharistic Minister. Or, you may know of someone who would love to have a Cathedral Visitor or Eucharistic Minister enter their life. In either case, please contact Brooks Mason at email@example.com or Vicki Hoppenrath firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Faith DeHart