History

When St. Clare Catholic Mission was formed, the people who served as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion came from other parishes where they had previously served in the same capacity. In the summer of 2015, Tom Dvorak met with Fr. Mark Starr to start training volunteers from St. Clare and coordinate the assignment of EM’s to the various masses. Today there are approximately 45 EM’s serving the four English speaking masses at St. Clare Catholic Mission. Fr. Mark works with the Hispanic community to have EM’s at the Spanish speaking mass.

Purpose

From the Archdiocesan Training Manual for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion:

“The extraordinary minister of Holy Communion performs a great service to the Church, by distributing Holy Communion to God’s people on those occasions where there are an insufficient number of priests and deacons to distribute Holy Communion to the people present at the mass. It is an honor and a privilege to serve the Church in this capacity, and of course, requires careful preparation on the part of the extraordinary minister.”

Requirements

From ImmensaeCaritatis:

“The faithful who are special ministers of communion must be persons whose good qualities of Christian life, faith, and morals recommend them. Let them strive to be worthy of this great office, foster their own devotion to the Eucharist, and show an example to the rest of the faithful by their own devotion and reverence toward the most august sacrament of the altar. No one is to be chosen whose appointment the faithful might find disquieting.” (ImmensaeCaritatis, 1, VI)

From the Archdiocesan Training Manual for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion:

“The Archdiocese of Atlanta has given some concrete expressions of these norms, namely that an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, if married, be married within the Church, have received the sacrament of Confirmation, and be at least 16 years of age.

“Obviously, it is not sufficient for an individual to demonstrate an exemplary Catholic life before becoming an extraordinary minister; it is also important that they cultivate those virtues after they have been chosen for that position of service to the Church. Again, a bare minimum below which an individual should recuse himself would consist in anything that would prevent him from receiving Holy Communion – grave sin, failure to attend Sunday mass, or a choice not to maintain communion with the teachings and life of the Church. Positively put, however, an extraordinary minister should seek, like all Christians, to cultivate holiness, especially through frequent confession, personal prayer, especially before the Blessed Sacrament, and attendance at daily mass if possible.

 

“They should also seek to have a good knowledge and appreciation for the thought and beliefs of the Church, especially through study of scripture and Church teaching. If an extraordinary minister finds it difficult to live a life appropriate to his function, he might recuse himself for a time from the distribution of Holy Communion, or, if necessary, a pastor might find it necessary to ask him not to continue his service.”

Training

Training for this ministry takes about an hour and only after a call for additional volunteers. Volunteer applications must be completed at the training session.

Approvals

All volunteer applications must be approved by both Fr. Mark and the Archdiocese of Atlanta. All volunteers are subject to a background check and anyone who fails will obviously not be allowed to serve in this ministry.

For additional information, please contact Tom Dvorak – bigtee2@comcast.net or by phone at 678-472-6026.