As we return to our parish communities after the effects of the pandemic, we are initiating a new formation process for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Since the pandemic, we have launched Wave 1 of the Family of Parishes and are in the introductory stage for Wave 2. In addition, the last major commissioning year for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion that we have on record was 2016. These 5-year commissions were completed in 2021. Thus, this is a perfect time to begin anew!
As we unleash the Gospel in southeast Michigan, we are guided by the Holy Spirit to renew the process of formation for our Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (formerly “EME”). To assist our Families of Parishes, we have prepared a formation course that is found on our Encounter Grow Witness website Courses. The formation course, Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion Formation, includes catechesis in the following areas: The Church, the Mystery of the Eucharist, the Role of Sacred Scripture in the Mass, the Liturgy of the Word, the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the role of the Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, and the importance of discerning this particular ministry. In addition, the Director of Worship, in collaboration with the Liturgical Ministry Coordinator for each Family of Parishes, will provide an opportunity for every person in the course to practice the procedures used at the celebration of the Mass in each particular parish. The course may be taken individually or as a group.
The Director of Worship for the Family of Parishes, working with the Liturgical Ministers Coordinator, will confirm that each person who would like to serve as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion has completed the formation course. Upon completion, the names of those who will be serving in their Family of Parishes will be submitted to the Office of Sacred Worship by the Director of Worship for the Family of Parishes. On behalf of Archbishop Vigneron, a certificate confirming the commission to serve will be sent to the Director Worship. The Director of Worship will then coordinate with the Moderator the commissioning of the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion within a Sunday Mass. Please note that this is within our Families of Parishes. Individuals who are part of a particular parish community within the Family of Parishes will be aligned with that parish, but they may serve in any of the parishes within the Family of Parishes.
Together, we are moving forward with our Families of Parishes. Please know that this will also require patience and understanding. Some who have served as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion previously may not wish to continue with the additional process of formation. There are many ways to serve in the Archdiocese of Detroit; we have opportunities to discern how to use our gifts in various ways. There may be a different way to serve on the liturgical team in the Family of Parishes. We also provide a course to explore hospitality within the liturgical team: Hospitality within the Liturgical Team.
These new opportunities for learning and liturgical formation flow from Archbishop Vigneron’s Pastoral Letter Unleash the Gospel. As we pray and work toward bringing others to Jesus, we are certainly called to be joyful, intentional missionary disciples. On our Encounter Grow Witness page, you will also find a very significant course on The Detroit Model of Evangelization. There are other excellent courses offered, all for free, to help serve our parish communities in our Family of Parishes.
In addition, this year (2022), on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ on Sunday, June 19, join us at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament to initiate the participation of the Archdiocese of Detroit in the National Eucharistic Revival. This celebration will launch our Diocesan Year of the Eucharistic Revival. Each of our Families of Parishes will be invited to participate directly in the Eucharistic Revival. This will conclude with the celebration of a Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis in 2024: 2024 National Eucharistic Congress - National Eucharistic Revival. As you deepen your faith in the True Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, you can learn more of our tradition and theology by taking the free course: The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church - A new course from Revive Parishes. This course assists us in understanding the document on the Eucharist recently published by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.