Coralville parish hosts liturgy workshop

Members of St. Thomas More Parish in Coralville participate in a breakout session during a liturgy workshop earlier this month.

By Sandy O’Brien
For The Catholic Messenger

CORALVILLE — Nearly 100 Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (EMHC), readers, ushers and music ministers from St. Thomas More Parish gathered at the church for a liturgy workshop earlier this month. The workshop emphasized a renewal of the heart and a rededication to these central ministries while also providing a refresher and update on best practices for fulfilling each participant’s charism as a liturgical minister.

Pastor Father Chuck Adam welcomed participants, who had the opportunity to learn from diocesan experts about the significance of their chosen role of service in a communal, supportive environment with their fellow liturgical ministers. The breakout sessions provided a deep dive into the Diocese of Davenport’s expectations for each ministry. Presenters offered practical tips and guidance for enhancing engagement with the liturgy.

Presenters were Tammy Norcross-Reitzler, director of Campus Ministry for St. Ambrose University in Davenport; Jorge Lopez, St. Thomas More ministry training coordinator; Ken Miller, reader workshop resource for the Diocese of Davenport and member of St. John Vianney Parish, Bettendorf; and Barb Lopez, St. Thomas More ministry training coordinator. Other presenters were Luigi Enriquez, St. Thomas More coordinator of Music Ministry; Tom Moore, lead usher, St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton Parish in Hiawatha, Iowa; and Mick Langguth, St. Thomas More training coordinator.


Norcross-Reitzler offered guidance to EMHC ministers, sharing the story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus as a metaphor to express the importance of journeying together through the stages of life toward eternal life. Christians are the hands and feet of Christ in this world, giving of themselves in service by clothing the naked, visiting the sick and feeding the hungry; EMHC ministers offer the body and blood of Christ to a hungry world, she explained.

Parishioner Pam Bourjaily attended the breakout session for readers. Miller, a diocesan reader workshop resource, explained the protocols for bowing when approaching the altar and offered tips for how to position the microphone at the ambo, among other things. Bourjaily said she appreciated Miller’s attention to detail.

The St. Thomas More Worship and Spirituality Commission, which organized the event, is grateful for parishioners who step forward to support these essential ministries. The event provided a way to communicate to the ministers the importance of their work as well as engage the parish in the U.S. bishops’ call to Eucharistic Revival. Organizers hope the workshop experience can become an annual event that promotes stewardship and serves as an ongoing renewal and celebration of the lived faith.

 (Sandy O’Brien chairs the Worship and Spirituality Commission at St. Thomas More Parish in Coralville.)

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