I recently joined my parish’s Evangelization Team. There, I met and heard about dedicated parishioners who had been with the team for years and contributed in so many ways. I was inspired.
In many other areas of the parish, and certainly at other parishes, there are older adults who give of themselves in small and big ways for years. My parish does a good job of showcasing parishioners who dedicate themselves to the Church’s mission in specific ministries.
My father’s one of those parishioners at his home parish. He’s been a Lenten fish fry and youth ministry volunteer for several years. His years of service in these ministries always amazed me. He was always satisfied with his small role in these ministries, never reaching for more and just happy to serve God in the way he did: waiting tables and companioning high schoolers.
Now, I’m a young adult. Much like employment, the average amount of time young adults spend volunteering with a specific group is probably around 1-3 years. We’re the generation known for low attention spans and commitment levels. We’re ever-searching and expanding ourselves and our talents in new directions to keep life interesting and exciting.
But there’s something to be said for the level of commitment you see in our older parishioners. Some of these folks have spent years of dedicated, humble service on parish teams and committees. They are doing things that you and I take for granted: praying for us at daily Mass, coordinating events, serving the needy, and so on. Where would our parishes be without them – without their prayers, their service, and their commitment? The more of them I meet, the more I am grateful for all they do in service to the church and mission of Christ.
I want to be like that. Lord, make us young adults committed, humble servants of your Church, that we may carry the torch forward for generations to come, and may we listen to and model our dedicated, older parishioners who teach and mentor us in what it truly means to serve.