The EMHC’s of St Thomas the Apostle are laypeople who volunteer to bring the Body and Blood of Christ to the community. Their service to our community is a privilege, a great responsibility, and a humbling experience. They help bring Christ to everyone in the parish community.
This is accomplished in several ways. EMHC’s serve at liturgies, assisting the priest and/or deacon in distribution of Communion. They visit the sick or homebound parishioners, bringing them Communion and making them feel part of our parish community. Parishioners in the hospital are also visited by our homebound EMHC’s.
To be an EMHC at St Thomas the Apostle you must be:
- at least 18 years old
- a registered member of the parish
- approved by the priests of the parish
- an example of Christian living
- trained by the diocese for liturgies and homebound service
- trained by the coordinator for service at St Thomas
- physically able to perform the duties
- willing to comply with the procedures set forth in the EMHC Handbook
- willing to attend prayer meetings held each year
- willing to serve at any Mass within the parish (Church and Chapel), if commissioned to serve at liturgies
- willing to visit the sick and homebound parishioners, if commissioned to serve the homebound
Our ministry began in 1973 when diocesan bishops were authorized to commission Catholic laity to distribute Communion at Mass and take Communion to the sick. Currently, there are over 130 dedicated men and women who fulfill this role in our parish. EMHC’s serve at Mass on a rotating basis, approximately every 3rd week. Our Homebound EMHC’s visit the sick weekly or whenever they are requested. Although most EMHC’s serve only at liturgies or visit the homebound, there are 22 people who serve both. We have found our ministry to be a very rewarding experience and are happy to serve the people of St Thomas the Apostle.
There are four people who share the responsibility of the organization of the EMHC’s. Deacon John Ford is the Moderator who oversees the ministry. He makes sure our procedures are liturgically correct, keeps up with any changes in procedure, organizes the prayer meetings, and writes the newsletter. Jean Ovadia is the Coordinator. She is responsible for the weekly schedule of EMHC’s for all Masses in the Church and Chapel, trains the new members on the procedures for serving in our parish, and manages the website. Kathy Megali is the Homebound Coordinator who makes arrangements for homebound visits.
New EMHC’s are commissioned twice each year. For more information, please leave your name at the Rectory and Deacon John or Jean Ovadia will contact you.
Primary Contact: Jean Ovadia