Volunteers are an integral part of a parish community. They help run most ministries, and their work can result in a lively and thriving Catholic church. Volunteering is a great way to meet like-minded people and contribute to the well-being of your parish. In my previous article, I interviewed several young adults about their experience serving at their parish. Below, they answered some common questions about volunteering.
Who should I talk to if I want to start volunteering at my parish?
Miriam Lazarus, choir member at St. Thomas More Parish: Talk to the priest. The priest would know the exact person [to contact]. Or call the parish office, they would guide you to who exactly you should talk to,.Alyanna Viray, RCIC volunteer at St. Barnabas Parish: Talk with your parish priest or talk to parishioners who are quite involved in the parish and ask them, “What needs are there in the parish? Is there anything that I can come in and help fill those needs?” Sama Abada, lector at St. Benedict Parish: Reach out to anybody, it doesn’t have to be the priest, anybody who’s involved in ministry.
How do I figure out where to serve in my parish?
Sama Abada: See what your skills are. What do you enjoy doing? What do you think you would like to try? What are you drawn to? I didn’t know I had a gift for lectoring until I actually got into it, but I wanted to try it.Alyanna Viray: Always be discerning: What is God asking me to give today? How can I best help Him? I definitely feel like God always answers those prayers. He always gives you the means and the people and anything that you need to help out and help fulfill your God-given mission. Always keep your prayer life active and really understand: What are my gifts? What are my talents? What can I bring to the church? Ask God to help you to find the best way to do that.
What are the benefits of volunteering?
Sama Abada: It really gives you something back. I think everybody that’s part of a parish should give in some way: time, talent, treasure, something. And you find it fulfilling as well. There are a lot of benefits that you don’t necessarily realize in the moment: people that you’ll get to know, friends you’ll get to meet, and really that strong sense of community. That’s what can get you through some very hard times.