Q. I joined the Catholic Church about five years ago. I go to Mass every weekend, but that is about it. Nobody has ever asked me to become involved beyond that. How can I learn more about the Church and where I could be useful, other than taking up pew space?
A. Start by reading your parish’s Sunday bulletin; it often indicates parish ministries in need of assistance. Few parishes have too many religious education teachers, readers at Mass, Communion distributors, ushers, greeters or RCIA sponsors. Although some ministries require more training than others, you could rather easily prepare yourself for other ministries.
Does your parish have a St. Vincent de Paul Society? Does it have a group of people who help at a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter? Is the parish involved in building a Habitat for Humanity house? Does your parish have athletic or Scouting programs?
Many Catholics have found the Cursillo to be a turning point for their faith life. This is much more than a weekend retreat with follow-up meetings. Your parish can put you in touch with your diocese’s Cursillo program.
You did not indicate whether you are married or single. In some places, Catholic singles groups socialize, help one another grow in faith and become involved in some type of community service. If you are married, the Engaged Encounter movement might enable you and your wife to help prepare other couples for a Christ-based marriage.
The possibilities of involvement are practically endless. Once you start, you will have many chances to serve!