Good  Morning

I’ve been asked to speak to you this morning about my experiences of being a Lector for our parish.

I first started as a Lector for my small home parish at Baradine at the age of 13 or 14 because I felt like it was the ‘right thing to do.’   Everyone in the parish was involved and everyone had a job.  So I thought I should do my share too.  Which I did for a few years, until boarding school and university.

It was not until some many years later when I began teaching in this region that I became involved in our parish here in Bathurst.  At that time, I would come to Mass and leave with very little interaction with anyone.  I felt disconnected even though I was here amongst a full church.

I reflected on this for some time and my thoughts took me back Baradine.  Why did I feel more connected then?  What was different to Bathurst?  I soon realised it was that I was a Lector.  Not only a Lector – it was that I was serving God.  I was an active part of our community.  I contributed to everyone’s experience of Mass.  I was connected.

I have now been a Lector in our Parish for at least 10 years and I have enjoyed every moment.  I feel honoured to be able to fulfil this role within our community and it is a very meaningful experience for me.

Prior to my rostered Sundays, I like to prepare at home during the week by reading through my copy of Break Open the Word.  This book is amazing and it explains the passage and how to read and proclaim it.

Sure there have been times when I have made mistakes – my worst was in front of the Bishop one Sunday when I started to cry during a particular reading as it spoke a lot about death and my sister was dying at the time.  But I kept going and I apologised to the Bishop afterwards.  He was so kind in what he said to me that  that moment had left my mind until writing these notes.  At other times you feel very humbled when parishioners approach you after Mass to thank you for your clear and alive Proclamation of the Word.  I feel I’m serving God.

Maybe you feel a little shy about becoming a Lector and there is another way for you to contribute and be involved in our parish.  However, you will not feel alone wen when you undertake this role.  I have been blessed with many lovely ‘partners’ during my time – Terry Turnbull and of course Barry, plus many others.  Robin Nightingale is always ready to support you in this role as are our lovely Priests.

If you feel that you can contribute to our parish in this welcome you to come forward.  I am willing to support anyone and the Parish Liturgy Team is too.  Sr Ann Maree is here today if you have any other questions and I am sure that Robin can assist you too.

Thank you for allowing me to share my feelings and thoughts about being a Lector in our parish.  Have a wonderful Sunday.

Julia Baird