My name is Rhea Wehrmeister, and I have been a St. Cletus parishioner since early 1995. We had been searching for a new parish since August 1994, when we moved from Oak Lawn. The warmth of those who, although they did not know us, yet warmly extended their welcome at the sign of peace, listening to Fr. Marshall’s uplifting homily, and reverent consecration sealed the deal for us. This felt like exactly kind of community where we belonged.
We enrolled our youngest daughter our parish grammar school. My husband joined the Chancel Choir and became an annual pancake flipper at the Walter Klimke Breakfast for many years. I was welcomed as a Eucharistic Minister and Lector (1995) and more recently a Minister of Care (2016) at Lagrange Hospital.
The closing of our church this past spring was a tremendous loss. The most important liturgies of the Easter season were sorely missed. Although we ‘watched’ Mass on TV, there was absolutely no comparison with being present to receive Eucharist as opposed to a spiritual communion. When the TV Mass ended, I still felt shortchanged. Spiritual communion fell far short of truly receiving the true Blessed Sacrament. I longed for a return to my own parish church and community.
When the reopening was announced, and participation was made available to us ‘older’ parishioners, I volunteered as a greeter/usher. Reconnecting with the many people who have become dear friends over the years, meeting new parishioners as they come through the doors to celebrate Mass together as a community of believers, receiving the Eucharist once more, especially during these uncertain times as been a gift. As we do our best to return to in-person Mass while keeping everyone attending as safe as possible was an opportunity I could not pass up.
If you are thinking of returning to church, be assured the responsibility to maintain a meticulously clean environment and social distancing is taken very seriously. BUT–Yes, there is always a “but”, we need more volunteers. If you are missing Holy Communion and the community of parishioners of St. Cletus, please consider volunteering. There are many ways to become active in the reopening of our parish. Speak with any of us. We would truly welcome your help.
Blessings to all,