“After Mass there’s always a couple of people who come up and thank me,” he said, “so it makes me feel like I’m definitely helping people out and doing the right thing. And it’s keeping me involved in something.”

New Minister Catherine Samara beamed at everyone that she distributed Communion to, and they beamed back at her. “It made me feel like I was kind of spreading the joy as I was spreading God’s life,” she said.

“I think I was smiling so much because I felt like I was truly doing something good,” Samara said. She remembered that when she was little, she always looked up to Eucharistic ministers. She used to think, Gosh, that’s so cool that they get to basically serve for God, she said, “and now I get to do it firsthand.”

She has always felt comfortable being out in front of people. She portrayed a “very hyper” character, Josie McDaniel, in this year’s school play, “Somewhere, Nowhere.”

But on Feb. 1, the idea was to stay calm. “You have to show your respect to God and everything,” she said, “but the joy that I felt both times [in the play and as a Minister] was there.”

Samara said she has faced negativity from people because of her religion, but “I’m happy with what I do and I’m strong in my beliefs and in my faith, and it makes me feel like I’m getting closer to God.

“I like to think of myself as a very positive person,” she said.

Asked how he thought the eight performed at Mass, Father Tassini said, “I thought they did very well. I think they were able to learn about the Eucharist, what the Church teaches about the Eucharist, and then also to grow in their own faith as a result of doing this.”

He is impressed by the students’ initiative.

“The Church asks us to do what we’re already going in a greater capacity,” Father Tassini said. “So: Live our faith in a deeper way, and this is one tangible way of doing that.”

Father Seibt said the ministers were “well formed. I liked their reverence and their understanding of what they were doing.”

Years ago as a Grimes student, Father Seibt also was an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. He didn’t think he’d come back necessarily as a celebrant for a Mass at Grimes, but he did think about the priesthood then.

His main memory as he stepped back into the school mirrored the theme of Catholic Schools Week: “We’re a community of faith, knowledge, and service,” he said, “and it all came back in that regard. And that’s what we did when I was here, and that continues on today.”

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