By Beth Donze, Kids’ Clarion Editor
Something as simple as the manner in which the gifts are brought up at Mass can be a powerful means of evangelization.
Helping school Masses to be as awe-inspiring as they are meant to be is one of the main missions of St. Mary Magdalen School’s Liturgical Club of 20 fourth through seventh graders.
At the Offertory, club members are taught to approach the altar with great reverence – with excellent posture, a common gait and eyes focused on the priest. They make the Sign of the Cross as the priest blesses them.
“We’re there to glorify God – that is our purpose (as church ministers),” said Melanie Gaumond, St. Mary Magdalen School’s catechetical leader and a social studies teacher, who helped launch the Liturgical Club three years ago.
The way one reads at the ambo is yet another way to evangelize, club members learn – and this job involves more than speaking directly into the microphone, Gaumond notes.
“We talk about how we are proclaiming God’s word – we’re not reading as though we are reading sentences out of a book,” Gaumond said. “We read with joy!”
The club meets twice a month during recess. One of the members’ main responsibilities is composing the Prayer of the Faithful intercessions for the school Mass celebrated every Wednesday. Students learn that this part of the liturgy minimally must include prayers for the pope, the universal church and the parish, in addition to other intentions.
Club members also start off the school week by reading prayer intentions over the PA system during prayer time on Monday mornings.
The club was founded in 2015 out of a desire to enhance the spirituality of faculty and students. It also falls in line with St. Mary Magdalen’s commitment to giving parishioners and the school community more opportunities to come together for prayer and worship, Gaumond said.
For example, alternating classes of St. Mary Magdalen students invite parishioners to join them in the chapel for eucharistic adoration on first Mondays.
Also, a different grade level each week joins parishioners at the daily Mass on Friday morning.
“I think it’s made quite a difference in the spirituality not only of our students, but of our parish,” Gaumond said. “And several of our older students have even said how nice it is to start off the day with Mass!”
The Liturgical Club also sponsors, leads and teaches younger students “The Ladybug Rosary for Life,” recited before the 8:30 a.m. Mass on second Fridays. As always, parishioners are invited via the bulletin, Gaumond said.
Newly sponsored by the club this year is the school’s “Kindness Table,” a place where students can post their prayer requests and view monthly posters showing the development of a baby from conception to birth (the posters are also reminders of each class’ spiritually adopted baby). The table announces the monthly prayer themes set by the club, including breast cancer awareness in October, and vocations and gratitude in November.