The July-August 2023 issue of Catholic Herald magazine has been published. The theme for this issue is "Eucharistic revival." The digital edition of the magazine is available at https://catholicmagazines.org/magazine-archive/catholic-herald/sac0723
In the cover story of this issue, readers meet Martin Wong, chair of the pastoral council at St. John Vianney Parish in Rancho Cordova, who stepped to lead and coordinate the remake of the parish's altar server ministry about 18 months ago. "From the beginning of the end of COVID-19, we already felt that there was a great need," says Martin, who is 29. In addition to the chance to form faithful hearts in children, the other side of the opportunity presented itself.
"Children were yearning -- in many ways dying -- for an opportunity to be seen and heard by parents, friends and teachers," Martin stresses, suggesting that the impact of isolation and limited interactivity took its tool on kids too. A revitalized altar server ministry could function to re-engage children, immersing them in the Mass and "into the deepness of Christ's love and mercy," he adds. Further, as it fosters a renewed fulfillment found in Christ, serving at the table of the Lord held in it the potential to reverse anxiety and loneliness, erase any resistance and transform little hearts into big hearts of service.
Today, the parish values its solid base of 35 altar servers and acknowledges an important recruitment approach rooted in personal invitations and a "come and see" vocational mindset. Martin also expresses gratitude for "a church with a school," because half of the altar servers hail from the school, a ready pool of youth from which to draw.
Other stories in this issue include Bishop Jaime Soto's column on "In every sacrifice of the Mass, how blessed are those invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb"; a feature story on Josue Barraza, 23, youth minister at St. Lawrence the Martyr Parish in North Highlands since October 2019, who has a special devotion to Blessed Carlos Acutis, an Italian teen whose life was cut short by Leukemia in 2006 at age 15; a feature story on Karen Fitts and Kathy Baxter, co-coordinators of Eucharistic adoration at St. Mel Parish in Fair Oaks; a feature on new priest, Father Eric Patrick, who was ordained for the diocese on June 3, about how the Eucharist is "the source and strength I need to serve God"; a feature of how Deacon John Thoo of St, Isidore Parish in Yuba City is aiming to increase understanding of the Eucharist among parishioners; and a feature story on Father Stanley Poltorak, pastor of Presentation Parish in Sacramento since 2016, who is retiring after 38 years of ministry in the diocese.
This issue also features Theology 101, addressing the topic of "the Eucharist and adult faith."
Bishop Jaime Soto is the publisher of Catholic Herald magazine, which is published six times each year and includes moving faith stories about Catholics in the diocese, as well as news and events of the local church. Individual faith stories are the cornerstone of the magazine and columns also explore the Catholic faith and education about church teachings. To donate $15 per year to receive Catholic Herald, call 916-733-0266. To view the archive of past issues of Catholic Herald magazine, visit https://www.scd.org/catholicherald.