From the Passive Spectator to an Active Disciple

Guest Post by Patricia Kennedy, Pastoral Council

For self-serving reasons I wanted to get as close to the Lord’s Table as I could possibly get, so I became an altar server, at what you might call a more (clear throat) mature age. You can’t tell a girl she isn’t allowed to do something forever!

Since the age of seven, participating in the Eucharist has been most meaningful for me; it is the essence of my faith. The action of serving and fully participating in the Eucharist ignited something else in me that is hard to put into words. I felt like I was close, but not close enough and that this was just one small commitment to the Marks of Discipleship. As a server, I felt fully engaged at the Eucharist, and at the same time understood that for a long time I had only been a spectator.

I recognized in my adult life, like others, I had been content to be a “pew sitter.” I realized that as a passive spectator of the Mass I have also probably been a passive steward in everyday life. The small act of serving at the Lord’s table, beckoned attention to all of the marks of discipleship. When I began to truly commit to following in the footsteps of Christ, as a disciple, I began to align my spiritual and religious life with my public life.

JustFaith activities included playing an interactive game to try to understand the complexity of poverty in the US.

I learned, by participating in the JustFaith Program,  that I had been indifferent to the exploration of critical realities and their implications to my life and my faith. Being critical of common lives and culture in light of the Gospel challenges personal responsibility to social concerns. I feel connected to the Cathedral through the ministries and the people they serve.

Never more so than after I answered the call to serve at the Lord’s table. I see that the Church is a living expression of human life and that if we are full participants our service does not stop after we leave mass, or even after serving for one or two hours. I believe that discipleship means accepting our responsibility to help build a vibrant culture of mutual support and a sense of personal responsibility for each other. I thought I found a place at the table, when all along, the Lord was setting a place at his table for me.  ###


One of Pat’s many ministries at the Cathedral is being the liaison from the Pastoral Council to the Human Concerns Commission.  As a part of this ministry, on Sundays in January, Pat will be facilitating a book discussion on Jim Wallis’ latest book, “America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America”.  Join this discussion with an RSVP to the Facebook Event or by contacting Shelly by calling 414-238-2710 or via


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *