October 2018
Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

Sixteen Eucharistic Ministers Commissioned on Feast Day

Demarest, NJ: Sixteen Holy Angels seniors were commissioned as Eucharistic Ministers at the October 2, 2018 Feast Day liturgy that marked the Academy’s 139th anniversary. Celebrant Father James Heuser, head of Don Bosco Prep, officially commissioned Jillian Busetto of Pomona, New York; Cristiana Callegari and Nicola Callegari of Upper Saddle River; Athena Cenname of Garnerville, New York; Dominique Clisura of Rutherford; Samantha Danylchuk of Mahwah; Jacklyn Kelly of Norwood; Erin Loftus of Pearl River, New York; Abigail Lovatt of Wood-Ridge; Julia Malnak of Montvale; Erin Maron of Oradell; Madelyn Menapace of Hawthorne; Emily Pintarelli of River Vale; Emilie Thomas of Oradell; Gillian van der Have of West Nyack, New York; and Abigail Sheehan of Wyckoff.

“Remember your leaders and the witness of these women. Imitate their faith,” Father Jim told the Angels, referring to Blessed Mother Theresa Gerhardinger, foundress of the School Sisters of Notre Dame; Mother Caroline Friess, director of the SSNDs in America; and Sister Nonna Dunphy, foundress of the Academy of the Holy Angels. Addressing the new Eucharistic Ministers specifically, Father Jim stated that their new role would be a “great joy and a great responsibility.”

AHA Director of Campus Ministry Kathleen Sylvester pointed out that this a ministry of service and privilege available to members of the senior class who are fully-initiated Roman Catholics and are active in the church. Eucharistic Ministers are held to a high standard, Sylvester noted, since they are servant leaders who are expected to be Christ-like.

Training includes a discussion of what it means to be Christ for others. Part of the process includes a guided meditation during which the students bake unleavened bread. The students reflect on the activity in their homes as they take their bread to their families. The girls also learn to distribute Communion properly and respectfully.

Abigail Lovatt decided to pursue this training so she can continue to be an active Catholic. She said she believes the training for this ministry is never-ending.

“I think that it is important for everyone, but especially for Eucharistic Ministers, to live their lives spreading the good news and acting as Jesus would want us to act. I plan on using my EM training in the future actively in my youth group,” Lovatt explained. She said she plans to lend a hand at upcoming Masses.

For Erin Maron, this training was a natural continuation of her involvement in the church.

“I was raised in a Catholic family and have gone to Catholic school my whole life, so religion is a big aspect of my life. I was an altar server in middle school as well as during my freshman to junior years here at AHA. I knew I wanted to continue my service at Mass, and becoming a Eucharistic Minister was the next step,” Maron said. “In the future, I plan on being involved in campus ministry wherever I go to college.” She indicated that she would like to continue her Eucharistic Ministry as a university student.

Jillian Busetto noted that she is “called to be a religious role model at all times, not just during Mass.” She said she is looking forward to serving as a Eucharistic Minister at AHA and within her parish, Our Lady of Mercy.

Erin Loftus sought to become a Eucharistic Minister as a way to develop a stronger faith and serve others.

“We spent a day during the summer at school in which we got to know each other better and learned the important responsibilities of Eucharistic Ministers,” Loftus said of the process.

In addition to serving others in her church or college, Loftus noted that she would be able to provide friends and relatives with the Eucharist in instances when they cannot attend Mass.

Menapace will be continuing her family’s tradition.

“My grandmother, mother, and older sister have all gone through Eucharistic Minister training and participate in weekly Mass, which has been the focal reason behind my decision to also pursue the ministry,” she explained. Commenting on the training, she said, “At the beginning of the summer, my fellow classmates and the members of AHA Campus Ministry met to discuss the importance of becoming a Eucharistic Minister and our experience with sacraments in the past, particularly our first communion.”

The Hawthorne resident added that she is looking forward to contributing to her church community.

Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious high school serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. Over time, thousands of women have passed through AHA’s portals. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts, and athletics. The Academy’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.


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