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Chuck and Donna Lally

Donna and Chuck Lally have been fixtures at Masses at St. Francis, especially during the Sunday 5:30 PM services. How did they get involved? Well, says Donna, “There was just a need. Being at church makes you realize how many people it takes to make things happen. You ask, ‘What can I do with my talents, and how can I help?’” As mass coordinators and EMs at 5:30 Mass, Donna does many things, including caring for the altar cloth and corporals at the church. During COVID, they did daily mass, too, and helped with daily masses from October 2021 to May 2022.  Chuck says, “We probably helped with 250 Masses during that time.”

They have always gone to church, which led to their recruitment about eight years ago; they became Eucharistic Ministers and Mass Coordinators. Chuck, a cradle Catholic who attended Catholic Schools until college, says they are “Glad to be helping others through their service. As an EM and MC, you are responsible for so many aspects of the Mass, and the reality is that you can’t pay 100% attention to the mass because you’re coordinating the process and ensuring everyone is doing what needs to be done.” He added, “It was nice to go to Mass when we weren’t serving; I said, ‘Oh, so this is what Mass is like from this side!’” Donna shared that she “was intimidated at first by handling the consecrated hosts, but you realize you’re helping people to receive the sacrament. I also have stepped in to read as well.” “It was all intimidating at first,” she said, laughing.

As such active volunteers, their advice on getting involved at St. Francis is practical: Donna advised to “Look at the list of different ministries and compare it to what you like to do; if you like to cook, make casseroles; if you like to work with kids, there are many opportunities through the schools and Faith Formation. Look at opportunities and find matches. Stretch yourself to see if you can help in doing something new.” “I think people should start simple and then, after getting comfortable, see if you can work your way up,” says Chuck, “You need to realize that you are helping people no matter what you’re doing.” Sage advice from the Lallys!