Oak Knoll Commissions 17 Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

Oak Knoll celebrates Mass on several occasions throughout the year, and typically, senior students who have been previously commissioned in their Junior year administer the Eucharist. On Wednesday, May 8, 2024, in a special Rite of Commissioning Mass, 17 students pledged to administer the Eucharist with the utmost care and reverence.

Ryan Arends, Marianna Bernardo, Lauren Buggie, Abigail Cirillo, Vida Connolly, Melissa Dardanello, Avery Drone, Anne Egan, Zoe Harmaty, Gwyneth Healy, Moira Joel, Ellie McCabe, Mina McNulty, Grace Ritter, Lillyana Venezia, Clara Vales, and Anna Wojie — all members of the Class of 2025 — answered “I do,” when asked the commissioning question by Father Larry Evans, Pastor of St. Rose of Lima Church in Short Hills. He asked the candidates, “Do you resolve to undertake the office of giving the body and blood of the Lord to your brothers and sisters and so build up the Church?”

“This special role is a unique opportunity for rising seniors to be leaders in their community,” said Upper School Theology Teacher and Department Chair Sarah Sicari. “It allows students to learn more about their faith while putting their words into action. Students serve all community members, but most importantly, they act as role models to whom the younger students look up. Every year, students tell us that they participate in this ministry because they remember and admire the student leaders before them. It is a very moving experience to train these outstanding young women, and it is especially beautiful to see them commissioned.”

Arends stated that becoming an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion was of personal importance. “It allows me to serve those I love along with those in my community,” said Arends. “I feel extremely closer to God, and I am excited to continue fostering my faith through this new opportunity, especially as I near the end of high school.” 

Classmate Egan was also excited to have the ministerial opportunity. “Throughout my time at Oak Knoll, I have grown so much in my faith, and all school Masses have become one of my favorite parts of the school year. As an underclassman, I watched senior Extraordinary Ministers give the gift of Holy Communion to the rest of the student body and have always wanted to serve the community in this way,” she explained.

McCabe also expressed gratitude for being selected. “I am so happy that Oak Knoll offers us this opportunity because it helps us connect more with God and deepen our relationship with Him during our faith journey. It is such a unique and wonderful thing to be a part of, and I appreciate everyone who helped us put this together,” she related.

Cirillo has been looking forward to this ministerial opportunity since entering high school. “Ever since I entered Oak Knoll in 9th grade, I have been in awe of the seniors who serve the Eucharist. Becoming an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist has given me a new perspective on faith life that I didn’t know was possible,” she explained. 

Congratulations to these dedicated students who are shining examples that Oak Knoll students Live by Faith, Learn by Doing, and Lead by Example.