Archdiocese of Chicago

Catholic Chicago Blog

Monday, December 01, 2014

“Living off of the Graces”

By Amanda Thompson

I am “living off of the graces” of Archbishop Cupich’s Installation Mass! My husband and I use this phrase when we have an extremely grace-filled experience in our lives where God’s presence is strongly felt. These would include falling in love with each other, getting married, the birth of our children, a retreat we went on or a particularly wonderful vacation. We can live off of these graces for a long time, thanking God for the experience and reliving the feeling of joy and peace the experience gave us.

This is how I feel about being involved in the Installation Mass. When the Director of the Office for Divine Worship, Todd Williamson, asked me to be an altar server, I immediately said yes, but quickly went back to the busyness of work and family and didn’t think too much of it aside from being honored to have been asked.

As the Installation approached, I began to feel the excitement of being a part of this historic event and began to think of the significance of this gesture. I came to find out that it is unusual to have women on the altar at this occasion and that the new Archbishop requested women to be a part of the Mass. This was huge! When the day arrived, the other women altar servers, Beth Knobbe, Christina Bax, Sarah Balough, and I greeted each other with pure joy and excitement. We were all blown away by being asked to be a part of this Installation.

Sarah and I were led down the hallway in the lower level past the Bishops and Cardinals who were there to celebrate the Mass. We were charged with carrying the mitre and crosier. We got a lot of double takes and huge welcoming smiles, even some teasing “don’t drop it” from the men. Joy and excitement permeated the hallway. From that point on, it was an honor to serve Archbishop Cupich and Cardinal George. Being on the altar spoke volumes of the inclusivity of this new leadership.  My colleagues, friends and family could hear the message that women are valued and our ministry is welcomed and necessary. It was a small gesture that spoke volumes to all.

Thank you Archbishop Cupich for giving me and the other women the opportunity to be a part of something great!

Pictured from L to R: Amanda Thompson,Christina Bax, Beth Knobbe, and Sarah Balough.


Tuesday, December 02, 2014 10:44 PM

What a wonderful expression of inclusion. +Cupich is and will be a great new leader in the Local Church of Chicago!

Mark R.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014 4:03 PM

What a great message from the new archbishop. Thank you for letting your story out. By the way, you all looked marvelous! :)

Mike C.