Dear Blessed Sacrament Parish Family,

I cannot even begin to tell you all how excited I am to start my new position as your Pastoral Minister! Prior to this amazing opportunity here at Blessed Sacrament, I have had the honor of being a secretary at Our Lady of the Cross Parish for nearly ten years and have eight years prior experience working at St. Stanislaus Basilica in Chicopee.

I am one of six children and my oldest brother is Rev. Matthew Guidi who previously served all you great people from 2014-2015. I grew up in Holyoke from the time I was twelve years old and have gone to catholic schools my entire life, attending St. Stanislaus School, Holyoke Catholic High School (when it was located in Granby) and Our Lady of the Elms College.

Church has always felt like home to me as my parents always had our family surrounded by faith and faith filled people. We grew up in church and, at church functions, helping the sisters weed their flower beds in the summers, cooking and cleaning for the priests, participating in numerous church and Catholic school fundraising , and Catholic youth events such as youth ministry, World Youth Day, the March for Life and Catholic Conferences.

When I was going to the Elms, I never would have thought I'd be working for the church. I had big plans to work for a big accounting or law firm. But you know what they say about plans, God will laugh at them. It was in 2011 that I was offered a cooking position for one winter for the late +Rev. Roland Galipeau of Holy Cross Parish filling in for a sick cook. A few months later, I was offered the secretary position for the merging Holy Cross and Mater Dolorosa Parishes by Fr. Alex Cymerman, OFM Conv. I took the position on and my whole life changed as I became filled with so much happiness, peace, and purpose. I quickly knew parish work and evangelization were God's calling for me as I met new parishioners on a daily basis and was able to partake in their greatest joys like booking weddings and baptisms, to their deepest sorrows of burying loved ones and excepting Mass requests and assisting sick calls.  Having the ability to work for a parish is not just a job to me but a calling and an extraordinary ministry that I feel beyond blessed to live. Being a part of other peoples’ faith journeys, has profoundly impacted and deepened my own love for God and our Catholic community.

My new ministry will include praying and bringing the Sacrament to the homebound or people who have been unable to attend Mass due to the pandemic. I would also like to be able to assist parishioners with other needs like helping people find rides to Mass, helping people get groceries or home cooked baked goods and meals on occasion. Spending time with people who need some extra company among several other things. If you have an interest in any of these things for yourself or a loved one or have interest in volunteering in any capacity to help assist in this ministry, please call the Parish office.

I currently still reside in Holyoke with my loving husband and the biggest blessings God ever gave us, our beautiful son and daughter. I will pray for you all and all of your personal intentions continuously and I look forward to serving you in such an honorable capacity!

Love & Wished Blessings,
Linnea Williamson