> Ministering in the Time of COVID-19 – Sister Annie Bremmer

Ministering in the Time of COVID-19 – Sister Annie Bremmer


Sister Annie Bremmer is the assistant for a large western Pennsylvania parish. Her duties include everything from organizing parish outreach events and working with the parish food pantry volunteers to teaching faith formation classes to some 700 students. With approximately 4,000 families and seven worship sites in the parish, sheltering in place due to a pandemic wasn’t an option for S. Annie.

During just one day, she headed to one of the worship sites to show a parishioner how to prepare for the ministry of Adoration. Wearing a mask and gloves, she took the Blessed Sacrament out of the Tabernacle, placed the luna in the monstrance and carried it to a temporary altar where it could be seen by adorers sitting in their cars. Later in the day she returned to close adoration. “It is beautiful to see people in their cars, praying,” she says.

Next stop is another worship site where, still masked and with hand sanitizer at the ready, she served as lector and cantor for the Mass that she livestreams. Then she prepared several videos to air on YouTube — one on how to make a Marian Altar for the month of May, and two reflections for the parish’s “Minute with the Staff” series.

At her office in yet another location, S. Annie answered mail. She sent a thank you for a donation to the food bank she helps run for three hours each Saturday (All volunteers are outfitted with masks and gloves; doors, tables and other surfaces are thoroughly cleaned at the end). There’s a conference call with the parish leadership team, followed by work on the latest outreach project — Mother’s Day cards for the parish’s women who are homebound or in nursing homes. Cards will be delivered later with a quart of soup.

“I have several masks — different colors and designs,” she says. “Sometimes my car is a refuge of rubber gloves. I keep sanitizer in my car and wipe down my office regularly.”