The ministry of Ushers is the oldest lay ministry in the Catholic Church. During the time of Christ, the doorkeepers of the temple were the forerunners of today’s ushers. The predecessor of today’s ushers can be found in the clerical order of porter, instituted in the third century. The porter’s duties were so important that they came to be included in the rite of ordination, where they were specified “to ring the bells and open the church and sacristy.” In 1972 Pope Pius VI abolished the order of porter and the laity embraced this important ministry.
Among the servants of God, ushers are called to play an important role in the Sunday gathering and celebration: serving those who assemble as the community of Christ. The ministry of ushers is a public commitment and awareness to Our Lord’s presence to the community. At St. Isaac Jogues, the warm friendliness and open hospitality in being an usher during the Sunday Liturgy becomes an experience for the faith community. As ministers of hospitality to and for the community, SIJ ushers are able to make visitors feel welcome, and all to realize they are invited and comfortable.