30 Jul 2020
‘Invisible hand’ helps to keep Mass running smoothly
The Southern Cross | July 30 2020
If you’ve ever attended a Mass celebrated by the Archbishop in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, chances are you will recognise the face of Michelle Tie.
Not that she seeks the spotlight – quite the opposite – but as the head MC at the Cathedral, Michelle is the person who quietly and unobtrusively works behind the scenes to ensure the Mass runs smoothly.
“I talk quietly and do a lot of ‘talking’ when I’m not talking at all,” she told The Southern Cross during a break from her job as a hospital pharmacist.
“There are often a lot of very discreet signals and nods of my head during the Mass. I make sure that nobody knows when things might not have happened as they were meant to!
“On the outside I try to look calm but on the inside I’m always thinking one step ahead. I have to be very flexible and think on my feet.”
Over the years Michelle has learnt to recognise the idiosyncrasies of the different priests who are concelebrating, which helps with the seamless delivery of the Mass.
“I know if they are left or right handed, and that will determine which side people will need to stand. I remember little things like if they will need extra water.”
At the same time, the visiting priests and deacons are often looking in Michelle’s direction, waiting for that faint nod of her head or whisper to confirm they are indeed standing in the right spot at the appropriate time.