NEXT GENERATION: Katherine Elacqua uses her talents to enhance worship

Katherine Elacqua is among the fourth generation in her family to worship and serve Mount Carmel / Blessed Sacrament Parish. She plays the flute in the choir, dances at major religious services and also helps out in the Faith Formation program. She loves music and dance and hopes the church remains a big part of her life.

You always seem to have a smile on your face. Why is that?

I must be happy! I’m usually surrounded by happy people, so it’s not hard to make me smile.

It seems as though you’ve been involved in the parish since you were born. How did you end up playing in the choir and interpreting religious dances?

My uncle invited me to start playing in the choir after playing flute for a few years. He was very patient while I was beginning to learn. I’ve danced at Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute since I was 4, so I felt pretty comfortable when my Uncle Peter asked me to dance in church.

You’re the fourth generation of Elacquas to be involved in our parish. Is that a source of pride and what responsibilities come with that?

My great grandparents were the first to join the parish and it was really a big part of my grandmother’s life. She taught in the school and was involved in many ways in the parish. My parents, aunts, uncles and cousins have always thought it was important to be involved, too. I am proud of my family’s involvement in this parish and I’m happy to help carry on the family tradition.

Is it sometimes tough being in a family that is so much associated with the church?
It isn’t tough. It is a commitment of time, but I’ve grown up knowing that church is a priority over anything else, so I’m used to it.

You also are the big sister to two younger brothers. How’s that going?

Mostly good. We altar serve together in the parish, and Matthew also plays bass in the choir. Everyone argues with their siblings at times, including me, but we love each other and try to get along for the most part.

Do you feel a responsibility to set a good example for your brothers?

I’m not sure if they try to follow my example, but I do my best to make good choices, and I think they do, too.

What do your friends think of your involvement at church?

Sometimes my friends tease me about my involvement at church, but they understand that church is very important for my family and me.

How big a role has God and church played in your young life so far? God and the church have played a huge role in my life so far.

It’s a big part of our family life and I hope it always will be.

If you could pick a role model in your life, who would it be?

My role model would be my grandmother Flora Elacqua. When I was little, she was the first person to teach me to read. I learned many important things from her, even when she was dying.

What’s the best advice anyone has given you?

The best advice I’ve ever received is to be myself and to do my best.

If you were to give advice to a friend on why they should go to church and make a friend with God, what would it be?

I would tell a friend that going to church and making a friend with God is very important and definitely would change your life for the better.

What do you hope the future holds for Katherine Elacqua?

I hope to always be involved in some way in music and dance and I hope that God and the church remain a big part of my life.

Katherine Elacqua
Age: 15.
Family: Parents Vincent and Lois Elacqua; brothers Matthew, 13, and Michael, 12.
Education: Notre Dame Junior-Senior High School.
Favorite subject: Science.
Things you like to do in your spare time: Dance, play flute, read, spend time with friends.