“How shall they call on the Lord in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe unless they have heard of him? And how shall they hear unless there is someone to preach? . . . Faith then, comes through hearing and what is heard is the Word of Christ.” – Romans 10:14, 17
The ministry of the Reader is to proclaim the sacred scriptures before the Gospel in such a way that we are reminded that the Word of God is alive and active in our lives and in this world. In leading the general intercessions, lectors help to remind the liturgical assembly of our local and global connections to one another as well as assisting us to pray for those who are in need.
Readers serve at Sunday Mass at least once a month and can choose the Mass they normally attend. They also may choose to proclaim the Word on Holy Days of Obligation.
Requirements of a Reader:
Attend a training with the Coordinator
Be available to proclaim the Word at least once a month
Spend time preparing to proclaim the readings using the Reader Workbook provided by the parish
Catholics who regularly receive the Eucharist at Sunday liturgy
Coordinator: Lisa Gould Mahoney
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
“The Body and Blood of Christ are given to us so that we ourselves will be transformed in our turn. We are to become the Body of Christ, his own Flesh and Blood.” – Pope Benedict XVI
A Extraordinary Minister is someone who assists the priest in the reverent distribution of Holy Communion – the consecrated Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. They serve at all liturgical celebrations at St. Mary of the Assumption Parish. This ministry is open to:
Catholics who have received the Sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation
Catholics who regularly receive the Eucharist at Sunday liturgy
Requirements of a minister:
Attend a training with the Eucharistic Minister Coordinator
Be available to serve on a regular basis (at least once a month)
Serve at the Mass they regularly attend
Find a replacement when unable to serve at an assigned date and time
Arrive 15 minutes early and check-in at the Sacristy
Dress appropriately for this sacred ministry
Once Mass is over, clean the vessels in preparation for the next Mass
Coordinator: Christine Duclos
Each time we come to Mass we are nourished by Word and Sacrament, strengthened by Christ’s love to go and live as his disciples. Our sacred liturgy is the source and summit of the Church’s actions. Our music, carefully chosen and shared, has the ability to make the rituals of the Mass more powerful and more engaging. We are blessed in our parish to have dedicated men, women, and children who have answered the call to share their talents to lead us in song at Mass, at prayer services, and at special celebrations throughout the year.
There are several ways in which one can be part of our music ministry: Adult Choir, Children’s Choir, Bell Choir and Funeral Scola.
And we always welcome those who play an instrument and can further enhance our liturgical experience.
One need not be a professional to join this ministry, one must love music, liturgy, and the Lord. Rehearsals, practices, and training is available to all who join.
If your gift is music – singing or playing an instrument – we need you!
Music Director: Joe Scolastico
The primary role of the altar server is to assist the priest in the celebration of the liturgy on Sundays, weekdays, and during special celebrations such as the Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Vigil) as well as weddings and funerals. Altar serving is open to boys and girls who have made their First Holy Communion and are at least 9 years old.
Responsibilities of altar servers:
Arrive 10 minutes early
Dress in appropriate server attire
Carry the cross and/or candles in procession
Present the book to the priest and hold it open for him
Assist the priest or deacon in preparing the altar for the Liturgy of the Eucharist
Assist the priest during the washing of hands
Ring the bells during the elevation of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ at the time of consecration
Sing, pray, and listen attentively with the people
Coordinators: Fr. Mark Derrane and Rob McCready
The usher is often the first person that people see upon entering the church and so extend a greeting to all who come to worship. The ushers also keep count of the number of people entering, assist people in finding seats if Mass is crowded, and coordinate the money collection. When Mass is over, the ushers hand out the bulletins or oversee the children handing out bulletins.
The primary role of the sacristan is the Mass coordinator. The sacristan ensures the Mass is setup properly – gifts for the preparation on the table by the font, vessels on the credence table, water, dish and towel for handwashing, books in appropriate places, prayer of the faithful at the ambo, etc. The sacristan also ensures the cleanup of the church after Mass. In addition, the sacristan safeguards the sacristy making sure all is put in proper places including the bread and wine as well as vessels for Holy Communion.
There are many types of cloth used during Mass which require frequent laundering to ensure the weekly supply is adequate. The most common cloth, the purificator, is used to wipe the chalice during the distribution of the precious blood. With four Masses every weekend as well as daily Mass there are many cloths that must be cleaned and ironed. The people who do this ministry typically lauder twice a month: a Friday and a Monday.
Art & Entertainement
The Art & Environment ministry endeavors to beautify our worship and gathering spaces, enhancing the significance of each celebration in the Liturgical Calendar year. A variety of materials are used including: textiles, candles, plants and flowers both fresh and silk. Our designs require some work high in the loft above the altar, hanging of materials from ceilings as well as the arrangements of flowers and fabrics at eye level. It takes many hands as well as ladders and ideas to create spaces that reflect the meanings of our liturgical seasons.
Members prepare for: Advent, Christmas, Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter, Pentecost, First Communions, Feast of the Assumption, Confirmation, and Mass of Remembrance.
Coordinator: Alice Whelan
Ministry of Hospitality
“May the church be the place of God’s mercy and love, where everyone can feel themselves welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged to live according to the good life of the Gospel.” Pope Francis
The Welcome Ministry of St. Mary’s Parish has two primary goals:
Extending a warm welcome to all parishioners as they enter the church for Sunday worship. A smile, a hello and the distribution of our worship aide welcomes all and encourages everyone to raise their voices together in song as we pray as a parish family.
Welcome newcomers to the parish through the creation of welcome packets as well as personal outreach through phone calls, meetings, and activities.
A warm welcome can be the difference between an active new member and a participant who easily slips out the door each week. Consider helping us welcome all!
Coordinators: Mac and Trish MacDonald
Following the 9AM Mass every Sunday the congregation is invited to stay and enjoy juice, coffee, and donuts. This is an opportunity to visit with old friends and meet and welcome new friends and visitors. All are welcome to enjoy this time of fellowship. Our parish grows and is strengthened by each new friendship formed in faith. This ministry requires a commitment of one Sunday per month at the most.
Coordinator: Bridgette Barbuto
Special Events Hospitality
While gathering each Sunday as a community of faith and celebrating our sacred liturgy fortifies us to love and serve the Lord and others, our parish family is strengthened when there are opportunities to get to know one another in social settings. Members of this committee will be called upon to assist with the set-up and clean-up of various events such as the receptions following our Mass of Remembrance or our Advent Lessons and Carols as well as soup suppers during Lent. In addition, we look to this committee to assist with the details of other events that will strengthen our parish family through opportunities to share friendship food and fun.
Coordinator: Doreen McDonnell
Religious Education (grades 1-8)
Recognizing that parents are the first teachers and role models of faith, the religious education program is designed to be a partner with the parents and offers a program that instructs, supports and enhances the faith development that has begun in the home. The interactive lesson and activities provide the children in grades 1-8 a continuum of learning about the Church’s teachings in an environment that encourages a deep relationship with God who loves them unconditionally.
Teachers and volunteers are the nurturers and the guides that help the children grow in their faith. Many hands are needed at many different levels to minister to our children faithfully and well. Don’t think a weekly commitment is the only way to participate. Contact Cathy and inquire about more.
Coordinator: Cathy Bowes
This is a two year program that provides opportunities for the student to experience, share, and deepen their commitment to their faith while building and strengthening their relationship with God through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. The program is grounded in three primary values – service, worship and faith.
When the students give themselves in service, actively participate in worship and prayer, and live faith-filled lives the gifts of the Holy Spirit that will be conferred upon them – wisdom, knowledge, right judgment, courage reverence, understanding and wonder and awe – will become the foundation on which they will confidently build their future with Christ as their guide.
A primary value of this program is the adults who volunteer to model and share their faith with the teens. Adults are welcome to participate in a variety of ways with a variety of commitment times. So if you can’t make a commitment to be present at each meeting, don’t think you can’t help – there are other ways to support the program and ultimately the teens as they journey towards the sacrament.
Coordinator: Tina DelGuidice
Youth Ministry: Summer Service Trip
For over 15 years, anywhere from 15 – 30 high school students have given up a week in the summer to engage in service opportunities that are rigorous, exhausting, exhilarating, heart-warming, faith-building and life-changing. The trips are transformational times for students and chaperones alike.
The students may work as a counselor at a camp for underprivileged children, they may prepare and serve meals at a social service agency, they may sort donations at a food pantry, or they may do light carpentry for home repairs. While the work may be different for each student, the service learning is the same for all. And equally important to the service, is the faith- and self-discovery that happens in every student and adult when they see the difference they make and realize they truly encounter Christ in those they serve, in each other and in themselves.
Coordinator: Lisa Harney
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is a process through which people enter the Catholic Church or through which baptized Catholics complete the preparation for the sacraments of both Eucharist and Confirmation later in life than the usual time. A team of catechists assists in this process. As part of the preparation to receive sacraments, the participants in the process go through a series of rites that require the presence of a sponsor. Various members of the assembly have performed this service already, sharing their prayers and support. It is in the assembly that our newcomers meet the Spirit, and the welcome they are given is most important. Please keep them in your prayers.
Coordinator: Mary Eisenhaure
Religious Education Committee
The members of this board provide support and direction for the Faith Formation team. They endeavor to connect the programs in a cohesive and complementary system of delivery. We strive for a diverse membership of parents and parishioners-at-large in order to bring new ideas and a wide range of voices to the programs.
A new priority for the Board this year is to develop opportunities for more parent and family engagement.
Convener: Lisa Harney
The Pastoral Care Ministry of St. Mary’s Parish serves as a vital link between parish life and those who are homebound or confined to nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Dedicated men and woman seek to bring the compassion and presence of Christ to others through visitation, prayer, and the Eucharist. Each year the Pastoral Care Ministry offers an annual Mass for the Anointing of the Sick followed by a luncheon. All parishioners are welcome to attend this Mass especially those who are ill, facing surgery or undergoing treatments. The volunteer ministers have the opportunity to meet with one another share their work, support one another, and have on-going training as needed.
The mission of the Social Justice Committee is to help raise awareness and educate members of St. Mary’s Parish about Catholic Social Teaching. As the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have written, “Catholic social teaching is a central and essential element of our faith. Its roots are in the Hebrew prophets who announced God’s special love for the poor and called God’s people to a covenant of love and justice. It is a teaching founded on the life and words of Jesus Christ, who came “to bring glad tidings to the poor . . . liberty to captives . . . recovery of sight to the blind”(Lk 4:18-19), and who identified himself with “the least of these,” the hungry and the stranger (cf. Mt 25:45).”
This is a new ministry that will offer parishioners opportunities to expand and enrich the understanding of social justice in the global world in which we live and offer ways in which we as a parish community can build a stronger social justice conscience.
A parish is not an insular institution operating in isolation, rather it is a vibrant member of the community in which it resides. As followers of Jesus Christ we are called by our Baptism to care for others – those in our parish, in our community, in our country and in the world. Keeping that in mind, there are other opportunities for involvement in outreach beyond the walls of the church through efforts such as:
Monthly food collection for Wellspring
The Giving Tree
Catholic Charities/Sunset Point Vacation Camp
St. Vincent de Paul Society
Dufresnay Haiti support
Parish Pastoral Council (PPC)
The Parish Pastoral Council assists and supports the pastor in carrying forth the mission of the church and parish life. It acts as an advisory board and represents the members of the parish. With prayerful reflection at each meeting, the pastor is able to consult the Council in matters of planning, initiating, promoting and reviewing the activities within the parish including worship, education, evangelizing, and service. The Council is able to seek input from parishioners for interests, priorities and goals as well as to collaborate with the Finance Council and other groups within the parish.
Parish Finance Council (PFC)
The Code of Canon Law mandates that every parish have a Finance Council. The role of the Council is to assist and advise the pastor in overseeing the financial affairs of the parish. Members of the Council are appointed by the pastor and should represent the parish at-large.
The development committee works to identify parish needs and provide the resources to meet them so that the good news is announced effectively. We make known the important work of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish, and seek to enhance it. This involves both social events/fundraising to meet short term needs as well as the long term planning and provision for our parish.
Coordinator: Jo Loughnane
Building Maintenance: The parish facilities are overseen by our Facilities Coordinator, Peter Marciano. While he has responsibility for minor repairs, painting, etc. we would like to invite parishioners whose gifts lie in the trades – plumbing, electrical, construction, landscape, etc. – to sign up if you would like to be called should we need additional expertise and/or opinions on specific projects.
Outside Beautification: such as the urns around the property is overseen by Mary Costello
Time is treasure! Donation of your gift of time is always deeply appreciated… no matter the amount! We welcome all men and women who want to share their gifts with the parish in this way! There are annual (Feast of the Assumption Festival), seasonal (Summer Vacation Bible Camp) and periodic activities that would greatly appreciate your gift of time.