Now that the regular season is in full swing, we are hoping to upgrade the possibilities for lay ministry in the parish. It is really not a campaign to get you to “volunteer” but rather a call to engage more fully in your baptismal rights and responsibilities. To this end, we are encouraging those who already participate in some parish ministry to participate more fully in that ministry, in accordance with the guidelines of the Universal Church. We are also encouraging those who do not now actively participate in some form of lay ministry to begin to share their time and talent with the faith community. There are plenty of opportunities to do so. The parish pledges to provide you with adequate training and support.
- One developing lay ministry is that of Greeter. A Church Greeter is the first person someone encounters upon entering the building. It is a ministry of hospitality. It is hospitality extended year-round to our many guests but also to regular parishioners. This is a ministry available to women, men, couples, or youth. In addition to offering a warm welcome, the Greeter is available to answer practical questions, such as: Where in the designated seating for persons with disabilities? Is there a changing area for infants? Where is the nearest bathroom? Did I park in the right place? Where can I take my child temporarily if it becomes necessary to calm him or her down? How do I get to present the bread and wine at Mass? Where is the elevator? Is there a wheelchair or walker available? We plan to begin the first weekend in November.
- Another expanding lay ministry is that of the Collector. We are going to be switching from long-handled collection baskets to the kind we already use in the chapel during the months of July and August. This means there is need for eight collectors at all four Masses. Although the collectors are not scheduled, most people regularly attend the same Mass and could therefore lend a hand with the passing of the basket at that Mass. This is a possibility available to men, women, and youth. Two of the collectors would stay with the collection at all times and make sure that they are placed in tamper-proof bags. Two of the collectors will also present the bagged basket offerings to the priest when the bread and wine are brought forward. After the presentation, the collectors would place the collections in a secure location. We plan to begin the first weekend in November.
- For children in third grade or above and youth (either male or female), there is the ministry of Altar Server. Ideally, there would be at least three Altar Servers at every weekend Mass. Also available would be the possibility of serving at our many weekend weddings. Lastly, an Altar Server would be appropriate at a Funeral Mass. Since funerals often occur when children are in school, this is an opportunity for adult men and women to serve at the altar as well.
- Another area of service would be that of Reader (or Lector). This is available to youth and adults (male or female). On weekends, there could actually be as many as three lectors serving simultaneously at the same Mass: One for the first reading, one for the second reading, and one for the General Intercessions.
- Helping young parents to pass on the faith to our children and youth is another ministry. In addition to classroom teaching (catechesis) and classroom assistance, there is specialize tutoring and instruction that some children require.
- Peg, the Administrative Assistant, could, upon occasion, use help with office tasks such as folding the bulletin or stuffing envelopes. This is open to all.
- Gary, the Facilities Manager, would welcome help with the care of our garden beds and planters. This is open to all.
- Those children, youth, and adults with some form of musical talent (and a willingness to learn) would be most welcome to participate in the Music Ministry. This could involve supporting the singing of the assembly or playing an instrument with other church musicians. Surely there are children, youth, and adults capable of playing a musical instrument and/or carrying a tune. Something new in this area is the hand bell choir. All you have to do in the hand bell choir is flip your wrist at the proper time.
- Then we have the “Altar Angels.” This is a “behind-the-scenes” group that takes care of the altar linens and vestments, monitors the altar candles, helps with the seasonal decorating of the church, maintains the sacred vessels, tidies up a bit before weekend Masses, and cares for cut flowers and plants in the church. All are welcome to participate.
- Funeral Liturgy planning is another ministry. It involves serving on a parish team that works with grieving families to assist them in planning the Mass of Christian Burial for their loved one. This is a ministry for adult men and women.
- There is the Wedding Rehearsal Coordinators. This team of women conducts wedding rehearsals at the church and at the chapel. They also make themselves available to the bride and groom on the day of their wedding.
- The Knights of Columbus, per se, is not a parish organization but rather the largest Catholic fraternal order in the world. Open to men in good standing in the church, the themes of its three degrees of full membership are charity, unity, and fraternity. There is a Fourth Degree dedicated to patriotism. It has 1,883,598 members in nearly 15,000 councils worldwide. In 2014, the Order gave over $173 million directly to charity and performed over 71.5 million hours of voluntary service. The Falmouth Council currently holds its monthly business meetings in the Great Hall of St. Patrick Church.
For further information on how to participate in any of these ministries and activities, please complete the form provided so that a parish representative might contact you.