Spiritual Life Commission
This Commission fosters and promotes spiritual growth experiences for all parishioners, enabling them to grow in their understanding of who they are as Christians. It also provides opportunities to develop a personal as well as communal spirituality. It encompasses 1) Liturgical Ministries and planning, 2) Prayer Experiences, 3) Sacramental Preparation and 4) Retreats.
1. Liturgical Ministries and Planning:
Liturgy involves many aspects of preparation, education and training. The formation and the work of those who minister at liturgies, scheduling, preparing the environment, etc., become cohesive through the Liturgy Committee. Its members come from all these various aspects.
Along with our liturgist, Sister Marie, those who are involved with environment work and plan how to best prepare the church for the different liturgical seasons. This group also works closely with the sacristans in these preparations since they are the ones who maintain the worship space. Contact: Sister Marie 788-5525.
Altar servers assist the priest at Mass. They arrive fifteen minutes early to help set things up. They stay after Mass to put things away and clean the sanctuary area of the church. Altar servers also assist at funeral and wedding Masses. Any parish boy or girl in grades 5-12 may become a server by participating in parish training and being included on a roster for scheduling. Contact: Sister Marie 788-5525.
Greeters help people identify the most essential, profound and basic presence of Christ--his presence in the worshiping community as the Body of Christ. Hospitality is the first step and is very important in celebrating liturgy. Each member of the community needs to reach out to the others with some sign that says, "Welcome, I'm glad you are here." Greeters are the first in welcoming others and set the tone for the liturgy. Contact: Sister Marie 788-5525.
St. Mary music ministry offers several opportunities for giving time and talent:
Organists, pianists and guitarists are needed to accompany the singing at Mass. They play in a rotation of weekly Masses. We have begun to include band and orchestra instruments occasionally and would like to expand this program.
Singers are urged to consider cantoring, which includes leading hymns and acclamations and singing the psalms at Mass. They are also needed in the choir.
The adult choir assembles to minister at the Sundays of Advent/Christmas and Lent/Holy Week. High school students and adults are invited to join this choir. Contact
Sue Gessler at 788-2776.
Taking up our offerings of bread, wine and gifts of treasure is an important part of Sunday Mass and one in which anyone and everyone can participate. This is an excellent opportunity for families to participate in the Mass more fully. Contact: Sister Marie 788-5525.
Ministers of the Word are qualified, trained men and women who have been given the responsibility of proclaiming the Sacred Scripture in the liturgical assembly. Because of the reality of the Presence of Christ in the Word proclaimed, these ministers must take upon themselves the responsibility of preparation. This includes praying with the Scripture passage they are to proclaim. As with the Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, ongoing formation and training are necessary aspects of this liturgical ministry. Contact: Sister Marie 788-5525.
Ushers, along with the Greeters, welcome and offer hospitality to everyone who comes to be a part of the worshiping community. The ushers' ministry includes greeting, introducing strangers, assisting with seating, helping with the order of the communion procession, distributing bulletins and saying farewell as the community leaves. contact: Sister Marie 788-5525.
2. Prayer Experiences:
The Prayer Line is a telephone network of people who support those in need of prayer (expectant mother in labor, serious illness, accidents, and various special needs). All parishioners are welcome to join in! To obtain more information or to start a prayer request, contact : Roseann Bade 788-0060.
All parishioners are invited to spend an hour with the Lord in prayer before the Most Blessed Sacrament between noon on the first Thursday of the month and 7 am the following day. If you would like to know more or to sign up for a specific hour, please contact
the Parish Office 788-5525.
The Knights of Columbus sponsor the Rosary before weekend Masses to pray for world peace and to ask God that all people reverence life, from conception to the end of earthly life. Any adult eighteen years of age and older may volunteer to lead the Rosary. Also, at the time of a death in the parish, if the family wishes to have the recitation of the rosary as part of the wake service, volunteer rosary leaders engage in this spiritual work of mercy. Contact: Cal Wilbert 788-3679.
3. Sacramental Preparation:
BAPTISM PREPARATION CATECHISTS
Baptism class catechists assist new and expectant parents preparing for the faith journey of their children through the sacrament of Baptism. A husband and wife team together as catechists, view videos and guide discussions about the history, symbolism and Church teachings on Baptism, as well as sharing personal faith and parenting experiences. Classes meet the first Sunday of even months from 9-11 am. Contact the parish office to sign up for a class.
RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS (RCIA) CANDIDATE
RCIA is the process of welcoming adults into the Church through Baptism (or Profession of Faith), Confirmation and Eucharist. Initiation of new members most commonly takes place at the Easter Vigil. A period of spiritual renewal and catechesis that precedes this is flexible, based on the needs of each candidate, but usually takes several months. Those who wish to ask questions may come to the Precatechumenate, which meets weekly on an open-ended, no-commitment basis. After a period of exploration in that group, inquirers might come to a point of readiness and desire to commit to continuing their journey toward full membership in the Catholic Church. Contact: Sister Marie 788-5525.
Sponsors are persons who are willing to share their faith and walk with someone who seeks full sacramental participation in the Church. Sponsors are chosen from the parish community so they can be ministers of hospitality. They help candidates or catechumens feel welcome, invite them to parish functions, sit with them at Mass, introduce them to others in the community, pray for them and with them, and most importantly share faith with them.
RCIA CATECHIST OR VOLUNTEER
There are other ways to help with RCIA: serving as catechist to break open the Word at Catechumenate sessions; opening one's home to host Precatechumenate gatherings; helping plan or serve at receptions during the year; or offering childcare so parents can attend retreats and special gatherings.
ENGAGED ENCOUNTER (EE)
Engaged Encounter is a weekend in which a couple concentrates exclusively on one another, free of daily pressures and interruptions. EE encourages the couple to concentrate on their relationship and to plan and communicate honestly about their prospective marriage. It creates enthusiasm for other marriage preparations and sessions with their parish priest. Two Catholic couples and a priest facilitate EE, which lasts from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon. Schedule four to six months before the wedding, by calling the Spiritual Life Center at 744-0167. Contact: Dave & Toni Martin 788-2380.
TEENS ENCOUNTER CHRIST (TEC)
Teens Encounter Christ is a spiritual renewal program offered by the Diocesan Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry (269-3930). TEC is a weekend retreat that is designed specifically for high school juniors and seniors. The program is designed to help teens become more aware of the presence of Jesus in their lives through talks, group participation, discussion, chapel visits, liturgy, private prayer and reflection. Contact: Janet Clark , 788-5525 (w) or 789-9925(h) or Terisa Kramer at 522-1414.