MINISTRIES & PROGRAMS
(call the office for a contact
- Administrative Ministry
Finance Committee - As with any
organization, financial prudence is required for the parish to
thrive. The Finance Commission coordinates the parish budget
preparation and oversees the accounting procedures of the
parish. The Commission oversees the weekly parish collection,
and organizes the United Catholic Appeal each year.
Building & Grounds- The Building and Grounds Commission
maintains the parish facilities and plans and executes capital
improvements of the Church, school, rectory, office building,
cemetery, and parking lots/driveways.
Family Life and
Bereavement Ministry of St. Mary's reaches out in prayer and
support of those who have lost loved ones. The ministry
involves companioning those who are grieving by providing a
faith-filled and safe listening environment, prayerful sharing
and outreach for those in need. Support material and books
for those who grieve are also available through the Parish
Library. Additional large and small group programs are
offered, including "Grief Comes Home for the Holidays", a 2-hour
event in November to help those needing support through this
time of year.
Community Hot Meals Program -
Funeral Meals - Funeral Meals are prepared and served to
family and friends of deceased after funerals.
Pre-Baptism Program -
Expectant couples and parents
of newly born children are asked to participate in the Baptism
Preparation Program. The purpose of the program is to help
parents make the coming baptism of their child more than just a
tradition or custom. Trained persons meet with new parents to
reflect on the sacrament of baptism and the responsibilities of
the parents and godparents will have by having their baby
baptized into the Catholic Community. Pre-Baptism classes are
held on the first Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the
parish office basement.
Pre-Marriage Instructions - This program is designed to help
prepare engaged couples for the sacrament of marriage. The
program helps the couple learn more about themselves, their
partner and their relationship. It can identify some of the
strengths of the relationship, as well as problematic
areas.Engaged couples meet with the Father for their first
session. Subsequent sessions are with a Sponsoring Couple who
are are experienced in working with the Prepare Program. The
final session is again with Father to make final wedding
arrangements. The Prepare Program has been designed by the
Office for Research and Program Development at the University of
Oklahoma, and is approved by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.
The results are not intended to predict chance for marital
success. It is hopeful the program will provide a foundation for
growth in a Christian marriage. Wedding arrangements should be
made in person with the parish priest, at least 6 months before
the wedding prior to making other arrangements.
Pro-Life - The Pro-Life Committee is concerned with
promoting awareness of all life issues, including euthanasia,
abortion, AIDS, the elderly and handicapped, etc. Our goal is to
educate the parish about these issues, and to emphasize the
importance of all God's children (LIFE) at every stage. The
Pro-Life Committee is a liaison between the Archdiocesan
Pro-Life office and the parish, funneling information from the
Archdiocese to the local level. The Committee is involved in
planning masses for Respect Life Sunday and Sanctity of Life
Sunday, as well as observances for the January 22 anniversary of
the Roe vs. Wade decision to legalize abortion, and Mother's Day
and Father's Day.
R.C.I.A. (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) -
R.C.I.A. is a program offered
yearly beginning in the fall and ending in the spring after
Easter. It is to welcome, instruct, and bring new members into
our Church. Some adults who are already Catholic, but have
missed a sacrament, such as Confirmation, also join the program.
A team leads the weekly sessions.
Sick & Shut-Ins - Holy Communion is taken to the elderly and
sick every other week. Inform the office if you wish to receive
Holy Communion at home.
Social Committee - The Social Committee is responsible for
the organization, preparation, serving and cleanup of various
parish social events as requested. During the years, the
activities may include providing refreshments and/or dinners
for: R.C.I.A., Confirmation, receptions, Seder Meal, Parish
Picnic, Ice Cream Social, Graduation Brunch, Chili Supper,
Thanksgiving Service, Penance Service, cemetery cleanup, Deanery
meetings, seminars and classes. Parish volunteers are
called frequently for donations of bakes items, as well as
service hours. The budget provided by the Council also includes
provisions for an Annual Appreciation Dinner for all parish
volunteers served by the Pastoral Staff.
St. Mary's Alumni & Friends Association (SMAFA) - SMAFA has
as it's sole purpose, to ensure the continuation of Catholic
education through the spiritual and financial support of St.
Mary's School. Membership is open to all Alumni and interested
friends, regardless of their location. Members pay dues, which
provides monies to be used to operate the Association, and to
finance various projects within the school. The organization
also assists the school in updating the addresses of Alumni,
raising funds for various needs within the school, and providing
members to help with open houses and teacher appreciation
Youth Council -
Daughters of Isabella- Daughters of
Isabella, St. Mary's #75, was founded on October 17, 1917 by
Lillian O'Day. There have been 27 Regents and presently nearly
200 members. The state project is St. Elizabeth's Home in
Indianapolis. They also support St. Ann's Mission in South
Dakota. They support the local Scout Troops, provide
scholarships, and at Christmas and Easter a donation towards the
purchase of flowers is made to St, Mary's, St. Maurice, St.
John's Enochsburg and St. Mary's Millhousen. They provide a
Christmas tree and ornaments for the children's ward at the
hospital, and also make stuffed toys. They also support the K of
C projects, and many other local projects with monetary
St. Lawrence Auxiliary - This is a women's organization
affiliated with the Knights of St. John. They are united
to foster and create fraternity and sociability among their
members. They are also actively engaged in home and foreign
mission work of all types, and support many worthy projects for
the benefit of church and community.
Knights of St. John - This is a men's organization
involved in spiritual and charitable activities in the parish
Knights of Columbus - The Knights of Columbus (K of C) is a
men's group actively involved in many spiritual, social,
charitable and community programs.
Columbian Squires - This is an organization of Catholic boys
between the ages of 12 and 18, which is sponsored and supervised
by the K of C. Their immediate objective is the development of
each member's potential for leadership.
St. Mary's Religious Education Program is
held on Wednesday evenings during the school year for 4-year
olds through 12th grade. Religious education classes are taught
by volunteer catechists and aides. These volunteers are
encouraged to be certified through classes promoted by our
Archdiocese. Preschool though 8th grade classes are held at the
parish school and office building. High school small group
classes are held in volunteer's homes. Included in the
curriculum at appropriate age levels is sacrament preparation
for Eucharist, Reconciliation, and Confirmation. Parent/child
meetings and celebrations are also a special part of the
programs. Vacation Bible School is held for all St. Mary's
children 4 through 6th grade during one week of the summer.
Adult Catechetical Team (ACT) - The
adult catechetical team is to provide learning opportunities for
members of the parish to grow in their faith with God and each
other. ACT works with the Director of Religious Education to
plan, execute and evaluate adult learning opportunities that
respond to the needs of the parish community.
Faith Formation Commission - The Faith Formation
Commission consists of six representatives (3 elected, 3
appointed), the pastor and the director of religious education
at St. Mary's Parish. The functions of the commission are: 1) To
determine goals and objectives for Catholic Education within its
responsibilities. 2) To formulate policies that will guide the
administrators in working towards the goals and objectives.
3) To formulate policies and decision made by the administrators
in implementing policies. 4) To evaluate the effectiveness of
the policy decisions in achieving the goals and objectives. The
Commission is also responsible for submitting the parish
education budget, and for reporting on the status of Catholic
Education in the parish.
Spiritual Life Ministry
Liturgy & Spirituality -
The role of the Liturgy &
Spirituality Committee is to assess the needs that pertain to
the development of the spiritual life of the community.
Spirituality is the spiritual
input that nurtures the spiritual life of the Christian, and
includes various forms of prayer and liturgy.
As the Committee carries out
the Bishop’s guidelines on liturgy, and follows guidelines set
down by the Archdiocese and the parish, they hope to provide
liturgy that is prayerful and meaningful.
The Committee is composed of
the pastor, and all liturgical ministry chairpersons.
Joan Koors 663-8427
Peg Polanski 663-7361.
These are men and women who witness to the faith by proclaiming
God’s word at liturgical assemblies. Special training is
necessary to perform this ministry well.
They are chosen men, women and
youth (junior and senior), who are entrusted with administering
the Eucharist, and taking communion to the sick. A special
Orientation Program is conducted for all new Eucharistic
The Servers’ Program is open to
any St. Mary’s boy or girl from 6th grad through 12th
grade. Permission of parents or guardian is requested, and
faithful commitment to their responsibility is expected.
They are the official hosts of
the parish community. Their crucial function is welcoming and
hosting at all weekend masses, and other liturgical events. This
ministry is open to men, women, and youth (junior and seniors).
These men and women have the
important task of greeting all persons as they enter the church
at all weekend masses. This ministry is open to men, women, and
youth (junior and seniors).
Through the constant vigilance
of these people, the church and other areas (sacristies and
sanctuary) are carefully cleaned and kept in order.
Pastoral Council Rep:
This person attends Pastoral
Council meetings and informs this group of any important events
or changes discussed or proposed by the Liturgy & Spirituality
(Please contact any of these
persons if you have questions or concerns. They will be happy to
help in any way they can.)
The Liturgy Planning Committee
meets on a regular basis. The Liturgy chairperson and men,
women, and youth of the parish have the function of planning the
parish Sunday and Holy Day liturgies, and other liturgical
celebrations throughout the year.
It is composed of men, women,
and high school youth of the parish. The choir sings once or
twice a month at weekend liturgies, and other special events
(excluding summer months).
Choir Director: Jerry Schwendenmann
Cantors & Organists
Cantors (leaders of song)
are men and women who help the congregation sing, and add to the
beauty and prayerfulness of the liturgy.
Organists work with the
cantors in leading the congregation in song. By practice and
dedication, their music makes liturgy prayerful and meaningful.
Contact person: Joan Koors 663-8427 (663-6403).
It is composed of musicians and
singers who lead the parish in sacred song. This group ministers
once or twice a month at parish weekend masses and other special
events. Contact person: Nancy Porter 663-9542.
Junior High and High School
Youth are invited to be a part of this group. The Choir sings
for special events in the parish. Contact persons: Kristy
Lowe 662-0401 and Tim McFarland 663-6136.
Is St. Mary’s newest musical
group. All men and women, young and old, are invited to become a
part of the Bell Ringers. The “Bells of St. Mary’s” ring at
special liturgies and seasons of the church year.
person: Joan Koors 663-8427 (663-6403)
Youth Ministry- The Coordinator of
Youth Ministries facilitates the response of the entire parish
community to the needs of young people, and enables the sharing
of the unique gifts of youth with the parish and the larger
community. Total Youth Ministry focuses on seven components:
word, worship, community, guidance, service, enablement, and
advocacy. Through various programs and activities, youth
ministries strives to touch the lives of seventh through twelfth
Weekly Bulletin & Parish Newsletter