Get Involved/Parish Ministries
Our parish offers a wide range of ministry opportunities. Whether you'd like to learn more, pray more, or serve more, we have a ministry for you! Our parish community flourishes when its members are generous with their time and willing to offer their God-given talents to build up the body of Christ. Please contact the parish office today if there is a ministry for which you would like to volunteer your time and talent.
Unity in the Body
"I then, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another through love, striving to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace: one body and one Spirit, as you were also called to the one hope of your call; one Lord, one faith, one baptism;one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Diversity of Gifts
"But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift..." "And he gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the extent of the full stature of Christ, so that we may no longer be infants, tossed by waves and swept along by every wind of teaching arising from human trickery, from their cunning in the interests of deceitful scheming. Rather, living the truth in love, we should grow in every way into him who is the head, Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, with the proper functioning of each part, brings about the body’s growth and builds itself up in love."
OF PARISH LIFE & MINISTRIES
(Updated: May 17, 2017)
COMMISSION ON WORSHIP
The Worship Commission oversees the practice and activities related to celebrating the mysteries of our faith in community prayer and worship. The commission ensures that devotional practices are available and celebrated with dignity and reverence. These ministries in the Church require that a person be of excellent character and serious about the practice of his/her faith. Persons must be in full communion with the Catholic Church and willing to complete a parish or diocesan formation process.
EXTRAORDINARY MINISTER OF HOLY COMMUNION
The Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are persons who believe in and have a deep reverence for the true presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. They serve God's people by assisting the priest in distributing the Body and Blood of Christ to worshippers in the assembly or to the homebound. This ministry requires that a person be at least 18 years of age, in good standing and in full communion with the Catholic Church.
Lectors proclaim the word of God during Mass. It is Christ who speaks when Holy Scripture is read aloud in the church. Thus, lectors are privileged to assume the role of God's heralds in announcing the good news of salvation. A lector can be a man, woman or young person (grade 4 or older), in good standing and in full communion with the Catholic Church.
ALTAR SERVERS AND ADULT SERVERS
Altar serving is one of the oldest ministries in the Church. It is a great opportunity to grow closer to God and to serve in a very solemn manner at the Mass. Youth in grades 4-12 assist at weekend liturgies and major solemnities. Adult servers assist the priest at weekday funerals, usually scheduled for 9:30am.
The purpose of the Greeters Ministry is to extend a warm, kind, friendly and loving welcome to everyone who enters the church during the services and other special events. We would like everyone who walks in to feel the love of the Lord Jesus. Next to the priest and liturgical ministries, greeters have one of the most valuable and important tasks to perform in the worship service, they are the representatives of the church to the people who come to worship there. They may assist with worship aids, give directions or provide information whenever necessary. They can be of any age, family group, couples, or singles. Greeters must have a friendly, hospitable, and helpful demeanor. This ministry requires that a person be at least 18 years of age, in good standing and in full communion with the Catholic Church. Volunteers under 18 must be accompanied by a family member or guardian.
Eucharistic Adoration is the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament - the Body, Blood, Soul, & Divinity of Jesus Christ - enthroned in a monstrance on the altar and visibly present under the appearance of the white host. The faithful are invited to "come and see", adore, and honor Jesus in his Eucharistic Presence. In its fullest essence, Eucharistic Adoration is "God and Man reaching out for each other, at the same time". All the faithful are encouraged to spend quiet time with our Lord. One may come to simply sit in silence, seek guidance, meditate, intercede for others, read the Bible or pray a devotion.
Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish offers First Friday Adoration from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00pmNoon on the first Friday of each month. Participants are encouraged to sign up for one hour periods using the sign-up sheets located at both the Mott Street and Willow Street entrances on the Friday before First Friday or by calling the parish office. Other participants are encouraged to stop in at any time during the adoration period. With sufficient volunteers, we seek to expand this devotion to every Friday.
Church decorators seek to create an atmosphere that draws people into deeper prayer and reverence. Seasonal decorations are meant to “draw people to the true nature of the mystery being celebrated...". Decorators can be men or women who assist with decorating the church for special times of the year such as Advent, Christmas, Lent, and Easter.
PARISH MUSIC MINISTRY
Under the leadership of Ernest Mengoni, our Director of Liturgical Music, this ministry is currently looking for capable singers to help with our Christmas, Easter and Confirmation ceremonies. Appropriate instruments could also be employed. There are usually three rehearsals to prepare for each of the above celebrations. Participants will need to have basic skills, as well as the ability to maintain their own parts in soprano, alto, tenor, and bass (SATB) renditions.
COMMISSION ON WORD
The Role of the Ministry of the Word Commission is to oversee the ministry area to ensure that the needs of the parishioners are being met in terms of various aspects of faith formation and that there is adequate training for those who minister in this area. This ministry requires that persons be of excellent character, serious about the practice of their faith, and in full communion with the Catholic Church.
COMMISSION CHAIR: Gayle Castellani
The word catechist comes from a Greek root word that means "to echo." A catechist is a person of faith who echoes the Word of God and leads others in understanding faith teachings according to the official teachings of the Church, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The role of the catechist is a vital ministry in the Church. In the faith formation of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, parishioners from grades one through high school, catechists and the pastor work with students and parents. This includes sacramental preparation for First Penance, First Eucharist, and Confirmation.
BAPTISM PREPARATION CATECHIST TEAM
Catechists who prepare the parents of infant children through education and reflection for a proper understanding and reception of the sacrament of baptism. They may be present to welcome and orient families upon arrival at church for baptisms.
CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS (RCIA) TEAM (In partnership with Queen of Angels)
RCIA stands for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. It is the process through which persons join or complete their initiation into the Catholic Church. The RCIA Team are dedicated adults who assist the RCIA instructor, Deacon Jerry Carpenter, by acting as a mentor, guide and instructor for those exploring baptism in the Church or those coming into full communion with the Church. They assist those preparing to enter or return to the Catholic Church through an extended period of inquiry, instruction, and formation.
ADULT FAITH FORMATION
Opportunities for formation offer participants an exploration of the core elements of Catholic faith and practice— providing a deeper initiation into a Catholic way of life. It will do so in a way that is accessible to adults and relates to their life experiences, helping them to form a Christian conscience and to live their lives in the world as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. They also consider various current events and cultural trends in light of the moral teaching of the Church. Offerings include: local fall formation courses, lenten study series, participation in diocesan events, MBSR courses (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction), and parent meetings with study segments for parents of children in sacramental preparation. Volunteers for this ministry can be men and women in good standing who assist the Faith Formation Director and pastor in planning and managing spiritual formation activities.
MINDFULNESS BASED STRESS REDUCTION
MBSR is a deeply reflective 6-week program led by Phil Sallavanti, Mindfulness instructor, for grades eight through high school, and a higher level 8-week program for adults 18 and over. It aims at reducing personal stress and encourages peaceful human interaction among family members, friends and the environment. This program can also bear great spiritual advantages since many of its tools can be applied to spiritual growth. Programs vary at different times of the year and are open to both parishioners and visitors.
COMMISSION ON COMMUNITY & SERVICE
The Commission for Community and Service collaborates with the Commissions for Worship and Word to build up and enhance the community and service ethic of the parish. Worship and Word forms us for Community and Service, which in turn lead us back to greater levels of Worship and Word, which in turn send us forth into expanded notions of Community and Service. Service requires a working Community. Only a Community reaching out beyond itself can accomplish what the servant leadership of Jesus proposes.
The Welcome Wagon serves as an outreach and provides a warm welcome to families and adults who are new to our parish. They are a group of caring parishioners who enjoy meeting newcomers to the parish and are dedicated to ensuring that new members feel welcomed. These volunteers plan a brief visit with newly registered parishioners to extend a personal greeting, offering a welcome packet, answering any questions, and generally assist the newcomers in becoming acquainted with people and activities at the parish. This ministry requires that a person be at least 18 years of age, in good standing and in full communion with the Catholic Church.
PARISH VISITORS - Newly Proposed
Parish Visitors are caring parish members who provide contact between the parish community and parishioners of all ages who are sick in local hospitals or rehab centers or confined to home or other local facilities, offering spiritual and social support to those who are unable to regularly participate in parish life. These volunteers may also send greeting cards.
This ministry provides a bridge between the parish and bereaved parishioners through contact and support as appropriate. Volunteers for this ministry are warm and compassionate persons who assist bereaved parishioners through ministry of presence as a greeter at the church on the day of the funeral service or by simply sending cards to the family after the funeral and on special days of the year in the year after the passing. This ministry does not currently provide grief counseling but offers resources to those who are interested in additional support.
CULTURE OF VOCATIONS MINISTRY
The Culture of Vocations ministry seeks to build a vocation culture in which every Christian is empowered to identify and respond to the mission to which he or she is called as a member of the Body Christ, in and for the world. It assists in supporting vocations to the priesthood, consecrated, and married life through evangelization efforts, personal witness, and mentoring others. Activities may include parish presentations and participation in diocesan programs and retreats. This ministry also supports family life and harmony and offers presentations on various topics including "end of life" issues, advanced directives, and will making.
RESPECT LIFE FORMATION TEAM - (In partnership with Queen of Angels)
For the Church, there is no distinction between defending human life and promoting the dignity of the human person. To achieve this goal, this ministry seeks to provided ongoing education and promotes prayer and advocacy efforts to mobilize our parish community on issues of life, justice, and peace. Yearly activities include local Pro-life Prayer Breakfast, Annual March for Life in Washington, legislative alerts, and other respect life activities.
PRAYER LINE MINISTRY
The prayer line ministry is comprised of parishioners who intercede for intentions called into the parish office by members of Sacred Heart Parish community. This ministry brings spiritual assistance and grace, hope and consolation to those who are sick, bereaved, or afflicted in some way. Membership involves daily prayer for the intentions called in. Prayer time commitment is individual but can be less than one hour daily. Volunteers can be adults or children who are willing to pray for the special needs of the Church.
PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY - (In partnership with Queen of Angels)
The Prayer Shawl Ministry is designed to bring people together to pray while knitting, crocheting, or quilting shawls for people in need – for reasons of illness, bereavement or distress of any kind. The shawls are an outward sign that are laced with inner prayers and love. People receiving the shawls describe it as feeling as if they are wrapped in the love and prayers of the people at their church. Training, patterns, and prayer are available at the monthly meetings.
MID VALLEY FOOD PANTRY (In partnership with Queen of Angels)
The food pantry is located at Queen of Angels Parish in Jessup and is open to families in need every Wednesday from 3pm-5pm. The pantry is run by volunteer parishioners of Queen of Angels and currently serves approximately 100 families every month. Parishioners of Sacred Heart contribute through fundraisers such as Rice Bowl and ongoing weekly food collections which are transported to the collection site on a monthly basis by volunteers.
Volunteers are needed from 12pm-1:30pm on the first Wednesday of the month for loading and unloading our donations at the food pantry in Jessup. We are currently in need of volunteers with a truck and those who are able to lift heavy items.
PARISH COUNCIL MEMBER
The Parish Pastoral Council addresses the state of the parish in light of its vision and mission statement. It deliberates on the development of goals and in some ways acts as a monitor that alerts and advises the pastor on certain areas that may need consideration, discernment, and change. Council members are appointed or elected to a three-year term. One young delegate, age 18-24, may be elected each year to serve a one-year term. Meetings are held 4 to 6 times per year. The nomination of new members takes place each year.
COMMISSION FOR PARISH CARE AND STEWARDSHIP
The Commission for Parish Care and Stewardship assists the pastor to steer parish efforts in finding greater participation in the areas of time, talent and treasure. This Commission is divided into two sides. One side is concerned with the raising of financial assets to supply for the temporalities of the parish. The other side is concerned with the recruiting of time and talent needed in the parish to address its spiritual mission and goals.
ACTING COMMISSION CHAIR:
FINANCE COUNCIL MEMBER
The parish finance council is a consultative body of laypersons established to advise the pastor in matters pertaining to the financial affairs of the parish. These are men and women who participate in six to eight meetings per year to advise the pastor on matters including financial reports, budgets, spending, offertory program, maintenance of parish facilities, improvements and fundraising.
Trustworthy adults who take responsibility for counting the collections and preparing the deposits on Sunday mornings at the parish office.
Description: Fund-raising is a form of ministry. It is a way of announcing our vision and inviting other people into our mission. Fundraisers are parishioners who assist in raising money for the parish through activities and events. (This ministry may also facilitate benefit events and collections in cases of disaster or medical hardship.)
Annual events include:
- Roast Beef Dinner: Takes place on a Sunday in September or October. Dinner is held in the auditorium, with take-outs available along with basket raff
- Major Cash Raffle: Benefits the Improvement Fund at Sacred Heart Parish. Cash prizes are awarded, the top prize being $10,000. The drawing is limited to the first 500 tickets sold.
- Purse Bingo: Takes place on a Sunday in November at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish along with a basket raffle.