We are All Called and Chosen
We all have gifts from God, and we are all called to serve one another through our Baptism. We do not always recognize how or even where to begin. As with most of us, we find it difficult to believe that we have something to share. But we do! When we are willing to share a piece of ourselves with others, our gifts unfold, and we, as well as others, benefit in ways that only God knows and directs.
Our first and most important ministry at St. Mary’s and Our Lady of Lourdes is the pew ministry. Pew ministry involves every person in each of our communities who occupies the pews on Sunday, whether it be every week, the occasional weekend, or on special occasions. Everyone who calls one of our communities his/her spiritual home is a vital participant in our Parishes. You play an important role in our Pew Ministry by signing up, attending, joining in and contributing to making our Parishes places of faith, hope and joy.
Pew ministry is recognizing that if your shadow has darkened our doorway then you have a responsibility to be counted, to belong and to make the conscious choice to be part of our Parish Communities. If you have not yet registered with one of our Parishes, we encourage you to do so. Registration forms are available in the narthex of both churches, the Parish Office and online.
For our registered parishioners, you have the responsibility to ensure that your contact and family information that you have on file with us is kept up-to-date; especially changes of address, telephone numbers and email addresses.
Being a parishioner means being present and walking with others on the journey of faith. Attend our liturgical celebrations not only on Sunday, but for our special liturgies throughout the year, some of these include school Masses, memorial Masses for deceased parishioners, First Holy Communion, Confirmation, Ash Wednesday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil.
Attend times of fellowship. Besides praying together, Jesus and the disciples were frequent guests to weddings, dinners and social gatherings. Parish dinners and social events are opportunities for us to get to know each other better and grow in friendship.
You are invited and warmly encouraged to take an active part in your Parish Community, in particular, to embrace our mission of “living the fullness of Christian life by virtue of Baptism, Confirmation and the perfection of love.” Joining in also means active participation in the liturgies; singing, praying, responding and being attentive. Connecting with those who sit around you in the pews helps to create a familial atmosphere. Remember that a smile and a hearty “hello” goes a long way to make a new parishioner or visitor feel welcome and at home among us.
Giving of one’s time and livelihood are the hallmarks of belonging to a community. We invite each person to participate with one project, join one committee or serve in one ministry in any given year.
Also, as you are able, contributing financially to the Parish goes a long way in helping to build up and sustain our various ministries, outreach projects and facilities and is an indication that you belong to our family of faith and you want to see it grow and succeed.
Ministries & Service Opportunities
We have many ministry and service opportunities for you to share in. Below are descriptions of the wide ranging ministries and services that we offer our Parishioners:
Councils & Committees
A Parish is a large multifaceted organization that exists to respond to the spiritual, emotional, and social needs of our parishioners. Councils and committees help to coordinate the overall leadership and direction of all our ministries and programs to ensure that we are fulfilling our mission.
Click here to learn more about serving a leadership role on one of our Councils and Committees.
There are many ways to serve the Lord and one another. One way is to be of service in the various ministries to enhance our liturgical celebrations. It is not a question of being worthy or perfect, we are looking for individuals who have a hunger to grow in their relationship with God and a desire to share their gifts to make our Parishes places of faith, hope and love.
Click here to learn more about how you can help enhance our liturgical celebrations.
Sacramental Preparation Ministries
The entire Parish Community is responsible for the preparation and initiation of members into the Catholic Church. This is primarily accomplished by our prayer and by our authentic living of the Gospel by loving God with all our hearts, minds and souls, and our neighbour as ourselves. It is by the example in word and deed of each parishioner that a new member learns what it means to live as a Catholic Christian.
Within our Parishes, parishioners take on a variety of roles to directly assist those who wish to receive the Sacraments of Baptism, First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion, Confirmation and Marriage. The commitment to serve within these ministries depends upon the chosen role and your availability.
Click here to learn more about how you can help teach and hand on the Faith to the next generations.
Children & Youth Ministries
Our children and youth ministries take a comprehensive approach to lead all our children and young people to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, integrating them into the life of our Parish Communities, and to a deeper understanding of their Catholic Faith. It all begins at the child’s Baptism as we seek to support and encourage parents, as the first teachers of their children in the ways of faith, in our mission of living the fullness of Christian life through the perfection of love. To fulfill this mission we offer a variety of programs, resources and opportunities to support parents in the faith development of their children.
Click here to learn more about becoming a mentor for our children and youth people.
Outreach & Service Ministries
A Church is not inward looking. Before Jesus ascended into heaven he gave the disciples the great commission to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28.19). We are on a mission and this moves us out into the world, into our wider communities, to bring healing, mercy, and compassion so that all people may know and respond to God’s love.
Click here to learn more about how you can be the hands of Christ in a hurting world.
Within our Parish Communities we have groups of local, national and international character that our parishioners belong to in order to proclaim the Gospel. While each group has a particular way of fulfilling this mission, all exist to build fraternity and assist in building up the Church.
Click here to learn more about extending the mission of Christ in fraternity and charity.
Creating Safe Environments
The Diocese of Thunder Bay is committed to creating and maintaining safe environments in our Faith Communities for those who work, volunteer and gather within our Parishes and institutions. In keeping with Diocesan policy, involvement in parish ministry requires a mandatory screening process for all applicants. Ministries which will place the applicant in the company of vulnerable individuals will require additional screening, including a criminal record check.
Interested? What’s the next step…
If you are interested in assisting with one of these ministries, please contact the Parish Office to learn more and to register, or download the volunteer ministry application and return it to the Parish Office.