Serve the Lord with gladness!
What a privilege it is for boys and girls of the parish to be Altar Servers! Jesus himself said that he had come “to serve” and through their special ministry these young people are called to serve in many ways.
Their reverence and prayerful attitude make altar servers role models for the parish family. Their presence in the sanctuary reflects their willingness to “serve the Lord with gladness.” The beautiful lines of Psalm 43 seem especially meaningful for the young people who serve in this ministry: “I will go in to the altar of God, the God who brings joy to my youth.”
We welcome boys and girls in grades 3 and up who have received the sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist and Reconciliation to volunteer as altar servers (with their parents’ permission). The parish provides training and a manual for new servers.
Every year, on the Sunday after Easter, Saint Raphael Parish honors couples who will celebrate 50, 40, 25 and 10 years of marriage during the calendar year. This well-loved tradition, begun in 1984, has become an event that the entire parish anticipates with delight. The couples renew their vows during Mass. Festivities continue for the honorees and their guests at a small reception in the Parish Center.
The Anniversary Celebration honors parishioners who were married in the requisite years and couples who were married at Saint Ann or Saint Gabriel Church, even if they no longer live in the parish.
People who sign on for this ministry are asked to serve as research assistants, hospitality assistants, catering assistants and set-up specialists. We also need greeters, corsage and boutonniere pinners, escorts, hosts and hostesses and people to serve on the rather mundane but vital kitchen and clean-up crews. Working together we create a marvelous, uplifting celebration, a tribute to the inspiration of enduring love.
What better way to praise the Lord than to lift your voice in song? And what a beautiful time to sing of God’s glory, especially during the Christmas and Easter seasons!
A special way to share the gift of song and your talent for music is by joining the Saint Ann or Saint Gabriel Choir. It’s a wonderful time to become a Steward of Song.
In addition, master some of the “beautiful music, memorable melodies and rich lyrics” from the hymnal. Add your voice to our expanding Sunday chorus. Our choir performs several concerts each year enhancing our music experience at Saint Ann Church.
The choir rehearses on a weekday evening. If you have questions or if you’d like to know more about the choir, see our Music Director after Mass or simply come to the next choir rehearsal. The warm welcome you receive will put a song in your heart!
Musicians, guitarists, flutists, drummers who are willing to share their talent of music at our liturgies and services offer a special gift of themselves. They may be asked to play at Christmas Masses and Easter Masses and should be available for rehearsals and weekend Masses. Instrumentalists should be able to read music, have good playing skills and be able to work with other musicians.
If you have a special instrument talent and would like to share it with our church community, consider auditioning with our music director.
Greeter and Greeters for Special Occasions
Parish greeters extend a warm welcome to everyone who enters the doors of our beautiful church, at weekend Masses, at holy day Masses and for special events. When we gather for Eucharist we are God’s family coming home to God’s house. How wonderful to be greeted with a smile, with a hug, with a handshake. Parishioners really enjoy the touch of family that this ministry provides while visitors to the parish have told us how much they appreciate a warm greeting.
Saint Ann’s has been blessed with a marvelous Greeter ministry since 1993! Our extensive training requirements have not changed: Smile! Shake hands. Extend a warm welcome.
We extend that welcome to friends and family who come for funeral liturgies. Visitors from out of town, in particular, are grateful if someone is available to answer questions about church facilities. Do you feel called to share a welcoming smile as a part of this marvelous ministry?
What a wonderful opportunity lectors have to serve God’s family! Public reading, in fact, is among the most ancient forms of Christian ministry.
As Catholic Christians we are the heirs of an oral tradition that dates back to the time of Abraham. The Word of God that came to the patriarchs, to Moses, to David, to the prophets, was a spoken word. God’s beautiful message was spoken aloud, proclaimed clearly enough to have survived through the centuries.
The message of Jesus, the Word made flesh, came to early Christian communities in the letters of Peter, Paul, James and others. Lectors stood up at community gatherings and read these letters aloud.
Those who are called to this ministry today are asked to do more than just read at Mass. As part of this age-old tradition they are asked to proclaim God’s Word, to announce God’s message so clearly as to help put it into practice.
Even before you enter the front doors of Saint Ann Church you notice the work of the parish’s Liturgy Committee. Look for the colorful bunting that committee members have draped above the doors. The colors mark the changing seasons of the Church year.
The Liturgy Committee assists with planning and decorating through all the seasons: Advent, Christmastime, Lent, the Triduum, Eastertime, Ordinary Time and any special feasts or festivals. They order and arrange the flowers for Christmas and Easter (maintaining a subtle balance between the sanctuary’s glorious display and parishioners’ allergies).
Members of the Liturgy Committee coordinate the scheduling and presentation of other seasonal worship services, including Stations of the Cross during Lent, communal penitential and anointing services and November’s annual Memorial Mass for the deceased of the parish.
The earliest Christians met in their homes in small groups to celebrate Eucharist. Perhaps they were people who already knew each other or, like us, were brought together by their faith in Jesus.
As the host of such a small Christian group, it was a simple task to greet each guest and make sure he or she felt at home – to create a spirit of community. Our challenge is to create a similar spirit of community in an environment where four Masses occur over a weekend.
As members of Saint Raphael Parish, we take an ownership interest in our Christian community. We are the “Saint Raphael community of faith.” We hear the phrase at each weekend Mass and we make it a reality –greeting members and guests to our faith family and attending to their needs while they are in our house.
If you would like to assist our Saint Raphael guests during weekend and special Masses, please consider joining our ushers.
Confraternity of Saint Ann
A ministry of prayer, the Confraternity of Saint Ann meets every Monday morning from 8:30 to 9:00, following the 8:00 morning Mass.
Members of the Confraternity invoke the intercession of Saint Ann through hymns, prayers and petitions for all our needs. With deep faith and complete confidence members of the Confraternity lift their voices in prayer to the good and powerful patroness of our parish.
Everyone is welcome to be a part of this special prayer group. Come once, twice, or as frequently as you like. Pray to good Saint Ann that she may enrich you, those you love and those you find hard to love with many graces. You will be richly blessed.
Stewardship means responding to Jesus’ simple and profound invitation: “Come, follow me.” (Matthew 19:21) If we follow him, if we live according to Jesus’ example, ours will be lives of service and of prayer.
Over and over in the gospels we find Jesus in prayer. Luke tells us that “He often retired to deserted places and prayed.” (5:16) He “went up to the mountain to pray,” he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross; he taught us to pray the Our Father.
Prayer, then, is a beautiful expression of Stewardship, and our Rosary/Prayer Line provides a wonderful opportunity to pray and to give honor and praise to Mary, Christ’s Blessed Mother.
Consider joining us as we pray the rosary Monday and Friday mornings before daily Mass. Mass begins at 8:00; rosary recitation usually begins at 7:30. We also pray the rosary on Tuesday evenings at 7:00 PM in the church from September through June.
During October, traditionally the month of the rosary, we honor Our Lady with an International Rosary in five languages, one for each decade. We have, at various times, prayed in English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Irish Gaelic and Polish. The evening closes with refreshments in the Children’s Chapel.
We pray the rosary to honor Our Lady of Fatima at 11:00 AM on the first Saturday from October through February.
Parishioners called to this special devotion are part of the parish’s Prayer Line. As they raise their voices in praise and petition, these stewards are praying for all the intentions recorded in a special book. The Prayer Line is open to anyone who needs help. Countless parishioners can attest to the amazing power of prayer.