Ministries of St. Mary's
Saint Mary’s Adult Choir meets for rehearsals in the choir loft in the church on Thursday evenings, September to June, from 7-8 PM. The Adult Choir, accompanied by the organist, provides music for the 11:00AM Sunday liturgy as well as occasional seasonal liturgies during Lent, Holy Week, and Christmas. The Adult Choir welcomes all who love to sing. No prior knowledge of note reading is required!
Becoming an altar server is a great way for children to serve and participate in the Mass. Teams of 2 or 3 servers are scheduled to serve approximately monthly at the 4pm, 9am and 11am Masses on a rotating schedule. Training is held annually and any child currently in grade 3 or above is invited to join.
The cantor provides encouragement and example for others to join in singing at Mass. The cantor is responsible for announcing the hymns, as well as encouraging and leading the assembly in the singing of hymns, the Responsorial Psalm, the Alleluia, and the Mass parts. Cantors lead the assembly in song at weekend liturgies, weddings, and funerals. The cantor’s task is to invite participation and assist the people in praying together in song.
CATHOLIC DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAS
The Catholic Daughters of the Americas is one of the oldest and largest organizations of Catholic women in the Americas. CDA donates to charities, administers scholarship programs and strives “to be helping hands where there is pain, poverty, sorrow or sickness.” The CDA motto is “Unity and Charity.” Under the patronage of the Blessed Mother, the Catholic Daughters of the Americas are united by their faith in Jesus Christ, in their devotion to the church and the Holy See. Catholic Daughter women enjoy each other’s company at meetings and work hard for their parishes and communities. Deeply spiritual, together they share faith, love of God and a distinctly feminine spirituality alluded to by Pope John Paul II when he spoke of the necessity of “feminine genius” in today’s world. We are always looking for new members!
This ministry is open to children old enough to want to sing. The children rehearse each Sunday, from 10:00 - 11:00 am, and sing the last Sunday of the month, at the 9:00 am Mass. The children’s choir sings in the front of the church and performs with a small instrumental ensemble. No audition is required to join this group.
Children’s Liturgy runs September through June during the 9am Sunday Mass. This ministry is geared to Preschool aged children through first grade. Volunteers bring the children to the Murphy Room at the beginning of the Liturgy of the Word, where they will listen to and discuss the Sunday’s Gospel reading geared to children. The children have fun coloring or doing a craft in this less restrictive atmosphere. The children return to the main church before the Liturgy of Eucharist.
CHRISTMAS FAIR COMMITTEE
The Christmas Fair Committee is responsible for organizing all aspects of the Christmas Fair held on a Saturday and Sunday in early November. The Christmas Fair consists of Raffles, Theme Baskets, Handmade Crafts, Baked Goods, Silent Auction items, Children’s Games and Shopping area, Religious items and Jewelry as well as lunch for sale.
Committee meetings begin in mid-summer and meet monthly at the Church until October when the meetings are more frequent as the Fair date approaches. Parishioners who are not available to attend meetings can also participate by making crafts at home, advertising, soliciting local businesses or baking for the event. All parishioners are welcome to participate!
EXTRAORDINARY MINISTERS OF HOLY COMMUNION
Also known as Eucharistic Ministers, describes Confirmed individuals who assist in the distribution of the Eucharist at Mass. The term “extraordinary” simply refers to the fact that these individuals are not ordained to ministry, as are bishops, priests, and deacons, but they have made themselves available to this calling to serve their fellow parishioners. Ministers are also available to deliver the Eucharist to homebound, hospitalized, or infirmed persons.
The parish provides spiritual, theological and practical preparation to fulfill this role with knowledge and reverence. The training may include appropriate attire, demeanor and most especially the proper handling of the consecrated bread.
Assignments to serve at Mass are scheduled two months in advance, e-mailed to all ministers, posted on the parish web site, and in the sacristy. If interested, please speak with the pastor.
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS
The Knights of Columbus is the world's largest Catholic fraternal service organization. Founded by Father Michael J. McGivney in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1882, it was named in honor of Christopher Columbus. We have developed into a fraternal benefit society dedicated to the ideals of Charity, Fraternity, Unity and Patriotism while promoting and defending Roman Catholic values. Our council, Foxboro/Sharon 6063, meets monthly, usually on the first Friday of each month. Some of our charity work involves collecting for the Tootsie Roll Drive to benefit handicapped children, a youth basketball free throw competition, running local blood drives and supporting St. Mary’s Parish any way we can. We are always looking for any new member to join our fraternal service. A member must be at least 18 years of age.
St. Mary's LIFE TEEN is open to everyone in grades 9-12. Our goal is to strengthen our faith and spread the love of Christ through community service and social activities. We typically meet twice a month, each meeting lasts approximately an hour and a half. One meeting is dedicated to a community service project and the other meeting is a social activity. We typically meet on Thursday evenings, but some community service projects require us to meet at other days and times. We are on Instagram and Twitter @stmaryslt17.
MINISTRY OF MARRIAGE PREPARATION
This two-session Program is held in the Murphy Room at St. Mary's. Facilitated by a team of married couples from the parish, engaged couples spend some focused time spiritually preparing for their upcoming marriages with a range of activities in a combination of private, small group, and large group settings.
MINISTRY TO THE SICK AND HOMEBOUND
The mission of this Ministry is to bring the Eucharist to the sick, incapacitated or homebound parishioners of our parish at least once a week, and to offer them a kind heart and a listening ear for those who need it.
PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL
Our purpose is to assist the pastor in his leadership role of planning, organizing, initiating, promoting, coordinating and reviewing the evangelization, worship, religious education and service activities within the parish. One of our objectives is to assess adequately the needs of the whole parish and its members, and to develop and implement a pastoral plan which will promote the common good of the parish. Another objective is to foster unity and a sense of community in the parish and to coordinate all parish activities in a manner that will best serve the interests of the parish. Lastly, our objectives include promoting programs and activities recommended by the Archbishop, Archdiocesan offices and agencies as well as the pastoral council itself. Click here to meet the members of the PPC.
PARISH FINANCE COMMITTEE
The Parish Finance Council is composed of members of the parish having a background in areas such as finance, accounting, managing properties, and budgeting. The responsibility of this council is to advise the Pastor on the temporal affairs of the parish. The council will review the parish’s financial condition, including areas such as sources of income, expenditures, parish debt, savings, and possible investments. The council is required to compose an annual financial report to be distributed to the parishioners. The members on this committee work strictly in an advisory capacity to the pastor. If interested, please speak with the pastor.
The parish prayer line is made up of volunteers who agree to pray for anyone who asks for help. The prayer line works this way: anyone with a request for prayers may call to request prayers. They may also pass on any requests to any member of the group. Once a prayer request is received, a blind-copied email is sent out to all the members of the prayer line, asking them to pray for that particular person or intention.
Requests for prayers are very varied. Most are for someone who is ill, or for a family of a loved one who has passed away. However, we have prayed for individuals who are going through any difficult or stressful time, from unemployment, to divorce, addiction issues, and often the request will simply be for “……… who needs prayers”. In the emails, prayer recipients’ privacy is respected, and they are listed by first name only, or by initials, or by a brief description, such as “a young mother”. If any updates are received, and it’s very nice to hear that so many prayers have been answered, those updates are also emailed to the group.
Recognizing that prayers are so powerful, more participants are always welcome! If you are interested in joining the group or if you have an intention, please call the Rectory.
PROCLAIMERS OF THE WORD - LECTORS
Give human voice to the Word of God at Mass liturgies. There is no age requirement to become a proclaimer, however proclaimers must have received the Sacrament of Confirmation. In addition to this requirement, those who participate in this ministry should have strong verbal and communication skills, be comfortable reading in front of a large group of people and possess the willingness to commit oneself to the time, effort and study required for intelligent and sensitive proclamation. Study manuals are provided by the parish.
Religious education is available to all the children in our parish from first grade through ninth grade. St. Mary’s Religious Education program strives to bring God’s Word and the principals of being a good Christian in today’s world to our young people. The program begins with grade 1 being taught at home by the parents with a program supplied and supervised by our Religious Ed Coordinator. Grades 2-8 meet after school weekly, Monday through Wednesday, during the school year. Second graders receive the sacrament of Penance in the fall and the sacrament of First Holy Communion in the spring. Your child must complete our first and second grade curriculum in order to be prepared to receive First Penance and First Communion. Ninth grade classes meet monthly and conclude with the sacrament of Confirmation in the spring. Like Grade 2, students must have completed the previous grades 3-9 to receive Confirmation. Home programs are available for all grades with the exception of our sacramental years, grade two and grade nine. Please call the Religious Education Office to register your child.
The first Sunday of each month is Sharing Sunday. Parishioners donate canned and non-perishable food items which are then divided between the Pine Street Inn and the Foxboro Food Pantry. Volunteers shop and prepare a hot meal which is taken by parish volunteers to the Women’s Unit of Pine Street Inn on Sharing Sunday.
St. Mary’s Parish Social Committee was developed with the purpose of bringing parishioners together in friendship and fellowship through relaxed social events. It is the goal of the Social Committee to welcome all current and potential parishioners, regardless of age or gender, to get to know each other beyond the pews, and to foster friendships in a fun atmosphere. The committee meets approximately once a month and communicates regularly via email. It is a growing endeavor, and welcome to both new ideas and new members. Committee members need only participate when and how their schedule allows. All are welcome.
Ushers are an integral part of our Mass. They welcome parishioners and visitors before each Mass and are available to answer questions. Ushers help in finding seats for parishioners and take note of any parishioners that may need special assistance. Ushers remain at the back of the church and help any late-comers to minimize disruptions. Ushers also help with collections.
WEDNESDAY MORNING PRAYER, COFFEE AND CONVERSATION GROUP
We are a group who meet year-round every Wednesday after the 9 a.m. Mass. The group originally began in the early 70’s in the kitchen area but with more participants soon expanded to the Murphy Room in the lower church. We gather together as we have a common denominator; we care for each other and the wider church community. In addition to our regular prayer and discussion of “hot topics” of the day, we may help rectory staff, or Christmas Fair personnel in stuffing envelopes, collating paperwork, etc. Also, if there is a request to prepare some baked goods after a Sunday morning Mass such as a church picnic; ecumenical concert; or Religious Education class; we all pitch in to help. Sometimes there is even a need for cleaning the brass altar candlesticks! Most of all, we are members of St. Mary’s parish family who gather together to share our faith. All are welcome to join us whenever the spirit moves you. No registration required.
WOMEN’S GUILD SCHOLARSHIP COMMITTEE
This committee was established to collect monies to be used to award financial scholarships to members of St. Mary’s parish. Funds are provided through an annual collection at St. Mary’s Church as well as memorial donations. In the spring, a website with an application form is set up for candidates to download and return to the rectory at a specified date.