Ministry Guide

MINISTRY GUIDE – SPRING 2024

This Guide outlines the active ministries of St. Andrew the Apostle Parish.  Parishioners are invited to join a ministry that best fits their individual gifts and talents. To join a ministry or for additional information, send an email to standrewministries@gmail.com or call 718-680-1010 (Parish House office).  The ministry coordinator will promptly reply.

LITURGICAL MINISTRIES

Hospitality Ministers (HMs)  HMs help bring our faith community together by welcoming all who enter St. Andrew the Apostle Church.  Hospitality draws people together and encourages them to fully and actively participate in the liturgy.  Through an HM’s warm welcome, respectful help and prayerful participation in the liturgy, HMs are a model of our faith to all – newcomers and regular parishioners alike.  HMs must be active, baptized members of the parish in good standing who attend Mass regularly.  HMs are asked to commit to serving a minimum of once a month.

Lectors (Ministers of the Word)  Lectors proclaim God’s Word and read the Prayers of the Faithful at Mass.  Good Lectors prepare carefully. Lectors will need to read the Sacred Scriptures, reflect prayerfully on their meaning, and practice reading aloud prior to their assigned days of service.  Workbooks and practice opportunities are provided.  Lectors must be baptized and confirmed members of the parish in good standing who attend Mass regularly here.  Ministers of the Word are expected to commit to serving a minimum of once a month.

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (EMHC) EMHCs assist the presider at Mass with the distribution of the Eucharist and may be asked to take Holy Communion the sick and homebound as needed and determined by the Diocesan Bishop and Pastor. EMHCS should demonstrate the greatest reverence for the Most Holy Eucharist. EMHCs must be baptized and confirmed members of the parish in good standing who attend Mass regularly here, and are at least 18 years old.  An interview with and approval by the Pastor is required to serve in this ministry. EMHCs are expected to commit to serving a minimum of once a month.  

For each of these Liturgical Ministries, parish membership, regular liturgical attendance and training are required.  Attendance at a Diocesan Training Workshop is strongly recommended.  Additionally, attendance at a one-time, three-hour VIRTUS/Safe Environment workshop is required by the Diocese.  The VIRTUS program needs to be renewed online every seven years.

 

MUSIC MINISTRIES

Cantors lead the assembly in song and in worship. Those who cantor are generally encouraged to participate in leading worship for 2 masses per month. Cantors must be able to sing in pitch but are not required to read music. Members who have difficulty with pitch training can first work in the choir before cantoring and leading the community in worship.  Cantors new to the ministry are trained gradually before singing the entire mass, this includes assistance in vocal support from the music director who may sing some selections of the mass liturgy. 

The Choir participates in liturgies once a month, as well as major feast days.  All singers are welcome–from high school students through seniors.  No auditions are required; all that is asked is that you bring your voice, your enthusiasm and your desire to learn some new music. Those interested in lending their voice in song can communicate with our director of music. Rehearsals are generally scheduled in the Parish House.

The Music Liturgy Committee consists of members within the parish who are well familiar with the liturgical music and community of Saint Andrew’s.  This liturgy meets at least twice per season (Advent, Lent, Ordinary time) in the parish house.  The members collaborate with the music director to discuss and plan ahead hymns and settings that may be new or well-known to the community. Those interested in joining are asked to speak to the music director or Tom Hinchen.

 

CONSOLATION MINISTRY

The Consolation Ministry serves parishioners and their families who are faced with the loss of a loved one.  They engage with the family to demonstrate the support of the parish in their time of need.  When needed, a member will call a family member or attend the wake.  A member, who is also an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, Lector or Hospitality Minister, may assist at the funeral Mass.  A minister of consolation may also want to reach out to these parishioners by making follow-up calls.

 

OCIA – ORDER OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION FOR ADULTS

The Order of Christian Initiation of Adults (OCIA) is the process for adults who desire to join the Catholic faith and for those seeking more information about the Catholic Church.  OCIA can also be a method for Catholics to complete their reception of First Eucharist and Confirmation. OCIA weekly sessions include scripture reading, faith formation and faith sharing in an informal atmosphere that encourages questions and individual reflection. 

The ministry of OCIA is a sacred journey of faith, welcoming individuals into the fullness of the Christian community  Rooted in the rich traditions of the Catholic Church, OCIA serves as a pathway for those seeking to  deepen their relationship with God, explore the teachings of Jesus Christ, and embrace the sacramental life of the Church. 

At its heart, OCIA is a ministry of hospitality, guidance, and spiritual formation, offering a supportive environment for individuals at various stages of their faith journey.  Whether newcomers to Christianity, seekers in search of truth, or baptized Christians seeking full communion with the Catholic Church, OCIA provides a nurturing space for inquiry, discernment, and growth in faith. The reception of Sacraments at the Easter Vigil is the joyous beginning of new life in Christ and His Church.

 

BAPTISM PREPARATION MINISTRY

The bilingual Baptism Preparation Ministry is dedicated to preparing Parents, godparents and families for the first Sacrament of Initiation into the Catholic Church, and in that way welcome them to our parish community.  As a ministry, we introduce parents and godparents to understand the meaning of holy baptism and their roles as leaders of children in their faith journey, review and support them through the baptismal process, and accompany them at their baptismal celebrations.  The Sacrament of Baptism opens the door to new life by making us part of Christ and His Church, and it is our ministry’s privilege to accompany families in this journey of faith in action. 

To register for Baptism, please schedule an appointment with Ann Smyth (standrewreledu@gmail.com or 718-680-1010 Ext. 20).  Bring the child’s birth certificate.  Preparation classes are attended the second Saturday of the month (1pm in Spanish and 3pm in English).  Classes will be held no earlier than one month prior to the scheduled baptism.  Baptisms are celebrated with the community during masses at Saturday vigil or Sunday mornings.  There will be no baptisms during the Lenten season.

The tasks involved in this ministry:  Outreach to baptizing families, in-person preparatory and review meeting with baptizing families, accompaniment on baptism day, follow-up for Anniversary Mass.

 

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION PROGRAM FOR CHILDREN

What do you need to be a catechist?

An interest in teaching and the ability to work with young people.

  • Time to teach 
    • Thursdays, 3:30pm to 5:15pm – Grades 1 to 5;
    • Fridays, 7pm to 8:30pm – Grades 6 to 8; or 
    • Saturdays, 10am to 11:30am – Grades 1 to 5.
    • This is based on the New York City school year.
  • Willingness to collaborate with the catechetical staff to enhance the program and community activities.
  • Submit an application to the Director of Religious Education.
  • Attend a Virtus Training workshop to ensure the protection of children and submit a background check.
  • Participate in professional and spiritual development opportunities throughout the year.

Catechists are the heart of the Religious Education Program.  They nurture the faith of young people in the parish.  They provide a deeper knowledge and love in the person of Jesus Christ and share their love with their community.  They witness their faith by who they are, not just what they do.

St. Andrew’s catechists use textbooks as a guideline to prepare lessons on a weekly basis. They take an authentic interest in the children they serve.  They interact with families to encourage mass and community participation.  All catechists dedicate their time and talents, voluntarily, and witness the Gospel by practicing what they teach. They are full, active, and conscious participants in their own faith and share their faith with the children.

 

SHARING OUR CATHOLIC FAITH MINISTRY

The Sharing Our Catholic Faith Ministry is centered in Jesus Christ and ministers to the spiritual needs of the people.  The ministry offers opportunities and resources to the parishioners so that they may grow closer to Christ by deepening their knowledge of the Catholic faith.  

The goals of the Sharing Our Catholic Faith ministry include providing presentations showing the many ways Catholics, through the ages, have engaged with the divine especially through the arts – paintings, films, literature, music; offering opportunities to look closely at and discuss Vatican documents and their significance to our faith lives; and reaching out to parents to support them in their role as children’s first teachers of the faith.  

The parish subscribes to “Word on Fire.”  Through this subscription, 

  • Gospel reflections are emailed to parishioners each Sunday and holy days of obligation; 
  • in-person sessions are offered that include prayer, a video on topics such as “The Mass” and “The Sacraments”; and a time for reflection and discussion; 
  • Word on Fire Digital is gifted to all parishioners so they may view videos of their choice at their own pace

Members of the Sharing Our Catholic Faith ministry attend meetings to plan events for the upcoming liturgical season.  The preparation for the events includes compiling resources to share, advertising, set-up in Kiernan Hall or Parish House; and providing refreshments.  In addition, it is the responsibility of this ministry to email the Gospel reflections to parishioners on a timely basis. 

 

JORNADA GROUP

As an Ecclesial Movement of the Diocese of Brooklyn, the Movimiento de Jornadas de Vida Cristiana, provides a community for young men and women (ages 15 and up) to journey into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, to mature in their knowledge of Him, and renew their love for Him.

Living one’s Jornada, the central retreat of the movement, along with their post-Jornada formation, provides the youth with the necessary tools to discern and accept Christ’s call, to be His disciple and become an instrument in bringing His presence to others; namely to evangelize youth by means of other youth.

We endeavor to serve the youth through prayer (especially the celebration of the Eucharist), study, service and social activities. We commit ourselves to the maturing of the spirit, mind and body of our youth so that they may become faithful, loving, and generous members of the Church.  

The mission of our group is “Youth evangelizing youth.” Jornada meets weekly on Mondays at 7 pm in Kiernan Hall.

 

PASTORAL PLANNING COUNCIL

The purpose of the Pastoral Planning Council is to act as a group of prayerful disciples supporting the pastor in the development of a vital Christian faith community. The Council is composed of volunteer parishioners and members of the parish staff and concerns itself with the overall well being of the parish community.  While maintaining a close and collaborative relationship with the pastor, the Council is the principal coordinating body for the activities of the community. It has a responsibility to communicate its actions, to encourage the involvement of all parishioners and to be responsive to the ideas and needs of the community.  The council acts in creating an ongoing process to reflect and embody the values and goals expressed in the Parish Mission Statement. Through programs, activities, thoughtful deliberations and input, the Council strives to assist in the community’s spiritual growth and to facilitate actions of social responsibility.  

Members of the Council:  Attend monthly meetings (September to June); be present at parish events; organize annual  events and celebrations which include, for example, Synodal listening sessions, the Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, Town Halls and Ministry Fairs.

 

ST. VINCENT DEPAUL SOCIETY, CATHOLIC CHARITIES,  ANDREW THE APOSTLE FOOD PANTRY

Ministering to the material needs of the people is a hallmark of this group.  The ministry distributes non-perishable goods to members of the community at 9:45am on the third Wednesday of each month.  Monies from the poor boxes are a mainstay to the food pantry.  Parishioners are welcome to help after the 9am Mass on distribution day.  If you would like to donate non-perishables, place items in the baskets in either of the Gathering Spaces. 

 

SAN ANDRÉS MINISTRY

For over 25 years an important part of the St. Andrew’s Feast Day celebration has been to support our sister parish in San Andrés Guatemala.  We acknowledge our kinship through prayer and donations.  In the beginning, we helped rebuild the Church that was destroyed during the Civil War in Guatemala in the 1980s.  Now our contribution supports the education of the young people of San Andrés through scholarships for middle, high school, and college students.

 

CARE FOR CREATION MINISTRY

Consider that God, your Benefactor, is present in all creatures and in yourself.  
If you look at every step of the visible creation, in all you will meet God.
St. Ignatius Loyola

The Care for Creation Ministry has created a Laudato Si’ Action Plan for the parish, outlining actions that we can take over a period of seven years (as of 2022) to respond to the “cry of the earth” and the “cry of the poor.”  The Care for Creation Ministry is inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ (On Care for Our Common Home).  Using the See-Judge-Act paradigm, this ministry provides resources for parishioners to reflect on God’s Creation; promotes discussion of Church teachings regarding the call to protect the Earth and its living creatures; and works to make sure that St. Andrew the Apostle Parish observes ecologically sound practices while bringing the message of Laudato Si’ to the larger community.   

 

CELEBRATIONS COMMITTEE

The parish enjoys many celebrations throughout the year.  The celebrations include the Feast Day of St. Andrew the Apostle; Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe; Posadas; Feast of the Three Kings; Presentation of the Lord; Divine Mercy Sunday, and quinceañeras.  These occasions link faith life with social get-togethers.  Attending planning meetings called by the coordinators; advertising; outreach for volunteers; purchasing supplies for the event; preparing the church/setting up Kiernan Hall or the Parish House; and other tasks pertaining to a specific event.  

 

WOMEN’S SPIRITUALITY GROUP

Women’s Spirituality Group meets monthly through Zoom.  We are a warm, friendly group who reflect on a certain aspect of our faith and how we can translate it into our everyday lives.  Themes and topics are presented and facilitated by one of the group.  

 

BOOK CLUB

The Book Club meets monthly on Zoom at 7:30pm on the fourth Tuesday of each month (from September through July).   See the weekly bulletin for current book selection and upcoming meeting dates.  

 

PHOTOGRAPHERS

Photographers are available at special celebrations and liturgical events, including the first sacraments of the Religious Education children.  Volunteers are needed to help at these events.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

A ministry in the making.  Help the parish be seen via parish website, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

 

FAIR TRADE COFFEE, TEA AND CHOCOLATE PROJECT

In May 2004, St. Andrew the Apostle Parish joined Equal Exchange’s “Interfaith Coffee Program.”  As one of the most heavily traded commodities in the world, coffee is a direct link between our community and farming communities in Latin America, Africa and Asia.  Yet the small farmers who grow coffee often struggle just to make a simple living. The Fair Trade Project holds sales of coffee, tea, chocolate and other products throughout the year.  When you choose Equal Exchange, you are not only getting a great cup of coffee, you are also helping small farmers build a better future for themselves and their families. coffee people.

Responsibilities of members of this ministry:

  • ordering coffee, tea, chocolate, and other fair trade products;
  • unpacking the shipments and storing them in Kiernan Hall;
  • on sale dates (which usually take place about every six weeks), bringing these products from Kiernan Hall and arranging them for sale in the Gathering Space;
  • assisting parishioners in their purchases, including taking payments, and counting the total sales for the day;
  • returning unsold products to Kiernan Hall;
  • depositing the sales proceeds;
  • taking inventory and reordering for the next sale; and
  • posting the results of each date in the church bulletin.

 

HOUR CHILDREN CHRISTMAS GIVING TREE MINISTRY

The Hour Children Christmas Giving Ministry administers to the spiritual and material needs of a wider community that includes women who are incarcerated and their children. This ministry organizes the donation of gifts for the Hour Children Giving Tree.  Gifts are shared at the Hour Children Christmas Party; with children who visit their moms at correctional facilities; to moms who have moved into independent living with their children; and to families in Hour Children homes and in their Mentoring Program.  

The following tasks begin in October and end in early December:

  • Contact Hour Children to receive a list of gifts and arrange for pick-up of donations.
  • Print gift tags.
  • Prepare information to be included in the bulletin (updating as needed), 
  • Set up displays in the Gathering Spaces.
  • Bring donations to a second floor room after each Mass.
  • Bag donations for pick-up by Hour Children.
  • Be present when the donations are picked up by Hour Children.

 

BREAD FOR THE WORLD

Bread for the World (Bread) is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision workers to end hunger at home and abroad.  By changing policies, programs and conditions that allow hunger and poverty to persist, Bread provides help and opportunity far beyond the communities where we live.  Bread’s recent legislative victories are impacting millions of people experiencing hunger. It has pushed to secure billions of dollars in humanitarian aid for Ukraine, Ethiopia, and other countries. Through nonpartisan political engagement, Bread has earned the trust of U.S. decision makers and hundreds of thousands of people around the globe who have joined in Bread’s efforts.  

Members are responsible for organizing the Annual Offering of Letters Campaign. This includes advertising, providing letters to be given to members of Congress, and assisting parishioners in the signing of the letters.  The gathering of signatures takes place after all Masses on two selected weekends of the year.  Bread provides materials, inspiration and support for a successful advocacy event.