“Contribute to the needs of the holy ones, exercise hospitality…. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Have the same regard for one another.” – Romans 12:13, 15-16a
Each person has human dignity because man was created by God and is called to reunite with Him in heaven (cf. CCC 27). In addition, man was also created to live his life in community and charity, in imitation of the eternal exchange of love between the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity. When God’s Word became Flesh in Jesus Christ, his sacrificial life exemplified this purpose – for man to know, to love, and to serve God as well as to treat his neighbor as himself.
The Coordinator is a free and invaluable resource in the couple and parish alike. The coordinator helps the engaged couple decide the logistics of the wedding ceremony and/or Mass. This includes aspects of the ceremony such as the procession and recession order, usher duties, church decoration options, memorial table, and guest table suggestions.
Meetings: Engaged couples desiring to be married here should contact the parish office to set up an appointment with the Wedding Coordinator at least six to nine months before the wedding date.
Volunteers: The Wedding Coordinator is appointed by the parish priest. Those interested in being a Coordinator or a Substitute Wedding Coordinator, should contact the Parish Office.
An Annulment Advocate is someone who works with a married couple and the diocesan Marriage Tribunal to seek an annulment of marriage. An annulment is a declaration that the marriage is invalid because one of the elements seen as essential for binding marriage was not present in the parties’ exchange of marital consent. This declaration recognizes that a legal marriage existed but implies no moral judgment or blame regarding either of the parties.
If you are divorced and interested in receiving an annulment, please contact the Parish Office to schedule an appointment with the priest or the Annulment Advocate. Because an annulment generally takes a year or longer to process, those seeking an annulment need to plan accordingly if they are considering marrying in the Catholic Church or joining RCIA.
Process: The Annulment Advocate submits the necessary paperwork to the Marriage Tribunal who does an investigation of the prior marriage(s) of the divorced couple. After gathering as much information as possible, the judge makes a decision in the name of the Church community as to whether the couple is still bound to the former marriage or may be free to enter into another marital relationship. The Marriage Tribunal has a two-fold ministry that involves protecting the rights given in Church law for those who might be seeking possible remarriage in the Catholic Church and secondly, helping participants experience healing and reconciliation with their faith community.
Meetings: Meeting times and dates are set to accommodate the schedules of the priest, Annulment Advocate, and couple.
Volunteers: The Annulment Advocate is selected by the priest. Those interested in being an Annulment Advocate should contact the Parish Office for information and training.
Upon the death of a loved one, the family meets with the parish Funeral Coordinator who helps the family prepare for the wake, funeral, and/or graveside service. The Coordinator then serves as the contact person for the priest, the funeral home, the family and those involved with the liturgies. The Funeral Coordinator also informs the family of ways the parish can be of assistance; for example, the Parish Office can prepare a printed program with the order of service and a list of family members and the Ladies Guild can organize a funeral dinner.
A meeting to pre-plan funeral liturgies and prayer services is also made available. Everyone is encouraged to think about and plan ahead for their own funeral. Parishioners may pick up a copy of the booklet, “Now and at the Hour of Our Death,” in the church gathering space. They can complete the pages with family members, discussing where they would like to be buried, what liturgical aspects of their funeral they would like and what financial and legal steps they have taken, including where they keep their important papers.
Volunteers: The Funeral Coordinator is appointed by the Parish Priest. Volunteers from the Ladies Guild provide refreshments during visitation and a dinner before or after the funeral for the family when requested. (See “Ladies Guild.”)
After the death of a loved one, many people suffer deeply. The goal of this ministry is to help others recover from their loss and look forward to rebuilding their lives. They meet to share stories and use different support systems, including Scripture and prayer.
Meetings: Grief Care meets most Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. at St. Francis Hospital in either the Board Room or the Franciscan Room. Check the bulletin or contact the parish office for scheduled dates.
Attendees: Participants are welcome to begin attending Grief Care at any time because each seminar is “self-contained.” Participants will find encouragement and help whenever they begin.
Volunteers: Individuals are needed to help facilitate meetings, to help advertise the ministry and to make brochures for distribution.
The loss of a loved one through separation, divorce, or death is one of life’s most traumatic experiences. Many people who have suffered this loss feel left out by their church, uneasy around married friends, unsure of themselves and uncertain about their futures. This program is intended for those suffering the loss of a love relationship through death, divorce or separation who are ready to come to terms with that loss and begin to move forward with their lives.
The structure of this weekend program helps grieving persons focus on their experience and emerge from the darkness of grief into the light of a new beginning. The program helps deal with the natural grief process and offers an opportunity, through God, for turning the pain of loss into an experience of positive growth. Founded by a Catholic nun and rooted in the Christian tradition, the ministry’s open, inclusive spirit serves those of all faiths.
The program is presented by a team of people who have suffered the loss of a loved one themselves and are willing to share their own experience to help others. Team members lead participants through a series of presentations followed by personal private reflection and small group sharing. A sense of community develops in an atmosphere of care and concern that is a hallmark of each Beginning Experience® weekend. Whether you choose to attend the Beginning Experience® weekend only, or in addition to other support for the single again, the program’s invitational process offers the opportunity to move toward a new beginning in life.
- Developed by respected professionals in grief psychology, ministry, education and organizational process, the program is both psychologically and spiritually sound. To ensure the integrity of the copyrighted program, the Beginning Experience International Ministry Center periodically certifies each peer ministry team worldwide to present the program.
Upcoming BE Weekend: October 24-26, 2015 – Kansas City
When in the nursing home, it is always nice to get a visit from someone who cares. In the Nursing Home Ministry, volunteers visit and interact with those from the parish who are in the hospital or nursing home.
This ministry also includes taking the Eucharist and the weekly church bulletin to those in nursing homes and to those who cannot attend Mass. The goal is to bring Christ, as the Eucharist, and a sense of community to those unable to attend Holy Mass.
Volunteers: The ministry seeks volunteers who are able to spend time visiting or interacting with those who are ill or in the nursing home. Volunteers wishing to serve the parish as Extraordinary Ministers are required to attend a special training session provided by the Diocese. Training sessions are normally scheduled once or twice a year.