The church teaches that “when the Bible is read in the church it is Christ himself who speaks.” Being a “reader” at Mass on Sunday, Holy Days, and other days of the liturgical celebration demands much more than balance and the ability to read aloud, although these qualities are essential. The one that proclaims the text needs to understand what he or she is announcing so that the proclamation is not only read to the congregation but understood by the congregation. This is a work, a ministry, that requires study and preparation to interpret what is read, giving the correct intonation and expression.
Who can be a lector? Anyone of junior high school age or older, who has the will and desire to be trained to proclaim the Word of God. For information about this ministry contact the rectory office: 201-854-7006.
Commentators have a special roll at St. Joseph’s of facilitating the Sunday liturgies in a number of ways. Individuals with particular familiarity with the parish and its activities come to the church early, assure that the ministers assigned are present, and the details for the liturgy are in place. They make the welcome to the congregation, orienting them to the particularities of the liturgy of the day. They present the petitions of the Mass to the people at the Prayer of the Faithful and at the end of the Mass give the parish announcements.
Our church ushers and members of the Ministry of Hospitality of the Parish offer welcome and seek to assist and serve those who join us for worship in every possible way. They are servants whose ministry is to assure that our parish is a welcoming community.
Periodically they meet to refine their efforts and to assure coordination of their roll in the liturgical program of the parish especially during the Advent, Christmas, Lenten and Easter seasons. Along with all of the liturgical ministers of the parish they have representation on the parish liturgical committee and take part in spiritual formation activities such as retreats and days of recollection offered to liturgical ministers.
Approximately 40 to 50 men and women parishioners take part in this ministry at the 13 Masses celebrated each weekend.
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion – English/Spanish
Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion assist the priest during Mass to distribute the Eucharist, the body and blood of Christ, to the faithful. The parish priest, or priests, with the approval of the pastor, select individual parishioners who then receive training in how to properly function at the liturgy and in home visitations. They receive a mandate from the Archbishop allowing the individual to serve exclusively in his or her parish.
An extraordinary minister must attend at least one parish retreat yearly, and attend those meetings for all the ministers as requested by the priest moderator. A person must meet the following criteria:
- Be a practicing Catholic, having received all of sacraments of initiation, and, if married, the sacrament of matrimony
- Maintain a good reputation
- Be responsible and in good standing in the parish
- Must also attend a course given at the parish by one of the priests
Boys and girls who have received the Sacrament of First Holy Communion are eligible to be trained to serve the priest at the altar during Mass.
Social Action Ministries
St. Joseph’s Emergency Food Pantry
The food pantry of St. Joseph’s offers short term emergency food assistance to the needy. Food for needy families is distributed every third Saturday of the month from the lower community center. Always in need of non-perishable food donations from the parishioners, parish organizations and the community at large, a list of the most needed items is often included in the Sunday bulletin. Volunteers can help take inventory, respond to requests for food and prepare and distribute packages of food.
If interested in this important ministry contact the rectory. (201) 854-7006
Meetings are in Spanish but all are welcome.