Jesus Christ is himself the source of ministry in the Church. In instituting the Church, Christ established a variety of offices whose aim is the good of the whole body. Toward this same aim, the laity is called to use their gifts for the service of the Church in its varied ministerial needs, especially those connected to the celebration of the Eucharist and those related to apostolic outreach.
St. Rosalia Parish of the Diocese of Pittsburgh follows and implements the “Protecting God’s Children” policy and the Code of Pastoral Conduct of the National Catholic Bishops’ Conference. Before a parishioner joins a parish ministry or organization, he/she must enter the Diocesan Database, receive clearances, and attend a one-time workshop. The parish office administrator who serves as the Safe Environment Coordinator guides and assists in this process.
Parish ministries and organizations shown with an asterisk * require compliance with the Safe Environment Policies.
Young Catholics are given the opportunity to grow in their faith and become more active in the Mass through the ministry of Altar Server. It is the honor and privilege of the altar server to assist the priest during the celebration of the Mass. In St. John Paul’s address to altar servers in 2001, he reminded them of the privileged place they hold in liturgical celebrations, saying, “Those who serve experience from close at hand that Jesus Christ is present and active in every liturgy.” Boys and girls in Grade 4 or above who have received First Holy Communion, attend Mass regularly, believe in the teachings of the Holy Catholic Church, and have a strong desire for this ministry are invited to serve at God’s altar following the prescribed training. The invitation to serve is extended by the pastor through the school academy and the religious education program at a time determined by him and the altar server trainer.
While the Bishop/Priest alone is the Ordinary Minister of the Eucharist since only he can consecrate the Sacred Species, a layperson may be commissioned as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. This ministry complements and extends the ministry of the clergy. The Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion is properly formed, instructed, and commissioned for an appointed time to aid in the distribution of the Body and Blood of Christ at Sunday and Holy Day Masses. An Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion may also be deputed to offer Holy Communion to the sick and homebound. The Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion is approved by the pastor before undertaking this ministry.
Requirements for one considering the ministry of Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion
- Has approval of the pastor
- Is at least 18 years of age
- Demonstrates a mature faith
- Is a fully initiated member of the Church, i.e. has received the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist
- If married, is validly married according to the laws of the Church
- Participates in all formation sessions and is open to ongoing enrichment, both spiritual and practical
The lector has been entrusted with the honor of proclaiming the Word of God to the assembly during the Liturgy of the Word at Mass. Treating the proclamation of the Scripture seriously, solemnly, and sacredly, the lector prays with and studies the Word of God before proclaiming the Scripture clearly to provide the assembly with a meaningful encounter with the living Word. The lector may also read the General Intercessions and make the parish announcements.
The ministry of usher has a long history in the Catholic Church. Referred to as porters in the Third Century, ushers guarded the church doors against disruptive intruders. Today, ushers serve to welcome parishioners and visitors to liturgical functions. They also assist in a variety of other ways: seating Mass attendees, passing collection baskets, assisting with the Offertory and Communion processions, and distributing the parish bulletin.
The ministry of usher is open to men, women, and teenaged parishioners.
Children’s Liturgy of the Word serves children in Pre-school – Grade 5 during the 11:00 am Sunday liturgy. This ministry is directed to the child’s active, conscious, and authentic participation in the Liturgy of the Word by the proclamation of the Word adapted to a child’s level of understanding. As discussion unfolds, the Word becomes alive and present. In addition, children experience active participation in the liturgy through the ritual language of symbol, gesture, posture, and space. An explanation of the readings in words that appeal to the child, along with age-appropriate activities which bring the Scripture to life, are integral parts of the Children’s Liturgy of the Word. Dismissed from Mass as the Liturgy of the Word begins, children are escorted to a separate space for the Children’s Liturgy of the Word. Children return to the Sunday assembly during the Preparation of the Gifts.
Consult the parish bulletin for specific dates.
The Music ministry serves for “the glory of God and the sanctification and edification of the faithful” through the use of sacred music to foster “fully conscious and active participation” in liturgical celebrations. Using their God-given talents, choir members, cantors, and instrumentalists enhance the liturgy by drawing the assembly to a deeper awareness of the sacred and by calling the community to active participation.
The sacrament of Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit, and the door that gives access to the other sacraments. Parents, who for the first time are presenting a child for Baptism, are required to participate in a pre-baptismal preparation session. Through presentation, discussion, and practical application, the session focuses on the parents’ role as the first and most influential teachers of the faith, the theology of Baptism, and the celebration of the Rite of Baptism. Godparents are invited and strongly encouraged to attend the Pre-Baptism class with the parents of the child.
Pre-Baptism classes begin in the church at 1:15 pm on the last Sunday of January, March, May, July, September, and November.
The Rite of Baptism is celebrated on Sunday at 12:15 by appointment only. To register, contact the parish office.
MINISTRIES OF PRAYER/SUPPORT
The Rosary ministry promotes devotion to the Blessed Mother and the Holy Rosary through prayer and action. Members of this ministry meet on the third Tuesday of each month at St. Rosalia Academy to make rosaries which are distributed to the sick and homebound, those serving in the military, prisoners, students, and others who request them. Members also gather in the church at 7:00 pm on the last Thursday of each month to pray the rosary.
The Lazarus Bereavement ministry serves persons who have experienced the death of a loved one. Members of this ministry help others to learn about the grief process by listening, encouraging, supporting, and offering hope to those who have suffered loss.
The Lazarus Bereavement Support Group meets on the first Tuesday of the month at 6:30 pm in the former school building from September through May.
*HOMEBOUND FAITH PARTNER CONNECTION
Members of this ministry act as faith partners who establish connections with the homebound through phone calls, note-writing, or personal visits. Faith partners strive to keep the homebound aware of happenings in the parish community and offer a sense of belonging to those who are unable to be physically present with the community.
MINISTRIES OF SERVICE
The Food Bank ministry is organized and managed by parish volunteers who pack bags of groceries for distribution to approximately forty households on the third Wednesday of each month.
In addition, the Food bank, in collaboration with the St. Vincent de Paul Society, organizes the annual Angel Tree program which distributes gifts to needy families at Christmas.
VINCENT DE PAUL SOCIETY
The St. Vincent de Paul Society is an international Catholic voluntary organization dedicated to the sanctification of its members through service to the poor and disadvantaged. Members of this ministry meet the material and financial needs of others by providing food and/or assistance with rent, utilities, and furniture.
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS
The Knights of Columbus is a service-oriented organization of Catholic men and their families dedicated to promoting the concepts of charity, unity, fraternity, and patriotism. With charity as their first principle, Knights volunteer their time to serve their parish and community. Among other services, Knights of Columbus support the parish with its needs, help to meet the needs of those in the local community, support programs that benefit persons with intellectual disabilities, and aid victims of natural disasters and other catastrophic events, local and worldwide. The Knights of Columbus offers its members the opportunity to grow in their faith through their personal examples of charity and practice of good works.
The heart of this ministry focuses on service to the parish community through the maintenance of the worship space. Members of this ministry ensure that the church is clean, organized, and welcoming.
Members of the Respect Life ministry give witness to the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. Members support the Food Bank, Genesis, Birthright, and other pro-life organizations. Members educate parishioners about pro-life issues via the parish bulletin, and they pray for a change in the culture to protect and value all life. Members also welcome newly baptized children into the parish family by sending the families a welcome card .
*PARISH LIFE AND FELLOWSHIP MINISTRY
Throughout the year, the Parish Life and Fellowship Ministry provides opportunities for parishioners to gather for social events which include pancake breakfasts, donut socials, pot luck lunches, and an end-of-the-year picnic. When timely, a spiritual element is woven into one or more of the events.
*ST. FRANCIS GARDEN KEEPERS
Maintaining the quality of the parish grounds belongs to the St. Francis Garden Keepers Ministry. By weeding, planting, mulching, and pruning, members of this ministry create and maintain an attractive and inviting appearance of the parish property.
St. Stephen/St. Rosalia Youth Ministry is for students in grades 8 through 12. The group meets typically 6:30-8:00 PM every other Wednesday at either Saint Rosalia school building, second floor or at Saint Stephen Pastoral Center (131 E. Elizabeth St.) Please check bulletin for updates.
MINISTRIES OF EDUCATION
*ELEMENTARY RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
This ministry serves to provide a developmentally appropriate, comprehensive, and systematic presentation of Catholic beliefs so that students will gain knowledge of their faith, grow in intimacy with Jesus, and integrate these beliefs and traditions into their daily lives to bring forth the Kingdom of God in the world.
The Elementary Religious Education Program offers formation in the Catholic faith for students of Grade 1 through 8 attending public schools. Classes are held on Monday from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.
*RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS (RCIA)
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is the process established for the universal Church to welcome new members into the Catholic Church or to allow those already baptized Catholic to complete their initiation through the sacraments of Confirmation and Eucharist. The “spiritual journey” through the RCIA process centers on fostering a personal relationship with Christ and his Church. The journey takes place through distinct stages over a period of time suitable to bring about a thorough catechesis, significant experience of the parish community, and commitment to the liturgical and moral life of the Catholic faithful. This process also involves the parish community experiencing a renewal in faith as it prepares to welcome new members of the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil.
The Pastoral Council, along with the pastor, researches, reflects, and recommends a vision for the continued quality of the pastoral life of the parish. The Pastoral Council’s principal purpose is to examine, consider, and draw conclusions concerning the pastoral matters of the parish in order to recommend a course of action to the pastor. The Parish Pastoral Council is the primary parish structure for establishing and maintaining a vital and vibrant parish.
According to Diocesan guidelines, members are chosen by a process of discernment with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This discernment is conducted by the pastor and current members of the Council.
Members of the Finance Council are to have a background in finance, and one member should be a lawyer. Members of this ministry oversee the financial issues of the parish and school academy. They prepare the annual budget and review the monthly financial print-outs. Additionally, they review and recommend lay staff salaries as well as help the pastor to implement Diocesan financial policies. The pastor and Pastoral Council select individuals to serve on the parish financial council.
The work of Christ done by the parish depends on the charity and good-will offerings of each individual and family. Members of the Money Counters Ministry are divided into a few rotating groups who give of their time on Sunday morning. One group counts the collections of the 4:00 pm vigil Mass and the 8:30 am Sunday Mass. Another group counts the collection of the 11:00 am Sunday Mass and summarizes all three collections. Members of this ministry are personally selected by the pastor.
In addition to the parish ministries and organizations, St. Rosalia Parish supports the following opportunities for growth of mind, body, and spirit.
- St. Rosalia Parish opens its doors to the wider community by providing space for the weekly meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon. AA assists persons afflicted by alcoholism while Al-Anon offers strength and hope for friends and families of problem drinkers.
SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT AND ENRICHMENT
- The Catholic Men’s Fellowship, a lay apostolate, seeks to bring men into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Central to the vision of Catholic Men’s Fellowship are three distinct movements: conversion, formation, and mobilization.Men of St. Rosalia Parish participate in the annual Gathering of Catholic Men sponsored by CMF of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. For information, consult the parish bulletin or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Join women of St. Rosalia Parish for their annual weekend of spiritual renewal at St. Paul of the Cross Retreat House on the Southside of Pittsburgh. Developed around a specific theme, the retreat offers conferences, private prayer time, and the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist to enrich the spiritual lives of women. Consult the parish bulletin for details.
- Gathering for food and fellowship, persons in their 20s and 30s participate in Theology on Tap, a movement intended to offer young adults an opportunity to hear speakers who reach the hearts and minds of this age group regarding their Catholic Faith. Theology on Tap gatherings occur throughout the diocese and are generally held in local bars or restaurants. For dates, times, and locations, consult the parish bulletin or go to www.diopitt.org.
- Through friendship and mutual support, Pittsburgh Catholic Moms, an organization of Catholic mothers, strives to build community and to foster a family culture of holiness for the benefit of the members and their families to the greater glory of God. Members plan opportunities to spend time together through pray-and-play dates, discussion groups, Masses, family outings, and other local events of interest. For additional information, email email@example.com or visit meetup.com/Pittsburgh-Catholic-Moms/