Parish Ministries & Organizations

There are so many ways to become involved in the life and ministry of our vibrant parish community.  Pray that Our Lord may show you how best to let your gifts and abilities serve others.  Always feel most welcome to contact those whose names and numbers are indicated herein or the parish office for the various activities and ministries, to find out more or to offer yourself in involvement and service.

Adult Faith Formation Opportunities

Workshops, study groups, and retreat experiences on a variety of themes relative to our Catholic Faith. The Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of Faith series is coming this year. New ideas are always welcome for what would be needed or useful. Help always welcomed, too.

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Altar Servers

Youth altar service is open to boys and girls in Grade 4 and above, who learn how to assist at Sunday Mass, for weddings and other celebrations, and to develop their closeness to Christ the Priest. Advertising and training for new servers takes place every Fall.

Adults serve our Weekday Masses, morning and evening, as well as the Sunday 4:00 P.M. Mass, and all funerals. This is a generous service to the Eucharist, and an opportunity to grow in closeness to the Lord. There is always a special need for more available men and women for serving our many funerals in the parish. Training provided.

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Baptism Ceremony Hospitality

Teams of volunteers, working in pairs, set up everything for Sunday afternoon Baptism ceremonies, welcome parents and guests, and assist the priest or deacon who is celebrating the Baptism.

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Baptism Preparation

A small group makes monthly presentations to parents who are preparing for the Baptism of their children, to instruct on Christian Baptism and get ready for the ceremony.

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Card Club

Card Club takes place every Friday evening from September to June, and is a wonderful social gathering of good friends, cards, refreshments, and great conversation. Periodic bus trips for shopping or casino are also organized.

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Catholic Women’s League

A parish chapter of the largest organization of women in Canada. The CWL has a long history of helping its members grow as dedicated and spiritual Catholic women, to be involved in many activities of parish growth, and to be aware of issues from a distinctively Catholic perspective, such as the promotion of life, dignity of the person, healthy family values, and outreach to the needy. Open to all ladies who are at least 16.

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Chalice

A Canadian Catholic organization providing opportunities to sponsor poor children in the developing world.

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Children’s Liturgy of the Word

This is a program for kindergarten and primary-school children during the first part of Sunday Mass (9:00 A.M. and 11:00 A.M.), in which they hear God’s word and discuss and respond to it at a level of their own understanding. Volunteers serve as catechists and lectors.

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Choirs

We have a different choir for each Weekend Mass, and are always looking for new members for singing and even for playing instruments. Enthusiasm and love for the Eucharist are more important than having any prior musical training. Practices are held as necessary to learn music and prepare for Masses.

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Commentators

At Weekend Masses, the Commentator is the one who introduces Mass, announces the hymns, reads the petitions, and makes the announcements. Open to those of high school age and older.

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Development and Peace

This is a group working to increase awareness of the issues and needs of the developing world as reflected upon through the social teachings of the Church. It promotes action on behalf of the world’s poor, and works to encourage the Share Lent collection. Also helps youth develop their passion for change in the world.

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Divine Mercy Apostolate

We focus on promoting the devotion and teachings concerning the Divine Mercy of Our Lord, as revealed to Saint Faustina Kowalska. Activities include recitation of the Divine Mercy chaplet every weekday morning after Mass, visiting nursing homes to pray with residents, and pilgrimages to the Diving Mercy Shrine in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

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Eucharistic Ministers

Eucharistic Ministers are those who assist in the distribution of Holy Communion at Weekend (and Weekday) Masses. Some of our ministers also bring Holy Communion to those in the Nursing Homes (see below), and/or become involved in visiting and bringing the Eucharist to those who are sick and confined to their homes or even the hospital. Open to parishioners who are in Grade 11 and older. Diocesan training is given every Fall.

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Family Life and Social Life Activities Committee

This committee organizes a variety of activities designed to promote family togetherness and to provide fun and community-building social opportunities for the whole parish: movie nights, trips, suppers, treats, parish picnic, winter carnival, and much more. Always in need of new ideas and extra hands to help.

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Finance Council

An appointed group of parishioners assist the Pastor in overseeing the financial health of the parish, making prudent decisions on fundraising and expenditures, and ensuring the orderly execution of needed work on the parish facilities.

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Funeral Luncheons

If the Parish Hall is available, families can use it for a reception after a Funeral Mass at our Parish. Someone from the family should visit the Parish Office to pick up an application form for the Use of the Parish Hall. Depending on the number of people expected, you can use the Great Hall or the Chapel Hall. You can hire your own caterer to bring in the food and coffee. Since we allow parishioners to use the Parish Hall when it is available, we expect that the family will accept the responsibility of this use and will help out in cleaning up after the event.

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Giftbearers and Greeters

Couples, families, and individuals are needed to present the gifts of bread and wine at Weekend Masses, and/or to welcome and speak to worshipers upon their arrival and departure at church. Schedules are prepared so that the ministries can be organized properly.

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Good Shepherd Centres Volunteering

There are many opportunities to volunteer in assisting the poor and disadvantaged at the Good Shepherd, especially with the meal programmes.

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Knights of Columbus

This is both a regular Council and a 4th Degree Assembly of the largest organization of Catholic men in the world. The Knights of Columbus is a fraternal organization whose members are dedicated to life in Christ, spiritual growth, charitable outreach, and extensive activity to support parish and community, while also supporting each other in many ways. Knights promote life, the Church, youth, vocations, care for the poor, and much more. The HarmonKnights are a travelling singing troupe, bringing joy to many audiences, especially in nursing homes. K of C membership open to men 18 years and older.

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Lectors

At Weekend (and Weekday) Masses, lectors are those who proclaim God’s Word in the readings of the day, having prayerfully prepared. Open to parishioners who are in Grade 8 or older. Diocesan training is given every Fall.

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Library

Our parish library is just off the narthex of the church. It contains a very fine selection of books on several themes of God, Jesus Christ, Church, Saints, Prayer and Spiritual Growth, etc.

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Marriage Preparation Course

Two teams of couples offer Marriage Preparation courses during the year, to assist engaged couples in preparing for Christian Marriage. Course materials are provided through the Diocesan Family Ministry Office. The Team couples divide up the presentations amongst themselves.

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Men’s Home-Based Bible Study and Prayer Group

We are a group of men, always open to interested others, who join once a week in a member’s home to read and discuss Scripture and other spiritual writings. Our primary focus is to help each other apply God’s principles in everyday life, in areas like personal integrity, marriage, parenting, and employment; also to share these gifts with others. This is an informal and relaxed atmosphere for developing a stronger relationship with God and supportive friendships.

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New Evangelization Promotion Group

Responding to the call of recent Popes, our parish is striving to find ways to build the most welcoming community we can, to develop the spirit of outreach in a people renewed in appreciation of their Catholic faith, and to draw back those who are distanced from the Church. Many ideas and strategies are being developed.

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Nursing Home Ministry

Some volunteers bring Holy Communion to the Catholic residents of The Clarion and Pine Villa Nursing Home communities on Sunday mornings after Mass. Other volunteers help set up for the Masses held monthly in each Nursing Home on Thursday mornings, visit with the residents, and assist them during Mass. You can become involved in either or both of these ministries.

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Operation Christmas Child (Samaritan’s Purse)

This simple hands-on project fills an empty shoe-box with gifts for a child in a developing or war-torn country. It is a global initiative with 7 donating nations, and more than 100 receiving. It bridges cultures, races, and religions with a gift of unconditional love. Propelled by the spirit of the original Christmas Child, each Fall, Christians and other humanitarians fill boxes with school supplies, hygiene items, toys, items of clothing, etc., to let a suffering child know they are valued and loved. The items are fun, but the message is eternal. Some 10 million shoe boxes are collected and distributed, making it the world’s largest children’s Christmas charity. It can also be a vehicle for evangelization.

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Parish Council

Our Parish Council is a group of representative parishioners who meet monthly, together with the parish staff, to gather and share information about the needs of the parish community, and to develop and help implement a shared vision for the parish’s pastoral growth and Christ-like outreach to others.

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People of Life Prayer Group

This group meets every Monday at 5:00 P.M. in the church, to pray the Rosary and to reflect on Church teachings promoting the right to life of all human beings, especially the unborn, the disabled, and the terminally ill.

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Prayer Intentions Network Ministry

This is a ministry of quiet prayer for people’s needs. Prayer intentions are taken from the boxes at the church entrances, from calls to the Rectory Office, or from requests to the Group Leader, and distributed through email or by telephone to Prayer Network members, who pray on their own time for the various needs. Members are thoroughly dedicated to the power of intercessory prayer to work miracles in the lives of God’s people.

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Public School Religious Education

Children who do not attend Catholic schools, or are in need of catch-up instruction for the sacraments, are assisted (through correspondence courses and occasional meetings) to learn our faith and prepare to celebrate the sacraments.

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Retreats and Pilgrimages

Many opportunities are available every year for travel to shrines and other places of pilgrimage, here and abroad. The ladies named here can help keep you aware of what sort of pilgrimage might assist your devotion and spiritual growth.

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Retrouvaille

Retrouvaille is a movement for helping hurting married couples to rediscover joy in their marriages, and be strengthened and supported as they overcome obstacles to happy married life. Includes a retreat weekend and follow-up activity.

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Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

RCIA is a process for working with adults who want to become Catholics, preparing them for initiation into the Church through Baptism, Confirmation, Penance, and the Eucharist. There are weekly gatherings. A parish team collaborates with the candidates’ sponsors (some of whom are parish-appointed) to instruct and guide those who are journeying.

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Sacristans (Altar Society)

These generous volunteers open the church each weekday morning, prepare the sanctuary for Mass, tidy the church, take care of flowers in the church and candles in the vigil light shrines, and are responsible for the cleaning of vessels, all altar cloths, vestments, and altar servers’ robes.

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Saint Michael the Archangel Festival

This is an annual three-day Mission and celebration hosted by our parish at the beginning of May, honouring Saint Michael and providing an opportunity for those of Italian heritage to celebrate common bonds of faith and culture.

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Saint Vincent de Paul Society

A Christ-centred community whose goal is to always see the face of Christ in the poor in our midst. Provides food and other support to local needy households, together with other kinds of charitable work aimed at relieving the suffering of the poor.

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Saturday Morning Basketball

This takes place in Fall/Winter in the Saint Francis Xavier School gym. It is a program to help youngsters develop skills and good sportsmanship. Also provides leadership training to teens who work with the younger children.

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Ushers (Ministers of Hospitality)

These are the men and women who greet parishioners at the doors, help them be seated, take up the collections, distribute parish bulletins, answer people’s questions, and assist in numerous other ways to make Weekend Masses go smoothly. Open to those of high school age and older.

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Youth Ministry

Providing many ways in which our young people can experience themselves as part of the parish by having fun and making friends, growing in love for God, and discovering the joy of serving others. Meeting nights, sleepovers, summer camps, retreats, outings, and other special events. Students are invited to join Explosion (Grades 3 -5), Outlet (Grades 6 – 7), or Digging Deeper (Grades 8 – 12). Volunteers (from Grade 8 – adults) needed to assist with the many activities.

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