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Parish Ministries and Invitation to Ministry

LITURGY

Mass is celebrated every Sunday at 9 a.m., every Thursday and Friday at 9 a.m. and on some other weekdays. As Catholics, we seek to make the Sunday Mass the centre of our week. At Star of the Sea we also try to celebrate the big events of the liturgical calendar, such as the Triduum of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter, as well as Christmas, Pentecost and First Sacraments, with particular solemnity and beauty. We try to ensure that our Sunday Liturgy is welcoming to regulars, visitors and newcomers alike, and that children and young families are supported in their task of passing on the faith. In order to make our Liturgy as holy and engaging as possible, we have a number of liturgical ministries in the parish.

1. Welcomer
The first contact for a new parishioner or visitor to the parish is crucial. Even our regulars like to be welcomed! This ministry simply offers a welcome to people as they arrive at Sunday Mass, offers them a parish bulletin and hymn book, and gives them a sense that they are a valued presence. The task only requires a quarter of an hour before Mass. Our warden, Frank Collins, has led this ministry in the parish for many years.
Contact: Kaaren O’Sullivan ph. 9337 2033

2. Reader or Commentator
Reading the Word of God at Mass is a great privilege and an important part of assisting people to celebrate the Eucharist well. A good, clear voice is essential, as well as an appreciation of the text of the Bible. We also have a commentator to introduce the Sunday Mass and read the prayers of the faithful. We will provide guidance to new readers and commentators. We need only two readers and a commentator each Sunday, so you can expect your turn to come around only once every few weeks.
Contact: Kaaren O’Sullivan ph. 9337 2033

3. Wardens
This task is to ensure that certain activities in the Mass run smoothly, such as ensuring that the hymn books are put out for Mass and collected afterwards, the collections are taken up and brought forward, and that people are invited to take up the gifts at the Offertory procession.
Contact: Parish Priest ph. 9337 2033

4. Acolyte
This ministry, previously only performed by seminarians, was opened up to interested laymen after the Second Vatican Council. Acolytes assist the priest at the altar and direct the altar servers so that the Sacred Liturgy is conducted with grace and reverence. Training is provided. Paul Stoppa is presently our only acolyte.
Contact: Kaaren O’Sullivan ph. 9337 2033

5. Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion
It is a wonderful privilege to offer the Body and Blood of Christ to his people! Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion assist the bishop or priest with the distribution of the Eucharist at Mass (some also take Holy Communion to a sick or frail elderly person: see below). We will provide guidance to new Ministers of Communion. We need two each Sunday, so you can expect your turn to come around only once every few weeks.
Contact: Kaaren O’Sullivan ph. 9337 2033

6. Altar Server
It is a wonderful grace to serve at God’s altar and an opportunity for young people to be more deeply involved in the Sunday liturgy. Servers are drawn from boys and girls, young men and young women, who have made their First Communion. They assist the bishop or priest and acolyte in ensuring that the Mass is celebrated gracefully and reverently.
Contact: Kaaren O’Sullivan ph. 9337 2033

7. Music Minister
At present we have an organist, Rosalie Forsythe-Grant, who also leads the singing. We would love to have others to assist with music and, perhaps, a choir for Sunday Masses, but especially for the big occasions such as Easter and Christmas.
Contact: Kaaren O’Sullivan 9337 2033

8. Altar Society
There are many jobs required for preparing the Church for liturgies and tidying up afterwards. Several people are needed to do small jobs such as setting up and tidying up, cleaning sacred vessels and altar linens, flower arranging, and other aspects of the care of the sanctuary and the church décor. Our sacristan, Kaaren O’Sullivan, leads this group.
Contact: Kaaren O’Sullivan ph. 9337 2033

OTHER PRAYER AND DEVOTIONS

Though the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life, there is more to prayer and worship than the Mass. Catholics are encouraged to pray every day, several times a day, to make ample time and space for prayer in their busy lives in the world, and to cultivate good habits of prayer. At Star of the Sea we try to enrich the prayer lives of our parishioners by offering other sacramental and non-sacramental prayer and worship.

9. First Sacraments
The Christian life is marked by faith and other gifts given through the sacraments. Baptism is usually celebrated by appointment with the Parish Priest after Mass on Sunday. First Confession, First Communion and Confirmation are arranged in consultation with the candidates and their parents. All candidates for these sacraments must be properly prepared. One task for parishioners here is to identify and encourage young people in our area who have not yet received their first sacraments to do so.
Contact: Kaaren O’Sullivan ph. 9337 2033

10. Marriage
Star of the Sea is one of Sydney’s favourite churches for weddings. These must be booked well in advance and properly prepared. An information sheet is available on this from the Parish Pastoral Associate. If there is a couple in our parish who would be interested in helping prepare couples for marriage, the Parish Priest would be interested in hearing from you.
Contact: Alison Bell ph. 9337 2033

11. Confession
Catholics are called to receive this sacrament regularly and especially when they are aware of serious sin. It is a wonderful opportunity to experience the mercy of God. The Sacrament of Confession/ Reconciliation/ Penance is offered before Mass on Sundays and at other times by appointment. One task of parishioners in encouraging this ministry is to receive the sacrament regularly themselves and to put out the word about this too-often-forgotten treasure.
Contact: Parish Priest ph. 9337 2033

12. Eucharistic Adoration
A group of parishioners and friends pray before the Blessed Sacrament exposed each Friday after the 9 a.m. Mass. When the Parish Priest is present there is Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at 10 a.m. We pray for the needs of the Church and the world, as well as our private intentions. .
Contact: Parish Priest ph. 9337 2033

13. Rosary Group
A group of parishioners and friends pray the Rosary after the 9 a.m. Mass. We pray for the needs of the Church and the world, as well as our private intentions. This prayer group is led by Hylda Rolfe. Those present may lead a decade of the Rosary.
Contact: Hylda Rolfe ph. 9337 5058

14. Piety Stall
A piety stall near the main door of the church after Mass on Sundays offers items of devotion and books and articles for the Catholic home, to assist us to pray and to enrich our faith and life. We welcome anyone interested in operating a stall.
Contact: Parish Priest ph. 9337 2033

OUTREACH

The Catholic Church is missionary by nature: its first task is to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth. In that process we hope to draw all people into the Kingdom of God. Our parish, then, is not just for those who regularly attend, but for those who are yet to attend! At Star of the Sea we try to engage the rest of our community through various forms of evangelical outreach and social service.

15. State School Catechist
It is a tremendous gift to pass on the faith to our next generation! Catechists assist with faith education classes at Vaucluse Public School from Kindergarten to Year 6. The commitment for each person undertaking this ministry is about half an hour each week during term time in the classroom and a similar amount of time in preparation. Training, support and materials are provided.
Contact: Kaaren O’Sullivan ph. 9337 2033

16. Sacramental Preparation Programmes
We celebrate the sacraments of initiation (Baptism, First Confession, First Communion and Confirmation) as a parish and we seek to support families in preparing their children for these milestones in their Christian life. Short preparatory sessions are provided to new parents presenting their child for Baptism, and for children seeking the other sacraments. Training, support and materials can be provided. At present the Parish Priest prepares all families for baptism. However, we could do with more help.
Contact: Parish Priest ph. 9337 2033

17. Joining the Church
It is a wonderful to belong to the Church and the Church’s arms are wide open to receive all comers! For people who are not yet baptised Christians, or for baptised Christians who are not yet Catholics, programmes can be arranged to answer inquiries and to prepare those who wish for entry into the Church. Any parishioner who would be interested in assisting in this ministry – and possibly ultimately establishing an RCIA group in the parish – is welcome to volunteer.
Contact: Parish Priest ph. 9337 2033

18. Hospitality
The Parish has occasional functions such as morning teas after Mass, after the celebration of First Sacraments and other important days in the life of the parish. This enables the parishioners to get to know each other better and to mark the particular occasion. A cup of tea and some light refreshments are often offered after a visiting speaker makes a presentation. These occasions are rare and usually involve about an hour or so of preparation and tidying up.
Contact: Alison Bell ph. 9337 2033 ext. 20

19. Faith Education
Guest speakers are invited from time to time to present a talk on some topic to enrich our faith and life. The Parish Pastoral Council usually suggests speakers and/or topics of interest. Hylda Rolfe also hosts a regular faith sharing group.
Contact: Hylda Rolfe ph. 9337 5058

20. Legion of Mary
A chapter of the Legion of Mary is planned for OLSS. With over 3 million members the Legion is the largest apostolic organisation of lay people in the Catholic Church. Members seek to become instruments of the Holy Spirit through a balanced program of prayer and service. Works include door-to-door evangelisation, parishioner visitation, prison ministry, visitation of the sick or aged, crowd contact, religious education, visiting the newly baptised, Pilgrim Virgin Statue rotations, and meeting the other spiritual needs of the parish community.
Contact: Kaaren O’Sullivan ph. 9337 2033

21. Ministry to the Sick and Frail Elderly
For the sick and frail elderly to receive the Body of Christ and the warm company of a member of our community can be the highlight of the week! Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion take Holy Communion to a sick or frail elderly person. It requires only a few minutes each week. We will provide guidance to new Ministers of Communion.
Contact: Kaaren O’Sullivan ph. 9337 2033

LEADERSHIP

The Parish Priest needs good advisers and asks parishioners to counsel him on various aspects of the life of the parish.

23. Pastoral Council
The Parish Pastoral Council seeks to promote the worship and prayer, faith education and Gospel outreach, and social service of the Church in Watson’s Bay and Vaucluse. The Council meets every 2-3 months in the parish hall from 7-8.30 p.m.
Contact: Parish Priest ph. 9337 2033

24. Finance Committee
Though the Parish Priest oversees the finances of the parish and is assisted in the accounts by Frank Bucher from the parish support team, he needs good advisers on these matters. The Parish Finance Committee meets every 2-3 months in the parish hall from 6.30-7 p.m.
Contact: Parish Priest ph. 9337 2033

25. Maintenance Committee
St Anthony’s Hall – our original parish church – is nearly 150 years old; Our Lady Star of the Sea Church is nearly 100 years old – and the Presbytery is around 80 years old. So there is plenty of maintenance required! This committee meets from time to time to advise the Parish Priest on work that is needed, obtaining quotes and suggesting who might do the work.
Contact: Alison Bell ph. 9337 2033 ext. 20


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