Opportunities to Volunteer and Serve
Worship / Liturgical Prayer
Beth McElhone (343-6256 x 113)
The Holy Mass and the sacraments are the bedrock of Catholic worship. We all have an important role as members of the assembly gathered to worship God and to offer ourselves to God in union with Jesus. Our presence and our prayer builds up the community. Members come forth to serve in various ways.
Assist the priest during Mass. Through their integral role in the Mass, adults and children (male and female) in the 4th grade and above, gain a deeper appreciation of the liturgy, receive valuable Catechesis and forge a deeper love for our Lord Jesus Christ. Training is offered in the fall and as needed.
CHILDREN'S LITURGY OF THE WORD LEADERS
Provides a way of engaging children in grades K-6 with the Sunday Scriptures. It is offered during the 8:45 AM. English Mass. Training for the leaders is offered as needed.
EXTRAORDINARY MINISTERS OF HOLY COMMUNION
Minister the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ to their sisters and brothers at Sunday Mass, and take Holy Communion to parishioners who are home bound or in nursing homes. Training is held periodically for those who are eligible to serve in this ministry.
Proclaim the Word of God to the gathered community at Mass and other parish services. A training session is held each fall and as needed for those who wish to continue in this ministry or to begin serving as a lector.
Supports he singing of the Assembly of the Faithful and provides music during worship services and devotions. St. Joseph's has various choirs: adult choirs; seasonal choir; two children's choirs; a chime choir; and a Spanish choir. If you would like to be a member of a choir, or to play an instrument, talk with Beth McElhone.
Christian formation concerns deepening our understanding of the Catholic Faith, to become "formed" to the life Jesus Christ is calling us to live. St. Joseph's offers several ways to help form its members of all ages (adults, youth, and children) as disciples of Jesus. Would you like to participate in or help with one of the following areas?
Parish Office (269) 343-6256
Religious Education for Children and Youth
FORMAL PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH
Provides English and bilingual formal religious instruction and sacramental preparation for youth up to 18 years old. We share this program with St. Thomas More Catholic Student Parish. We welcome and train adult and youth volunteers who wish to help us in our teaching mission. Virtus training required for anyone who is age 18 or older. Click here and then click on the brief tutorial to register for Virtus Training.
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL
Provides a great way to continue the religious development of children during the summer months. Through instruction, games and challenges, children gain a deeper understanding of their faith, grow closer to Jesus, develop lasting friendships, and have a whole lot of fun. Children from other parishes or faith expressions are welcome to attend. I
YOUTH MINISTRY / YOUTH FORMATION PROGRAM
Helps our youth develop a deeper relationship with Jesus, fosters a welcoming and loving community, and sends them forth to be the light for others.
FACILITATOR COUPLE FOR DISCUSSION OF PRE-MARITAL INVENTORY
Facilitates an engaged couple's discussion of the results of their pre-marital inventory. The instrument we use is FOCCUS (Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding, and Study). The meeting is scheduled for a mutually convenient time and usually lasts for a couple of hours. Most facilitators have the meeting in their home, but meetings may be held at the parish. The engaged couple takes the FOCCUS Inventory online. Facilitator training is provided online. More information
PRESENTING COUPLE FOR CHRISTIAN MARRIAGE SEMINARS FOR ENGAGED COUPLES
Gives an 8-10 minute talk about the impact faith and prayer have in their married life. It is a personal sharing of how Christian Marriage is for them. Usually two married couples give a short presentation at each seminar which includes, in addition to the presentations, formal input, a short video presentation, and prayer. More information.
The Faith Jesus calls us to is not faith in a vacuum. It is social. It has us interacting with our brothers and sisters, working together, building up our parish community and helping each other become better witnesses of Christ. The following are some of the opportunities to foster fellowship. You might find something for yourself here.
Parish Office (269) 343-6256
Held the first weekend in November, this event puts the talents of our parishioners on display via baked goods and crafts. Proceeds go toward special initiatives and/or to the parish's general fund.
Café y Mas
Provides parish members and friends a place to gather after the Spanish Mass for a cup of coffee, chocolate, donuts and sharing with one another. Since coffee is not the only thing that is shared, Mas is added to Café.
Coffee, juice, warm conversation and some of the tastiest donuts in southwest Michigan provide a great setting for fellowship after the 8:45 AM Mass. This "power" breakfast happens in the Bennett Gym on most Sundays, September to May.
Prepares and serves refreshments at special parish events. Help is always appreciated.
Bimonthly newsletter that keeps parishioners up-to-speed on what's going on in our parish. Article contributions are welcome and may be dropped off at the rectory for publication.
Service and Outreach
Catholics are called to imitate Jesus by taking care of those in need. St. Joseph parishioners answer this call by assisting the needy worldwide through organizations such as Catholic Relief Services and the Foods Resource Bank. On a more local scale, St. Joseph's provides a meeting site for Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Many of our parishioners assist our parish and others in the following ways:
Parish Office (269) 343-6256
Provides parish family presence and support at funerals in our church. At a time when families are grieving the loss of a loved one, the presence of parish family members at the funeral can be a great comfort. The name is derived from Joseph of Arimathea who buried Jesus.
FUNERAL LUNCH CREW
Prepares and serves meals for the bereaved following funerals and graveside services. This comforting ministry calls on a substantial number of parishioners to do the job; from the callers who let people know a dish is needed, to the cooks and bakers who make the dish, to the people who serve the food. Help in any phase of this work will be appreciated. Right now we need your help especially in serving the meal.
Reaches out to members of the parish in their time of grief through notes and personal contact. BeFrienders let the grieving person know that the parish is there to help them get through their difficult time following a death or major life change (health issues, unemployment, divorce, etc). An annual prayer service is held each November in memory of those who have died during the year. Training for new volunteers is offered as needed.
BISHOP DOMINIC'S MINISTRIES
There has been a long friendship between St. Joseph Parish and Bishop Dominic who now serves in the Diocese of Lodwar in Kenya .More information
CHRISTIAN SERVICE OFFICE/FOOD PANTRY
Provides emergency food to those in need through the Loaves and Fishes program for Kalamazoo County. It dispenses limited direct assistance to prevent energy and water shutoffs and refers people to appropriate resources. Volunteers work in the food pantry during the day Monday through Friday on a regular basis or as an Occasional substitute. If you would like to help in the food pantry or donate to the fund, contact the Parish Office.
CHURCH CLEANING CREW
In charge of keeping the church building in tip-top shape. Rotating teams clean after the morning Mass each Monday. Other individuals work on special cleaning projects at other times.
Plant, prune and weed flower beds surrounding the Church.
FOODS RESOURCE BANK
Benefits communities in third world countries. Local volunteers are involved in the planting, cultivation, harvesting and sale of a food crop whose income is then invested in programs in a third-world country to help the inhabitants achieve food security. A Kalamazoo farmer donates land to be used for this purpose. Other local farmers give their time and the use of their machinery. Sponsors pay for the seed, water, and any other costs associated with growing food. Foods Resource Bank is made up of member organizations including churches of various Christian denominations, church agencies, and faith-based hunger organizations. Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Foods Resource Bank are a partnership that responds to the challenges of world hunger. St. Joseph Parish is one of the member organizations. Monetary donations from sponsors are received through the parish office.
HERITAGE COMMUNITY CENTER: HELP RESIDENTS FOR MASS ATTENDANCE
Volunteers are needed at least 2 Fridays a month, from 10:00AM - 12:00PM to help residentsat Directors Hall/Upjohn Community Care Center get to Mass at the nursing home (2400 Portage Road).
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS 1616
A band of brothers, a network of men in communities around the word dedicated to doing good in the service of God and our neighbor. Locally members have the opportunity to support our parish, give back to our community, and to grow in faith.
ST. JOE PACKERS
A group of parishioners, who in collaboration with the Dream Center, assist in feeding the hungry with perishable food in the Edison neighborhood and beyond. They repackage bulk donated perishable food into smaller quantities for appropriate distribution by the Dream Center which is located on Portage Street just south of Lake Street. The packers usually meet 8:30 AM on Mondays in the parish Gym.