BLESSED SACRAMENT PARISH MINISTRIES 2013-14
Blessed Sacrament is a vibrant parish with numerous ways to be involved. As Pope Francis has said, “Jesus, he said, can light up a person's life with “a Light that never goes out.” The light of faith is not flashy or momentary like fireworks, he said. "No, it is a soft light that always endures and that gives us peace. That is the light that we meet if we enter through the gate of Jesus." You too can be that light, by using the gifts god has given you – your personal way to shine as the light of Christ.
Hopefully below you will find some opportunity for service and involvement that becomes a ministry that you are passionate about. Or, perhaps there is something you are really good at that can become a ministry at Blessed Sacrament.
Most ministries require an initial training and ongoing refresher trainings, held throughout the year. For more information on any liturgical ministry, contact Kitty Maas @ 238-3471, x138 or Fr. Steve @ 238-3471, x127
Liturgy Committee -Members meet monthly during the academic year in the parish center on the third Tuesday of each month. The committee oversees all aspects of the liturgical life of this worshipping community.
Sacristan – Sets up for mass (hosts, wine, water), verifies the presence of the assigned liturgical ministers. High school students through adults are responsible to set up for an assigned mass time for the month several times per year.
Lector – Two freshman through adult lectors are assigned for each Sunday (weekend) Mass to prepare and proclaim the readings.
Extraordinary Minister of Communion - The extraordinary minister (EM) assists in the distribution of the Body of Christ at the Sunday Mass. For feast days and holy days, they assist with the distribution of the Blood of Christ as well. Diocesan training and commissioning is required.
Usher - Welcomes and assists attendees at weekend masses. This includes distributing worship aids, directing worshippers to open seating, collecting the parish offering, and distributing bulletins.
Gift bearer - Presents the community collection, as well as the bread and wine, to the celebrant. Frequently assigned by family.
Mass Server - .Two or more servers are assigned to assist the celebrating priest during the weekend masses. This includes among other things leading the processions and preparing the altar for celebration of the Eucharist. Boys and girls may begin serving in the 5th grade, and typically serve through high school.
Mass Server Coordinator – One or more high school servers and adults assist the Liturgy office with the server ministry, attending to the upkeep of robes, planning incentive, honors programs and social outings for the servers.
Funeral Mass Server - Adult servers assist the celebrating priest at funeral services by leading the processions, preparing the altar for celebration of the Eucharist, distributing communion, and preparing the incense. Servers are contacted during the planning of a funeral.
Daily Mass Server – An adult server sets up for mass, is lector, and distributes communion. Rotating weekly or biweekly schedule.
Church Environment & Housekeeping
Church environment volunteers assist in the upkeep and decoration of the worship space. For more information, contact Fr. Steve Kuhlmann @ 238-3471 ext. 127.
Environment - This includes weekly altar floral and plant arrangements, and helping decorate the church for each liturgical season and special feasts.
Washing Linens - Volunteers wash and iron soiled linens used in the parish liturgies (corporals, purificators, towels, etc.), and typically are responsible for 1 or 2 washes every year.
Light Housekeeping and Church Cleaning - Volunteers straighten, dust, clean, and fill holy water fonts on a two-week rotation; church cleaning is held prior to our major liturgical celebrations and includes deeper cleaning and wood care.
Multiple small groups and choirs assist the community in its worship by leading the singing of traditional and contemporary worship music. Although helpful, prior experience not necessary for most groups. For more information and to determine which group or ministry would best suit you, contact Kitty Maas @ 238-3471, x138.
Traditional Choir: Sing at the 11:00 AM Sunday liturgy, rehearse Thursday evenings from mid September to mid June. Freshman through adult.
Various Contemporary Groups: Rotate and sing at the 5:00 PM Saturday and 9:00 AM Sunday liturgies. Practices held as dictated by each group.
Adoration Teen/Adult Contemporary Choir: High school students and adults sing at the 5:00 PM Sunday teen liturgy. Rehearses prior to teen mass, and outside the mass once to twice each month September through May.
Cherub Choir: Children grades 1 – 4; sings once per month at the 9:00 AM mass throughout the year with a break in the summer; rehearses the Friday before the assigned Sunday.
Archangel Choir: Children grades 5-8; sings twice per month: once with the Cherub choir, and once with the Traditional Choir at the 11:00 AM mass. More challenging music helps prepare children to enter either the Adoration or Traditional choir when they are freshman.
Funeral Choir: Available members sing at parish funerals.
Handbell Choir: Members practice on Monday evenings and play at various Masses from October through May.
Cantors & Song Leaders: Cantors lead the assembly in Sunday worship by reading a brief reflection at the beginning of Mass, singing solo parts (particularly during the responsorial psalm), proclaiming the prayers of the faithful, and reading the parish announcements. Cantors occasionally sing for funerals, weddings, and other special celebrations. Songleaders assist when the traditional choir sings at 11:00 AM mass, and do not do solo singing.
Instrumentalists: Keyboards, strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion enhance our worship and support the various music groups and cantors. Keyboards needed at all masses, let us know if you can substitute or volunteer to play once in a while. Other instruments are especially called upon for major celebrations, but they are valuable at any mass.
Soundboard Techs: Help maintain a balanced microphone and speaker volume for the priest, lectors, cantors, and choirs during the celebration of the Mass. Usually one assigned at most masses. Initial training is required.
Music Ministry Library Assistant: Teen through adult experienced in music liturgy to help seasonally with upkeep of music library.
Education and Faith Formation Ministries
Parishioners may volunteer in a number of ways at Blessed Sacrament Grade School, such as helping as aids in the classroom, supervising during recess or in the after school program, coaching Blessed Sacrament athletic teams, helping with the hot lunch program, helping in the front office, etc. For more information, please contact Maryann Slater @ 233-6155 ext. 115.
Religious Education K – 8th grade & Sacramental Preparation
Early Childhood Religious Education - Becoming an Early Childhood Religious Education volunteer throughout the 9:00 liturgy could entail teaching, being a teacher's aid, helping behind the scenes with program preparations, or playing music or singing to help with Advent and Lent concerts.. For more information contact Mary Jo Vitale @ 233-6155 ext. 103.
Elementary Religious Education/ Sacramental Preparation - Parishioners interested in working with the religious education program as catechists or in assisting with the sacramental preparation program should contact Mary Jo Vitale @ 233-6155 ext. 118.
Youth Ministry 7th – 12th grade
There are a number of ways volunteers may serve in the youth ministry program: moderating small group discussions in the junior high or high school programs; teaching an elective course for the high school religious education program; joining the teens for service activities, including Catholic Heart Workcamp, Salvation Army, Port St. Vincent, and the St. Vincent Food Pantry; supervising Sunday evening basketball at the Blessed Sacrament gymnasium; or chaperoning at lock-ins or retreats. For more information, please contact Melanie Ahern @ 238-3471 ext. 116.
Parishioners may sponsor a candidate for Confirmation. Volunteers may also serve a small group leader by moderating group discussion and helping the candidates share faith experience. For more information, contact Melanie Ahern @ 238-3471 ext. 116.
Young Adult Ministry
Graduate students, young professionals, engaged couples, newly married couples, and those with young children, and 18-35 year olds are all welcome. Meet other young adults and grow closer to Christ and the parish through small faith sharing communities, parent groups, scripture discussions, service events, cooking and serving on the third Sunday of each month at the Multicultural Center, educational opportunities, and social events with young adults. Or just meet Brad Klingele, who is in charge of young adult ministry, for coffee. Contact Brad at email@example.com. See below for young adult & adult faith sharing opportunities.
Parents: New Parent? Pregnant? Young Children? Play & parent, support groups & Bible studies expanding. Email Brad at
Small Groups, Men’s & Women’s Small Groups, and Bible Studies: One of the best ways to experience what it means to be a friend of Jesus is to join a small group. Meet regularly to pray and discuss how God speaks to you in Scripture. Prayer groups try different forms of prayer together. Bible Studies are distinct from faith sharing groups in that they are more oriented to learning to understand and interpret the Scriptures within the Catholic community using videos or guide books. Email Brad at
Adult Faith Formation Committee
Plan and execute a variety of activities designed to help adult Catholics grow as disciples, and come to know God more deeply while learning to think critically about our relationship with God. So far we have activities such as movie and theological discussion nights, seasonal book clubs, various small groups and Scripture studies, Dominican Saints series, lecture series on topical issues, retreat days, etc. For more information, email Gail Yellen-Shiring at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those interested in assisting with the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults can serve by sponsoring a candidate or catechumen, giving a presentation on a topic pertaining to the Catholic faith, and sharing your faith experiences with those preparing for initiation into the Church. For more information, contact Ed Emmenegger @ 238-3471 ext. 119.
Rosary Altar Society
All women are automatically members of the Rosary Altar Society and, as such, are invited to attend any meetings. The Rosary Altar Society organizes fund-raising for the Parish Bazaar and other events, sponsors retreats and missions, coordinates the Trash & Treasure fund-raiser, provides for sacramental supplies (e.g. hosts, wine, vestments, candles), and organizes receptions. For more information, contact Francie Wesley @ 231-3920 or Maribeth Malnor @ 233-7730.
Parents of small children are welcome to bring their children to the nursery during the 9:00 AM Sunday Mass. The nursery is located in room 22 off of the school basement (a.k.a. the friary). For more information, please contact Amy Munson @ 236-9154 or email to email@example.com.
Parishioners on the “prayer chain” offer to pray for those in need. If you would like to be held in prayer during a time of need, or would like to volunteer to pray, contact Janet Hogan @ 233-3512.
Coffee and Donuts
Individuals and families can help by setting up and serving after the 9:00 AM Mass, or by serving and cleaning up after the 11:00 AM Mass. For more information, contact Rochelle Engel @ 256-9424.
Parishioners can help set up, serve, clean up, or prepare salads and desserts for funeral luncheons held at Blessed Sacrament Parish. For more information, contact Joan Emmerich @ 831-5291.
Lunches for seniors take place in the parish center on Wednesdays, September through May. Volunteers are needed for set up, serving, and clean up. Parishioners may also help by preparing meals. For more information, contact Ed Emmenegger @ 238-3471 ext. 119.
D.I.S.H. -- Dominican Inspired Social Hours
Parishioners are invited to the homes of Parishioners (Friday nights) or the Priory front lawn (Saturday evenings) for an evening of conversation and food. Meet the Dominican staff as well as new faces from the parish community. Contact Karen Gallagher @ 238-2795 or Melanie Ahern @ 238-3471 ext. 116 for more details!
The spaghetti dinner is a parish wide fundraiser for the athletic teams at Blessed Sacrament grade school. Volunteers are needed for cooking, set up, clean up, and hosting. For more information, please contact the school or Maryann Slater @ 233-6155.
Encore is a musical variety show sponsored and performed by parishioners and other volunteers. It takes place every other year in early spring. For more information, please contact Joan Rock @ 238-1700.
Parish Golf Outing
Each year the parish holds a golf outing in early fall, shotgun scramble style. For more information, contact Jim VanGemert @ 233-2493.
Parish Christmas Market
At the parish bazaar artisans come to Blessed Sacrament to sell goods; parishioners make and sell baked goods and other treats, including “Mound Bread”; a salad luncheon is held on Friday afternoon and another lunch is held on Saturday; a raffle is held for prizes donated by parishioners; and “Sunday Funday,” sponsored by the APT, is a time for parents and their children to enjoy a cooked breakfast and games in the church basement and friary. Contact Francie Wesley @ 231-3920 or Maribeth Malnor @ 233-7730 for more information.
Welcome meetings for new parishioners occur once every month on weekday evenings or Sunday mornings after the 9:00 AM Mass. To assist at a welcome meeting by bringing refreshments, as well as your experience as a member of Blessed Sacrament Parish, please contact Jean Heinrichs @ 238-8044.
A quarterly newsletter is published by the parish, which includes announcements for upcoming events, coverage of previous celebrations and events, and letters from the pastor and other staff members. For information, contact Fr. DePorres at 238-3471 x117, or FrDePorres@blsacrament.org.
The parish maintains a website at www.blsacrament.org in order to provide general information concerning liturgies and religious education, links to archived bulletins and newsletters, calendars for parish events, and contact information for staff members and parish council members. For more information, contact Mindy Wendt @ 238-3471 ext. 110.
Volunteers help by planting seasonal flowers, weeding, watering, and mowing parts of the Blessed Sacrament campus. For more information, contact Susan Hundt-Bergan at 238-0176, or Andy Robertson @238-3471 ext. 145.
The “men’s group” meets every second Saturday of the month at 7:00 AM in the parish center to share and discuss faith. For more information, contact Mark Landgraf @ 250-1993, or Tim O’Shea firstname.lastname@example.org
Soup and Substance
Four Wednesdays during Lent parishioners gather in the evening to share a simple meal of soup and bread, as well as listen to a presentation on a particular theme. Volunteers can help by making soup for the event. For more information, contact Ed Emmenegger @ 238-3471 ext. 119.
Keeping the Connection
Parishioners write letters/send cards and help assemble and send packages to college students who come from Blessed Sacrament Parish. For more information, contact Melanie Ahern @ 238-3471, ext 116.
Human Concerns Ministries
Luke House Dinner
Luke House offers an evening meal five days a week for those in need. Members of Blessed Sacrament Parish prepare and serve an evening meal on varying days in the fifth week of the month. For more information, contact Bill Rose @ 238-8381. (Bill has stepped down as coordinator – but a new coordinator is still being discussed and we will change this as soon as a decision is reached.)
Noon Meal at Luke House
Now located at Luke House, this meal program serves lunch to those in need Monday to Thursday. Volunteers from Blessed Sacrament Parish serve on the fourth Monday of the month. For more information, contact Ruth Shively @ 294-9485.
The Road Home
The IHN Shelter program (Interfaith Hospitality Network), part of the organization called The Road Home, provides emergency shelter to homeless families with children through a network of Madison area churches and synagogues. Blessed Sacrament is a buddy congregation with Temple Beth El and Bethany United Methodist Church. Together we staff 4 weekly rotations of the network at Temple Beth El. Our volunteers help set up and take down the rooms for the guests, make meals to drop off for dinner, work 2 hour shifts serving and sharing the meal or visiting and playing with the children after the meal and stay overnight at Temple. For more information, contact Julie Maiers at email@example.com .
Grace Episcopal Shelter
Volunteers from Blessed Sacrament parish provide dinner and breakfast on the first Tuesday night and Wednesday morning of the month for the homeless who stay at the shelter overnight. For more information, contact Donna Eaton @ 836-9732.
Badger Prairie Care Center
Volunteers visit and play bingo with nursing home residents every third Saturday of the month at 1:30 pm. For more information, contact Lorrie Hylkema @ 233-7103 or .
St. Vincent De Paul
Members of the St. Vincent De Paul Society Conference meet monthly in order to form a Catholic community dedicated to serving the poor together. They respond to those in need by visiting people in their homes; reaching out to the lonely and alienated; donating time and labor for the collection of food, furniture, and clothing. Individual parishioners who do not choose to be conference members may also sign up to help at the food pantry. For more information, contact Jim or Bette Oeth at .
Blessed Sacrament parishioners assist the mission of Salvation Army by spending time with children of homeless families staying at the shelter. Every Wednesday evening (once a month during summers) a combination of adults and youth volunteer at the shelter. For more information, contact Joan VandenBrook @ 258-8005.
Food, Fuel, Farming and Faith (FFFF)
The mission of the Food, Fuel, Farming and Faith group is to grow a vital understanding and practice of sustainable living, which connects people with each other and with their Catholic faith. Activities we sponsor include the Winter Farmers' Market and Brunch, Bike to Church Sunday, Community Gardening, and Film/Book discussions -- all of which help guide us in our calling to care for God's creation. For more information and to get involved, contact Susan Kiernan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Project Angel Tree
Project Angel Tree assists families of prisoners during Christmas by donating gifts to the children of inmates. Volunteers are needed to help register gifts, box and sort gifts, and make home deliveries. For more information, contact Marcella Claridge @ 238-3979.
Members of the parish community visit those who are hospitalized or at home with illness or disability, to offer support and encouragement. Distribution of Communion to the homebound is available for those unable to attend weekend liturgies due to illness or disability. You can represent the presence of Christ to members of our community who are sick, homebound, hospitalized, or living in a wide variety of local care facilities. Training is available to support these volunteers. Contact the Pastoral Associate, Ed Emmenegger @ 238-3471 ext. 119.
For changes, additions, and updates to the Blessed Sacrament Parish Ministry Book, please bring them to the attention of Mindy at 238-3471, ext. 110 or email@example.com.