Parish Ministries and Organizations

As Jesus reminds us that he is the vine and we are the branches, and it is the branches through which nourishment enlivens the vine, so it is with parish ministries and organizations.

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ADMINISTRATIVE MINISTRIES


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The Finance Council oversees all financial activities of the parish, promoting the economic health of Our Lady of Mercy. Members provide budgetary guidance and advice to maintain good financial stewardship.


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The Library Ministry works to maintain a collection of books, videos, audio tapes, Cd’s and DVD’s which can be used to support the faith life of the people of Our Lady of Mercy. Committee members work closely with the religious education teachers, Confirmation students and their parents, by helping to locate items pertaining to their topic of interest. The Library serves all members of the parish and anyone else who may benefit from its resources.


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The Newsletter and Parish Mailings.


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The Office Help ministry is a great way to support the mission and vision of Our Lady of Mercy through administrative tasks. This ministry provides an opportunity to use your gifts of organization, people skills, and attention to detail in a warm environment. Once or twice a year members are called to come into the parish office to help with small projects or answering phones while staff gives attention to expanding their ministry outreach.


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As part of the visionary leadership of the parish, the Pastoral Council engages in the process of pastoral planning. Council members are vibrant, faith-filled leaders who have a desire to improve the life of the parish. Through study and dialogue, the council concentrates on forming goals in these five different areas of parish life:

Parish as a proclaimer of the word
Parish as a worshipping community
Parish as a builder of community
Parish as a servant of the poor and worker for justice
Parish as a steward of the community resources

As the eyes and ears of the parish, the council members work closely with the staff on the spiritual and material concerns of the community which makes us better stewards of God’s gifts.


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The SCRIP Program is used as a general fundraiser for Our Lady of Mercy Parish. Local and national retailers provide gift cards to us at a discount, we sell them to parishioners at face value, and the difference is revenue to the parish. This is a perfect opportunity to take part in a ministry if you have limited time to offer. Just fifteen or twenty minutes after Mass, selling cards and taking orders for the following week, provides a great service and makes SCRIP a huge success.


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The Technology Committee Ministry keeps members of the community connected to the parish and to each other. They creatively assist with the dissemination of information about events in the parish; opportunities for social interaction and spiritual growth. They oversee all the electronic and digital communications of the parish.


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FAITH FORMATION MINISTRIES


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The AGIFT Ministry plans and coordinates a variety of parish events. Members of this ministry are leaders with a vision, as they work to offer events which will benefit adult members of Our Lady of Mercy. Their intent is to help parishioners deepen their understanding of their Catholic faith and strengthen their commitment to live as disciples of Jesus Christ.


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The Baptismal Preparation Committee helps to prepare families for the Sacrament of Baptism. We provide semi-annual training sessions, designed to inspire parents and godparents to raise their children as disciples of God. At Our Lady of Mercy we believe each Baptism is a special occasion for the entire parish community to celebrate, it’s our opportunity to welcome them into the Body of Christ.


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The Catechist Ministry passes on the Word of God, along with Catholic tradition and teachings, to children and teens in age specific groups. Catechists are commissioned by the community of Our Lady of Mercy to help form faith, mentor, and give witness to the Christian way of life.


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The Lifelong Faith Formation Ministry has a vision to engage the Our Lady of Mercy community on a lifelong journey of faith formation. By creating, planning and implementing programs and days of reflection, the members of this ministry hope to nurture and deepen parishioner’s spiritual life, especially the youth, young adults and their families.


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The PreCana Ministry offers marriage preparation to engaged couples who are planning to be married in the Catholic Church. Couples who serve on the team share their experiences and give witness to the joys and challenges of living out the Sacrament of Marriage.


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The RCIA Ministry Team welcomes and accompanies adults on their journey, as they prepare to receive Baptism and full communion with the Catholic Church, through the rite of initiation. Together, team members and candidates share their faith through prayer, study, scripture reflection and integration into the parish community.


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LITURGICAL MINISTRIES


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The Altar Linen Ministry, with deep love and reverence for the Holy Eucharist, ensures that adequate supplies of linens are available for Mass. This ministry is done at home on a monthly rotating schedule; approximately every four months. Training is provided on how to care for these special linens.


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Altar servers have the privilege of assisting the priest/presider during Mass and other liturgical functions.


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The Children’s Liturgy of the Word Ministry helps to provide children with a love of the scriptures. During the 11:00 a.m. Sunday Mass, children ages four and five, meet with a volunteer to experience the Liturgy of the Word at a level which they can understand. Through hands-on activities they learn how to apply God’s word in their own lives.


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Those who serve the Church as Ministers of Holy Communion take their place in a long line of disciples who enjoyed the company of Jesus, listened to his word, pondered his commands, cared for his people, and did what he asked.


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Greeters are called to be Ministers of Hospitality. They are entrusted with promoting a sense of welcoming and belonging to all those who gather for worship. Greeters begin the process of forming the community into the worshipping Body of Christ. 


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The Lector is the storyteller of the community who bring life to the written Word of God. Answering the call to become a lector enters one into a deeper relationship with God as revealed in sacred scripture. To be lector is a commitment of service.


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Those who minister in liturgical art and environment are responsible for those things that are seen and touched within the liturgy.
Those who participate in the Art and Environment ministry care for a specific need: to enhance our sense of beauty for worship.


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The Music Ministry is committed to enhancing, accompanying and encouraging participation in the music for Mass, funerals and/or other prayerful opportunities at Our Lady of Mercy Parish. We are blessed to have many gifted singers and skilled musicians who are willing to share their talents and lead our congregation as we rejoice and worship God. Music brings joy to the Liturgy and sends our community forth with a song in their heart.


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The Offertory Counter ministry works in teams to open, sort, count, and prepare for deposit the offertory collections. This ministry is perfect for those with limited time, as counters meet on a rotating basis, approximately every six weeks on Sunday morning after Mass.
This ministry is very beneficial for someone who works well with numbers and money.


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Gift Bearers: The Offertory Gift Bearer ministry is an opportunity for families to sign up to be part of the Liturgy. As members present the gifts of bread and wine at Mass, they remind us that we are all part of the Body of Christ, each offering our individual gifts.

Coordinator: The Coordinator works each week to obtain parishioners who will present the gifts of bread and wine during Mass, making every effort to include families who are honoring a loved one at mass, or families who are celebrating Baptisms, Anniversaries or other milestones.


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The ministry of ushers is the oldest lay ministry in the  Catholic Church. The ushers of today have descended from a long line of people of God who have gone before them. During the time of Christ, the doorkeepers of the temple numbered in the hundreds and were the forerunners of today's ushers.


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OUTREACH MINISTRIES


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Supply food and Monetary donations to Fr. Peterson’s Maria House Project


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A Cursillo Parish Coordinator is a person, or couple, who is the liaison between the Cursillo office, its Executive Committee, and the Parish they serve. The coordinators are responsible for all events which promote Cursillo in the Parish. In addition, they are to foster relationships between new and existing Cursillistas, and plan parish events to encourage a sense of community.


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The Dresses for the Missions Ministry helps to share God’s love by making clothing items for the people, especially the children of Haiti, who are in need due to economic problems and disasters. Members of this ministry share in their belief that making something with love is a great way to show others you care The Dresses for the Missions Ministry helps to share God’s love by making clothing items for the people, especially the children of Haiti, who are in need due to economic problems and disasters. Members of this ministry share in their belief that making something with love is a great way to show others you care.


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Through compassionate, supportive service the Ella Cochran Food Pantry provides food and other necessities to Harborcreek Township residents who are in need. It is an ecumenical ministry with volunteers from four local churches; First Presbyterian, Faith Lutheran, South Harborcreek United Methodist and Our Lady of Mercy. We serve over 170 families every year. There are 30 volunteers who take on various responsibilities.


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The Sister Parish Ministry facilitates a relationship of mutual support, sharing and prayer between the communities of Our Lady of Mercy and Our Lady of Assumption in Peto, Mexico. Some members of the committee have traveled to Peto, Mexico forming friendships which has helped both churches to grow in awareness of their Catholic faith and broaden their spirituality. Revenue from fund raising events helps Our Lady of Assumption with a variety of projects.


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The Social Justice Ministry supports the gospel message to respect life and dignity, and to work for peace and justice. This group encourages parishioner involvement by means of education, planned activities which serve the less fortunate, and projects which embrace justice.


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PASTORAL CARE MINISTRIES


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The Bereavement ministry’s mission is to provide comfort and support to the grieving family members. We try to make the funeral process as easy as possible, all the while remembering that every funeral is exactly the same by design, yet totally different in the way each individual experiences it and remembers it.


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The Divorced and Separated Ministry reaches out to those who are going through this challenging time in their lives. Members offer support and encouragement to hurting members and aide in the healing process. This ministry is open to regular support groups as the need arises.


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The Eucharistic Ministry to the Homebound serves those who cannot get to Mass Because they are sick or elderly. This ministry is for those called by compassion to be the presence of Christ for those most in need. Ministers bring the Body of Christ with them in the form of Communion, and they also keep our homebound connected to their faith community.


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The Funeral Luncheon Ministry of Our Lady of Mercy offers comfort, love and support when there is a death in our parish. The committee offers bereaved family and friends a luncheon following the funeral service. This service is available for parishioners who have lost immediate family members which include spouse, parent or child.


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The Grief Ministry provides support to anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one, one of the more difficult things we have to endure in our lives. It can feel like you are the only one going through this experience, or that you are going crazy. This ministry provides support and helps you to know that you are not alone in your experience of grief. Sharing and learning that others have similar experiences, aides in the healing process.


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The Homebound ministry provides a social connection to members of our parish community who can no longer come to regular parish gatherings and events due to age, illness, or limited mobility because they no longer drive. Members of this committee touch lives through love, as they visit in the home, make phone calls, or send notes of care which gives our parishioners a sense of belonging.


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The Hospital Visitors Ministry reaches out to our parishioners who are in the hospital or nursing home rehabilitation. When we are sick our world shrinks to the size of our bed or the room we are in. It is easy to feel cut off and alone. Hospital visitors help people to feel connected and offer prayers and comfort in the name of the church community.


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The Nursery Ministry is where we meet the needs of the youngest members of our church family. We provide loving care for children age newborn to five years and give parents an opportunity to fully engage in Mass. The Nursery is staffed by both adult and teenage volunteers from the parish. Serving on this ministry presents teenagers with an excellent opportunity to earn their service hours. Our Lady of Mercy assists volunteers in obtaining the required clearances.


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The Nursing Home Ministry is an opportunity to share God’s love and to be a presence to our parishioners who are in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. We share our time and faith by regular individual visits and by participating in prayer and communion services.


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The Peer Ministry offers an opportunity to walk with someone who shares a similar experience or emotional journey. Peer ministers are committed to helping others with similar challenges as themselves, and to providing a welcoming spiritual atmosphere through support, community-building and care for the needs of their peers.


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The Welcome Ministry is one of hospitality. As new members join Our Lady of Mercy Parish, this ministry reaches out to the new families and schedules a welcome meeting, to assure they feel cared for and valued. Whether the meeting take place in their home or at church, the purpose is to connect new members with veteran parishioners, and to help familiarize families with all that the Our Lady of Mercy Community has to offer.


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SERVICE MINISTRIES


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The Bakers Ministry helps to supply baked goods for a variety of parish events. At Our Lady of Mercy, when we gather, we eat! Many people love to bake and prepare food but don’t have an outlet for their creative expression. This ministry makes everyone happy!


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The Building & Grounds Work Crew is responsible for overseeing the maintenance of the Parish buildings and grounds, improvement and enhancement of the facilities, and construction of any new projects. The Committee is also responsible for optimizing maintenance and utility expenditures


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The Knights of Columbus is an international Catholic men’s organization with approximately two million members dedicated to serving all parishes of the Catholic Church. The local Council at Our Lady of Mercy was founded in 1993 and currently has over seventy members.

The local council is specifically dedicated to supporting the youth of the parish financially. In addition, we support and help fund major capital projects and provide support of parish activities.


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The Patchwork of Friends Quilters Ministry started in the Fall of 2000 as we gathered to make a quilt to be raffled at the 2001 OLM Summer Festival. This ministry has grown and friendships have blossomed, as we continue to meet at the church on the first and third Monday of the month, from 9:00 a.m. until noon.


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The Transportation Ministry offers a way for people who do not drive to stay connected to the Our Lady of Mercy community. For many, giving up their independence when one stops driving, is one of the hardest transitions that people make in their lifetime. By providing a ride to Mass or other church events, members of this ministry make a significant difference in the well-being of fellow parishioners.


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SPIRITUAL AND PRAYER MINISTRIES


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The Healing ministry has been serving our parish community since October of 2010. God’s gift of spiritual healing is available to all ages through prayer and hands-on-healing. By allowing God to use gifts of healing and touch we can restore our natural balance. The laying on of hands in healing may benefit a recipient spiritually, physically, mentally, or emotionally.


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The Legion of Mary is the largest lay Catholic Organization in the world. Catholic men and women offer their services to their Pastor to aid him in performing spiritual works in the Parish. This is done by placing themselves under the banner of Mary so that with her help they may develop a greater holiness in their own lives as well as spreading a deeper devotion among others. There are two levels of membership: active and auxiliary.


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Members of the Parish Prayer Ministry lift up and support one another through prayer. This ministry is perfect for those who are homebound or those whose schedules are so busy they have no time free time. Members provide personal prayers for the immediate needs of our parish. Prayers can be offered while driving to work, while in the shower or while sitting in your favorite prayer chair. This ministry is vital to the life of our parish. Please call to sign up, all are welcome.


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The Prayer Line Ministry believes in the power of prayer and considers it an honor to pray for those in need. Members take prayer seriously and spiritually support all requests. Members of this committee reach out to anyone who is suffering or anxious about difficult situations in their lives, or the lives of friends, relatives and neighbors. United prayer can be very effective.


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The Prayer Shawl Ministry is made up of women and men who enjoy knitting, crocheting, praying and who enjoy each other’s company. This ministry offers warmth, comfort and unconditional love to parishioners and their family, and friends who are in need of healing. Shawl makers begin each shawl with a prayer and continue praying throughout their creation. Upon completion the group lays hands upon the shawl and prays for blessings for the recipient. This ministry is open to new members and are willing to teach anyone who is interested to learn to knit or crochet.


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The Small Christian Communities Ministry at our Lady of Mercy has recently celebrated twenty-five years of faith sharing. Members of individual groups are ordinary people coming together to help connect everyday life with their faith life. Groups meet on a regular basis, mostly in their homes, with a focus on prayer, support, sharing, learning and outreach. Trained facilitators meet with the Core Team and the Pastor on a regular basis.


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The Stewardship Ministry creates an environment of welcome and encourages parishioners to discover and share their God given strengths and gifts. With a spirit of gratitude and love, the Stewardship Committee supports the vision of the parish which inspires Our Lady of Mercy members to be good stewards of their time, talents and strengths. Parishioners demonstrate their understanding of Christian stewardship by participating in at least one ministry and by their willingness to serve the people of Our Lady of Mercy and the broader community, making Stewardship a way of life!


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OUR UPCOMING EVENTS

"Think About It" - Msgr. Gerald T. Ritchie

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