Student Altar Servers
Boys and girls, 5th grade and older with parent’s permission, who are members of the St. Joseph Faith Community are encouraged to become student altar servers. These servers assist at the Saturday Vigil Mass and all Sunday masses, as well as serve at Monday Night Rosary and Benediction, Stations of the Cross during Lent, other special events throughout the year, and assist the priest at Parish Weddings. For more information call (215) 672-3020.
Adult Altar Servers
Saint Joseph Church Adult Altar Servers are dedicated men and women who assist priests, deacons, and special ministers of the Eucharist at Mass and other liturgical celebrations throughout the year. Adults serve weekday Masses and funerals. Altar Serving is a wonderful opportunity to show one’s love for God and His people, to grow in appreciation for the Church and to live the call of Christ to serve our brothers and sisters. For more information please call the rectory at 215-672-3020 and leave a message for Mary Boland.
The reader (Lector) proclaims God’s word to the assembled faith community. The Lector has the awesome privilege of bringing the printed word to life. At St. Joseph’s, the Lectors proclaim the readings and offertory invocation at all Sunday and Holyday Masses. They also read for certain liturgies; the Penance Service, for example. Individual preference is considered when the schedules are prepared, and there is training and guidance. To join this special ministry, please contact: Ann Trotter (215) 672-4651, via email at email@example.com
Ushers of hospitality assist the parish on Sundays, Holy days, and other special events during the year with seating people at mass and taking up the collection, as well as passing out bulletins after mass. They may also be called upon to assist with parking on special occasions. Anyone having an interest in becoming an usher should contact Bob McNulty at 215-674-1196.
CCD Catechists (Teachers)
Our Religious Education Program goes beyond teaching children doctrinal definitions. We strive to bring children and young people into relationships with Christians that, in turn, lead them to Christ. It is important to realize that their primary teachers are their own parents, and then the Catechists and Community of Saint Joseph’s Parish.
We are looking for Catechists who have a sense of calling to serve the Lord by giving time and effort to help the spiritual growth of the children. There is nothing more rewarding than teaching children about God. The children are so inquisitive and willing to learn. You may be the one individual who says something in class that will remain with the child throughout his or her life and continually bring the child back to God! You will actually make a difference in someone’s spiritual life! Anyone interested in becoming a CCD Catechist, please contact Cathy Cain at 215-672-3020/9990.
Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)
“There is One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism.” Ephesians 4:5
How Can I Become a Catholic? Life is a journey that continually searches for meaning. The human heart hungers for relationships that nurture one’s maturity and ability to love and to be loved. Often as one seeks to fulfill these very human yearnings, the realization that something is missing from life is made. As one reflects upon this void, it is not unusual to discover that this something is God. This awakening may lead to a turning point in one’s life to commit to a relationship with God and seek out a worshiping community to guide one’s journey in faith. Many will ask the question: How can I become a Catholic? The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (R.C.I.A.) is the normal way for unbaptized persons and those who have been baptized in another Christian tradition to become a Catholic. To find out more information about the R.C.I.A. at St. Joseph’s, either to become a candidate or to volunteer as a member of the team, call (215) 672-3020.
Our Rectory volunteers (a.k.a. Angels) answer the door & telephone one day a week either: 9am to 12 noon, or 12 noon to 3pm. Their presence at the Rectory is invaluable to the staff because the volunteers answer the many telephone calls we receive, and greet those who come for appointments. Do you have a free morning or afternoon when you could help out? We always need subs for the wonderful men and women who currently help us. (Vacations, meetings, etc.) Please contact us at 215-672-3020 for more information or to volunteer your time.
Remember, when you “work for the Lord, the pay isn’t great (as in non-existent), but ‘ the Retirement is out of this world!!”
The Adult Choir usually sings at the 10:00 mass on the second and fourth Sunday of every month. They also sing for sacraments, Triduum and other special liturgies. “According to the church document, Sing to the Lord Music in Divine Worship(28-31), the choir can have an “important ministerial role to sing various parts of the mass in dialogue or alternation with the congregation,..or at times the choir performs its ministry by singing alone, .. or when not exercising its particular role, it joins the congregation in song..” It also states that the choir can also add musical elements to the congregational singing, such as descants and harmonies that require extra rehearsal time. Therefore, the Adult Choir practices in the choir loft every Thursday evening from 7:30 to 9:30 . There are no auditions since the Adult Choir accepts members of all ability levels. No previous choir or singing experience is necessary. There are many advantages to being a member of the Choir including enjoying Christian fellowship with others, and participating more fully in the Catholic Liturgy.
The Children’s Choir sings once or twice a month at designated mass times. They also join with the Adult Choir for sacraments and other special liturgies. The Children’s Choir has the same role as the Adult Choir as explained above. The children rehearse on Thursdays from 4:30 to 5:45 in the choir loft. Children are welcome to join at any time of the year. Being a member of the Children’s Choir has many benefits including learning more about their faith, Liturgy and sharing a Christian fellowship with other children.
According to Sing to the Lord ,” the cantor is both a singer and a leader of congregational song”. The cantor can sing in alternation or dialogue with the assembly, and there are times the cantor may sing alone, such as the verse of the Responsorial Psalm. The Cantor sings from the front so that they are able to lead the congregation with modest gestures. Cantors at St. Joseph’s are scheduled in advance based on the availability of the cantor. Cantors must have pleasant voices, but no experience is necessary. They will receive the proper training.
According to Sing to the Lord (41), “The primary role of the organist, other instrumentalist, or instrumental ensemble is to lead and sustain the singing of the assembly and of the choir, cantor, and psalmist, without dominating or overpowering them.” There are appropriate times the instrumentalist may also need to play alone. All instrumentalists, including pianists, organists, guitarists, flutists, violinists, trumpeters, etc., who have received proper training on their instruments, are encouraged to use their gifts for the Lord. You will be guided in their use within the mass.
The role of the ensemble is explained under “Instrumentalists” and “Adult Choir”. St. Joseph’s Contemporary Ensemble, led by Bill Monaghan, leads the congregation in song at the 11:30 mass usually on the second and fourth Sundays.
There is also an ensemble led by our former Music Director, Mrs. Pat McCloskey that sings at the 10:00 Mass usually on the first and third Sundays.
There may be a new ensemble formed in the future, for those who are interested.
The first Sunday of each month parishioners are requested to bring canned goods such as beef stews, tuna fish, fruit, vegetables, soup, pork & beans, and other non-perishable goods such as cereals and pasta. Contributions are transported to the Community Food Cupboard in Warminster the Wednesday after the Sunday collection to feed the needy in the area. If you are interested in volunteering to assist with transporting and/or sorting food collected each month, contact Bob Byrne at 215-675-9060.