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There are various Groups of people that seek to serve and enrich the life of our Parishes and Communities. Here are some them:
Eucharistic Ministers are Lay Women and Men who are specially authorized to assist with distribution of Holy Communion. At Mass, the Eucharist, the celebration of Holy Communion, they assist the Priest with distributing the consecrated bread and wine to the people. We believe that when the Priest says the prayer of Thanksgiving at Mass, the 'Eucharistic Prayer' over the bread and wine they become the Body and Blood of Christ - the complete gift of Jesus Christ to us, so that we may share his life, and be encouraged to live his Good News in our lives. When the Priest cannot be present, Eucharistic Ministers assist in Lay Led Services of 'Word and Communion' when the Bible Readings of the Day are read, and Holy Communion from Sacrament consecrated at a previous Mass is distributed. Eucharistic Ministers also take Holy Communion to those members of our Parish who are sick and housebound.
The reading of 'Word of God'- 'the Scriptures' - 'the Bible' is essential part of all our Services. The Bible is the story of humanity's relationship with God, and when we hear the scriptures we are encouraged in our journey of faith. Readers can also lead the prayers which express the needs of our Parish and Community - the Prayers of Intercession.
These are young people who assist the Priest with the 'Ceremony' during Services. They attend by carrying candles, the processional cross, bring books to the Priest, etc. We have several ceremonies and customs that Altar Servers assist with. Any child who has made their First Holy Communion can become an Altar Server. Full training will be given and they are then enrolled to the Guild of St Stephen.
Music Leaders / Groups
We have several people who assist with Music at our Services. This Music Group regularly attend various Masses / functions within the four parishes and share their special talents.
These are Lay People who assist in the preparation of our children for the Sacraments of First Forgiveness and First Holy Communion, another group helps prepare our young people in preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation, and yet another group assist Adults who are seeking information and faith within our Church.
Behind the Scenes Ministry
There are also many people who serve our Parishes 'behind the scenes' as Sacristans, cleaners, flower arrangers, administration and many others ways.
New volunteers are always welcome.
SVP - ST VINCENT DE PAUL SOCIETY
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, better known at the S.V.P. is a society of Lay Catholic Women and Men who seek to offer practical help to those in need, both locally and in other countries. To those in the local area this is offered through Prayer, visits and befriending. 'Being there' with somebody is so important, and this is a big part of the SVP's work. For overseas work most Conferences are twined with another SVP Conference in the Third World, and correspond. On a National and International Level the SVP helps to fund projects. The SVP is an international Catholic organization that was founded in 1833 by a Young University Student in Paris called Frederick Ozanam. Whilst studying in Paris Frederick Ozanam saw great poverty, so he and six of his companions formed the Society of St. Vincent de Paul to help them put their Catholic Christian Faith into action. St. Vincent de Paul was a French Roman Catholic Priest who died in 1660, and was remembered for his care of the poor and those in need. Today, most Roman Catholic Churches have an SVP Conference. To contact our Parishes SVP Conferences, e-mail them from this link! You could also visit the National S.V.P. website .
JUSTICE & PEACE
OUR LADY'S AND ST. BERNARD'S JUSTICE & PEACE GROUP
Cardinal Basil Hulme OSB said," Working for peace and justice is central to the mission of the Church." The Diocese of Shrewsbury J&P Commission was set up in 1984 by Bishop Joseph Gray. In 2000 Tony Walsh was appointed as current Chair of the Diocesan Commission by Bishop Brian. The parish J&P group's mission is 'To live out more fully the Gospel message and put our Faith into action, guided by Catholic social teaching'.
Our current activities include:
Organising and attending spirituality days and conferences to deepen our understanding of holy scripture and the tenets of our Christian faith fundamental to our work. J&P is much more than signing a petition or wearing a tee-shirt.
Running a monthly Fairtrade stall in church. We seek to gain Fairtrade status for our parish.
Supporting the work of CAFOD by promoting the twice yearly fasts, holding regular parish quiz nights and participating in their campaigns. Live Simply and Unearth Justice are the current campaigns.
Sending greeting cards at Christmas to people around the world who are in prison for having just and conscientious beliefs.
Promoting events and activities to raise awareness about environmental and global warming issues. We are becoming more aware of our Christian responsibility to care for our planet
Other ad hoc activities are undertaken as appropriate.
The J&P movement is a broad front and our group members also support other organisations such as Progressio, Pax Christi, Jesuit Refugee Service, St. Vincent de Paul Society and Church Action on Poverty.
Any parishioner in the Local Parochial Area is very welcome to join the group and offer their ideas and support. Helpers are especially needed for the Fairtrade stalls. We usually have our meetings on a monthly basis and notice is given in the weekly Newsletter
Brownies are now meeting on Thursday evenings between 6.30pm and 8pm in Our Lady’s Parish Centre. There are currently space available for girls aged between 7-11.
Tuesday and Friday luncheon clubs take place at Our Lady’s Parish Centre
All Are Welcome to Join Us
If you can spare a couple of hours each week to help at the Luncheon, please call or email the Parish Office.
PARISH OF ELLESMERE PORT & HOOTON JUNIOR YOUTH CLUB
Our parish youth club meet every Wednesday in St Mary’s Stanley Hall from 6.45pm to 8.00pm,
All children in year 3 and above are welcome.