Ministries ~ Parish Life

parish life

We welcome, connect and foster fellowship in the parish community. Parish Life is the very essence of Christ in action – loving, serving, praying and building God’s kingdom through each other and the family of St. Mary Parish. The Parish Council Outreach Committee Chair is Barbara Walor, dhs321@comcast.net.


Ancient Order of Hibernians

The Ancient order of Hibernians is America’s oldest Irish Catholic Fraternal Organization. The General Thomas F. Meagher group is one of 13 divisions in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Fr. John Munley of St. Mary was instrumental in founding our Division in 1987 and named it for the Commander of the famed Irish Brigade.  We participate in Irish cultural events including the Rose of Tralee contest, St. Patrick Day celebrations and parades and area international festivals.

Mission: To bring Irish Heritage, culture and traditions to the forefront and support several Irish, Catholic local area charities and local Catholic education. Our motto is “Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity.”
Time: Monthly meetings 3rd Tuesday of the month at 7:30pm at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 4724 Harrison Rd. Fredericksburg, VA. The meetings include a formal business meeting followed by a social segment often including guest speakers and/ or discussions on current issues in Ireland, Irish/Irish-American history, genealogy, and Irish culture and traditions. Additional charitable and community events are held throughout the year.
Special Skills: Irish, Catholic men, 18 years or older seeking friendship and fellowship in Christian character.
Coordinator: Pat Fogarty pfogarty3234@gmail.com


Book Club

The parish book club meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 10am at the John Paul II  House to discuss works with Christian themes. The selections, both ancient and new, are determined by the membership and include both fiction and non-fiction. For the annual December meeting readers choose a book from the parish library’s extensive collection. Observers are always welcome as listeners at our discussions. Members believe that Catholics need to take responsibility for themselves in continuing their education throughout life, and the parish book club exists for all who have an interest in reading and joining in fellowship for lively, stimulating discussions.

Mission: To read and discuss books which have a Christian focus.
Time: the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 10am.
Coordinators: Mary Kenney and Maureen Guilfoyle, maureenpsg@verizon.net


Called and Gifted Program

This is it, the program of becoming Intentional Disciples in our community life of spirituality and ministry. Our Parish Called and Gifted Conference was held 5-6 February 2015, open to anyone in the parish who would like to discern gifts and seek answers to how God is calling you. Please plan to join us

Mission: To assist in the continued development of the Called and Gifted Program at St. Mary Parish by establishing an organized process for implementation and fostering opportunities for small groups for discernment beyond the completion of the formal program.
Time: On-going commitment; primarily based on larger programmed events planned throughout the year.
Talent: Must have completed the Called and Gifted Conference, (especially those who possess the charism of Administration!) organized, good communication skills and attentiveness to detail; Have a good sense of our parish community, been involved in ministry(ies) and comfortable with both short/long timelines and event planning.
Coordinators:  Mary Podlesny, mbpodlesny@gmail.com, and Mary Jo Medosch, maryjo.medosch@gmail.com


Council of Catholic Women (CCW)

All women registered at St. Mary are automatically members of the CCW, and together we do great things for our parish and the community. Through fundraisers like bazaars and bake sales, raffles, an annual yard sale, coffee shops and charity baby showers, we donate thousands to worthy causes. Through Circle of Love and Prayers and Squares we offer help and comfort with a personal touch. Our monthly meetings feature uplifting speakers. We have just-for-fun Bunco games, present an educational CCW Forum and a Mother-Daughter event annually and organize parish pilgrimages. We encourage our young women with the sponsorship of American Heritage Girls Troop VA0128 and the award of a scholarship to St. John Paul the Great High School. Add to all that the fact that we enjoy volunteering to serve at the parish picnic and ice cream social! Keep in touch through our meeting minutes and newsletters at StMaryCCWNews@aol.com.

Mission: With our Lady of Good Counsel as our guide, to support, empower and educate women of the parish in spirituality, leadership and service.
Time: Monthly meetings with guest speakers and fellowship. Ongoing support of parish life activities. Many opportunities to volunteer where your interests lie.
Talent: A willingness to share your time and individual gifts. Desire to learn and deepen your faith in a relaxed, friendly setting.
Coordinators: Donna Davis, President, LadyDee519@aol.com and Denise Whatley, VP Membership, eewhatley@gmail.com
Note: All women registered in the parish are automatically members of the CCW.

CCW – Circle of Love

Mission: To put Christ’s love into action through assistance to parishioners in crisis.  Meals, rides, sitter help, follow-up after hospitalization, social calls to nursing homes, whatever is needed short term to support those experiencing a life-changing event.  Our aid is all service related, not financial.
Time: Whatever time you have, it might just be making a meal or visiting for an hour.
Talent: A loving and caring heart. We can use cooks, drivers, visitors, gardeners,  homework helpers, etc.
Coordinator: Kathy Saladino, ksaladino2009@comcast.net, and Loli Ibarra lacasablanca2@gmail.com

CCW – Craft Group

St. Mary Craft Group meets every Thursday most of the year. We are a group who enjoy  making craft items for sale at our annual Bazaar held in October. Everyone works on projects of their own choosing. If you don’t have a project there is usually something that we have for you to work on. Our group provides a social day for our people also. We invite ladies as well as men to come. There are no men currently, if you have skills we could use, i.e. woodcutting, building small projects, please contact us.

Mission: To inspire one another creatively as we joyfully work on various crafts.
Time: Weekly crafting meetings on Thursdays or work from home if unable to attend.
Talent: Creativity and fun!
Coordinator: Wanda Cushing, wandasj823@gmail.com

CCW – Prayers & Squares

This past year alone we created and presented 46 quilts to people in need of healing prayers. With a minimum of 72 prayers per quilt (often there are many, many double knots), that means thousands of prayers have been offered. We continue to present, with the help of parishioners, beautiful symbols of God’s healing love to those who are homebound or ill.

Mission: To combine the gift of a hand-tied quilt and the gift of prayer for someone in need through this nationwide interfaith outreach ministry. Heavy thread is run through the quilt layers; the ends are left free for parishioners to tie off with square knots. For each knot tied, a silent prayer is offered for the recipient.
Time: The Chapter meets as a group once a month. Individuals can cut fabric or sew in their homes as often as they like. Quilt sitters need to be available after Masses on Sundays.
Coordinator: Barbara Walor, dhs321@comcast.net


Cursillo

Mission: To create small groups that allow opportunities for Catholics to grow in their faith by sharing their experiences, successes, and failures in the ordinary moments of their everyday lives.
Time: Cursillo begins with a three day retreat; it follows with the invitation to meet with others who have attended a Cursillo weekend to share and grow in their faith together, either weekly or quarterly.
Talent: A desire to grow stronger in your faith and help others do the same.
Coordinator: Joyce Bodoh, joycebodoh@gmail.com


Funeral Reception Committee

Mission: To provide support for families in grief by setting-up and serving receptions held in the Parish Life Center after funerals.
Time: As needed when funerals occur. Weekdays or Saturdays.
Special Skills: A desire to support a family in grief.
Coordinators: Mary Ellen Wheeler, melonqu@aol.com and Ann Duhamel, twoduhamels@aol.com


Gardens Committee

Mission: To enhance the gardens and landscape of St. Mary and Holy Cross Academy.
Time: Seasonal. Specific activities in late spring, summer and early fall.
Special Skills: Enjoyment of gardening. Plant knowledge is helpful.
Coordinator: Joe and Arlene Wilkinson, jbmwilkinson@verizon.net


Homeschoolers Group

Mission: To support parish families who educate their children at home. Provides fellowship, guidance and resources.
Talent: Homeschooling families interested in the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities and to socialize.
Contact: Heather Gardner, uvafeather@gmail.com


Knights of Columbus

The Knights is a Catholic men’s organization designed to assist the parish through charity, unity and fraternity. Fredericksburg Council 4034 supports St. Mary in many ways throughout the year. Knights are Catholic men committed to charity in action. You will find the Knights participating as ushers, choir members, extraordinary ministers of communion, lectors, as well as some lesser known, but very important ministries. The Council raised funds for the Religious Education Assistance Program (REAP), sponsored and organized the annual March for Life, held monthly family dinners at the parish with proceeds going to various charities, organized the annual Life Chain, gathered for a quarterly Corporate Communion and monthly adoration. The Council co-sponsors and helps organize the Parish Picnic. The Council also helps those in need through parish referrals and support family, youth, community and Church in prayer, treasure and action.

Mission: To live by the principles of charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism within the community of St. Mary Parish. The Knights of Columbus has the potential of being one of the most profound presences of charity and leadership in the parish, with your membership.
Time: Meetings held monthly. Additional charitable and community events are held throughout the year. http://www.kofc4034.org
Special Skills: Catholic men over 18 years of age seeking fellowship and having a desire to grown in their faith and community outreach.
Coordinator: Grand Knight Steve Stoecker, sjstoecker@yahoo.com or grandknight@kofc4034.org


Legion of Mary

Legion of Mary is a lay Catholic organization whose members provide service to the Church on a voluntary basis in almost every country. Weekly meetings are held where prayer and instruction are intermingled with reports and discussion. Additionally, every legionary completes a weekly apostolic work. These works include religious education, and visitation of families and the sick, in their homes, hospitals, and nursing facilities. The Legion also collaborates in apostolic and missionary undertakings sponsored by the Parish.

Mission: To magnify the glory of God through holiness of its members developed by prayer and active co-operation in Mary’s and the Church’s work, under the guidance of a priest.
Time: Weekly meetings with additional apostolate works; about a four-hour weekly commitment.
Special Skills: Commitment to prayer and service.
Moderator: Fr. Stephen Holmes, frholmes@stmaryfred.org
Monday Morning Coordinator: Mary Lou Felts, marylfelts@verizon.net
Monday Evening Coordinator: Gregg Carneal, gcarneal@cox.net
Spanish Coordinator: Luisa Ines Slaughter, luisa_slaughter@verizon.net


Magdalenes

The Magdalenes are a ministry consisting of women and men parishioners who have provided spiritual support for bereaved families since 1996. When notified upon the death of a parishioner, the Magdalenes attend the funeral Mass and remain afterwards to pray the rosary for the repose of the soul of the deceased parishioner. If there is a viewing at the funeral home, they will attend and lead the rosary in the absence of clergy. Families of the deceased have often expressed their gratitude for this ministry. We welcome new members!
Mission: To pray for the deceased members of our parish at funerals.
Time: As needed, when funerals are scheduled. Weekdays or Saturday mornings.
Special Skills: A desire to support families in grief. Participate in funerals and vigils through prayer.
Coordinator: Susan Huthmaker, shuthmaker@hotmail.com; Nell Allen, nallen4061@verizon.net


Men’s Group

Through discussing issues relevant to work, family and friendship, men of the parish have an opportunity to reinforce and strengthen their Catholic faith.

Mission: To offer men an opportunity for fellowship, discussion and prayer in a casual environment.
Time: Two group meetings held at the Blue & Gray Brewery; One last Thursday of the month; the other at varying times
Coordinator: Michael Bostain, mrbostain@verizon.com and Kevin Wilkinson, kwlknsn@yahoo.com


St. Anne Sisters in the Faith (Moms’ Group)

Book Study, fellowship, discussion on a variety of topics, social events and pot luck dinners with our families.
Mission: To strengthen and support women in their vocation as Catholic wives and mothers through prayer, education and fellowship.
Time: Meetings held every Friday 9:40 – 11:30am (September-May) at the John Paul II house, young children welcome, babysitting provided.
Coordinator: Rocio Atkinson, rocio.o.atkinson@gmail.com


Over 40 Single Catholics

Mission: To develop and coordinate activities for single, widowed or divorced Catholics over 40 years old. To foster spirituality and friendships in the community and in service to the parish.
Time: Newsletter sent once a month informing members of dates to meet for Mass and get together for a meal afterward as well as attend parish dinners together. Attend various social events as a group such as shows and events in Fredericksburg. No meetings per se.
Special Skills: Creativity, ability to work with a team and enjoy life.
Coordinator: Kathy Saladino, ksaladino2009@comcast.net


Parish Food Chain

Mission: To support parish life by preparing food and/or desserts for receptions throughout the year.
Time: As needed.
Special Skills: A love of baking and preparing finger foods.
Coordinator: Margaret McMillen, mcmillenf1@aol.com


Parish Life Committee

Mission: To promote and organize activities that build up our parish community in fellowship and sharing, as well as organizing social events that promote community. Promote community within the parish, such as Ice Cream Social, Parish Picnic, etc.
Time: As parish calendar dictates, typically 3 or 4 events each year.
Special Skills: Ability to work together as a team and provide warm and welcoming hospitality to parish community.
Coordinator: Barbara Walor, dhs321@comcast.net


Prayer Groups

Global Prayer Ministry

Mission: With a firm faith in the power of prayer (as we have seen astounding results with thousands praying at once), and the ability for social media to connect people in common intention, this prayer group will commit to 10 minutes of prayer simultaneously each week, for an intention determined by St. Mary and the coordinator and communicated as the time begins
Time: Ten minutes of prayer, wherever you happen to be at that time
Coordinator: Gail Russell, gail.russell2011@gmail.com

Life in the Spirit Gathering

The Life in the Spirit Prayer Gathering met about every other Tuesday over the year averaging between 15-20 attendees. We just completed our second Introduction to Renewed Catholic Life in the Spirit with about 30 participants (not counting the Team of 15) in some part of the eight weeks. About 20 participated for the full eight weeks.
Mission: To praise, pray and open our hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ and the movement of the Holy Spirit, including His gifts and charisms. All are welcome to attend and participate in these gatherings.
Time: The 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month (check the bulletin, dates may change from month to month) at 7:30pm.
Contact: Walter or Claire Matthews, wcjmatthews@aol.com

Secular Franciscan Order

Mission: To live the Gospel life in the manner of St. Francis of Assisi. Canonically established in 2005, the Immaculata Fraternity is a local fraternity of the worldwide Secular Franciscan Order.
Time: The Fraternity meets monthly for communal prayer, ongoing formation in Catholicism and Franciscanism and social fellowship. Members of the fraternity are committed to daily personal prayer and apostolic activity in the various parishes to which members belong. At St. Mary, the fraternity coordinates the Franciscan Prayer Chain and assists with the coordination of Divine Mercy devotions. The fraternity also supports the pro-life apostolic work of the Paul Stefan Home.
Talent: An interest to learn more about the order and to discern whether the Lord may be calling you to live for Him in the world-but not of the world-as members of a recognized order in the Church.
Coordinators: Mary Anne Buccigrossi, mamabelieve@verizon.net

Spanish Prayer Group

Mission: To gain knowledge of our Catholic faith through the teachings of Jesus Christ. Allows participants to acknowledge the gifts that God gives us and the sacrifice that Jesus made for us.
Time: Thursday evenings, 7pm
Coordinator: Santana Isabel Bermudez, isabelbermudez17@gmail.com


Respect Life Ministry

Mission: To promote pro-life and pro-family values, responding to trends in today’s culture with prayer, action and support of life issues.
Time: Flexible, as able.
Special Skills: An ability to reach out to others in a spirit  of love and forgiveness, an intention to heal and transform hearts.
Coordinator: Donna Hart, d.hart@vapropertiesinc.com, Elaine Stanislawski, estanislawski@stmaryfred.org and Karen Sturtevant, ksturtevant@stmaryfred.org

Birthright of Fredericksburg

The essence of Birthright is love. Birthright is unique and committed to o offering free, non-judgmental help to women facing unplanned pregnancies. Birthright of Fredericksburg was established 38 years ago and offers love and support to each woman to help her make a realistic plan for her future and the future of her unborn child. Birthright is non-profit 501 (c)3 charitable organization established in Toronto, Canada 45 years ago. Currently there are chapters across Canada, the United States and Africa, as well as a 24/7 North American toll-free Helpline. Birthright is supported by devoted volunteers and private donations.
Mission: To provide caring, non-judgmental support to girls and women who are distressed by an unplanned pregnancy. We provide various types of support.
Time: Flexible. Varies according to need.
Contact: Lily Alarcon 2006 Lafayette Blvd., Fredericksburg VA 22401. 540-898-4670 (can leave messages).
Note: This is a non-denominational community ministry

Mary’s Shelter

Mary’s Shelter presently owns and operates homes shared by residents and their children in downtown Fredericksburg. These homes shelter pregnant women and their children during a crisis pregnancy. These women can stay in these loving homes for up to 2 years, if they meet the requirements established by the shelter. We have plans to open a 5th home and are working hard on a daycare center to be opened this year. While living at Mary’s Shelter women are expected to be continuously working on goals to enrich their lives. They need to do chores, go to work or school and attend meetings such as book club, knitting, exercise, parenting classes. The women are eligible to earn points which allow them to shop in the boutique which houses donated items such as diapers, wipes, clothing, laundry detergent, bathroom tissue, etc. This helps the moms save money for future expenses and past bills. Mary’s Shelter is run almost exclusively by volunteers who enjoy the babies as well as assisting and mentoring the mothers. We offer a monthly volunteer brunch to explain to potential volunteers what our shelters do and where they may best fit in.
Mission: To provide housing and all necessary support to women faced with a crisis pregnancy.
Time: Flexible. Any time that you are able to give is appreciated.
Special Skills: Compassionate individuals who are willing to help with the many needs associated with pregnancy, giving birth, early days after birth and helping new mothers to become independent providers.
Coordinator: Kathleen Wilson, Director, info@marysshelterva.org or 540-623-5778
Note: Mary’s Shelter is assisted in the community by several local churches


Retreats

The Parish Retreat Ministry is dedicated to making St. Mary parishioners aware of the opportunities and benefits of (1-3 day) retreats at St. Mary and nearby locations, such as Loyola on the Potomac. Temporarily leave behind the usual distractions we all face for a time, long enough to allow relaxation and for an inner change to occur: the ongoing conversion of heart that is critical to deepening of faith. This year’s efforts have continued to be fruitful. Parishioners attended this year’s retreats at Loyola where the themes of “Rivers of Living Water” and “The Glory of God is the Woman Fully Alive” were the focus.
Mission: To refresh, revitalize and give the opportunity for more time in prayer and contemplation and rekindle and deepen one’s relationship with God.
Time: As scheduled, usually varies from 1-3 days/nights.
Special Skills: A desire to take an opportunity to more clearly hear God’s call, to seek God’s healing grace, to attain a degree of spiritual renewal.
Coordinator for Loyola Retreat Center (Faulkner, MD): Leonard and Sylvia Fontenot, lensyl1966@verizon.net


Senior Luncheons

Four times a year, Seniors of the parish gather in the Parish Life Center to enjoy a meal prepared by our loving volunteers. The camaraderie among the volunteers is good as they plan, work  and eat together. Attendance is usually 80 to 100. A great sense of fellowship happens when we all get together. Entertainment is always provided and admission is free. Last year we added an additional date for Bingo.
Mission: To create opportunities for the Seniors in our parish to gather for social interaction in a relaxed environment with fellowship and to let them know we care about them and they are not forgotten.
Time: Luncheons held quarterly. Approximately 4-5 hours.
Special Skills: A desire to serve others, organizing, cooking, and providing transportation.
Coordinator: Maria D’Amico, sweettreat61@outlook.com
Note: All Seniors in our parish are warmly invited to attend these events filled with great food, music and fun!


Vocations Committee

Mission: To coordinate parish activities to promote particular vocations to the priesthood and religious life, collaboration with the diocesan vocations promoter.
Time: Quarterly planning meeting, activities as determined by the group.
Special Skills: A love for the Church and w willingness to encourage and support, building a context in which vocations are a normal part of parish life.
Coordinator: Sharon Malay, shmalaya@cox.net


Welcoming New Parishioners

Mission: To welcome and inform our new parishioners about the many ways in which they can get involved, to grow and develop their faith and feel a part of the family that is St. Mary parish.
Time: Monthly welcome meeting/reception 1-2 hours per month.
Talent: A warm and welcoming spirit.
Coordinator: Leigh Florio, lkflorio@comcast.net


Young Adults

Hosting  biweekly mens’ and womens’ bible studies, game nights, book discussions, social events and excursions to sporting events.
Mission: To connect young adults with the mission of the Church in the world with a peer community in which faith is nurtured and strengthened. Ages 21-39.
Time: Meetings, service and special events as planned.
Special Skills: A desire to minister to young adults in all stages of life and activity planning skills according to time, ability and needs of members.
Coordinator: Allison Gatrone, StMaryYA@gmail.com

Youth Organizations (Sponsored)

American Heritage Girls ~ VA0128, chartered by CCW

For girls 5 to 18. Since first chartered by St. Mary Council of the Catholic Women in 2011, Troop VA0128 has flourished and served  the parish through many service projects.
Mission: To build women of integrity through service to God, family, community and country. The nonprofit national organization offers badge programs, service projects, girl leadership opportunities, and outdoor experiences.
Time: The troop meets three times a month, on Thursday evenings, with other activities once or twice a month.
Talent: Opportunities available for Troop leaders also! desire to minister to young adults in all stages of life and activity planning skills according to time, ability and needs of members.
Coordinator: Heidi Adams, AHGva0128@yahoo.com

 

Boy Scouts of America ~ BSA Troop 1410, Cub Scout Pack 1410, chartered by Holy Cross Academy

Mission: The Boy Scouts of America provides programming for young people that builds character, trains them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and develops personal fitness. Cub Scouting is a program of the Boy Scouts of America – so in a sense, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts are both members of the same organization. However, they are entirely different programs: Cub Scouting is a family oriented program designed specifically to address the needs of younger boys
Time: Please contact listed leaders for each group’s schedule

Boy Scout Troop 1410: Carlton Land, t1410sm@gmail.com
Cub Scout Pack 1410: Frank Guzman, cubmaster1410@gmail.com

Girls Scouts of America ~ chartered by Holy Cross Academy

Mission: Girl Scouts is a “girl-led” organization where girls take charge, under the guidance of and partnership with committed volunteers, to make decisions and discover the fun, friendship, and power of girls teaming together in a supportive, nurturing environment.
Time: Please contact listed leaders for each group’s schedule
Brownie Troop 430: Santina Thelen, s.maethelen@gmail.com
Brownie Troop 5377: Susana Torres, sgarcia@vitomar.com
Girl Scout Troop 522: Shannon Bayne, bayne4@gmail.com
Girl Scout Troop 5225: Anne-Marie Theriot, amtheriot@gmail.com

 

Trail Life USA Troop ~ chartered by the Knights of Columbus, Fredericksburg Council 4034

Mission: Sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, Troop VA-4034 is a Christian adventure, character, and leadership program for young men. The K-12 program centers on outdoor experiences that build a young man’s skills and allow him to grow on a personal level and as a role model and leader to his peers. Living the Trial Life is a journey established on timeless values derived from the Bible.
Coordinator: Mark Gardner, troopmasterva4034@gmail.com