As members of the St Anthony's Parish, we are being urged to put into practice the faith we believe in. We have been encouraged to become involved in and take responsibility for the life of the Church - our Church.

If we take Mass as an example, we are no longer asked to simply attend Mass, but to be involved as ministers at Mass by undertaking activities such as altar servers, readers, Eucharistic Ministers and choir singers.

A minister is “one who serves” in the Church. Ministry means “service in or to the Church”. There are a wide range of ministries at St Anthony's Parish that people can participate in. Many of these ministries are mentioned below.

Fr. John Ho, Parish Priest of St. Anthony's Parish between 2007 - 2017, states that the mission of our Church is to "share the responsibility of building up the spiritual and material welfare of our community by promoting God's values of love, justice and peace and extending this message of goodwill beyond our immediate boundaries. This mission will never be totally fulfilled. Rather, it is the goal toward which we continually aspire. It is a goal for the entire parish, not just for a segment of it. Hence, the more parishioners we can persuade to utilise their God-given talents within the parish and the community at large, the more we can foster and promote our mission."

"The framework we utilise for parish involvement is the concept of Christian stewardship. This concept is very Biblical and also very practical. It acknowledges that everything we have is a gift from God, even life itself. The good steward is the individual who recognises his or her giftedness and who joyfully returns a fair share of his or her time, talent and treasure to a loving and generous God."

PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL

Contact: Alanna Van Dantzig - Chairperson 02 4683 2230 (Parish Office)

The Parish Pastoral Council share the responsibility for building a vibrant community that is embedded in the Eucharist and built on faith, hope and charity.

Aware that Baptism is a call to holiness, our Parish Pastoral Council is fired with the love of faith in Jesus and service in the Church. Therefore, the Council prays together and discusses issues pertinent to the growth in faith, hope and charity of the Parish and discerns the various needs, hopes and gifts of the Parish community in the areas of faith formation and evangelisation, liturgy and worship, finance and stewardship, and outreach.

The Parish Pastoral Council is an advisory body to the Parish Priest and has a consultative vote on pertinent issues within the Parish. Members will be baptised people in full communion with the Church and who participate fully within the life of the parish.

Members will normally hold office for two years. The Council meets every two months with additional meetings as required; as well as four workshops throughout the year. All members of the Parish Pastoral Council are elected by the Parish community. There is a religious sister as an Ex Officio member.

PARISH FINANCE COUNCIL

Contact: Robert Mills 02 4683 2230 (Parish Office)

The Finance Council is a consultative body providing advice and recommendations to the Priest concerning the stewardship of the parish’s fiscal and temporal resources, including long range financial planning to support the mission of the parish.

The Council has the responsibility of reviewing monthly financial information pertaining to the operation of our Church and School. The Council also approves annual budgets for both entities and is involved in approval of all major capital expenditures. The priest appoints members of the Finance Council.

CHILDREN’S MINISTRIES — LITURGY

Contact: Marg Foldes (Parish Office)

This lay ministry works with school age children from Kindergarten to Year 6. The children are invited to the Parish Hall to listen to the Scriptures of the day in a language they can understand. Liturgy of the Word for children is offered at the 9.30am Sunday Mass during School Terms. The aim is to help children grow in their faith and their understanding of the readings. Adults present and explore readings with the children so they can respond to the beliefs of the creed and the prayers of the faithful.

Children will take home a drawing/craft activity that will help them tell their parents what they have done during their lesson, encouraging children to share the story with their parents. Materials are based on Scripture stories.

Members of the Children’s Liturgy Team need to have the ability to work with children and have the ability to share their faith and understanding of the readings in a meaningful way that will encourage children’s faith to grow.

It would be helpful to have experience in working or parenting children. Your gift of time to this ministry would be approximately 2 hours twice per school term and attending workshops as required.

LITURGY — ALTAR SERVERS & ACOLYTES

Contact: Adrian Vannan 02 4677 3418

Altar Servers are young boys and girls who come to assist the priest and deacons during the Mass. Servers must be in Year 3 or higher and be a member of St. Anthony’s Parish. Training must be completed before they can serve.

Acolytes enhance the quality of liturgical celebrations by taking specific roles in liturgical processions and by serving the priest at Mass and other liturgies. There is Diocesan and Parish training for acolytes. Should a member of the parish wish to become an acolyte, please contact Fr Mark.

LITURGY COMMITTEE

Contact: Sr Cathy Dulhunty 02 4681 8168 Email: cfduhunty@bigpond.com

St Anthony's Parish Liturgy Committee plans, prepares, implements, evaluates and educates about all aspects of liturgy so that our diverse community can fully, actively and consciously worship.

We are committed to fostering discipleship within a welcoming, inclusive, collaborative and reconciling community; to affirming the dignity of each individual, the diversity of gifts of the Spirit, the diversity of ministries, and the diversity of cultures; to treating with reverence the traditions and symbols of our Catholic tradition; to the Catholic moral and social tradition to serve with compassion, to foster peace, and to be in solidarity with the poor; to continually improving our ministry, liturgical catechesis and service of God's People; and to wisely caring for and sharing the human, environmental, material and financial resources entrusted to us.

LITURGY — GREETERS/USHERS

Contact: Sr Cathy Dulhunty 02 4681 8168

The Ministers of Welcome, or Greeters, serve to welcome people prior to the celebration of Mass, Special Liturgies or Specific Events. Greeters have a special role to play whenever God’s people assemble in prayer. As people enter the church, Greeters welcome them to the celebration about to take place.

An open door and the warm smile of a Greeter helps set the tone for the Eucharistic Celebration. Greeters are those who, almost without trying, can put others at ease and convey countless good wishes to those they greet with a simple smile or “Hello”.

Ushers have a special role to play at every parish liturgy. The ushers help to provide orderly movement in the church before, after and during the liturgy, so that all celebrate in unity. The willingness to help and serve God’s people is a hallmark of the Greeters/Usher Ministry.

This ministry is open to all parishioners. Please join in to create a welcoming parish.

LITURGY — EXTRAORDINARY EUCHARISTIC MINISTERS

Contact: Sr Cathy Dulhunty 02 4681 8168

Extraordinary Eucharistic Ministers share the body and blood of Christ with their fellow worshipers in the assembly.

Ministers must be fully initiated Catholics. These people must have a willingness to be of service to the community founded in the love of God. You begin by writing a letter to the Priest, giving some background information about yourself and why you want to become an extraordinary Eucharistic Minister. When approved, you then attend a Diocesan training workshop to receive a Commission from the Bishop. There is a renewal of your Commission from time to time, according to Diocesan Policy . All Eucharistic Ministers are scheduled according to their Mass preferences and may serve as much as they like according to needs and their availability.

MUSIC — CHOIR

Vigil Mass: Carol Hindmarsh 02 4681 8125

To enhance our choirs and worship experience, organists and instrumentalists are most important. Any member of our community who is able to play a musical instrument is always welcomed.

To be part of the musical team will involve practices and performances at weekend Masses and special events. This lay ministry is open to any member of our parish community who has had experience in playing a musical instrument. For more information please call any of the listed contacts or Father Mark or the Liturgy Coordinator Sr Cathy Dulhunty.

SACRAMENTS — BAPTISM OF INFANTS

Contact: Diana Ingrey 02 4684 1057

We often have Baptism on the last weekend of the month. Parents are required to attend Baptism preparation courses on every 1st and 2nd Tuesday of the even months (Feb, April, June, August, ..) at 7.30pm in the Demountable. These courses will help you to understand the Sacrament of Baptism, the meaning of its rituals, how to live our baptismal call, and how to bring our children up in the Catholic faith. After the courses, your child and you parents will be welcomed at one weekend Mass prior to the date of Baptism.

If you would like your child to be baptised in our Church please attend the courses. Baptism forms will be filled out on these nights.

LITURGY — LECTORS / READERS

Contact: Sr Cathy Dulhunty 02 4681 8168

Lectors/Readers proclaim the Word of God at Sunday Masses and for special liturgical celebrations. This ministry aims to actively involve parishioners in ceremonies/celebrations through the prayerful and powerful proclamation of the Word of God. A Reader/Lector must be a person of faith and devotion to God’s Word and be a competent reader.

Lectors/Readers are responsible to become as familiar as possible with the passage they are to read; to read with imagination in order to feel and allow the congregation to feel the emotion of the text; to show the skills of public speaking — a good voice, clear diction, proper breathing, sufficient eye contact, proper posture and effective use of the microphone.

If you would like to be a lector please let us know and training will be provided.

SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM FOR ADULTS — RCIA

Contact: Paul Wyatt 02 4681 8944

RCIA stands for the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. This is a faith journey for anyone interested in becoming a Catholic. It is for anyone who has never been baptised, for those of another faith who wish to become Catholic and for anyone who has been baptised Catholic but has not been brought up in the Catholic Faith. For further information, please contact Paul Wyatt or Father Mark 4683 2230.

SACRAMENTAL TEAM

Contact: Paul Wyatt 02 4681 8944

The Sacramental Team supports families as they prepare their children for the Sacraments of Reconciliation, First Holy Communion and Confirmation. The purpose is to support the Parish Priest in his role of preparing our parish children for the Sacraments. Our aim is also to provide support to parents as the primary educators of their children in the faith. Please take the Sacramental Program on the rack in the foyer of the church to know the timing of each Sacrament and its preparation this year.

PASTORAL CARE — HOMEBOUND & HOSPITAL VISITS

Contact: Fr Matk, Sr Julie Simpson, Eddie Karney, Paul Wyatt, Rodney MacKrill (Sr) & Selena MacKrill

The purpose of the ministry is to visit the sick at hospital, nursing homes and those who are homebound at the moment in their life when they need a prayer, or a visit and perhaps the comfort of healing power of the Body of Christ. Every week we visit the sick and elderly people at home or at nursing homes or at hospital. If you have anyone in your family who wishes to receive Holy Communion please ring the presbytery and let us know. We celebrate the Eucharist with our brothers and sisters every second Wednesday of the month at 10.30am. All are welcome to celebrate with them and support them.

SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL SOCIETY

Saint Vincent de Paul

Contact: Mary Gilbert 02 4684 1446

The Saint Vincent de Paul Society is the charitable ministry of the Catholic Church. While home, hospital and prison visitations by members of the Society is its most notable activity, it also provides budget counselling, Compeer and Care of support for people with psychiatric disorders; disaster recovery and crisis relief; family care and support services; housing and homeless services; migrant, asylum and refugee services; learning and community services; Vinnies Centres (shops); and youth services and activities.

The Saint Vincent de Paul Society Ministry Page can be accessed by clicking here or from the Ministries drop-down menu

PIETY STORE

Contact: Julie Debono 02 4683 2230 (Parish Office)

The Piety Store is located at the front of the Church and is open after all weekend Masses. There is a variety of religious articles, books, crucifixes, Bibles etc. Seasonal items include Christmas cards & gifts for First Holy Communion and Confirmation. Special orders are also provided for items not in the store.

AIM - ASSET AND INFRASTRUCTURE MANAGEMENT

Contact: John Maher 02 4677 1750

AIM stands for Asset And Infrastructure Management. The AIM Committee was set up in January 2008 to co-ordinate the maintenance, procurement and management of all assets, including new buildings, of the whole Picton Parish, including properties, and buildings in Picton, Tahmoor, Menangle and Douglas Park.

We meet once a month on the 2nd Thursday night in the Demountable. You are welcome to attend the meeting and to join the AIM Committee.

SACRISTANS — LINEN HELPERS

Contact: Trudy Handcock 02 4681 9856

Brass is cleaned once a week on a roster system. Two people choose which day of the week the brass is cleaned. Special cleaning days are organised prior to special festivals or events at St Anthony’s Church. Linen helpers are responsible for keeping the sacred linens and cloths of the altar clean and presentable for the celebration of the Mass. This is a ministry done at the individual’s home, yet involves many aspects of the church’s liturgies. For further information, please call Parish Office 02 4683 2230.

THE CHURCH CLEANERS

Contact: Cathy 02 4683 2230 (Parish Office)

The purpose of this lay ministry/group is to clean and prepare the church for weekend Mass. This service is most important in providing an environment that is welcoming, hospitable and spiritual to all who come to Mass. There are cleaning teams of two people or a family. Currently, there are five teams. We need more people or families to be involved in this ministry to make things easier for everyone.

FLOWER ARRANGERS

Contact: Sue Spiteri 02 4683 2230 (Parish Office)

Team members aid in the liturgical art/decoration of the church. Arranging flowers takes 1-2 hours/week approximately every six to eight weeks Their work follows the liturgical seasons.

MORNING TEA AFTER MASS

Contact: Diana Ingrey 9.30am Mass 02 4683 2230 (Parish Office)

We have just organised morning tea after 7.30am & 9.30am Masses. The purpose of the morning tea is to create the hospitality of the Parish and to help people to get to know others in our Parish better. We encourage people to stay back after Sunday Masses to have a cup of tea or coffee and to mingle with others and get to know people better. We also encourage people to take part in organising the morning tea after Mass.

If you can help, please put your name on the sheet in the foyer and we will contact you. May God help us to create a hospitable, loving and caring community.

CATECHISTS

Contact: Rosina Grima 02 4684 2021

Catechesis is that particular form of ministry of the word which matures initial conversion to make it into a living, explicit and fruitful confession of faith.

Catechists are a team of parishioners who have completed Diocesan training. The program is age appropriate, creative and contemporary in order that the young person be motivated to grow in knowledge, understanding, appreciation, acceptance and love of the Gospel message. As Catechists we are committed to giving a strong witness of our own faith. As a faith community, we are united in a common purpose of proclaiming the gospel message.

Training is provided. Religious Education classes are provided for Grades K—6 and are held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday Mornings 9.30am to 12.00 at our local state primary schools. This ministry is open to all committed members of the community.

CURSILLO

Contact: Lesley Wyatt 02 4681 8944

Cursillo is a movement of renewal within the life of the Church, responsible to the Bishop within our Diocese. The purpose of the Cursillo is to present a way of living as a Christian in the world. The movement offers a method by which our relationship to God may be developed, lived out in association with other Christians, and used by God to reach others. This providies a backbone of committed Christians whose purpose is to change the world to reflect Christ’s new commandment "to love one another as I have loved you". This method is experienced over a three day weekend.

Cursillo is a movement that encourages involvement from all who have been baptised, and is led predominantly by lay people. We also depend upon the support and encouragement of our priests.

A person who has attended a Cursillo Three Days Weekendis called a Cursillista. If you would like to find out more about Cursillo please ring Lesley, our Parish Cursillo Coordinator.

SAINT ANTHONY'S PARISH FETE

Contact: Kerry MacKrill (Parish Office)

St Anthony’s Fete is our major fundraiser for the year. It is held annually and the money raised is targeted at some particular project. More importantly, it is wonderful social community day of people of Wollondilly.

The Fete offers a variety of entertainment, with many different market-type stalls including multicultural food stalls. For children there are rides, jumping castle and many fun things for them to do. Lots of help is need for this great day and new people and new ideas are always welcome at our fete meetings.

PARISH BINGO

Contact: Beth Nolan 02 4684 1848

Bingo is held every Thursday at 11.00am at The Tahmoor Inn. There are two sessions each week with cash prizes and two lucky door draws and a monthly draw of $100. Parishioners are encouraged to come along and support Bingo, as the funds raised are used to provide the many extras’for the church and grounds such as mowers, whipper snippers, paving, data projectors, etc. It is a very enjoyable day and usually lots of fun! Good meals are available between sessions for $4.50. Come and enjoy your day and make friends.

ST ANTHONY’S PRIMARY SCHOOL — PARENTS & FRIENDS

Most Catholic schools have a parents' association, often called the Parents' and Friends Association or a Parents Auxiliary. These groups offer an opportunity for parents to gather and become involved in the life of the school. These groups take many forms and provide support for the school in areas such as social functions for the school community; uniform requirements; maintenance of grounds, buildings and equipment; fundraising for particular needs in the school; and voluntary support for educational programs.

Parent groups can also assist in fostering the intellectual, cultural, social and spiritual interests of their members, and provide opportunities for the development of community spirit among the staff and parent bodies.