A willingness to share a little time and our own Spirit can make a huge difference in someone else’s day. Can you remember a time when you were in the hospital, or perhaps grieving the loss of someone very special to you? Or perhaps a time when your mother or father was in a nursing home and feeling lonely? Do you remember how it made you feel when someone stopped by for a visit or sent a card or phoned just to see how you were?
That “blessed” feeling is what we want to share. Can you share your blessings? Being the presence of Christ to one another through Compassionate Pastoral Ministry reveals the many ways we are called to serve “the least among us” – the sick, the home bound, the aged, the infirm.
Through prayer and a little training, we will help you recognize how visiting the sick and home bound, quietly praying for others, helping our senior population keep active, making Prayer Shawls, and more, will be your blessing, too! Bring us your ideas, your willingness to share of yourself and watch us grow in the Spirit of the Lord.
Funeral Luncheon Ministry
Our Funeral Luncheon Ministry helps serve a post-funeral meal to a family whose loved one is a St. Thomas parishioner. This a wonderful way of serving someone in your parish that is going through a difficult time in their life. This ministry helps them not to worry about getting a luncheon together while they are dealing with so many other issues. Once the ministry has been notified of a family in need, volunteers will call parishioners who have agreed to prepare and bring a dish. The luncheon is usually held at Angela Hall in the lower level of the Community Center at St. Thomas. Volunteers help set-up, serve and clean-up after the luncheon. Those who wish to participate in this ministry may contact Diane Gifford.
All Souls Day Mass and Reception for Families
During the month of November the Church celebrates and honors the memory of our beloved dead. We have our St. Thomas Mass of Remembrance during the first week of the month. Details will be in the parish bulletin. Everyone is invited to attend this beautiful Mass which will include lighting a candle in memory of family members who have died within the last twelve months. If you have a loved one that you would like to have remembered during this Mass with a candle, please call Phyllis Howley at 877-4404 so we can have a candle prepared.
Table of Remembrance During November
You’ll find the Book of Remembrance on the table in the back of church. You are invited to write in the names of the deceased loved ones and friends you wish to have remembered in prayer by the community during November. You also are welcome to place a photo of your loved one on the Table of Remembrance. Please ensure that the photo is in a stand-up frame, and include your name and phone number on the back. You may take your photo home prior to the first weekend of Advent.
The Bereavement Ministry will serve St. Thomas families who have lost a loved one to death. The ministry offers comfort and support to the grieving families of the St. Thomas community by giving them our time, hearing their thoughts, and sharing their tears. The members of the ministry personally reach out to grieving families with comfort and support through: visiting the funeral home, attending the funeral, sending cards and notes, personal visits if requested, contact during the holidays, and offering additional resources if requested. Please call Phyllis Howley at 877-4404 if you would like to assist in this ministry.
Greeting Cards to the Home Bound
A few weeks before Christmas and Valentines Day, parishioners are invited to write greeting cards and notes for parishioners who are homebound or who reside in nursing homes. The uplifting cards remind them they are part of parish family who cares about them, prays for them, and misses their presence at the Eucharistic table. Read the parish bulletin for details about the Greeting Cards projects. If you are interested in coordinating one or more of these efforts, please call Phyllis Howley at 877-4404.
Hospital and Nursing Home Visitation
If you have a family member who recently entered, is currently residing in, or has transferred to a new care facility, please contact Phyllis Howley at 877-4404 with the pertinent address information so we can better serve their pastoral needs. Contrary to what might be commonly thought, nursing homes and other care facilities do not contact the church office with this information because of the Healthcare Privacy Act, so our source is you! Also, as a reminder, if you or a family member is admitted to either DMH or St. Mary’s through the emergency room and not through the regular admitting department, the patient is not necessarily listed on our parish visiting list at the respective hospital. In order for the patient to be listed for visiting purposes by the parish staff, either the patient or a family member must request that their name be added to the St. Thomas Church list.
Ministry of Praise
The Ministry of Praise is a spiritual ministry in which people here at St. Thomas offer their prayers, sufferings, joys and sorrows to God for the salvation of souls. The members intercede through the praying of the rosary and other devotions and prayers for the personal needs for which they have been asked to pray. Ministry of Praise is open to anyone, and especially invites the retired, homebound, and elderly parishioners to join. Together, the members of the ministry pray for those who are experiencing illness and/or difficulty in their current life, and for the endeavors of the parish and its ministries and the Church as a whole. Ministers of Praise promise to pray and offer their sacrifices—as well as joys—for the parish and for the universal church. This Ministry allows all members of the parish to be united in prayer. Ministers of Praise will receive a certificate of ministry signed by our pastor, a book of suggested prayers, a cross and a monthly prayer list. There are no meetings. Just agree to set some time aside each day for prayer. Interested? Please contact Phyllis Howley at 877-4404.
Make Your Wishes Known
A frequent question we receive is “How do I let my family and others know what I want for my funeral arrangements?” As a Catholic, you want a funeral Mass — does your family know this? Do you want to be cremated? You can make sure your wishes are known about your final arrangements by filling out a Plan for your final affairs brochure available from St. Thomas Parish. If you would like to get a copy of it please give Phyllis Howley a call at 877-4404.
The purpose of our prayer chain is to provide spiritual support and healing for parishioners and their families and friends. When placing someone on the prayer chain, please obtain their permission when giving full names and circumstances. All prayers are kept confidential to our prayer warriors. Your prayer request will be included in the daily prayers of our members for one month. You may continue to request prayers for prolonged illness. To add your name, or the name of a loved one, to the Prayer Chain please contact Phyllis Howley at 877-4404,
Photograph Parish Events
We need your photography skills! The St. Thomas the Apostle Photography Ministry was formed to document parish life as lived out in its liturgies, ministries, organizations, and clubs. These images are for the use of the church in publications such as the Parish Directory, the weekly Bulletin, and the Parish Web Site and social media. This ministry is not just for the photography professional – enthusiasts, hobbyists, and novices are encouraged to participate. If you have a smartphone or digital camera, you have everything you need. Please speak to Deacon Kevin after Mass or call the parish office at 877-4146.
Prayer Shawl Ministry
The Prayer Shawl Ministry has crocheted and knitted more than 400 prayer shawls since the ministry began. We knit or crochet shawls to be given to people in our parish or community. We pray for God’s blessings and love to be poured out to those in physical, spiritual, or emotional need of God’s loving embrace. The purpose of our ministry is to offer a symbol of God’s love and comfort through the gift of a prayer shawl. The shawls have brought relief to the suffering and peace to the fearful. As someone uses the blanket they know they are not alone, that there are those who care about them and are praying for their healing. Baptismal prayer shawls are created for the baptism of infants. If you would like to join us in knitting or crocheting prayer shawls, please speak to Karen Briner or call Phyllis Howley at 877-4404.