Church of Saint Joseph Parishioner Guide
Over the years, our parish has developed a unique set of traditions and terminology. In an effort to help new parishioners understand the various terms used at the Church of Saint Joseph, we have developed this document as a handy reference guide.
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at the Church of Saint Joseph is held each Wednesday morning 8:30 – 11:00 am (except when no morning Mass is celebrated), the second Saturday of every month from 8:00 am–12:00 noon, and the evening of Holy Thursday. Please check the weekly bulletin for changes to the schedule. As Catholics, we believe in the “real presence” of Christ in the Eucharist; we know that it is Christ himself whom we venerate and before whom we pray during this time. During Adoration, a consecrated host (Body of Christ) is placed in a monstrance where the host is displayed behind glass. Adoration can include various styles of prayer including silence, the rosary and other formal prayers, the reading of Scripture or meditating on the writings of the saints. Feel free to pray for whatever amount of time you wish during adoration, keeping in mind that the Blessed Sacrament should never be left unattended. There are parishioners who have signed up for specific time periods during Adoration, and you can contact the parish office if you would like to take on this responsibility, too.
As a convenience to our parishioners, we offer the option of Automated (Electronic) Offering, which allows you to transfer your designated offering from your checking or savings account directly to the church’s bank account. This program is free and eliminates the need for writing checks. The money transfer takes place on the 20th of every month and those who have signed up for the program can change their designated amount or opt out of the program at any time. To sign up for Automated Offering, simply complete an authorization form available on our parish website (www.churchstjoseph.org) and in the parish office. When your authorization form and a voided check or savings deposit slip is returned to the parish office, your authorized offering will be transferred on the 20th of the following month.
See Making Room at our Table Capital Campaign
You will find a display of pamphlets called CareNotes in a wooden rack in the East Entrance of the church. These CareNotes offer helpful and supportive information when you are dealing with such issues as loss, grief, relationships, addictions, depression, etc. Please feel free to check over the many titles offered in these CareNotes and take any that would be of help to you.
Change of Address
Whenever you have a change in your mailing address, email address, phone number, and other basic information, please notify the parish office. Postcards for this purpose are available in the Literature Rack just inside the main entrance, but a phone call, email, etc., is also acceptable. (See also Communications)
- In addition to phone calls and email, there are many other ways to communicate with the parish office. Donations, tuition payments, sign-up forms and other pieces of communication can be dropped off in the Parish Communication Center, the parish office mail drop, the Sunday offering basket and the U.S. Mail. (See also Parish Communication Center, Parish Office Mail Drop)
- The parish office communicates with parishioners via the weekly bulletin, a weekly email and a quarterly newsletter. The newsletter includes a message from the pastor and a summary of your year-to-date contributions. We ask that you verify that the amount of contributions we have recorded for you matches your records and that you notify us immediately of any discrepancy.
While inside the church facing the altar, the left-most door at the back of the church leads to what is referred to as the “East Entrance.” Liturgical ministry schedules, registration forms, Lost and Found, and the Parish Communication Center are some of the items found in this area. (See also Parish Communication Center, Lost and Found, Hanging Racks)
East Parking Lot
See Parking Lots
4th of July Parish Festival
Our 4th of July parish festival takes place on the evening of July 3 and all day on July 4. The festival is a major fundraiser for our parish. Festival proceeds contribute to our operating budget. Any excess proceeds are used for extraordinary building maintenance.
Worker Solicitation: We encourage all parishioners to help with the festival, whether it is through helping with setup and cleanup activities, working in the festival stands, scheduling volunteers or through prayer for the festival’s success. Early in the year, you are given an opportunity to sign up for the shift and festival stand of your choice. Those who don’t return the signup form are called by our Worker Solicitation Committee. In mid-June, those who are scheduled to work receive an assignment sheet in the mail listing family members and their specific assignments.
Donation Postcard: All parishioners are asked to donate items to the festival for various stands, such as the Cake, Candy, Pie, Country Store and the Linen stands. A postcard is mailed in mid-June to every registered family listing the items needed. This postcard should be returned with your donated items to the dining room of the Lab School on July 3. Monetary contributions can be substituted for the requested items and can be sent in to the parish office at any time.
Chance Book: Every registered family receives a chance book to sell raffle tickets for our prize drawing. These books are made available in the back of the church in late spring. Completed books can be returned to the parish office during business hours, dropped in the Parish Communication Center, or taken to the school on July 3 with your festival donations.
As part of our bereavement ministry, our parish provides a lunch for the bereaved family and guests. Parishioners prepare and serve a lunch after the funeral and a calling committee contacts parishioner families on a rotating basis to request money to help with the cost of the lunch. Your donation can be mailed or dropped off at the parish office. Checks can be made payable to “Church of Saint Joseph”. It is helpful to note on the envelope which funeral lunch you are giving the money for.
If you request Mass intentions for weekend and holyday Masses, you may receive a phone call a few weeks before the scheduled Mass, asking if you and your family would like to be gift bearers for the Mass.The scheduled gift bearers are listed in the Liturgical Ministers section of the weekly bulletin. At times, the bulletin may state “open to volunteers”. If you would like to volunteer as a gift bearer for a Mass open to volunteers, please notify one of the ushers before Mass begins.
- The third row of pews on the left-hand side of the church has an area for wheelchairs. Those seated in these pews will have Communion brought to them.
- There is an elevator in the entrance to the Lab School/parish center.
In the East Entrance, on the wall next to the outside door, are hanging racks. Faith Formation registration forms and newsletters are some of the items available in these racks.
Illness during Liturgy
If you or a family member requires assistance during a liturgy, please contact an usher. They will be happy to assist you.
Just inside the main entrance of the church is a book rack that contains the past three weeks of weekly bulletins, pamphlets, envelopes for votive candle donations, etc. A “literature envelope” is included in any pamphlets that have a fee associated with them. These envelopes can be returned to the parish office or dropped in the Parish Communication Center with your donation. (See also Communications, Parish Communication Center, Votive Candles )
Lost and Found
There is a Lost and Found drawer in the right-most cupboard of the East Entrance. If you are missing an item, please check this drawer. Items of greater value such as purses and wallets are turned in at the parish office so check there if you don’t find the item you are looking for in the Lost and Found drawer.
In November 2011 the parish began a three year capital campaign named Making Room at Our Table. The campaign is for major improvements to the existing facilities and a building expansion that includes handicap accessible bathrooms, a gathering space and a fellowship hall. When making contributions to the capital campaign, we ask that you write a separate check made out to the Church of Saint Joseph and write “capital campaign” in the memo area. This will help us keep our records accurate. Special envelopes can be found in the entrances of the church and in the parish office. Learn more about Making Room at Our Table.
To have a Mass celebrated for a loved one, stop by the parish office to schedule. There is an annual limit of two Masses per intention and the stipend for each Mass is $5.00. These Masses can be scheduled up to one year in advance. In addition to scheduling Masses at our church, they can also be scheduled for the monthly Masses celebrated at Arlington Place.
During the Christmas and Easter seasons, quantities of poinsettias, Easter lilies and other seasonal flowers are used to enhance the church environment. Parishioners have an opportunity to donate for these flowers, and even designate them as memorials for loved ones, by using the envelope found within their packet of weekly offering envelopes. A list of memorials will be printed in the weekly bulletin following the Holy Day.
Ministry Lending Library
There are books and videotapes available for checkout in the revolving book rack in the East Entrance of the church. Topics include dealing with grief, suicide, Alzheimer’s disease, divorce, adoption, and cancer. There are also videotapes on liturgical renewal. To check out an item, simply complete the checkout card and place it in the plastic box provided.
Parish Communication Center
For your convenience, a mail slot has been installed in the left-most cupboard of the East Entrance of the church. This is referred to as the “Parish Communication Center.” Any form of communication you have can be dropped in this locked mail slot, whether it is tuition payments, signup forms, votive candle requests, Sunday contributions, etc. This communication center is checked regularly and mail forwarded to the appropriate staff person.
The parish owns two parking lots. One is located between the church and school. The other is directly across the street on College Avenue (CR 121) and is referred to as “the East Parking Lot.” In exchange for assistance with maintenance and security, we allow College of Saint Benedict students to share the East Parking Lot Monday–Friday during the school year. The front row of parking along College Avenue is restricted for parish use only; however, parishioners may park in the entire lot. No overnight parking is permitted in either parking lot.
Parish Meeting Room
The Parish Meeting Room is located in the parish office. Pastoral and Finance Council meetings and Baptism and Marriage Preparation classes are just some of the sessions held in this room.
The parish office is located at the end of the long building attached to the east side of the church. The entrance is marked by “St. Joseph’s Rectory” above the doorway.
Parish Office Mail Drop
Just inside the entrance to the parish office on the right-hand side of the doorway, is a mail slot. Communications such as letters, donations, tuition payments, registration forms, etc. can be dropped into this mail drop. It is checked regularly and mail will be distributed to the appropriate staff person.
In the summer of 2006, Rt. Rev. Sebastian Thekethecheril, the Bishop of the Diocese of Vijayapuram in Kerala, India, visited St. Joseph because of his longstanding friendship with parishioner Rose Mayer (+2008). Rose sponsored Bishop Sebastian when he was a seminarian.
Bishop Sebastian visited St. Joseph again in 2007. It was during that visit that Fr. Joseph Feders, OSB (the pastor of the Church of Saint Joseph) suggested forming a partnership between the parish and his diocese. Since then, Father Thomas Tharayil, the Director of the Vijayapuram Social Service Society, has visited St.Joseph several times to talk more about this partnership. In January 2010, Fr. Joseph visited the Diocese of Vijayapuram for the first time.
The primary purpose of this partnership is to nurture relationships and to grow in understanding of each other. Another key component of this partnership is mutual prayer.
Please see the weekly bulletin for updates on partnership activities and news.
- Prayer Corner: When a family member is in need of prayers, call the parish office and request that the person be added to the Prayer Corner of the bulletin. This feature of the weekly bulletin alerts all parishioners to pray for your intention.
- Prayer Network: The parish’s Prayer Network is a group of parishioners who pray daily for those who are in need of prayers. Call the phone number listed on the front page of the bulletin and let them know of your prayer intentions. Your request will be passed along to the rest of the prayer group.
- Votive Lights: Votive lights that stay lit for six days are available for your prayer intention. To request that a candle be lit, simply put a $5.00 donation in the votive light envelope found in the Literature Rack just inside the main entrance of the church, and place it in the Parish Communication Center, parish office mail drop or the Sunday offering basket. As requests are received, candles are lit throughout the day by a parish staff member. (See also Literature Rack, Parish Communication Center, Parish Office Mail Drop)
The building that houses All Saints Academy is also used by the parish for funeral lunches, parish meetings, faith formation classes, etc. An elevator is available for those unable to use the stairs. To reserve space for parish/school activities, call the parish office at 363-7505, x100.
Sharing the Ministry
God has blessed each of us with a unique set of talents, interests and abilities. In return, God expects us to use those gifts in service to others. Here at the Church of Saint Joseph, there are many opportunities to share your time and talent. Liturgical ministry, choir, funeral lunch, church cleaning, social ministry, and faith formation are just some of the areas that would welcome your involvement. A complete list of ministry opportunities is available upon request and on the parish website. You may sign up at any time. Training is available, where appropriate.
Sunday and Special Offerings
Adult envelopes: Adult envelopes are mailed directly to your home, on a quarterly basis, by an outside company. New parishioners will be sent a starter set of envelopes for use until the next quarterly mailing. If you don’t receive envelopes, please contact the parish office. In the meantime, your donations will still be recorded if you include your complete name and address with your contribution.
Young person’s envelopes: Envelopes for young adults and children are available in the parish office throughout the year. The envelopes are not dated, so they can continue to be used until the box is empty and new envelopes can then be requested. Please call the parish office to make arrangements to pick up envelopes for your child(ren).
Visit our parish website at www.churchstjoseph.org to find recent copies of the weekly bulletin, the current monthly calendar, registration forms, and ministry schedules as well as information about specific events such as Lenten season schedules, 4th of July festival details, etc. We try to keep this information as current as possible, so plan to visit our site often.