Since its founding on June 8, 1966, Saint Martha Parish has provided a place for the People of God in Northeast Philadelphia to encounter the Lord Jesus Christ in Sacrament, in His Word, and in Service.
Our patroness, St. Martha, was a model of hospitality and faith. She, with her sister Mary and brother Lazarus, often entertained Jesus in her home. Even after Lazarus died, she expressed her belief that Jesus was “the Resurrection and the Life.” It is the hope of the entire Pastoral Staff that each member of our parish will share in Martha’s great charisms: her sense of service and her deep faith.
By virtue of our Baptism into Christ, each of us share in the Lord’s work as Priest, Prophet and Shepherd-King. The various ministries listed below provide opportunities for you to use the gifts God has given you for His honor and glory and for your neighbor’s good. A call to the rectory office (215-632-3720) will place you in touch with the coordinator of the particular ministry in which you are interested.
Besides the general information in this small booklet, we hope you will consult the weekly church bulletin, which lists schedules, staff members, and special events in the life of the parish.
Share your gifts ands talents with the rest of us. Remember: in the Body of Christ, no one can do everything, but everyone must do something!
THE PRIESTLY (WORSHIP) MINISTRIES
These ministries allow us to live our baptismal calling by fostering worship which is worthy of our good God.
EXTRAORDINARY MINISTERS OF THE EUCHARIST
After proper training, and with a commission by the Bishop, lay people are delegated to administer the Body and Blood of Christ at Mass and to take the Eucharist to shut-ins at home weekly and patients in Frankford Torresdale Hospital monthly.
St. Paul asks, “How can they hear [the Word] if no one proclaims It?” Lectors proclaim the readings at Mass and other liturgical celebrations, and usually lead the general intercessions. Any adult who can read publicly ought to consider using that talent to proclaim God’s Word. Training will be arranged for you.
Young people are taught to assist the priest and deacon at the altar, and to help lead the congregation in prayer. They perform a valuable service in making our worship “something beautiful for God.”
Ushers and greeters welcome people to the church, help take up the offering, respond to emergencies and perform other valuable functions in maintaining liturgical order.
St. Martha’s Choir meets Tuesday evenings for practices and ministers at the 10:00 Sunday Mass. Their musical gifts enhance our liturgy on other days of special celebration.
Cantors lead the congregation in sung prayer, especially by proclaiming the Psalm response to the first reading,
Students in grades 4 through 8 are invited to join the Youth Choir, which sings at school Masses and special parish celebrations.
HOLY DUSTERS (CHURCH CLEANERS)
A dedicated group gathers after the Thursday morning Mass and cares for the Lord’s house: vacuuming, dusting, refilling the holy water fonts, tending plants, and so forth.
Feel free to approach the Director of Music if you have any musical talents which would add to the beauty of our liturgies.
THE PROPHETIC (TEACHING) MINISTRIES
A prophet is one who speaks God’s Word. These ministries allow the Word to be broken open, so that God’s people may be fed with the Truth.
SAINT MARTHA PARISH CATHOLIC SCHOOL
Our parish supports a Middle States-Accredited grade school, which not only prepares our students for the challenges of life on earth, but, more importantly, teaches them to be good citizens of the Kingdom of God. Parents, who are the first teachers of the children in the ways of faith, entrust their children to us so that we might assist them in this God-given responsibility. It is expected that our parents will reinforce the lessons of faith which the children are taught by attending Mass with them every Sunday, as is our obligation under the Third Commandment of God.
SAINT MARTHA CCD/PREP PROGRAM
Students who attend public school are expected to attend CCD/PREP classes on Sundays. At these classes, the ways of the Faith are taught, and sacramental preparation occurs, so that the children may follow the Light of Christ in a world filled with contrary lights and even darkness. Catechists (teachers) and aides are always needed. Training and support will be provided. We also have a special needs class to accommodate children who have these.
HOME AND SCHOOL ASSOCIATION
The HSA serves as a communication link between parents and the school administration, as well as a source of financial support for the parish school. Interested parents are always needed to help in the various activities of the HAS and to run for office within the organization.
Volunteers are always welcome to assist the teachers as classroom aides, to staff the security desk in the main corridor to keep our children safe, and to provide supervision in the lunch room.
The Religious Education program needs volunteers to act as classroom aides and to assist in many aspects of the Sunday morning program.
RCIA (RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION FOR ADULTS)
How does someone join the Catholic Church? RCIA! The RCIA is a process– a path which adults and children over seven who think they would like to grow in their faith take to receive the sacraments of the Church. While “tailor-made” to particular circumstances, RCIA consists of weekly faith sharing gatherings, individual interviews, and liturgical celebrations which mark the steps of conversion: from pre-catechumenate through catechumenate through election through initiation into the Church through mystagogia. A caring and committed team of parishioners guide and support the most important members of the parish, those who are “infants in the Faith,” through the entire process and beyond.
LITURGY OF THE WORD FOR CHILDREN
During the school year, at the Sunday 10:00 Mass, children from the ages of 5 through 10 are taken to a separate worship space during the Liturgy of the Word, so that they might hear the Scriptures proclaimed from the Children’s Lectionary and explained on a level which they can understand. The children return to their families in time for the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Volunteers are always needed to help with this wonderful work.
Twice a year, engaged couples are offered a fast-paced, interactive day of marriage preparation, offered by our Pre-Cana team. The team consists of married couples who share their own experiences of living the sacrament with the engaged couples. New couples are always welcome to join the team.
Before a couple can present their first child for baptism, the Church asks that they receive some instruction about the ritual and deepen their understanding of the responsibilities of parents of newly-baptized children. Six times a year, a reflection session is held in the church, and attendance fulfills this requirement.
THE KINGLY (SERVICE) MINISTRIES
In ancient times, the king or queen was one who cared for their people, and made sure they were safe and their possessions were protected from all harm. Sharing in the kingship of Christ by baptism, we are called to be good stewards of all God has entrusted to us.
Join the faithful parishioners who beautify the parish grounds with seasonal plantings and tend to the plants used in the church
Each year, elections are held to fill three year terms on the Pastoral Council. Council is the voice of the people of the parish, and brings the concerns of the flock to the pastor. Council also serves as the “dreamers” whose vision gives the parish direction. They are the main consultative body within the parish. Any parishioner in good standing can be nominated in the spring to run for council.
This consultative body advises the pastor regarding the administration of the temporal goods of the parish. They review the yearly budget as well as the annual financial report, and share their expertise with the pastor as he strives to be a good steward of the parish’s material blessings. Members serve at the pastor’s invitation.
Feel free to volunteer your services if you think your experience would be a benefit to the council.
SCRIP is a fund raising program in which anyone can buy gift certificates for purchases of food, clothing, and other items. The purchase of these certificates sends a rebate to the parish, and the purchaser earns credits towards school tuition. People who use the SCRIP program wisely and well get substantial reductions in their school tuition. Check the weekly church bulletin for hours of operation.
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS COUNCIL 12384
The K of C is the oldest fraternal organization of committed Catholic men in the United States. Its members are practicing Catholic gentlemen who serve the Church in a variety of ways, who band together for the benefit of their families, and who gather to enjoy the fellowship of other such committed Catholic men. General meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month in the rectory. Speak to any Knight about joining Mary, Queen of Angels Council #12384.
CATHOLIC YOUTH ORGANIZATION
CYO is a program which seeks to develop our young people on many levels, by a well rounded program including religious development, service to others, socialization, cultural awareness, and sports. The program exists on both grade school and high school levels.
Three blood drives are usually held at St. Martha’s in the course of the year: one sponsored by the parish and another sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. When you see one advertised, come give the gift of life. It’s easy, painless, and fulfilling.
AID FOR FRIENDS
This is a locally based service organization which feeds the region’s shut-ins. A freezer is kept in the parish hall to make it convenient to participate. You simply take home freezer trays, and fill them each night from your table, freeze them, and bring them back. Volunteers are always needed by AFF to provide cooked meals and deliver them to those who can not get out of the house.
RESPECT FOR LIFE
At various times of the year, the Church asks us to be especially aware of the threat which the “culture of death” brings, and to reaffirm our commitment to respect all life from conception to natural death. Respect Life Sunday in October and Mothers’ Day are particular times of emphasis, but we try to keep the respect life message prominent all through the year.
ST. MARTHA SENIORS
Our Senior group meets regularly at the parish to provide companionship and support to each other, and continue to share their life lessons with the parish at large. Celebrations and trips are also a part of their yearly calendar. Anyone aged 55 and over can join the Seniors.
At various times of the year, food drives are held to provide for those in need. The generosity of our parishioners helps many of their brothers and sisters to get through difficult times.