Ministries

Altar Society
St. Catharine’s Altar Society provides volunteers a perfect opportunity for quiet reflection and meditation in the church while performing a valuable service. The Altar Society members, working in pairs, are responsible for the maintenance and beautification of the altar. They prepare the Sanctuary for the celebration of the Mass, taking care to adorn the Sanctuary to reflect the various Liturgical seasons throughout the year such as Advent, Christmas, Lent, Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter, special feasts honoring our Blessed Mother, Thanksgiving, etc. They also prepare the Sanctuary for celebrations of the Sacraments of First Communion and Confirmation. The members launder the altar linens, which are used at all masses. The Altar Society’s work is quiet and behind the scenes, overseeing the reverent care of the altar. No earthly beauty can compare with the loveliness of God’s presence, but it is for us to ensure that His dwelling place is maintained with the greatest dignity, honor, and respect that we can possibly offer. The Altar Society is a very important ministry to our parish throughout the entire year. Although the time spent is rewarding, the Altar Society is always in need of assistance and support. We extend an invitation to all women of St. Catharine’s parish to become active participants in the Altar Society. If you are willing to serve, please call Mary McCarroll at 359-2546 or Anna Stellwag at 359-0769.

St. Catharine's Adult Choir
"To sing is to pray twice." - St. Augustine. Each Sunday, when we gather to celebrate the Eucharist we sing sacred songs and hymns because music helps the words get into our hearts and our minds even better than listening or speaking does. The role of our Parish Choir is to invite the larger assembly into song, and to embellish the voice of the Congregation. The Choir uses their great gift of song to spread faith into our hearts and minds. We invite you to consider taking an active role by becoming involved in our Parish Choir. Our Adult Choir sings at the 11:00 AM liturgy, and at special events such as Christmas, Easter, Confirmation, and First Holy Communion. Members may commit to all or some liturgies. If interested, please stop by and speak with one of our musicians at mass, or email Jan Schutz at janschutzprep@aol.com or Mary Anne Pagnani at map807@aol.com.

Children's Choir
No one can argue how beautiful children's voices sound when praising God in song. Our Children's Choir is always looking for new members. We are open to ALL children, 1st Grade and up. We sing monthly at the 9:30 AM Family Mass, as well as, some special celebrations at Christmas, Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day, and Grandparents Day, to name a few. If you are interested, please call or email Mary Anne Pagnan at (845) 358-0739, or map807@aol.com. All are welcome and encouraged to join!

Bereavement Support Group
It is never easy to accept the loss of someone we love. Christ, too, felt the pain of loss. He wept when Lazarus died and responded to the suffering of His friends. Yet it is through our grief that we begin to face the reality of our loss, understand its meaning in our lives, and allow God's healing grace to work in us. This is a process that takes courage and faith, but we are not left to go through it alone. St. Catharine's Bereavement Support Group enables people to come together to promote healing through understanding and to help people work through their grief and readjust to life by mutual support and encouragement. Be assured, there are those who care and who realize what a sorrow-filled time this may be. Please note, unfortunately, St. Catharine's Bereavement Support Group is on hold until further notice. Please check back. In the meantime, you may wish to contact St. Francis of Assisi Church in West Nyack. They have a Bereavement Session Wednesday April 26, 7-8:30 PM, and then Tuesdays from May 2 through June 6, 7 PM-8:30 PM. Please phone their Rectory at (845) 634-4957 for more information. There is also a Bereavement Support Group, once a month on First Friday mornings, 10-11:30 AM at St. Ann's Church in Nyack. Please call Arlene Melillo at (845) 634-3882 for more information.

Driving to Mass Ministry
Senior Citizens, living in Blauvelt or Orangeburg, if you need a ride to/from St. Catharine's 11:00 AM Sunday Mass, please leave your name, address, and telephone number at the Parish Office, 359-0542. Someone will contact you with the Drivers' schedule, telephone numbers, and further information. In October, St. Catharine's "Drive to Mass Ministry" will begin its 26th year. They began in 1991 with fifteen volunteer drivers, four of whom (Embet Bernstein, Joan O'Keefe, and Janet & John D'Andrea) are still driving. The first Sunday of operations, October 6, 1991, five drivers (Embet Bernstein, Gerrie Sherwood, Eileen Berman, Cathy & Jim O'Brien, and Janet & Jim D'Andrea) drove some eighteen seniors and one adult child to St. Catharine's 10:30 AM Sunday Mass. Many thanks to John D'Andrea, and all the drivers, for helping St. Catharine's Senior Parishioners get to Sunday Mass all these years!

Family Mass
The Liturgical Committee of St. Catharine's was formed several years ago with the mission of creating a Children's Liturgy and Family Mass. Our 9:30 AM Sunday Mass is a wonderful weekly celebration using the Children's Lectionary that families can not only attend, but participate in. If your family has children younger than 2nd grade, they can participate by acting as greeters before mass and handing out the flyers, as well as, offertory gift bearers. If you have children older than 2nd grade, they can do the readings and responsorial psalms, in addition to helping out with greeting and offertory. And, if parents can also participate by reading the weekly petitions when we pray for others at mass. The readings are sent via email a week prior to your assigned mass date, and there will be someone at mass to give you the cues. Won't you please consider becoming part of something that has grown into such a beautiful celebration?

Good Samaritan Society
The goal of the Good Samaritan Society is to provide support for members of our community in the form of short term financial assistance, distribution of food at the holidays and assistance in locating help from other agencies such as Catholic Community Services and local food pantries. If you are in need of assistance, please contact Monsignor McAree.

Ladies Guild
We thank all the ladies of our Parish and our Sister Parish, St. Aedan's in Pearl River, for attending our May Crowning/Communion Mass & Breakfast. We had a lovely morning Mass celebrated by Monsignor McAree, followed by a delicious Buffet Breakfast at the '76 House in Tappan. Father Tom Kunnel was our wonderful Guest Speaker. The purpose of the Ladies Guild is to bring the Parish closer to God through the sharing of spiritual, social and intellectual experiences, reaching out and supporting others through prayer and action. The Guild is dedicated to the Blessed Mother through her title as "Our Lady Mother of the Church." We always welcome new members and new ideas. Dues are only $10 for the year which help defray the cost of projects and activities. We have four meetings a year in which we will have an opportunity to socialize, make new friends, and share our faith. Please join us!

God's Little Giants
St. Catharine's Little Giants Program is a wonderful ministry that responds to the religious and spiritual needs of students grades 1-8 who have physical, mental, or emotional challenges which may impair their participation in a regular classroom, and necessitate their receiving instruction in a small group, or one-on-one setting, or mainstreamed into the regular class, with special assistance. Our program meets on Saturday mornings from 9:00-10:00 AM in the new wing of the school building. Instruction is provided in small groups and parents are encouraged to join our catechists at each meeting. Children have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities that include preparing for sacraments, participating in Mass, singing, reading, and sharing. Our primary goal is for children to know that God loves them. Please call the PREP office at 845-359-4014 for more information.

Pamphlet Rack
The Pamphlet Rack may be found in the lobby of our Church. Our goal is to provide diversified Catholic reading materials (newspapers, magazines, novenas, prayer cards, missals, seasonal items and gifts) at reasonable cost for parishioners and visitors to St. Catharine's.

St. Catharine's Prayer Group
St. Catharine's Prayer Group is a community of parishioners who meet every Thursday at 1:30 to 2:30 PM in the Chapel and desire to grow spiritually by focusing on Scripture study. We meditate, sing, and share everyday experiences that help us grow, following God's guidelines. We also invite anyone from other parishes to join our continuing search for God's guidance in our daily lives. Please call Aida Dalandan at 845-359-9015 or email rened929@aol.com.

Prayer Shawl
St. Catharine’s Prayer Shawl Ministry began it's 8th year on Thursday, September 15. We meet every Thursday from 2:00 to 4:00 PM in the Lower Parish House, from September through June. If you knit or crochet, or would like to learn – please join us for this Blessed Ministry. A hand knit or crochet prayer shawl is a tangible gift of our prayers for your loved one. In our seven years of existence, we have given over 530 beautiful handmade shawls to people who are sick, undergoing treatments, bereaved, pregnant, or in general poor health. For information, call Louise Langan at 845-359-5648. Also, please call if you know of someone in need of one of these lovely shawls.

Praying College Moms
The Praying College Moms Ministry at St. Catharine's was formed by a group of moms with children of all ages. We come together to pray for our college-age children recognizing that this time of life for our children and for us can be filled with many changes and new experiences that can be challenging. At times we wonder, "how can I help my child?" We can no longer be there to carry them through the difficult or challenging events of their lives, but we can pray for them. The power of prayer is like no other. As parents, we trust in God's plan for the lives of our children. Prayer heals. Prayer strengthens. Prayer unifies. Prayer conquers. Prayer changes everything. Please come join us as we gather to pray, share experiences, and to support each other as moms. We meet, usually the third Thursday of each month at 7:00 PM in the Lower Parish House. Dates and times will be published in the St. Catharine's Church weekly bulletin. For more information e-mail Noreen Russell at: stcathspcm@aol.com.

RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults)
Each year on Holy Saturday during the Easter Vigil, thousands of men and women are received into the Catholic Church in the United States. Parishes welcome these new members through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). RCIA is a series of steps conducted in the context of learning about the faith and spiritual formation, through which a person is fully incorporated in the Body of Christ, the Church. Our annual RCIA program begins in September and concludes at the Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday. This September, Mrs. Anna Stellwag, who has had the responsibility of the RCIA Program for the last fifteen years, will be stepping down and our Deacon John Jurasek, who recently retired after 25 years of Teaching, has graciously agreed to step in. To register for September, please contact Deacon Jurasek at (845) 365-3618 or email jurasek@optonline.net. A special note of thanks to Anna Stellwag. Anna has done a wonderful job and spiritual service, a true ministry, in preparing our Catechumens these past 15 years, and even before that. God bless you and thank you, Anna, for all you have done and continue to do for St. Catharine's Church. We are truly blessed to have you here with us!!

TASC - Teen Association of St. Catharine's
All Confirmed Teens are invited to join TASC. TASC meets every Monday evening at 7:30 PM in the Lower Church, and is a program “For the Teens, Run by the Teens.” TASC is a great way to grow spiritually, make new friends, develop leadership skills, improve our parish, community, and the world! TASC is also a great place to work on community service hours and college resumes. For information, contact Rita Sarubbi at (845) 641-3172 or via email to richrita@optonline.net. Activities for the year may include, but are not limited to, Bowling, Ice Skating, Mini Golf, Billiards, Valentines for Veterans, the Passion Play, Midnight Run, Movie Night, Parish Clothing Drive, Holiday Parties, Christmas Caroling, and so much more. Come join us!

Vacation Bible School
St. Catharine’s Vacation Bible School will be held during the week of July 10th to July 14th from 9-12 PM. Our special theme this year is "Pets Unleashed!" Kids love their pets and other kid’s pets. We think it will be a fun theme for everyone this summer! The cost will be $45 per child. If you plan on sending your child/children to VBS at St. Catharine’s this summer, please stop by the Rectory to pick up a registration form and send your check, made payable to Catherine Linehan, to this address – Mrs. Catherine Linehan, 80 Swannekin Road, Blauvelt, New York 10913. Please send registration form and money by Friday, May 12th. Please note, you must be a registered member of St. Catharine’s to register your child/children in VBS this summer. Please include your Parish Registration Number on the top of the registration form. You may find this number on your Church envelopes or phone the Rectory at (845) 359-0542. If you have pets, please send a picture of your child/children and your pet(s) with your registration form.