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Saint Bonaventure Church

My Dear Parishioners,

It was on a warm summer day when Fr. Ferdinand Mueller, O.F.M., first said Mass in a small unfinished building on what is now Ramsey Street in Paterson, New Jersey. That day, August 26, 1876, marked the arrival of a small group of Franciscan friars who had fled their native Germany to escape religious persecution.... Six months later, a parish was officially established to serve the needs of the people of the area.

So begins the memorial booklet published on the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of St. Bonaventure Church. Since that great event was celebrated on October 2, 1977, the good people of this parish continue to become the Body of Christ through worship, sacrament, and ministry.

This brochure is to assist you in choosing a ministry. From the day of your Baptism, Jesus Christ walks with you, whether you are aware or unaware, whether you are conscious of His abiding presence in your life or indifferent to it. To this day, He abides with us as a community of faith, and He calls each one of us to serve with his or her own gifts and skills.

Often, we refer to St. Paul' s powerful words in his first letter to the Corinthians: There are different gifts but the same Spirit; there are different ministries but the same Lord; there are different works but the same God who accomplished all of them in everyone. To each person the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good (vv. 4-7).

Parishioners have served the common good at St. Bon's since 1876. One hundred and thirty years later, we are still committed to the building up of the Body of Christ through our ministries. If you feel called to serve, please complete the last page of this booklet, detach it, and return it to us, either by mail or by dropping it in next week's collection basket at Mass.

Peace and all good,

Fr. Daniel Grigassy, O.F.M.



(1)Ministry to the Bereaved and Lazarus Ministry

If one member suffers in the body of Christ, which is the Church, all the members suffer with that member (1 Cor 12:26). For this reason, ... when a member of Christ's Body dies, the faithful are called to a ministry of consolation to those who have suffered the loss of one whom they love.... The Church calls each member of Christ's Body: priest, deacon, layperson to participate in the ministry of consolation: to care for the dying, to pray for the dead, to comfort those who mourn (Order of Christian Funerals, no. 8). St. Bonaventure Church has two distinct ministries to serve the grieving: the Lazarus Ministry and the Ministry to the Bereaved. It is not necessary to serve on both ministries.

The Lazarus Ministry is comprised of adults who assist as altar servers or lectors at Funeral Masses. Familiarity with the Order of Christian Funerals (1989) is provided so that ministers may serve with confidence and grace during this important time in the life of families. Availability for attendance at the Vigil for the Deceased/Wake Service (afternoon or evening) and at the Funeral Mass (Monday through Saturday morning) is necessary.

The Ministry to the Bereaved offers consolation to those who mourn and provides ongoing pastoral and spiritual support and assistance extending into the weeks following the Funeral. This includes telephone calls and home visits, and may continue for a period of one year or longer.

Contact Person: Karen Kraft Tel.: 973-279-1016

(2) Ministry of Adult Faith Formation

Fully initiated Roman Catholics continue to grow in the life of Christ through the Sunday celebration of Eucharist. Some chose to intensify their life in Christ through more purposeful and intentional reflection, prayer, study, and active ministry.

Adult Faith Formation affords opportunities to learn, pray, study, and discuss aspects of our faith. It also calls forth various ministries. Its goal is a living, explicit, and fruitful confession of faith that leads to a total and free self-commitment to God. Ministers in this process accompany other adults in their faith journey and create occasions to gather for study, prayer, and ministry. Collaboration with other ministries may enhance their efforts.

Tel.: 973-279-1016

Click here to e-mail Teresa

(3) Ministry to Family Life

The family is the most basic unit of the Church. The Second Vatican Council (1962-65) revived this neglected aspect of the Church's self-understanding:  [The family is] the domestic Church (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, no. 11).The family includes two-parent families, single-parent families, childless married couples, couples whose children are grown and gone, single and widowed persons in the context of their extended family network, and blended families. Parishioners willing to share their time and talents organize events to promote family life and spiritual growth within and among the families of the parish community.

Contact Person: Marge Balough

Tel.: 973-278-6152

Click here to e-mail Marge

(4) Ministry of Finance and Stewardship

The Ministry of Finance and Stewardship assists the pastor in a threefold mission: 1) to review the parish's financial well-being, 2) to analyze and investigate financial performance, and 3) to recommend financial strategies. Three subcommittees serve this mission: a. The Investment Committee determines responsible investments for the parish s financial growth; b. The Budget Committee prepares and reviews the annual financial budget and establishes long-range planning; and c. The Building and Grounds Committee inspects and documents building conditions, formulates a maintenance plan, and approves a list of contractors for emergency repairs and other maintenance needs.

Contact Person: Gerald Quigley

Tel.: 973-523-2222

(5) Ministry of Holy Communion

Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion assist the priest and deacon at the altar during Mass in the distribution of the Body and Blood of Christ. They also participate in processions with the other liturgical ministers. Appropriate dress is required for this ministry.

These ministers also bring communion to the sick and to those unable to attend Mass. This sacred ministry is a blessed privilege. After proper training for this sacred ministry and the bishop s approval, the pastor commissions the minister at a Sunday Mass.

Contact Person: Joan Healy

Tel.: 973-345-7447

(6) Ministry of Hospitality / Ushers

Ushers at Mass offer hospitality to those who gather for worship by providing a friendly and familiar greeting, by attending to the comfort and needs of all, and by ensuring good order in the assembly. Ushers commit themselves to one weekend Mass. They facilitate the seating arrangement of the people and direct their movement during processions, most notably, the communion procession, as well as other processions during the feasts of the liturgical year. They take up the collection and present it to the priest at the Preparation of the Gifts.

Contact Person: Leo Cullen


(7) Ministry of Lector

Paul tells us that "Faith comes through hearing" (Romans 10:17). Words are the basic building blocks of both communication and community. Faith is awakened, hope is stimulated, and charity activated when words are spoken to stir the human spirit. Lectors or readers are charged with the responsibility of proclaiming the Word of God at Mass on Sundays and weekdays to stir the assembly to become what it truly is, the Body of Christ.

To be an effective lector calls for adequate preparation that includes study, prayer, and practice. Training for the task is provided before taking up this responsibility of speaking God's Word with understanding and conviction. Lectors are assigned to Sunday Masses at intervals of approximately twice a month. Weekday lectors are not assigned and approach the lectern as needed.

Contact Person: Wilma Colella

Tel.: 973-595-8463

(8) Ministry to Liturgy and Worship

"Good celebrations foster and nourish faith. Poor celebrations may weaken and destroy it" (Music in Catholic Worship, 1972, no. 6). Members of this ministry come together seasonally to prepare parish celebrations of worship and prayer. They are charged with the task of taking the rites out of the liturgical books and bringing them to life in the midst of the worshiping assembly. Those who serve in this ministry bring with them an appreciation of the liturgy, a willingness to learn more about the liturgical rites of the Church, and a desire to make them central in the spiritual and ministerial life of the parish community.

Tel.: 973-279-1016

Click here to e-mail Teresa

(9) Ministry of Music

All the faithful are called to "full, conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations" which is "their right and duty by reason of their baptism" (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, no. 14). The Music Ministry at St. Bonaventure calls the entire assembly to participation each time the church gathers to sing God s praises. The leader of song animates the assembly at the 5:30 PM Saturday Vigil Mass, at the 11:30 AM Sunday Mass, and other masses on Holy Days of Obligation. At the 9:30 AM Sunday Mass, the leader of song and a small ensemble lead the assembly. A choir rehearses weeks prior to the Sacred Triduum (Holy Thursday to Easter Sunday), Christmas Eve, the Feast of St. Anthony (June 13), and the Solemnity of St. Francis of Assisi (October 4), to enhance our worship on these holiest of days. The entire community is encouraged to sing with the 9:30 AM ensemble, with the special Feast Day choirs, as well as at all the Masses. A capacity to sing and/or play a musical instrument (guitar, flute, trumpet, clarinet, oboe, violin, etc. ...) is a gift to be shared with the entire church at worship.

Contact Person: Brian Borowski

Tel.: 973-279-1016

Click here to e-mail Brian

(10) Ministry of Religious Education

The faith formation of our children is essential to the future of the Church. Religious Education is provided for students and parents/guardians of St. Bonaventure parish to supplement the education already going on in the home.

Classes (K-10) meet on Sunday mornings from September to May at 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM. Catholics who participate fully, consciously, and actively in the life of the Church and worship on Sundays with the community of faith volunteer as catechists or classroom assistants. Older children may enter into the process in alternative settings. Catechists may assist them either one-on-one or in special formation groups.

The safety and well-being of our children is important to the effectiveness of the program. Therefore, each volunteer who has significant or sustained contact with children must participate in Protecting God s Children, a program enabling volunteers to become partners with parents in securing safe environments for the children. This program consists of online enrichment classes as well as a criminal background check.

Tel.: 973-279-1016

Click here to e-mail Teresa

(11) Ministry in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults [R.C.I.A.]

The collection of ceremonies by which a person celebrates his or her gradual incorporation into the Roman Catholic Church is called the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. It begins with admission into the catechumenate, then reaches a high point at the Easter Vigil with Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist, and concludes with Mystagogy which is an extended period of prayer and reflection on the entire experience of incorporation. The Rite is usually abbreviated R.C.I.A.

Those already baptized in other Christian churches and wishing to complete initiation into the Roman communion prepare for Confirmation and/or the first reception of the Eucharist at the Easter Vigil.

As new members are incorporated into the Body of Christ, longstanding members encourage, educate, pray and minister with the new members. The process of learning, praying, and ministering with the faith community is punctuated by rites that celebrate the reality of the members' gradual incorporation.

Tel.: 973-279-1016

Click here to e-mail Teresa

(12) Ministry to the Sick

Care of the sick has always been a ministry of the Church. Attending to the physical and spiritual needs of the sick remains a corporal work of mercy. From our table of Sunday Eucharist, ministers are sent to feed and nourish the sick and homebound with the Word of God and with the Body of Christ. Thus, the sick are one with us in prayer and we are united with them in spirit. Regular visits are made to hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and private homes based on information we receive from families and friends who inform us of need. Involvement in this ministry can be as frequent or occasional as one's schedule allows.

Contact Person: Deacon Joseph Balough

Tel.: 973-278-6152

Click here to e-mail Joe

(13) Ministry to Social Concerns

The Ministry to Social Concerns seeks to lend support to those who could use a helping hand, especially the needy children of Paterson. Non-perishable food, used clothing, and homemade frozen dinners are collected monthly, and stuffed animals twice a year. School supplies and snacks are collected and distributed to children in August. The Giving Tree during Advent also provides gifts at Christmas for many needy children.

A shower for babies with HIV/AIDS is given every other Spring. Beneficiaries are the AIDS Baby Clinic of St. Joseph's Hospital, Paterson, and/or a Catholic Charities program. Some who serve in this ministry crochet, knit, and quilt lap robes, infant hats, mittens, scarves, and baby quilts for donation to various charities.

The Ministry to Social Concerns and its many volunteers is not an agency that provides extensive support to individuals and/or families. Those in need are directed to other resources. Our goal is to help in small ways. We are grateful for what we can do for the needs of the poor.

Click here to e-mail Isabel

(14) Ministry of Prayer

Our parish is composed of many people whose paths never cross - even in church! Many members are unable to regularly attend church functions because of illness or disability. Other parishioners, because of work and family responsibilities, may not have time to participate in parish life as often as they would like. Being physically separated from the daily activity at St. Bonaventure can lead to feelings of spiritual distance from our faith community.

The Ministry of Prayers offers to all the opportunity to actively participate in the devotional life of our parish. The only requirement for membership in the Ministry of Prayer is your willingness to take a special intention or need of another parishioner or the community, and offer it to God in your daily prayers.

St. Bonaventure Parish sponsors the Ministry of Prayer. We hope, through you involvement, to build a network of prayer in which we spiritually support one another's needs, and which our parish draws members into a closer communion.

If you are interested in membership in the Ministry of Prayer, please get in touch with Marge.

If you have a special intention or personal need that you would like to have offered in daily prayer by the Ministry, please complete the Prayer Request Form. All requests can be left in the collection basket or e-mail to Marge. There is no time limit for response. This is an on-going Ministry and anyone is welcome to join or make a prayer request at any future time.

Click here to e-mail Marge