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Service & Outreach Ministries

The Christian Service Commission acts as a model and resource of Catholic Social Teaching to enable the entire parish community to put the social teaching of the Church into action. The Commission creates and promotes programs which strive to address human needs and achieve justice.

2021-22 Year End Summaries —

Members – Bruce Brandle, Leigh Ann Grubbs, Kathleen Larkin, Florie Mojica, Cindy Monaghan, Pat Paloulian, Carol Pennington, Dale Proulx, Debbie Pruent, Eileen Ross, Roxanne Springer, Colleen Steyer, Goldie Stoops, Marilynn St. James, Nan St. Peter, Chris Wogan

Ministries & Committees

Our core team meets monthly to create and promote programs that strive to address human needs, implement works of mercy, and achieve justice as called for by Catholic Social Teaching. 

For more information, contact Cindy Monaghan:  cmonaghan@stirenaeus.org.

We call the parish to a deeper respect of God’s creation.  We study environmental issues; form practical action plans for good environmental stewardship of our parish; beautify the parish grounds; and engage the parish community through education and activities in practices which better care for and celebrate God’s creation, with particular attention to those practices which help the world’s poor.

For more information, contact Susan Cesiel:  susan_ces@yahoo.com

Gospel of Life is a Christian Service ministry with a mission to call the parish to a deeper respect for life in all its stages. GoL engages the parish community in practices which better care for and celebrate God’s gift of life. Our Gospel of Life team sponsors activities focused on life for the unborn, the disadvantaged and the elderly.  Some of these activities include: Forty Days for Life (praying outside an abortion clinic), Respect Life Month, Mass for Life, Lenten Adoration, and Right to Life/Life Span’s Mother’s Day Carnation and Father’s Day Candy Sales. Gospel of Life also offers assistance (through volunteer time, finances, or in-kind donations) to local agencies who support life including: Abigayle Ministries, Birth Choice, Crossroads Care Center, Gianna House, Mary’s Mantle, Project Hope, and Right to Life–LIFESPAN. 

If you are interested in or knowledgeable about the Church’s teaching on Respect for Life and would like to get more involved in activities which support life, please consider becoming a part of our St. Irenaeus Gospel of Life Ministry!

For more information please contact Nan St. Peternanstpeter@tir.com.

This team enhances the quality of life for parishioners by integrating our Catholic faith with healing through health education, counseling, and health promotion programs.  Our nurses provide BP and stroke screenings; and our team hosts flu and pneumonia clinics, provides free radon test kits to parishioners, updates first aid kits in the parish hall and church, coordinates AED training for parish staff and ushers, contributes monthly bulletin articles regarding physical and mental health, and plans annual events and speakers benefiting parish and community members.

For more information, contact Denise Munaco: dmunaco123@gmail.com.

We promote fellowship and spirituality among parishioners 55 years and over through social activities, outreach projects, and a sharing of common interests.  We gather for dinner and entertainment in the parish hall September, November, January, March, and May; on the off-months we gather for lunch and cards/games.  Other months we plan meals at outside venues.

We collect items for CCRT twice a year, and occasionally plan something spontaneous like our movie and lunch afternoon, or a field trip to the Solanus Casey Center or retreat house.  We publish a quarterly newsletter for our members (dues are only $10 and get you in the door for a free dinner in May!).

For more information, contact Bruce Brandle:  brucebran@alumni.nd.edu.

Membership – Join Senior Fellowship today!

If you are interested in joining our Senior Fellowship group, please print and fill out the form.

Check out our Summer Newsletter —

Schedule of Activities 2022-23 —

Our Good Samaritans are parishioners who volunteer to be friendly callers, visitors, and friends to St. Irenaeus parishioners who are temporarily or long-term homebound due to illness, surgery, or age.  This might involve a visit, phone call, sending a card, or helping with transportation, errands, or meals. It is a very flexible ministry—based on volunteer comfort levels and schedules.  Our team meets a couple of times a year for enrichment. 

If you would like to learn more about becoming a Good Samaritan, or know of a parishioner who would benefit from this ministry, please contact Cindy Monaghan at cmonaghan@stirenaeus.org.

Rochester Area Catholic Family of Parishes Mental Health Ministry

The RAC FoP Mental Health Ministry responds to mental health needs by providing spiritual support, awareness, education, and resources.

Learn more —

We helped promote fellowship and spirituality through creative expression, prayer, skits, crafts, and snacks for individuals with special needs from our parish and group homes in the community. 

Learn more —

Join us!  Rosary making is a very peaceful and rewarding activity. New rosary makers are always welcome!  No tools or experience is needed as we help you learn to make simple, knotted, bead rosaries. We gather for fellowship and rosary making… and ultimately help to bring about a change in the spiritual lives of people all over the world who receive these gifts.  We meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month from 9 to 11 am, September through June in Room 9/11 of the Activities Building—come check us out!

Where do the Rosaries Go? We mail our rosaries to Florida, where these precious sacramentals are sent out on ships overseas. They are then hand-carried by missionaries to the people they serve in foreign lands. Missionaries have shared what a treasure these rosaries are to the people to whom they teach this powerful prayer. Some of our rosaries are distributed to parishes through Food for the Poor, Inc. in Jamaica, Haiti, St. Lucia, Trinidad, Guyana, Dominican Republic, Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, Guatemala, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize, El Salvador, Panama, and St. Vincent.  Some of our rosaries are distributed here locally, as well.

For more information, contact Marilynn St. James:   mrsmonkeyynot@aol.com.

If you enjoy sewing and fellowship—and helping others—join our Needlework Ministry!  We meet every Thursday from 9 am – noon in Rooms 9/11. We knit and crochet hats and scarves for those in need served through CCRT, and for the military served through Operation Gratitude. We make baby items for pregnancy support agencies, and love blankets for patients in local hospitals. We create Baptism bibs for the newest members of our parish, and also work on our own personal projects.

All are welcome—even non-parishioners—to join us for fellowship and coffee cake!  Bring your own project to knit, crochet, needlepoint, cross-stich, or quilt—or come and let us teach you a new skill (we have yarn to share)! Our Needlework Ministry is always collecting extra yarn, embroidery floss, frames, and knitting supplies—so please remember us when you clean out grandma’s attic! You can bring your donations to the main office.  Better yet—stop in on Thursday and meet our great group of ‘knit-wits!’

Walking with Moms in Need is a time of service in which Catholic parishes and communities “walk in the shoes” of local pregnant and parenting women in need.

Learn More —

All widows and widowers are welcome to attend our events! We hope to offer local opportunities for our widowed friends to enjoy each other’s company on fun social outings together. 

Learn more —

Our Bereavement ministry is multi-faceted.  The largest part of our program focuses on our mail ministry.  We send a Care Note to the next of kin within 3-4 months following the funeral, and we mail a card and Care Note book on the first anniversary of their loss. Some families experiencing deeper grief or sudden loss will receive a 4-book “Journeying through Grief Series” over the course of the first year.

Our purpose is to help the bereaved family members know our church is remembering them, and to offer support as needed. This mail ministry is offered to the family of registered parishioners who had the Mass of Resurrection at St. Irenaeus, and to parishioners whose loved ones had their Mass here.  Included in the correspondence is the phone number of a Bereavement Minister in case the newly bereaved individual would like to talk at some point; and the Christian Service Office phone number in case they might seek further resources to help them. 

At least once a year, our Bereavement Ministry hosts a grief workshop on site, for anyone interested.  At these workshops, we make resources available (for no charge) that highlight different needs (grieving the death of a mother, suicide, losing an adult child, etc.).

The Christian Service Coordinator provides our Bereavement Ministers with resource folders, sympathy cards, Care Notes, stamps, and occasional enrichment, meeting about three times per year.  Our Bereavement Ministers mail out cards, offer hospitality during grief workshops, greet families at the All Soul’s Mass, and are available to listen as needed. 

If you would like to join this meaningful ministry, please contact Cindy in the Christian Service Office.

 

Prayer Warriors intercede on behalf of our parishioners; lifting specific concerns up to our Lord in prayer via an email prayer chain.

Learn more —

Our Intercessory Prayer Group meets on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday’s each month from 10:00 – 11:00am in the Staff Lounge. 

Learn more —

We provide love, support, and comfort food for parish families after the funeral Mass of their loved ones.  We have many opportunities to offer interested volunteers:  setting up the hall, grocery shopping, dropping off homemade desserts, preparing the meal, serving and cleaning up, or washing and ironing the table linens afterward. This is a flexible ministry—we will let you know when a funeral luncheon is scheduled, and send you a sign up genius link.  You can see if you are available and sign up to help… or wait for the next one!

For more information, please contact Cindy Monaghan at cmonaghan@stirenaeus.org.

 

The Laudato Si’ Action Platform is a global initiative to place Catholic institutions large and small—including families, parishes and dioceses, schools, businesses and farms, religious congregations, and health care facilities—on a seven-year path to sustainability. 

Learn more about our Family of Parishes Laudato Si’ team —

Outreach & Service

Help set up, greet, and host hospitality for a Communion Service led by a St. Irenaeus deacon on the First Friday of each month at 1 pm. 

For more information about getting involved, contact Nan St. Peter  nanstpeter@tir.com

Join us on site at the Baldwin Center Soup Kitchen!  Bring your son or daughter (12 years and up), and help roll silverware, package meals, and add condiments to bags of food that will bless hungry families.  Our volunteers work together inside, and Baldwin staff hands out meals to guests outside—

about 150 each day.  For details and to sign up to help with this monthly opportunity, visit: www.signupgenius.com/go/baldwin.

Manna Community Meal (Detroit)—St. Irenaeus parishioners make sandwiches and hand out lunch bags on the 2nd Saturday of each month at Manna Meal, a Detroit soup kitchen run by Fr. Tom Lumpkin.  We meet at Manna in Detroit at 6:30 am, and finish around 9:15 am.  On months with five Saturdays, we often also help on the 4th Saturday.  If you would like to be part of this meaningful ministry serving the poorest of the poor, please contact Dale Proulx dproulx16@hotmail.com to find out more and reserve your spot.  This is a great service opportunity to share with your mature teenage children as well.

Manna Lunch Packers (St. Irenaeus)—If you would rather help pack the ‘snack bag’ portion of the lunches here at St. Irenaeus, we need a couple of helpers each month—visit the ‘Helpers Needed’ link on the Christian Service web page to sign up, or contact Cindy in the Christian Service office for more information and future dates:  cmonaghan@stireaneus.org.

Adult and teen sitters provide care for children in our nursery during parish events.  This ministry was put on hold when covid first hit, and now we need to rebuild our babysitting team!  All volunteers will need to have a background check, and take either Protecting God’s Children (adults 18+), or Called to Serve (youth under 18).

If you are interested, please contact Vivian Szackas: queenviv19@yahoo.com.

We host Versiti blood drives quarterly.  Volunteer to help or to donate blood! 

For more information, contact Nan St. Peter:  nanstpeter@tir.com.

We offer hospitality for the First Friday Communion services we host at Samaritas each month…. We hand-deliver Christmas greetings and Easter gifts to residents of Medilodge and Samaritas during the holidays….   We host summer cookouts and fall fun days at Samaritas….  We make calls, write letters, and offer help with errands to our parish homebound….

If you would like to get involved in some aspect of this ministry, please contact Cindy Monaghan:  cmonaghan@stirenaeus.org.

For a week each November, our parish ‘adopts’ nearly 100 homeless guests from Lighthouse who are sheltering in a nearby motel.  We cook and deliver hot dinners; prepare laundry baskets full of lunch items, snacks, dishes, towels, silverware, dish soap and other amenities; host an outdoor activity with cider, donuts, and therapy dogs; set up ‘home visits’ with our SVdP team; and help meet some of the specific needs guests have as we learn of them.

If you are interested in helping to plan, or want to help donate, cook, or deliver for our next week of hospitality, please watch the bulletin or website for details in October, or contact Jackie Lepore at jlepore@stirenaeus.org.

HOPE provides safe and judgment-free shelter, innovative programs, and ​public advocacy to end homelessness. HOPE is committed to helping each guest overcome homelessness—providing temporary shelter, food, clothing, and toiletries; unemployment counseling; medical care; mental health case management; and onsite housing counseling.

For one week every year (late winter/early spring), our parish provides meals and support for 65+ homeless individuals at the Hope Adult Shelter, and the HOPE Recuperative Care Center in Pontiac.  We occasionally bless the HOPE family in other ways throughout the year—sometimes providing Easter gifts, hosting a summer cookout, or helping to cook donated turkeys they can’t quite handle on their own.

Join our planning team, or help cook, serve, drive, or donate food and supplies! 

For more information, contact Janice Dalfovo-Dawson:  janice@tristarengineering.com.

Enjoy a meal and fellowship, then pack lunches for the hungry… fill CarePax for the homeless… write letters to prisoners… tie blankets for hospital patients… pack buckets full of blessings for the poor… fill “First Day” kits for those just released from prison… and engage in other acts of love and works of mercy side-by-side with parish family members and friends! Watch the bulletin and website for upcoming dates and times.

Every July and August, St. Irenaeus helps students in need prepare for the fall!  This year we are supporting Neighborhood House, CCRT, and Rogers Elementary.  Click the fliers for dates and specific details! 

We bless an average of 100 individuals through our Adopt-a-Family program each Christmas.  We also support several local agencies through our Giving Tree, bringing in another 500 gifts for those in need.  We often need extra help with shopping, sorting, wrapping, and delivering. 

If you are interested in helping with this ministry, please contact Cindy at cmonaghan@stirenaeus.org.

Each January 1st, we coordinate drivers and deliver meals to the homebound in our area.

Each year we pack over 100 Easter baskets for children served by CCRT and Jail and Outreach Ministry.

We also pack and deliver nearly 200 Easter gift bags to seniors living at Medilodge and Samaritas.

If you would like to help donate items, set up project supplies, pack baskets, or deliver gifts, please watch the bulletin and website for details during Lent… or contact Cindy at cmonaghan@stirenaeus.org.

St. Irenaeus collects eyeglasses, hearing aids, cell phones and tablets for the Lion’s Club and other charities that repurpose these items to help those in need.  The Lions Club of Rochester picks up our donated eyeglasses and sends them to Grand Rapids. Under Dr. Gary Anderson’s supervision, students from Grand Valley State University help determine and sort the prescriptions. Twice a year, 7-8 volunteers leave for a week to help the poor of El Salvador, Puerto Rico, and San Juan get fitted for their free glasses.  Our local Lions Club also collects used hearing aids. If you would like to donate your used hearing aid to a good cause, please put it in a ziplock baggie and place it in the basket on the Christian Service counter in the Gathering Area of church.

We also collect new, unopened travel-size toiletries year-round, and share them with shelters and include them in our projects for the homeless.  If you are traveling and don’t need your complimentary toiletries, please share them with us!

If you have religious items you think can be repurposed, you may contact Kimberly Walters at LancCatholicMsn@aol.com, to verify what type of donations they are taking, then box them up and mail them directly to: Kimberly Walters, St. Mary Recycle Mission Group, 2505 Nolt Road, Lancaster, PA 17601.  If you have books to donate, please take them to the Rochester Hills Public Library for their used book sale.  If you have clothing or household items, donate them to St. Vincent de Paul or Salvation Army Thrift Stores. 

Other items to donate? 

Help us keep our parish flower beds looking beautiful all summer long!  Visit our Gardening for God 2022 Signup to see areas of the parish grounds that need ‘adopting.’  We encourage individuals, couples, families, and friends to consider signing up to help with an area. 

Students—do you need service hours?  Rack them up here! 

When you sign up to help, you choose the area and the week.  You can come anytime during your ‘week’ to help weed, dead-head wilted blooms, and water if needed.  Instruction sheets and a map of the gardens can be opened/downloaded from the sign-up page.

You can try one section for one week or feel free to ‘adopt’ a bed for the whole summer!