Parish Life - Liturgical and Outreach Ministries

The liturgical ministries’ mission is to acknowledge God’s presence in our preparation and celebration of liturgical life. This is accomplished through parish catechesis in liturgy and the sacraments, theology and formation of liturgical ministers.

All liturgical ministers attend initial training sessions before participation. In addition, ministers are encouraged to attend an annual session to refresh and update their ministry. Individuals are asked to pray and discern the one liturgical ministry in which they will serve the community. This includes altar servers, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion during the liturgy, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion to the sick/homebound, lectors, music ministers and ushers. If you are interested in one or more of these ministries, contact the parish office.

Altar servers prepare the altar for the celebration of the liturgy and assist the priest during the liturgy. All are welcome from 4th grade on. Servers are usually assigned to the Mass they ordinarily attend, but this may vary depending on the number of altar servers.

Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist are members of the lay faithful called forth to distribute the Body and Blood of Christ to a specific parish community. Ministers must be confirmed Catholics in full communion with the Church.

During the Liturgy: Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist assist the celebrant in distributing the Body and Blood of Christ to the assembly.

To the Sick and Homebound: Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist bring Communion to the sick and homebound of the parish,

The ministries of Greeters and Ushers are the face of the Parish. Greeters and Ushers provide a welcoming presence and sense of hospitality to visitors of the parish and provide a smile to returning worshipers. They welcome and assist with seating parishioners, assist with the collections, and facilitate the presentation of the gifts. They are custodians of order, serving the weekend liturgies as well as major feast days.  After Mass, the ushers tidy up the church by picking up loose prayer books and bulletins, placing lost items in the church lost and found and ensuring that doors and windows are closed.

Lectors proclaim the Scriptures at all liturgical celebrations enabling the assembly to understand and appreciate the beauty and rich content of the Word of God. They proclaim the first and second readings. Those seeking to participate must have received all three sacraments of initiation: Baptism, First Holy Communion, and Confirmation.

The music ministry is committed to supporting and enhancing our liturgical prayer life through music. It comprises vocalists — including cantors and choir members — and instrumentalists. An audition with the director of music is required, as is regular attendance at rehearsals and parish liturgies.

The outreach ministries’ mission is to promote an awareness of social justice issues within the community. The ministries provide food, clothing, educational materials, and other opportunities for outreach activities.

The St. Vincent de Paul Society is an international society of lay people dedicated to serving the poor and needy in a face-to-face manner. The members work directly with families to provide emotional, spiritual, and financial support in emergencies. A collection is taken on the 5th Sunday of the month to support this outreach ministry.

Each year at Christmas, our parish happily accepts the invitation to participate in the Adopt-a-Family/Adopt-a-Child for Christmas program. Parishioners who volunteer are provided with the names, ages and sizes of family members so they can shop for suggested items, usually one toy and one article of clothing per child.

Every year a Christmas tree is set up at each church containing tags of suggested items that are needed as Christmas gifts for local organizations, which distribute them to the needy in our community.

Interfaith Caregivers of Incarnation - St. James parish is dedicated to promoting the independence and dignity of homebound elderly and disabled people by matching them with caring volunteers who assist with the tasks of everyday life. Volunteers perform necessary chores, visits, telephone calls, respite care, transportation to appointments, minor house or yard work, grocery shopping, paperwork or minor repairs.

The Trenton Area Soup Kitchen and other organizations serve meals to the hungry in Trenton on weekdays. There is no meal service on Saturday and Sunday. A group of churches and other organizations fill that void by serving meals on the weekend. One such food provider is Loaves and Fishes, held at St. Mary’s Cathedral. One Saturday a year, usually in October, our parish provides and serves this meal. We also provide a second meal in the form of brown-bag lunches, which are distributed that day.