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Groups and Organizations

COUNCILS

FINANCE COUNCIL
The Finance Council has responsibility for: 1) giving counsel to the Pastor regarding administration of the temporal goods of the parish; 2) assisting the Pastor in his temporal administrative role; 3) assisting the Pastor in financial matters. According to the diocesan regulation, the Finance Council is to have no fewer than three, nor more than seven members appointed by the Pastor. They are to be active registered parishioners who have knowledge in areas such as business, finance or civil law.

PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL
The Pastoral Council is a unifying element at prayer, open to the Holy Spirit, serving to make our faith life in Jesus Christ come alive in the parish. It is a creative and consultative body, rather than administrative. Its objectives are: 1) to make an ongoing study of the life and activity of the parish to discover its needs; 2) to evaluate whether the parish is serving these needs and achieving its goals; 3) to recommend policies that would further these goals and enhance the faith life within the parish; 4) to determine and utilize the abilities of the various members of the parish. The council is composed of the Pastor and nine members, each serving a three year rotating term with three new members arriving each year. Membership is arrived at through discernment and appointment by the Pastor. Click here to see current members of the Parish Pastoral Council. 


PARISH GROUPS AND ORGANIZATIONS

ADULT FORMATION
The St. Patrick's Adult Religious Formation Team is directed toward helping adult Christians grow and mature as persons who understand, live, model, and explore their Catholic faith. Members of this committee generally meet one Monday a month in the Father Carse Center between September and May from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM. During the meeting, the team participates in a Scripture sharing, evaluates previous programs and identifies and plans for future programs. New members may join at any time throughout the year. Opportunities for the development of spirituality by means of Scripture Study, times for prayer and reflection and informational presentations are scheduled throughout the year. The Adult Formation Office also sponsors the "Catholics Come Home" series for those individuals who have strayed from the Church. Consult the Sunday Bulletin for the times and places of these events at St. Patrick Parish and in other local parishes. Click here for additional Adult Formation information.  

AGAPE MINISTRY
"Agape" is the Greek word meaning "love feast". In Christian theology, the word "agape" signified God's love for man or a spontaneous, altruistic love. "Agape" was also the name used for a meal early Christians shared together as a symbol of affection and brotherhood. In our parish, Agape is the name for a ministry dedicated to serving families in crisis.

The volunteers for the Agape ministry bring meals to families in our parish who are experiencing difficulties due to an illness, a death in the family, or another crisis. Many families these days do not have extended family nearby to help in times of need. However, as in the days of the early Christians, sharing a meal is still a sign of love in the community. Agape was formed to share that love.

ALTAR CARE
The Altar Care Committee is responsible for keeping the altars, vessels and linens used in the liturgies clean. Present workdays are Fridays at the Crane Road Church and Saturdays at the Downtown Church. Time commitment is approximately one hour per week once a month.

ALTAR SERVERS
Altar servers aid the priest in celebrating the Mass and other devotions. Anyone in 5th grade or above who has received the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Communion may be an altar server. Grade school, high school, and adult parishioners are all encouraged to be part of this ministry.

ALTAR SERVER TRAINERS/SCHEDULERS
Assist in the training and scheduling of altar services for all weekend Masses as well as for a variety of religious services throughout the liturgical year.

BAPTISMAL PREPARATION TEAM
A child's entrance into the Church is one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring celebrations of the Catholic Faith. And it's one that's vitally important to that child, their family and the entire parish community. St. Patrick's Baptismal Preparation ministry offers an extraordinary way to share in this sacrament by helping new families as they receive God's grace.The Baptismal Preparation Team serves the needs of new parents by:

  • Facilitating an Evening of Reflection and Prayer on the meaning of Baptism and the responsibility of raising our children in the Catholic Christian Community.
  • Welcoming families and assisting during the Sacrament of Baptism.
  • Baptismal Preparation Classes - held on the second Monday of each month at the Crane Road Church (7:30 PM - Prefunction Room) and the third Thursday of each month at the Downtown Church (7:30 PM - Fr. Carse Center).  To register, call the Parish Office 2 weeks prior to class: (630) 338-8000.

Baptisms are held on the first and second Sundays of the month at the Downtown Church at 1:15 PM and on the third and fourth Sundays of the month at the Crane Road Church at 1:00 PM.

On selected Sundays, two team members fulfill the special role of preparing the Baptismal font, assisting the priest or deacon in the ceremony and welcoming new parish members. It's a great way to meet many families - and one with deep spiritual rewards! Baptism touches an individual's entire life. Participating in this ministry is an opportunity to support many new parish families while enriching one's own faith.

BEREAVEMENT MINISTRY

The Bereavement Ministry provides care and support to parishioners after the funeral. We support those experiencing the loss of a loved one through:
  • Mailings. Customized letters and inspirational cards to families of deceased parishioners over the first year following death at 12 month anniversaries, as well as special mailings for dealing with grief during the holidays.
  • Annual Mass of Remembrance. In November, commemorates those who died since last November 1, followed by a reception and served by volunteers who decorate the church and produce beautiful worship service. (Liturgy committee involvement).
  • Support group for grieving individuals from within and outside our parish (6 week annually).
  • Assist with contributing and mailing of  a quarterly  grief inspirational newsletter, “the Gentle Word”.

BLOOD DRIVE
The St. Patrick/St. John Neumann Blood Drive is held twice a year - once at each parish. St. Patrick hosts the drive in the Spring. Volunteers are needed to call potential donors, staff the registration and refreshment tables and baby-sit. Being a blood donor is safe, simple and saves lives.

BOY SCOUTS (See listing under "School Organizations")

CLOTHING DRIVE (See listing under "St. Vincent de Paul Society")

COFFEE KLATCH
Coffee and treats are served every Thursday, September through May, after the 8:30 AM Mass at the Downtown Church in the Father Carse Center. Everyone is invited to join this time of conversation to build and strengthen St. Patrick’s community spirit.

COMPASSIONATE  MESSENGERS
Our mission is to provide spiritual and emotional support to parishioners (and relatives living with parishioners) with health issues that are impacting their daily lives. This support is also extended to their caregivers through prayer, listening and companionship.

COURAGE AND ENCOURAGE
Courage and Encourage are two spiritual support groups helping Catholic men and women and their families live in accordance with the Catholic Church's teaching on same-sex attraction. Courage members strive to develop lives of interior chastity in union with Christ, through participation in the Sacraments, prayer, fellowship and moral support. Encourage is a separate spiritual support group that helps families and friends to deal with these issues. Both ministries are approved by the Vatican and the Holy See. Meetings are held monthly at a local Diocesan parish. For information on Encourage, contact the St. Patrick's ministry coordinator. For Courage, email courage@rockforddiocese.org.  Or go to http://www.couragerc.net/.  All contacts are confidential.

CRISIS PREGNANCY CENTER (See listing under "Fox Valley Pregnancy Center")

CURSILLO
Cursillo is a national organization of lay Christians that was formed to light a fire, through the help of the Holy Spirit, under all Christians and give them the motivation, understanding, tools and direction to make a difference in this world in the name of Christ the Lord. Several parishioners are members of this organization and are willing to assist anyone interested in becoming part of Cursillo.

DONUT SUNDAY
From September through May, donuts, coffee and juice are served on the fourth Sunday of each month after designated Masses at both the Downtown Church and the Crane Road Church. This time of fellowship with other parishioners offers an opportunity to build and strengthen our St. Patrick community ties. Volunteers help set up, clean up or serve refreshments.

ELIZABETH MINISTRY, The 
The Elizabeth Ministry is an outreach to women in special times of motherhood. It is a parish-based ministry that follows the example of the scriptural story of the Visitation by bringing together women who share a similar story. The purpose of this ministry is to affirm, support, encourage, and assist in response to the needs of women during the childbearing years. This outreach includes pregnancy and pregnancy complications, birth, infant or child crisis, fertility and infertility concerns, miscarriage and infant or child death, and grandparenting issues. We welcome women of all ages and experiences to join us!

EUCHARISTIC ADORATION (See listing under "Prayer Groups")

EUCHARISTIC MINISTERS
Eucharistic Ministers help distribute Holy Communion at weekend and Holy Day Masses. Each Mass has a captain who schedules ministers to serve, usually once or twice a month. This ministry intimately unites the Body and Blood of Christ with our fellow Catholics.

EUCHARISTIC MINISTERS TO THE HOMEBOUND
Eucharistic Ministers to the Homebound and those in nursing homes bring Holy Communion to parishioners who are unable to attend Sunday Mass. Please contact the rectory to receive this service or to volunteer as a minister.

FIRST SATURDAY DEVOTIONS (See listing under "Prayer Groups")

FLOWER COMMITTEE
The celebration of the Eucharist is enhanced every week by the addition of lovely flowers, which have been arranged by the Flower Committees at each church location. The only times flowers are not present on the altar are during Advent and Lent. The committee memebers design arrangements according to a rotating schedule but all members come together for Easter and Christmas decorating. Members learn from each other and from these times together true friendships have grown.

FOOD COLLECTION (See listing under "St. Vincent de Paul Society")

FOX VALLEY CATHOLIC WOMEN'S BIBLE STUDY (See listing under "Prayer Groups")

FOX VALLEY PREGNANCY CENTER
The Fox Valley Pregnancy Center (formerly the Crisis Pregnancy Center of the Fox Valley) provides an alternative to abortion for women who are facing the possibility of an unplanned pregnancy. Services include a free and confidential pregnancy test, accurate information on abortion, adoption, abstinence, parenting and fetal development, and referrals for affordable medical care, adoption, financial and legal aid. Also available are diapers, formula, infant and maternity clothing and miscellaneous baby equipment. All services are free of charge. Volunteers are always needed in the reception area, as well as for mentoring, data entry and sorting donations. Please call the center for information: (847) 697-0200 or see the website... Donors: http://www.fvpcpartners.org and Clients: http://www.foxvalleyoptions.com.

Fully Engaged (Marriage Preparation)
Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding and Study is a program to help engaged couples prepare for marriage. It is primarily an instrument used to raise questions and to identify areas of concern for the couples to discuss and reflect upon before marriage. Married couples of the parish facilitate this program which involves two scheduled meetings in their homes.

FUNERAL LUNCHEONS
One of the many ministries at St. Patrick Church is to provide a luncheon following the funeral of a parishioner. At the request of the family, this luncheon is provided at a nominal fee to cover the cost of the entree. In existence for nearly two decades, this ministry is greatly appreciated by those suffering the loss of a loved one. As a loving and supportive expression of our community, parish volunteers donate their time to phone those who donate dishes and those who donate their time to setup, serve and clean up.

GIRL SCOUTS (See listing under "School Organizations")

GIVING TREE
Each Christmas, Giving Trees are placed in both the Downtown and Crane Road Churches as a way of sharing the Christmas spirit and family tradition with the less fortunate of our area. Ornaments specifying gift items are placed on the trees and those who wish to participate are asked to purchase the item and return it wrapped and marked with the ornament. The gifts are then sorted and distributed with the help of volunteers.

HESED HOUSE
Hesed House is a shelter for the Homeless in Aurora. Ecumenically, over thirty churches in the vicinity help in this work. St. Patrick's day of service is the first Wednesday of the month in February, April, October and December. Three shifts of volunteers serve for four hours. The first shift serves from 7:00 PM - 11:00 PM, the second shift from 11:00 PM - 3:00 AM and the third shift from 3:00 AM - 7:00 AM. Supper and breakfast are prepared and served for approximately 150 people. In addition to volunteers who serve at Hesed House, others plan the menus, make phone calls for food donations, or donate food. This is a very real way to answer Christ's call to feed the hungry.

HISPANIC MINISTRY
The St. Patrick Hispanic Ministry serves parishioners who prefer to attend Mass and receive other parish services in Spanish. Mass in Spanish is offered at the Downtown Church at 5:00 PM on Sundays and also at 6:00 PM on Thursday evenings. Parishioners who do not speak Spanish are always welcome at our services. Missals are available in both English and Spanish and a homily is often delivered in English at these Masses. There is also an excellent music ministry at Mass that really adds to our spirituality.

Any services offered to parishioners in English are also available in Spanish. These include CCD classes, sacramental preparation for children and adults, baptisms, reconciliation, marriages, and the sacrament of healing and the diocesan wide program, Why Catholic?. Special liturgies occur periodically throughout the year such as our observation of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12th. To find out more about the Hispanic Ministry, please call the office at (630) 513-3316. The office is located on the 2nd floor of the Religious Education Office at 211 N. 4th Street, St. Charles, IL 60174.

HOSPITAL VISITATION
Hospital Visitation is the ministry of offering Holy Communion to the Catholic patients at local hospitals and nursing homes. Eucharistic Ministers visit weekly on their assigned day.

KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS
The St. Charles Knights of Columbus is a Catholic men's service organization serving the St. Patrick and St. John Neumann Parishes. The Knights, through service and other activities, try to help each other become better husbands, fathers and men. We serve our families, our Church and our communities, by trying to grow in faith and lead by example. Meetings are held on the 2nd Monday of the month at St. John Neumann Catholic Church, 2900 E. Main St, St. Charles, IL 60174. Meetings begin at 7:00 PM. Learn more about the St. Charles Knights of Columbus: http://www.kofc12497.org/.

KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS - LADIES’ AUXILIARY
The Ladies Auxiliary is a Christian organization affiliated with the Knights of Columbus Council #12497. Together, our four areas of focus are: Church, Country, Council and Community. In particular, we support: Vocations, Women’s Outreach, Community Development and Catholic Education.  For a meaningful way to get involved and reach out to the community, Christian women of any denomination are invited to join the Ladies Auxiliary. Meetings are held at 7:30 PM on the first Monday of every month at the Downtown  Church in the Fr. Carse Center.  For more information, visit http://www.kofc12497.org/.

LANDSCAPE COMMITTEE
The Landscape Committee plans, plants and maintains perennial flower beds. Volunteers, either independently or in a group, may also adopt one of the flower beds to weed and care for throughout the growing season. Several large group work sessions are also held during this period. This group meets every Wednesday from 6:00 PM to sundown during the growing season.

LAZARUS HOUSE
Lazarus House is a year round emergency homeless shelter and transitional living facility for men, women, and children. The emergency shelter also includes a separate women's and children's center. Lazarus House is located at 214 Walnut Street in downtown St. Charles. Lazarus House serves approximately 70 live-in guests and individuals who live in our community but need food assistance to be able to afford to remain in their homes. St. Patrick volunteers provide the following help 2 - 3 Thursday evenings per month: provide cooked suppers, provide sack lunches and overnight assistance to Lazarus House staff. Volunteers serve once every 2 - 3 months. The beauty of volunteering at Lazarus House is that it provides assistance to members of our community in need, and it also gives volunteers the opportunity of living the words of Jesus, "For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, and ill and you cared for me". (Matthew 25:35-36)

LECTORS
The lectors of St. Patrick's Parish are a group of dedicated volunteers who proclaim the scripture readings at weekend and daily Masses. Being a lector is more than reciting words out of a book, it is proclaiming the Word of God! Only the priest is more visible than the lector during the Mass. Lectors are the link between the congregation and the message in the reading. Their role is to understand the context and meaning of the reading so that they can convey it to the listeners. That takes preparation.

At the initial training session, which takes about 90 minutes, each weekend lector is given a workbook which contains the readings for every Sunday and Holy Day of the liturgical year. The workbook provides historical and spiritual context for the readings, suggestions for delivery and a pronunciation guide for names and places mentioned. Each lector is asked to prepare for his or her scheduled Mass by reading the assigned readings out loud several times during the preceding week and meditating on their meaning.

If possible, members are assigned to the weekend Masses they normally attend. Weekend schedules are distributed by email and/or US mail four times a year. There are usually 4 - 6 people assigned to any particular Mass and they rotate on a weekly basis. The weekday Masses are covered by volunteers on a more informal basis - they work out the schedule among themselves. Anyone interested in becoming a lector should speak directly to a lector after Mass.   You can find the latest schedule under the Schedules / Lectors menu left-side navigation button.

LITURGY COMMITTEE
The Liturgy Committee establishes direction, goals and standards for the liturgical celebrations of the parish. The goal is to bring our faith community to full, active and conscious participation in the celebration of our various liturgical rites. The committee is comprised of the coordinators of our various liturgical ministries, specifically Altar Care, Altar Servers, Baptism Coordinator, Eucharistic Ministers, Flower Committee, Lectors, Music Ministers, Petition Writers, Sacristans, Ushers and Wedding Coordinators.

LITURGY OF THE WORD FOR CHILDREN
Liturgy of the Word for Children is held every Sunday at the Crane Road Church during the 9:45 AM and 11:30 AM Masses. The Downtown Church also offers this service every Sunday during the 9:00 AM and 10:30 AM Masses. Children ages 5 - 9 attending Mass are invited to participate in this presentation of the Gospel.

MARION PRAYER GROUP (See listing under "Prayer Groups")

MARRIAGE ENCOUNTER
Worldwide Marriage Encounter helps married couples rekindle the romance, deepen the communication, and nourish the spirituality in their marriage. The journey begins by attending a Worldwide Marriage Encounter weekend. Throughout the weekend, three couples and a priest present a series of talks that touch on many aspects of married life. After each presentation, couples spend time in the privacy of their own room for personal sharing, using techniques that are learned on the weekend. There are no group discussions.

Ongoing support after the weekend is offered in the form of meetings and activities with other couples who have also attended a weekend in the past. To learn more about Worldwide Marriage Encounter in the Rockford Diocese, go to http://www.alifetimeoflove.org/.

MEN WALKING WITH CHRIST
Men Walking With Christ seek to learn the values of life so that they might provide their families (and or extended families) with the joys, knowledge, wisdom and interpersonal skills necessary for a full and rewarding life. They meet monthly to provide spiritual nourishment, group support as well as develop closer individual relationships so as to strengthen themselves for the journey. Meetings are held the second Saturday of each month at the Crane Road Church. Confession is available from 6:30 AM - 7:00 AM before Mass begins. The remaining schedule is as follows: Mass, which begins at 7:00 AM, followed by the recitation of the Rosary, breakfast, discussion and prayers.Click here to join our discussion group and e-mail list.  Also read the latest in the newsletters.

MILITARY SUPPORT GROUP
The Military Group provides emotional and spiritual support of parish military personnel and families. The names of active duty military personnel are listed in the bulletin to be remembered in our prayers. Letters of thanks and encouragement are written to these brave people and sent to show our support. People are available to talk with anyone who needs support or has questions during stressful times.

MONDAY MORNING SCRIPTURE STUDY
The Monday morning Scripture Study meets on weekly on Monday from 9:00-11:00 a.m. and again on Tuesday evening Scripture study meets weekly from 7:00-9:00 p.m.  Both take place in the Fr. Carse Center at the downtown Church from September to May.  The cost of the binder of materials is $25.00.  Check out the parish Event Calendar for this year's schedule.

The Monday morning Scripture Study meets on weekly on Monday from 9:00-11:00 a.m. ,  Tuesday evening Scripture study meets weekly from 7:00-9:00 p.m.  Both take place in the Fr. Carse Center at the downtown Church from September to May.  The cost of the binder of materials is $25.00.  Check out the parish  for this year's schedule.

MOTHERS AT THE WELL
Mothers at the Well is a gathering of women of all ages designed to build friendships within the St. Patrick community while fostering personal development and spiritual growth. The program is offered by the Women of St. Patrick and is held on approximately five Friday mornings throughout the school year.  The program consists of a light meal, keynote speaker and small group discussion. Babysitting is available during the morning program.

Advance registration forms with current schedules are located in the "Wells" at the back of each church one month prior to each program.  Plan on attending and bring a friend! 

MUSIC MINISTRY
The music ministry offers many opportunities for parishioners to develop and share their music gifts. Singers, pianists, organists, orchestral instrumentalists (violin, viola, cello, bass, oboe, flute, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, horn, trombone, tuba, harp, percussion) are encouraged to join the music ministry.  For more information on how to get involved, please visit the Music Ministry tab on the left, or email the Muisc Director at cjzbylut@stpatrickparish.org  

PADDYFEST
This festival brings members of the parish and community together for an inexpensive weekend of socializing and family fun. The weekend is filled with food and refreshments, bingo, free children's games, a bake sale, a farmers' market, entertainment, a raffle and much more. Paddyfest is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and is usually held the weekend before Labor Day at the Crane Road Church.

PARISH NURSE MINISTRY
The Parish Nurse is a registered nurse who is committed to the healing mission of the Church, a unique means of linking ministry with health care. This ministry can provide assistance to both individuals and families by attending to their health-related questions and problems. The Parish Nurse also plans and implements approaches to address congregational health needs, including bereavement support. The Parish Nurse is a member of the parish staff and has an office located at the Father Carse Center.

PEACE AND JUSTICE TEAM
The mission of the Peace and Justice Team is to undertake activities which allow the principles of Catholic social teaching to become more widely known, understood, and practiced by our parishioners for the purpose of more fully developing their Catholic spirituality and advancing the causes of peace and justice in our parish, community, state, country, and the world. Meetings are the second Monday of every month at 7:00 p.m. in the Father Carse Center at the Downtown Church.

PETITION WRITERS
Each season of the Church year, writers are scheduled to develop the list of petitions read during Sunday Masses and Holy Days of Obligation with the intent being to personalize these petitions for our parish. Typically, individuals might be scheduled twice in a three-month period. There are no meetings.

PRAYER CIRCLE (See description under "Prayer Groups")

PRAYER GROUPS
There are many groups calling people to a fuller and more active prayer life. These include: Eucharistic Adoration, First Saturday Devotions, Bible Study, Marian Prayer, and the Prayer Circle.

Eucharistic Adoration is a beautiful opportunity to spend some intimate time with Jesus. At the Crane Road Church, adoration is held on Tuesdays from 7:30 AM until 10:00 PM.  At 3:00 PM, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy is prayed to remember our Lord's passion. At the Downtown Church, 24 hours of adoration begin following 8:30 AM Mass each Wednesday and conclude with Benediction prior to 8:30 AM Mass on Thursday. At the Downtown Church, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy is prayed at 3:00 PM Wednesday and 3:00 AM Thursday. Eucharistic Adoration originated to offer prayers of praise, thanksgiving, petition and reparation. It is a wonderful way to take time out of our busy lives to rest in the presence of Jesus who is present to us in the Blessed Sacrament. All are encouraged to spend some time in adoration each week, and if circumstances allow, commit to one specific hour each week. Come as your time allows and you will be richly and abundantly blessed.  

First Saturday Devotions - St. Patrick Parish has a rich tradition of honoring our Blessed Mother. One of these devotions, the First Saturday Remembrance, has been continually practiced for over forty years at St. Patrick's. Catholics have honored our Blessed Lady each first Saturday because of her constant faith in Jesus on the first Saturday after the resurrection. The Church recognizes the miracle of Fatima and the promise of graces for salvation to any soul who confesses, receives the Eucharist, participates in the Rosary and reflects on their redemptive powers. Please plan on participating in this tradition at the Downtown Church, where the devotional prayers are recited following the 8:30 AM Mass and during confession.

Fox Valley Catholic Women's Bible Study offers two semesters a year with 9 - 10 sessions apiece. A single biblical work is explored each year through presentations by teachers and small group discussions with facilitators. Child care and a children's program are available. It is open to all women of the parish. For mothers with small children there is also a small group called "Mothers with Babes in Arms". A regional Catholic church hosts this large program.

Marian Prayer Group meets every Tuesday at 7:30 PM in the Downtown Church. This is a devotion to the Blessed Mother with the entire rosary (Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious and Luminous mysteries) being the center prayer and ending with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Everyone is welcome to attend. The soul dances with joy gazing at our beautiful "Lady of Mt. Carmel" statue as we pray to Jesus through Mary's intercession.

Prayer Circle is a telephone network of people in the parish who have agreed to pray privately every day for the needs of others. A list of prayer requests is prayed for by each member using whatever method is best for that day. The Prayer Circle is a union of many voices daily praising God for all the wonderful things He has done and will do in the future. The power of prayer is awesome!

PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY
The Prayer Shawl Ministry involves those who knit and crochet shawls, filling them with love and prayer for healing.  This work links the recipients to God’s grace and enables them to know God’s love and care for them.  The shawls wrap the recipient in love, support, peace and warmth and help them to witness the power of prayer.  Having been blessed by a priest, the shawls are given away with a copy of a prayer of blessings.  A journal is kept of the recipients. 

Meetings take place at the Downtown Church in the Father Carse Center at 9:30 a.m. on the First Tuesday of each month, excluding July and August.  All are welcome.  Instructional help is available for those just learning or for those needing to refresh their skills.  (Those who cannot attend can create prayer shawls on their own.)  Completed shawls can be delivered to the Parish Nurse’s office at 6N487 Crane Road, St. Charles

PRIME TIMERS
The Prime Timers is a senior citizen group. They meet in the Father Carse Center of the Downtown Church the third Monday of the month, September through May, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. The meetings are social and include holiday celebrations.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
Click here to access the parish religious education and CCD information.

R.C.I.A.
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults is a program whereby an adult becomes a Catholic. It is designed specifically for: adults who have never been baptized in any denomination, or have been baptized in a non-Catholic denomination and wish to become Catholic. Baptized Catholics who have not received their Holy Eucharist or who have not been Confirmed are also welcome. R.C.I.A. candidates meet weekly for approximately nine months beginning in the fall.   Click here for more information on the R.C.I.A program.

For Youth Ministry information, scroll below to "Youth Ministry".

RESPECT LIFE COMMITTEE
The general purpose of the Respect Life Committee is to make parishioners more aware of pro-life issues and needs and to recruit volunteers to meet those needs. The committee has four objectives: 1) educational; 2) pastoral services to help with those in need; 3) prayer; 4) public policy to inform people of what's happening legislatively both locally and nationally.

SACRISTANS
Sacristans arrive early for Mass and help set up for the Eucharistic celebration at both churches. Their attention to the details helps the smooth flow of the liturgy. They make sure that all the liturgical ministers are present, set up the altar, prepare the gifts of bread and wine and attend to any special needs for a given celebration.

SCHOOL ORGANIZATIONS
St. Patrick Catholic School (http://www.stpatsirish.com/) is dedicated to the spiritual, intellectual, social and physical development of the child. We believe in providing the proper atmosphere where the message of Catholic Christian values concerning family, school and faith community may grow and become an active influence in our world. We do this primarily by our emphasis on the teachings of Jesus Christ as found in the scriptures and on the traditions of the Catholic Church. Daily prayer, religious instruction, weekly school Masses and Christian atmosphere are the means by which we emphasize these teachings and traditions. St. Patrick School offers education from kindergarten through eighth grade. All classes are at the downtown location with the exception of kindergarten, which is located at the Crane Road Church. There are two classes of each grade with a maximum of 30 students per class. There are many groups associated with the school, including Athletics, the Education Commission, Home and School Association, Market Day, Scouting and Sports.

Athletics is an important element of St. Patrick’s Catholic School, which is overseen by the Athletic Director. Cross-country, volleyball and basketball are offered to boys and girls in grades five through eight. These programs require a great deal of adult assistance in the form of coaching, score keeping, concessions, etc. An additional way to serve is on the Booster Club.

Education Commission advises the principal in the operations of the school including budget, maintenance of the physical plant, school policies and curriculum. Open meetings are held usually on the third Thursday of every month, August through June at 7:30PM in Room 002 located just next to the Cafeteria. All are welcome. The Commission consists of ex-officio and six voting members (four from St. Patrick and two from St. John Neumann.)

The Home and School Association consists of all teachers and parents or guardians of children attending St. Patrick Catholic School. Its purpose is six fold: 1) to promote a broader appreciation of the ideals of a Catholic education; 2) to enlist the spiritual, educational and social resources of home and school to provide the best Catholic education possible; 3) to provide a forum of exchange between parents, teachers and school administration; 4) to provide a solid organization to improve the school’s fund raising efforts; 5) to foster integration of families into the life of parish community; 6) to support the administration, faculty and policies of the school.

Market Day is a fund raising food cooperative that enables St. Patrick Catholic School to raise money consistently on a monthly basis. A product sheet is provided with a wide assortment of quality guaranteed meats and vegetables both fresh and frozen. Order sheets are available to all through St. Patrick Catholic School or may be mailed on request. Pick up is usually the second Thursday at St. Patrick Catholic School Cafeteria between 4:30 and 5:30 PM. All are welcome to participate.

Scouts include various levels of the Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Scouts of America. The purpose of the Boys Scouts and Girls Scouts is to develop future leaders of our country and community with the qualities of high character, good conduct, patriotism and service. To achieve these goals programs emphasize the sound principles of doing our duty to God and our country and of helping other people to the best of our abilities. There are many opportunities to participate in scouting as a member or an adult leader.

SECULAR FRANCISCANS
Secular Franciscans (formerly known as the Third Order of St. Francis and Brothers and Sisters of Penance) take no vows, but do have a Rule of Life which is simply a translation of Gospel values for every day life. The St. Francis Fraternity of the Fox Valley meets at the St. Patrick Downtown Church usually on the fourth Saturday morning at 9:00 AM.  Their vision statement includes: "Prayer, study, sacrifice, peace and justice, ecology, family values and celebration are key aspects of our life in fraternity".  Click here to access the St. Patrick Parish website page for the Secular Franciscans of the St. Francis Fraternity of the Fox Valley.

ST. VINCENT DE PAUL SOCIETY
The St. Vincent de Paul Society is a worldwide Catholic lay organization founded in 1833.  The Society at St. Patrick's provides emergency assistance to families in desperate situations.  Listening to and assessing their needs is done with a home visitation.  This plays a major role in determining how a family can be helped for each has its own situation.  The Vincentians' work is always confidential. They advocate (and beg) for Christ's poor.  For assistance, to volunteer or to donate, please call and leave a message at (630) 338-8270.

The St. Vincent de Paul Society also coordinates the parish's Clothing Drive and Food Collection ministries which take place on the first Sunday of the month.  A vehicle to receive donations is parked in front of the Crane Road Church before all weekend Masses.  At the Downtown Church, place all donations inside the Father Carse Center (see signs).

The food collections help stock our own parish's food pantry as well as that of our sister parish, St. Joseph, in Elgin.  Everyone is encouraged to bring a bag of nonperishable food. Clothing donations are taken to the Deja Vu resale shop located at 4th & South Streets in Geneva.  St. Patrick's St. Vincent de Paul Society has teamed up with other chapters within the Elgin Deanery to operate this facility.  Store hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  Please call (630) 232-6621 to arrange to donate gently used clothing and household items.

USHERS
Ushers are a vital part of our church ministry. They do more than help people find a seat at Mass, collect the offering and guide the flow of recipients to the Lord's Table. Ushers are a friendly face and a welcoming presence. Many times, ushers are the first face visitors see at St. Patrick, whether attending Mass or a special event such as First Communion or Confirmation.

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL (See listing under "Religious Education")

WEDDING COORDINATORS
Wedding coordinators assist at rehearsals and at wedding liturgies. They arrive 1/2 hour before the rehearsal to set up, greet the wedding party, and help with the rehearsal. The day of the wedding they arrive an hour before the wedding to set up, answer any questions that might arise and lend a hand wherever necessary. They start the wedding party down the aisle and stay to clean up after the wedding. This is a very fast paced, challenging and interactive ministry.

WELCOME COMMITTEE
The Welcome Committee helps ease new parishioners into the St. Patrick Community. Each newly-registered parishioner is contacted by a Welcome Committee member - a warm way to extend a hand to newcomers - and they are able to have their questions answered promptly. New committee members are always needed.

YOUTH MINISTRY
The Youth Ministry program at St. Patrick is comprised of many different ways of reaching out to the young people of our parish. From grade school through young adults, age-appropriate opportunities are provided to help deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church.  Up to date information can be found at www.rockedbygod.net

MIDDLE SCHOOL

EDGE is our outreach to middle school teens, facilitated by adult volunteers and members of the High School Peer Ministry Leadership Team.  Beginning in fall of 2014 this will take place in Dempsey Hall at the Crane Road Church twice a month during the school year on the 2nd and 4th Mondays from September thru May.     
EDGE (Every Day God Experiences) is broken into three sections, Social/Outreach, Catechesis and Prayer).  Once a month, the meeting will focus on an area of service.  This concept will be introduced in the fall as M525M (Matthew 5/25 Mondays) and provide an opportunity to focus on the Beatitudes and the Corporal Works of Mercy. 
Time frame of 3 – 6 pm broken down as follows:
3:15 – 4 pm - Special session for St Pat’s Grade school students
4:15 – 5:30 – General session for all Middle School students

RETREATS - During the school year we offer at least three retreat opportunities for our middle school teens. These
ROCKED BY GOD Retreats which are led by St. Pat’s PMLT always include Reconciliation, Holy Hour and Mass.  They are held at St. Pat’s, St. Thomas More (Elgin) and Sacred Heart (Lombard) parishes. Check with the Youth Ministry Office for dates, location and other information.

ROAD TRIPS, RALLIES, ETC.  -  We offer our annual trip to Downtown Chicago between Christmas and New Year for all ages and families.  In the summer we return to Chicago for baseball at Grant Park and fun at Navy Pier.  Both of these trips also include a visit to one of Chicago’s historic churches where we will attend Mass.

CAMP WOW – A Catholic Summer Camp for Middle School teens, led by members of PMLT from St Pat’s and three other parishes.  In addition to typical camp activities, our version of Camp WOW includes a perpetual Eucharistic Adoration chapel during camp as well as Daily Mass, Reconciliation, Rosary walk and Stations of the Cross. Camp WOW typically takes place in late June. Sign Up begins in November of the previous year and is usually full by Spring.

HIGH SCHOOL

FORUM - Weekly discussion and prayer group for high school teens that takes place year round. FORUM meets every Thursday from 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM in THE UPPER ROOM at the Downtown Church campus. FORUM is the foundation of the High School program and is centered on discussion of issues important to the lives of high school students and how that intersects with their faith as Catholics.  Prayer, in various forms, as well as the use and study of Scripture are integral parts of FORUM.  Enter thru the breezeway. Come when you can; no sign up required.
Special Summer Schedule takes place at the Crane Road Campus or ‘On the Road’

PEER MINISTRY LEADSERSHIP TEAM (PMLT) - Open to all high school students, Peer Ministry is for those teens that want to go deeper in their understanding of our Catholic faith and their relationship with Jesus Christ. The application process begins each Spring with summer activities geared toward those who want to check out what Youth/Peer Ministry is all about. It is followed by a Leadership and Training Retreat in August. During the school year, Peer Ministers are asked to lead EDGE, are invited to be part of the ROCKED BY GOD retreat ministry team and are eligible to apply to be Counselors for CAMP WOW. Meetings take place on Thursday evenings at The Upper Room before FORUM as needed.  Those who choose to be part of the PMLT pay an annual fee of $300 that covers all of their activities, with the exception of Camp WOW and any special away trips that might arise during the year.  Payment plans and work scholarships are available.

ROCKED BY GOD - This retreat ministry began in 2003 and since then we have presented retreats for over 15,000 middle and high school teens in Northern Illinois/Indiana, Colorado and Texas. Each year 6 - 8 retreats are conducted at other parishes and schools. Retreat leaders are drawn from PEER MINISTRY and work together to plan all aspects of the retreat including topic, Scriptural references, large and small group activities, skits and personal witness talks. One of the hallmarks of ROCKED BY GOD Retreats is the inclusion of Reconciliation, Eucharistic Holy Hour and Mass.

WINTER FORUM RETREAT - Each year, Youth Ministry hosts a retreat for high school students from the parish that is student-led by the seniors on the Peer Ministry Leadership Team. This 3 day, 2 night retreat takes place at the Downtown Church campus and allows the high school teens to encounter Christ in a unique way. Each year is a new theme and unique experience. This is open to all High School teens and their friends. Since 2004, members of the Peer Ministry team from Mooseheart have joined us on this retreat. They also join us for a joint training session at the beginning of the school year.  The Winter Forum Retreat will take place January 23-25, 2015. Check with the Youth Ministry Office for more details.

ROAD TRIPS, RALLIES, ETC.  -  As noted elsewhere, we offer our annual trip to Downtown Chicago between Christmas and New Year for all ages and families.  In the summer we return to Chicago for baseball at Grant Park and fun at Navy Pier.  Both of these trips also include a visit to one of Chicago’s historic churches where we attend Mass.

During the summer we have a schedule geared toward making the transition to high school and/or getting involved in Youth Ministry for the first time easy.  The summer calendar offers a number of social activities for you to get to know those who are already active in High School Youth Ministry.  These often include a Progressive Dinner, The Amazing Race and a trip to the Dunes, Mississippi River area or Lake Geneva.  This year we have a special road trip for prospective Peer Ministers to see the Irish band, Rend Collective in Lisle on August 8th.

The Diocesan Youth Rally will take place October 26th at Boylan High School and is open to those in 8th grade and High School. Contact the Youth Ministry office for more details.

COLLEGE AND YOUNG ADULT
MENTORS - Opportunity for our young adults to mentor high school Peer Ministers and assist with FORUM. You are also invited to work with middle school teens and EDGE and assist as leaders for ROCKED BY GOD retreats.

ALL AGES, ADULTS AND FAMILIES

HERE I AM, LORD - Begun in 2003, this 4 day conference is held Thursday thru Sunday on the first weekend of March. This is a parish wide event that draws people from all ministries to volunteer and be a part of the conference. Over 5,000 people attend one or more sessions of the conference.  In 2014, 4,000 meals were served!  The focus of the conference is vocations, discipleship and evangelization. Talks address the many vocations within the Church as well as chastity, respect life and other relevant issues. Nationally-known speakers and musicians address such issues as 'Universal Call to Holiness', 'What it means to be Catholic', service and social issues and evangelization.  We offer a variety of workshops geared to specific audiences.  Thursday evening is for St Patrick Religious Education students and parents from grade 6 and up. Friday’s grade school workshop is already SOLD OUT with 950 students and faculty attending.  The Saturday ‘Faith Enrichment Day Workshop’ is specifically geared to those in Confirmation programs and/or Youth Ministry programs.  For 2015, 700 of the 900 available spots are already pre-registered for.  Friday evening features family night with APeX Ministries followed by a Eucharistic Holy Hour and Prayer service with our visiting Religious guests. This conference is open to all members of the parish from grade school to seniors. This is the largest parish-based vocations event in the country with over 150 priests, brothers and sisters attending. Complete information can be found at www.hereiamlord.net

FIRST COMMUNION RETREAT - Begun in 2012, Youth Ministry coordinates and facilitates this retreat which takes place during the HERE I AM LORD Weekend. 

CHANGE OF HEART RETREAT - Begun in 2011, Youth Ministry coordinates and facilitates this retreat during February for those in 3rd thru 5th grade in the RE program.  Students at St. Pat’s grade school will be given the opportunity to attend as well.

RECHARGE – Begun in 2006, Mike Zak goes into the classroom twice a year to reinforce the lessons learned.  Through interactive participation and bribery (candy), 5th grade students come alive in this new approach to learning.

HOLY HOUR – Since 2006, Mike Zak leads the K – 5th grade students and teachers on a journey through the Old and New Testament to better understand Jesus in the Eucharist.  He utilizes storytelling, Q & A and contemporary music to facilitate the afternoon and evening sessions which take place in October.

RbG MUSIC MINISTRY – Under the direction of Mike Zak, teens join him in playing and singing Contemporary and Traditional songs for Mass, Eucharistic Holy Hour and Retreats.   

MASS ON THE GRASS – Since its inception in 2010, RbG Music Ministry has provided the music for Mass on the Grass at the Kane County Cougars Stadium in Geneva.  This summer, the event will take place on Sunday, July 27th and Youth Ministry will be taking a group as usual. 

SCOUTING AND HOME SCHOOL - Youth Ministry is actively involved with both Boy Scouts and American Heritage Girls, assisting with the Cathoree, Catholic awards as well as Eagle Scout projects.  Mike Zak was presented with the St. George emblem for his involvement since 1995.  Youth Ministry also makes a point to include the various home school groups in the area in its activities.

ROAD TRIPS, RALLYS, OUTINGS - During the Christmas season and the summer we offer a number of different activities such as trips to downtown Chicago. These outings combine faith and fun activities that expose our young people to the richness of the Catholic Church and take advantage of the various resources in the Chicago area.  Youth Ministry has also hosted the Summer Picnic series at Crane Rd since 2010 to welcome/bid farewell to parish priests & staff.

EVANGELIZATION
Youth Ministry is actively engaged in the NEW EVANGELIZATION and is well equipped to assist the pastoral team in bringing together the various ministries and parishioners thru speakers, family events and retreats to experience a NEW PENTECOST that emboldens one to actively evangelize in their everyday life.  We seek to instill a family atmosphere that transcends age.

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