Parish and School Ministries
Our Mission Statement
We Make Disciples
Finance Council: The Finance Council is comprised of parishioners with an expertise in finance who review monthly financial statements, approve the budget for the parish and the school, and advise the pastor on financial matters.
Parish Pastoral Council: The purpose of the parish pastoral council is to investigate parish matters, to consider them thoroughly, and to propose practical conclusions about them. The council’s task is, first of all, to study those matters brought to its attention and shed light on them. Its second task is to reflect on them thoroughly, to discern their true nature, and then evaluate and ponder them. Its final task is to draw sound conclusions. The council presents these conclusions to the pastor in the form of recommendations. This threefold task of the council – investigating, considering, and recommending conclusions – is called pastoral planning. Council members are chosen, above all, for their ability to accomplish the main task of the council – the work of investigating, considering and recommending practical conclusions. They are baptized Catholics in good standing with the Church who reflect the parish’s various neighborhoods, social and professional groups, and apostolates. Finally, they are parishioners noted for their faith, good morals, and prudence.
Parish Trustees: Our trustees are lay members of the parish who serve with the Bishop and pastor in forming the corporate structure of the parish.
Faith in our Future Implementation Council (FIOF): This Council is comprised of Father Dan, four parishioners and two staff to work collaboratively with the surrounding parishes comprising Cohort 3 in Burlington County: Holy Eucharist, Tabernacle; St. Isaac Jogues, Marlton; St. Joan of Arc, Marlton; and, St. John Neumann, Mt. Laurel. Contact Father Dan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Faith. Our Family. Our Future. (OFOFOF) Leadership Council: This Council is comprised of Father Dan and 20 parishioners who will be instrumental in upstarting this combined capital campaign to benefit St. Mary of the Lakes and the Diocese of Trenton. Contact Father Dan at email@example.com.
School Board: The St. Mary of the Lakes School Board provides assistance and advice to the Pastor and the Principal. The Board assists with financial planning and budget preparation, as well as setting long/short-range goals for our school.
The Bear’s Den: This is a fun-filled social group for adults (18 and older) who have special needs and are living at home. It gathers once a month for social activities, to renew old friendships and develop new ones. It is a chaperoned event, allowing caregivers to relax and have time to themselves.
Community Sunday Committee: This ministry brings the mandate “Love Your Neighbor” alive in the parish by fostering a warm welcome to our parishioners on Community Sunday and other gatherings at various times through refreshments and fellowship.
Single Women's’ Club: The Single Women’s Club is for those who are widowed, divorced or never married and seeking the companionship of other women.
Hospitality Committee: The special events committee coordinates receptions for special events, such as a seminar or parish mission, throughout the year.
75th Anniversary Committee: This committee is responsible for all preparations for the upcoming milestone in 2018. Subcommittees include: the Mass, Commemoration, Social, History and Fundraising.
Baby's First Christmas: On the Feast of Epiphany, after the 10:30 a.m. Children’s Mass, families of those babies who have been baptized since the previous Christmas are invited to the Emmaus Center to enjoy breakfast provided by the Knights of Columbus. The Young Adults ministry hosts the event and presents each family with a “Baby’s First Christmas” Christmas tree ornament.
Adult Choir: The choir sings at either the 9:00 or 10:30 a.m. Mass each Sunday, as well as for special liturgical events. They rehearse every Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m.
Altar Servers: Both boys and girls, fourth grade and above, are invited to serve at Mass assisting priests and deacons with liturgies.
Art and Environment: The members of this ministry decorate the church Sunday Masses and special celebrations. Some members launder and maintain liturgical linens and vestments, and others help clean the liturgical spaces.
Charismatic Prayer Group: This group convenes in the Emmaus Center each Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. for prayer and praise to God, intercessory prayer, scripture and personal witness.
Children’s Choir: The children’s choir is composed of both PREP and school children from grades 2-5. Practice is on Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. They sing at various Masses throughout the year and join the adult choir for a Christmas concert.
Children’s Church: We offer a “Children’s Church” in the Emmaus Center During the 10:30 a.m. Mass for children ages 4-5. The children stay approximately one-half hour before returning to the church.
to share in the presence of Christ in Adoration and to honor the Blessed Mother. The
Miraculous Medal Novena: This ministry is in conjunction with weekly Adoration on Thursday evenings at 6:30 p.m. in the church/chapel. Benediction follows the Novena. Check the weekly calendar in the bulletin as times may change.
Pray for Vocations Ministry: Families are asked to take home an icon of Mother of the Eternal High Priest and prayer cards after Sunday Mass and pray together for vocations every day for a week. The icon is then returned to the sacristy the following Sunday for the next family.
Prayer and Bible Study: This group meets every Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in the Emmaus Center for scripture, prayer, and sharing. Parents may bring their children.
Readers: Readers proclaim the Word of God at Mass on Sundays, Holy Days of Obligation, and daily Mass. Since we encounter Christ in His Word as well as in the Eucharist, the ministry requires persons with a strong, clear voice who can express clearly the words of Scripture.
Rosary: The rosary is prayed daily aftr the 7:15 a.m. and 9:00 Masses, at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, and at 7:30 p.m. every Tuesday.
Sacristans: These are our Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion who help set up for Mass.
School Altar Servers and Sacristans: Students prepare the altar and serve at school Masses.
Ushers: Ushers provide assistance to those entering the church and those in need during liturgical functions. They also take the collection during the Preparation of the Gifts.
Cathedral Kitchen Ministry: St. Mary of the Lakes Students provide a brown bag lunch, drink, dessert, and they create original place mats for this mission in Camden which feeds the homeless and homeless families living in local shelters, twice a day. Students remain after school to prepare the meals with all food donated by SML School families. Each month a different grade level participates by making the meals and preparing them for delivery to the Cathedral Kitchen in Camden on the first Friday of each month.
Confirmandi Community Service: Students in grades 6-8 perform several hours of community service to prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Emergency Operations Council: This group of parishioners has a background in law enforcement and safety. They develop and improve a proactive plan to minimize (collateral) damage in a bad event. They also maintain and update a plan with which parishioners and emergency personnel can respond quickly at St. Mary of the Lakes.
Environmental Awareness: Our purpose is to use our knowledge, enthusiasm, and love of the environment to motivate, inspire, and educate members of our parish and community to preserve and protect the environment, to conserve natural resources, and to foster a better understanding of the need to care for God’s creation.
Fall/Spring Planting at the School: Performed by volunteer parents and scouts of the school.
Feed My Sheep Casserole Program: The casserole program is sponsored by our youth group and is one of the ways we assist the poor and vulnerable. Frozen casseroles can be dropped off at the Parish Office Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Casseroles are donated to the Christian Caring Center in Brown’s Mills, New Jersey and the New Jerusalem Center in Philadelphia.
Frozen casseroles are dropped off at the parish office from September through June. Casseroles are donated to “Joe’s Place” at Sacred Heart Church in Camden and to the Christian Caring Center in Brown’s Mills.
Fifth Grade Medford Leas Ministry: Fifth grade students of St. Mary of the Lakes school partner with Medford Leas, a retirement community, to coordinate visits with the residents, make crafts, read to them, play games, and take them on walks several times a year.
Interfaith Hospitality Network: As a member of this national ministry, St. Mary of the Lakes houses and feeds area homeless families for one week, four times a year in the Emmaus Center. Parishioners provide food, transportation, and companionship to the guests.
JOY (Just Older Youth): This ministry is comprised of adults age 50+ who enjoy friendship, travel, social events and serving the community through social justice and outreach to the needy. It also devotes time to those who are home-bound for many reasons through its “Two Bowls of Soup” program.
Joe’s Friends: Volunteers make weekly (or more frequent) phone calls to those who want to be connected to parish life. It aims to reduce feelings of loneliness or isolation and improve the quality of life and well-being. They take time to listen and chat about anything, from current affairs to parish events to the weather.
Designed to build the morale of and be friendly to someone who is shut in or who doesn’t get much company, to be a good listener for someone who wants to talk for a while, and give that person something to look forward to, among others. Members will call anyone who needs encouragement, comfort, a sense of belonging or who would benefit from talking to someone. There are those who especially need to be reminded that they aren’t forgotten, such as the elderly or disabled, are in nursing homes or at home, who are sick for a prolonged period, who are alone and/or hospitalized, the bereaved, lonely, or isolated/in recovery and confined to home.
Who can be a caller? Anyone who has access to a phone and is willing to call someone at least once a week! Age is not important. Shut-ins are welcome and encouraged to be callers. If you would like to become a member and caller, or if you know someone who could benefit from this outreach ministry, call the parish office.
Knights of Columbus: The largest organization of Catholic laity in the country, The Knights of Columbus develop fraternity by promoting Catholic values and by serving the parish community using the principals of charity, unity, and patriotism. They participate in parish social/charitable activities throughout the year. Visit www.Medfordknights.org for more information.
Knights of Columbus Ladies Auxiliary: This group of women assists the local chapter of the Knights with special events, fundraising, works of mercy and/or charity promoting Catholic valuues.
Mission Club: Children of St. Mary of the Lakes School perform acts of charity and service to local, state, and foreign organizations in need. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parish Health Ministry: This ministry supports and promotes spiritual/ physical wellness for the parish community and Medford/Medford Lakes residents by providing health education and screenings, counseling, information, referral, advocacy and visitation to individuals and groups.
Prayer Shawl Ministry: Anyone who enjoys knitting/crocheting are ideal ministers who pray while creating a shawl in the privacy of their own home for someone who is ill, suffered a loss, or has other hardships. Shawls are given freely with love and can be requested at the parish office.
Saint Mary of the Lakes Apostolic Reach-Out Team (SMART): SMART dedicates itself to sharing with the hungry/homeless in our parish and local community. Members reach out to those in need and share food for nourishment of the body and spiritual resources for the soul. Each year, they host a Christmas dinner at the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen.
Saint Mary of the Lakes School Giving Tree and Jesse Tree: Students and school families donate gifts for needy school families, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, Catholic Charities, Providence House and homeless families served by the Cathedral Kitchen in Camden.
Social Committee: Creates special social events throughout the year, some in conjunction with such holidays as St. Patrick's Day, Mardi Gras, et al.
Society of St. Vincent de Paul: This Catholic lay organization offers person- to-person service to those in need, such as food, assistance with mortgages, rent, utilities, et al. Its thrift shop and food pantry are located on Jones Road, Medford. The parish has a monthly food collection to help fill the food pantry.
Wedding Facilitators: Members assist wedding rehearsal andorganize the bridal party on the day of the wedding.
Baptismal Preparation: Baptismal preparation classes for first-time parents are held monthly and provide an overview of the Sacrament, the commitment being made, and what is required of a Godparent.
Bible Study: Bible study provides an opportunity for parishioners to learn about and more fully experience the scripture in their lives. Our bible study group meets on Wednesday mornings at 10:15 a.m.
Cub Scouts: Parish-chartered Cub Scout Pack 108 is one of Medford’s most exciting youth organizations. Find information on our Community Facebook page, Medford Cub Scouts Pack 108 or www.medfordcubscouts.com.
Library: Our lending library cart in the vestibule of the Jackson Road entrance has books, DVDs, and CDs which parishioners can borrow. Volunteers maintain the cart after Sunday Mass.
Literary Guild: Our Literary Guild meets several times a year to discuss both Catholic and contemporary literature.
PREP (Parish Religious Education Program): PREP assists in the faith formation of parish children not enrolled in our school. They are immersed in the teachings of the Church, its worship, and prayer life and are empowered to live and proclaim the GOOD NEWS as they reach out in service to others. Call (609) 654-2546, Ext. 315.
Pre-Cana: Offered in the spring and fall, Pre-Cana is a marriage preparation program for engaged couples led by a group of married parishioners.
Becoming a Catholic: Becoming a Catholic, or participating in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), is a process of spiritual formation by which the Church prepares those 16 years of age or older for the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist. If you are interested in being baptized, completing your sacraments of initiation as a Catholic, or being received into full communion with the Catholic Church please consider RCIA. We meet every Monday at 7:00 p.m. Contact Christine Brandt (609) 654-8208, Ext. 113/ email@example.com.
Respect Life Ministry: Participants in this ministry are committed to fostering prayer for the unborn, advocating programs that assist those who choose life and embracing projects directed at ending abortion, as well as providing information about other pro-life issues.
Saint Mary of the Lakes School: St. Mary of the Lakes School is a pre-K through 8th grade school committed to promoting a Christian environment where students are instructed in the foundations of the Catholic Faith, and prepared academically to face future challenges.
Saint Mary of the Lakes School Athletic Association: The Athletic Association is dedicated to providing the best possible athletic instruction and experience through sports to the students of our school and to supplement our existing Physical Education Program. The Athletic Association is made up of volunteer coaches and an Executive Board.
Saint Mary of the Lakes School Bands: The Beginners Band is for students in grade four and the Advanced Band is for students in grades five through eight. Students perform at two annual school concerts and other events throughout the year.
Saint Mary of the Lakes School Before/After School Care Program: This program is available 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Call (609) 654-2546, Ext. 225
Saint Mary of the Lakes School Choir: School Choir members visit Medford Leas and the senior housing living facility behind the school. They are invited to perform at the Medford Dickens Festival in December, they sing each year at a Camden River Sharks baseball game, and participate in the annual 101.5/101.1 Christmas Choir Competition.
Saint Mary of the Lakes School Drama Club: The St. Mary of the Lakes Drama Club is open to students in grades 5-8 who love to act, as well as those with an artistic ability, musical talent, or interest in staging and lighting. The club members perform a musical production each spring. The Drama Club’s ultimate goal is to nurture students into confident and independent young adults who appreciate the arts.
Saint Mary of the Lakes School PTA: The Parent Teacher Association supports the faculty and staff of our parish school and enhances parents’ ability to participate actively and effectively in their child’s education.
Saint Mary of the Lakes School TV Crew: Eighth grade students, who prepare scripts, create sets, research and tie current events to our Faith, create School Service Announcements, and anchor a broadcast every morning. They also lead the entire school in a morning prayer each day.
YES Sr., Youth Energized in the Spirit Senior High Youth Group: This parish youth ministry for high school students offers youth the opportunity to explore their faith throughout their relationships, their experiences and prayer life. YES focuses on topics which are important to today’s youth and challenges them to live their everyday lives by Gospel values. The group meets regularly on Sunday evenings, participates in service projects and hosts various social activities throughout the year. Contact Linda Xerri (609) 654-8208, Ext. firstname.lastname@example.org.
YES Jr., Youth Energized in the Spirit Junior High Youth Group: The youth of the parish (grades 5-8) are provided with opportunities for religious education, spiritual growth and participation in service, leadership and school activities. The programs are designed to inspire the youth of the parish with a deeper understanding and connection with their church. Contact: Linda Xerri (609) 654-8208, Ext. email@example.com.
Virtus: Virtus is a program for all adults who are closely working with our parish children and teenagers. The Diocese of Trenton requires that everyone who has regular contact with children and young people (priests, religious, employee, educator or volunteer) attend a Virtus session. Sessions are offered throughout the year. Please visit virtusonline.org.
Millennials Ministry: This ministry is led by and for millennials, those who are 25–35 years old to encouraage fellowship and address issues of concern to millennials (e.g., networking, debt reduction, parenting, mentoring). Information can also be found on the Young Adults Ministry page here on our website.