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COMMUNITY LIFE MINISTRIES serve our needs for fellowship, hospitality, and social support.  For more information on becoming involved in any of the following ministries, please call the Church office at 225-473-3176.

·        RECEPTIONS & SOCIALS (Hospitality Ministry): Schedules, publicizes and puts on receptions, such as those following First Communion, Confirmation, Mass honoring Graduates of our Parish; puts on socials related to special meetings and Parish Missions; sets up refreshments for parish meetings.  Volunteers are needed who can be called upon periodically to help with food preparation, ordering and picking up catered refreshments, setting up in the Church Hall or Conference Room, and clean up. 

·        ANNUAL PARISH PICNICS (Hospitality Ministry): Schedules, organizes and publicizes annual fall parish picnic held on the church grounds.  Solicits and collects donations of food items needed to prepare meal, desserts, and refreshments.  Arranges and coordinates entertainment, helps with serving, set-up, tables, chairs, clean-up. 

·        WELCOMING NEWCOMERS (Hospitality Ministry):  This ministry will welcome all new parishioners into our family of faith, and help facilitate a sense of “belonging” to new parishioners by putting together packets of information and materials to familiarize them with our parish, its ministries, and auxiliary organizations, and invite them to do more than just attend Mass on the weekend, but to help them feel at home here and become involved in the life of the parish.   

·        YOUTH GROUP (Youth Ministry & Formation): Addresses and meets the needs of young Catholics as individuals, heightens their awareness of other people’s needs within the community, and increases their sense of community through fellowship.  Open to all Catholic youth in our parish grades 7 through 12.  Adult volunteers for this ministry organize and coordinate the activities and meetings as called, supervise service projects, chaperone outings, and provide good example as role models of Christian virtues and values in our faith community.   

·        YOUNG ADULTS (Youth Ministry & Formation): For single college age and adults under 30.  Provides a forum for gathering to socialize and discuss issues and needs relative to Christian values and growing up.   

·        SCOUTING COORDINATOR (Youth Ministry & Formation): Committed volunteer adult leaders and interested youth provide leadership for this time-tested and proven form of parish youth ministry here at Ascension of Our Lord.  Professionals from the local Council of the Boy Scouts of America stand ready to provide the program, adult leadership training, and all the tools and resources and nationwide camping and high-adventure facilities of the Boy Scouts of America to provide time-proven character building, instill collaborative leadership skills, promote family activities, and sense of duty to God and country to our youth.  Cub Scout Pack 308 and Boy Scout Troop 308.  

WORSHIP MINISTRIES provide for the ministers and atmosphere which enables our quality community liturgical celebration and worship. For more information on becoming involved in any of the following ministries, please call the Church Office at 225-473-3176. 

·        LECTORS/COMMENTATORS (Liturgical Ministry): Proclaim the Word of God and lead the assembly in prayer at liturgical celebrations.  Training required for new ministers; all ministers participate in ongoing formation.  Involves reading on a rotating schedule at weekend and holy-day Masses. 

·        USHERS (Liturgical Ministry): Serve as ministers of hospitality at liturgical celebrations, greeting people, assisting with seating parishioners, directing smooth flow of the assembly for receiving Holy Communion, assisting disabled worshippers, receiving offerings, etc.   

·        ALTAR SERVERS (Liturgical Ministry):  Young men and ladies of the parish, 3rd grade thru 12th grade, who assist the Celebrant at liturgical celebrations.  Annual training meeting.  Involves serving at weekend, holy day, and selected special liturgies as needed, on a rotating schedule. Offers a summer recreational trip.   

·        CHOIR (Liturgical Music Ministry): Composed of adults and youth who lead and enable congregational prayer through song at select weekend and holy-day liturgical celebrations.  It is not necessary to be a professional vocalist or to read music, but only to have a pleasing voice, to enjoy singing,  and have a willingness to share it in this ministry.  Involves attending a weekly evening rehearsal in addition to one Mass per weekend at which the choir sings.   

·        MUSICIANS (Liturgical Music Ministry): Add variety and color to liturgical music by playing guitar, piano, flute, organ, and other instruments to accompany choir and/or congregational singing during liturgical celebrations.  Involves attending weekly evening rehearsal with the choir, and accompanying Masses with congregational singing.   

·        LITURGICAL ENVIRONMENT (Liturgical Ministry): Discusses liturgical and worship issues relative to liturgical seasons, reviews current resources for        new ideas and suggestions, evaluates past seasons, implements liturgical themes with the interior   appointments and environment of the church building, especially with regard to liturgical seasons.  Orders, provides for, and arranges cut flower arrangements, green plants, decorations, banners, etc., depending on the feast or liturgical season.   

·        LADIES’ ALTAR SOCIETY:  Launders on a rotating basis the altar linens used at Mass.  Operates a small religious articles and devotional materials shop at the parish office, the proceeds of which are dedicated to the purchase of flower arrangements and decorations for special liturgical occasions, as well as to the purchase of other liturgical supplies and equipment.   

·        SACRISTANS (Liturgical Ministry):  Set up for special liturgical celebrations, attending to the preparation of supplies and instruments, sacred vessels, for weekend, holy-day, weekday, funeral, and wedding Masses; attends to the care and repair of vestments for clergy and altar servers.  Attends to good order and proper storage and inventory of liturgical supplies and equipment in sacristy.   

·        LITURGY PLANNING (Liturgical Ministry):  This group of volunteers meets weekly on Tuesday at 10:30 A.M. in the Conference Room to plan in advance our weekend and holy day liturgical celebrations. The scriptures are prayed, and through sharing and reflection using published resources, the theme of the liturgies is determined, and the penitential rite, Celebrant’s prayers to introduce and conclude the prayers of the faithful, the prayers of faithful themselves, and the Commentator’s introduction to the Mass are written.   

·        EXTRAORDINARY MINISTERS OF THE EUCHARIST: These special ministers are directly commissioned for limited terms at the discretion of the pastor to assist in the distribution of Holy Communion at scheduled liturgies and communion services, to carry Holy Communion to the homebound, the hospitalized, and prisoners incarcerated in prison or jail.  Special training and qualifications apply.  

·        LITURGICAL MINISTRIES SCHEDULING:  This ministry undertakes the challenging and essential task of advance scheduling and coordination of all liturgical ministers for all weekend and holydays liturgies, soliciting availability, mailing schedules to all liturgical ministries, and preparing the schedule for publishing in  the bulletin each week.   

TEMPORAL AFFAIRS MINISTRIES provide for many of the functional, operational, and physical needs of our parish.  For more information on becoming involved in any of the following ministries, please call the Church office at 225-473-3176. 

·        FINANCE COUNCIL:  This group of businessmen and businesswomen of our parish meet on a monthly basis to monitor professionally prepared and detailed  transaction registers and financial reports of the parish, to conduct financial planning, to prepare and oversee budget, and to generally advise the pastor on fiscal matters to assure sound stewardship and management of the financial resources of the parish.  Special training and qualifications apply.   

·        FACILITIES MAINTENANCE/CEMETERY MINISTRY:  Our church-owned facilities, including the largest and oldest Catholic cemetery in the diocese, extend over approximately six city blocks, and the maintenance, development, improvement, and repairs of the same classically account for a substantial part of our annual budget.  We depend heavily upon this group of qualified businessmen and professionals to advise the Pastor and our Facilities Custodian/Cemetery Supervisor on the best ways and means to economically and adequately maintain and improve our facilities to assure that the best interests of our parishioners is served, both in the present, and for the future.  Any of our parishioners who can offer their skills and manpower from gardening, landscaping, electrical and mechanical expertise, plumbing and carpentry and painting, to assist in repairs and improvements would be greatly appreciated.  Our skeletal maintenance staff is usually consumed with janitorial and lawn grooming tasks, and with jobs demanded in the operating of the cemetery and mausoleum.   

·        LAY DIRECTORS:  Legally, every Church parish is constituted as a non-profit corporation for the purpose of purchasing or selling real estate or entering into legal contracts.  The officers of every parish corporation are the Bishop and Vicar General of the Diocese, the Pastor, and two lay directors appointed by Pastor for the purpose of signing corporate resolutions which empower the Pastor to enter into needed contractual agreements which legally protect the interests of the church parish.   

·        ST. MATTHEW’S GUILD MINISTRY:  Count and prepares the Sunday collections for deposit each week.  Confidentiality required.  Strict diocesan guidelines for checks and balances needed in the handling of funds is demanded. 

·        BOOKKEEPING AND ACCOUNTING MINISTRY: These parishioners who are professionals exercise an invaluable ministry in sharing their expertise to prepare the monthly and annual financial reports, transaction registers, and budgets needed by the Finance Council for its financial planning and monitoring.  

·        CHURCH PRESERVATION PROJECT MINISTRY:  When a church building is as old and historic as ours, the planning and providing for its preservation becomes an ongoing and unending task.  Restoring it to its original magnificence to the Glory of God and assuring that it remains a viable liturgical worship space are a constant challenge, demanding tremendous resources from our generous parishioners, and expert consultants and contractors.  Those parishioners who involve themselves in this ministry are truly making history and providing a legacy for future generations to benefit the future of our entire community.   

·        OFFICE ASSISTANCE MINISTRY: Every once in a while there is a flurry of activity in the parish office, requiring the time and talents of those who can help with collating, folding, stapling, labeling papers or booklets or mailings.  This is kind of an “on call” ministry, usually for a weekday morning or afternoon.  

·        BULLETIN FOLDING & MAILING MINISTRY: Volunteers who fold the bulletins require the skills to operate and maintain an electric folding machine. Another group of volunteers gathers faithfully in the workroom of the parish office every Wednesday morning to insert flyers, apply the mailing labels, and bundle by carrier routes, to prepare the bulletins for mailing every week.   

·        DEVOTIONAL CANDLE RACKS:  This ministry maintains the two devotional candle racks in the rear of church, one at the image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the other at the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  The stands must be cleaned and repaired periodically, and the candle supplies and lighting wicks replenished frequently.             

·        APOSTOLIC SERVICE HOURS COORDINATOR: This ministry will organize and coordinate the apostolic service hour activities for students in the Catholic school who must earn Church service hours as part of their religion grade.  The purpose of the program is to introduce to our children at an early age all the opportunities available to them to exercise stewardship, and to give them opportunities to respond to the many ways in which their Church parish needs the service of their time and talents.   

EDUCATION MINISTRIES assist parents in their role as primary educators in providing ongoing religious education programs for their children, and assist adults in assuring the continuance and enrichment of their own religious education.  For more information on becoming involved in any of the following ministries, please call the Church office at 225-473-3176. 

·        ASCENSION CATHOLIC INTERPAROCHIAL SCHOOL BOARD:  Parents of children enrolled in Ascension Catholic Interparochial Schools are appointed for limited terms to serve as our parish representatives or to contribute specialized expertise to this consultative and policy formation body rendering invaluable aid, support, guidance and direction for future planning to the Pastor (Superintendent) and Administration of our Catholic schools. Special diocesan training and qualifications apply. Two parish representatives are appointed by the Pastor.   

·        (P.R.E.P.)  PARISH RELIGIOUS EDUCATION PROGRAM:  These volunteer catechists support parents whose children attend non-Catholic schools as they lead their children to grow in awareness of the presence of God and teach their children to live the Gospel as part of a believing community.  Teachers do not have to be professional educators but they are encouraged to participate in an on-going process of workshops and seminars available through the diocese as well as in parish teacher certification courses.  Catechists are responsible for reinforcing the Christian formation and instruction of students from First through the Twelfth grade levels.  Catechists, teacher aides, and substitutes are needed.  (Volunteer catechists agree to criminal background checks).   

·        VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL: Conducted for five consecutive mornings, Monday through Friday, for all children in our community, grades K - 6th, usually during the last week of June every summer, at the facilities of Ascension Catholic Primary School. (Adult volunteers agree to criminal background checks.)  

·        FIRST RECONCILIATION PREPARATION PROGRAM:  This sacramental preparation program runs for six weeks in the fall each year.  While parents of second grade candidates for First Reconciliation do the work, study, and assignments with their children at home, the candidates meet on six Saturday mornings when their assignments are reviewed by volunteer catechists and preparations are made for the actual celebration of the Sacrament early in Advent. (Adult volunteers agree to criminal background checks.)  

·        FIRST EUCHARIST PREPARATION PROGRAM: This sacramental preparation program runs for six weeks in the winter each year.  While parents of second grade candidates for First Eucharist do the work, study, and assignments with their children at home, the candidates meet on six Saturday mornings when their assignments are reviewed by volunteer catechists and preparations are made for the actual celebration of the Sacrament before Lent. (Adult volunteers agree to criminal background checks.)   

·        CONFIRMATION PREPARATION PROGRAM (YOUTH):  Volunteers for this ministry serve in various capacities, e.g. catechists, small group discussion facilitators, etc., while preparing eligible teenagers (usually 11th grade) for the Sacrament of Confirmation.  Involves participating in a period of faith-sharing, formation, and special meetings with the candidates for an hour and a half on sixteen Sunday evenings, to help the candidates fully appreciate the meaning of accepting and actively practicing as Christian adults their baptismal commitments. (Adult volunteers agree to criminal background checks. Click on this link for Confirmation Preparation Registration form.  

·        CONTINUING ADULT RELIGIOUS EDUCATION:  We never reach an age when we “know everything” we need to know about our faith, or using our faith more effectively  at the different stages of our lives.  We must continually grow and mature in our faith throughout our lives through study and prayer.  This ministry helps foster the continued spiritual formation and growth of Catholic adults by bringing guest speakers to teach classes on the Church and various teachings of our faith, bringing to us audio-visual Catholic educational resources, and becoming aware of and publicizing available resources for retreat opportunities.   

·        BIBLE STUDY GROUP:  This ministry fosters the continuing religious education efforts for adults of our community with the study of the bible by organizing, scheduling, and leading scripture study meetings using audio visual and published study guides and commentary resources.  

·        (R.C.I.A.) RITE OF CHRISTIAN INITIATION OF ADULTS:  This ministry assists those adults who have expressed an interest in becoming Catholic in their respective journeys of faith while participating in the year-long catechumenate process which culminated in the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults at the Easter Vigil.  Converts used to be received into full communion in the Catholic Church by a one on one instruction program with a priest.  Now, it is the Church itself (members of the Body of Christ), parishioners who help guide and provide example to those aspiring for full membership in the Church.  Click on this link for RCIA registration form.   

·        MARRIAGE PREPARATION PROGRAM  ASSISTANCE:  These individuals and/or married couples assist the Pastor in helping couples seeking Marriage to fulfill various aspects of the required preparation program, planning the wedding ceremony itself, and making arrangements for and conducting wedding rehearsals in our church on behalf of the Pastor.  Click on this link for Marriage Preparation Guidelines & Policy Brochure.  

SPIRITUAL LIFE MINISTRIES enrich and promote the spiritual growth of the Ascension of Our Lord Parish family, help discern more readily our personal pilgrimages of faith, and increase a sense of our need for on-going conversion, renewal, leading to a life of prayer in action.  For more information on becoming involved in any of the following ministries, please call the Church office at 225-473-3176. 

·        ROSARY PRAYER GROUP: The Rosary is recited Monday through Friday at 6:15 A.M. prior to the beginning of the 6:30 A.M. Mass, and in the Main Church on Wednesday afternoons at 2:15 P.M.  We would like to see the ministry of this group expanded to offering to lead the Rosary at the Funeral Home during wakes.   

·        PERPETUAL ADORATION MINISTRY:  This ministry consists in a commitment to spend one designated hour per week in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament exposed in our Perpetual Adoration Chapel.  The adoration is ongoing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (except from Holy Thursday evening through Holy Saturday night). year-round, and is the source of untold and countless miraculous blessings as testified by the hundreds of committed adorers currently participating in this ministry.  Commitment to the more difficult hours reap the richest personal blessings.   

·        PARISH MISSION MINISTRY:  Each year this ministry hosts, publicizes, makes arrangements for a Parish Mission to be conducted as a special opportunity for spiritual and personal growth in faith.  The mission is normally conducted either in Advent or during Lent, and all parishioners are invited and encouraged to participate.  

·        SMALL FAITH COMMUNITIES MINISTRY:  A number of small scripture and topical oriented groups meet regularly at the home of the group facilitator.  Members share prayer, scripture, and their individual faith journeys with Christ.  These groups are considered the mini-parishes within our parish, and often take on ministerial projects of their own which support and contribute to the overall ministries of our Church parish.  We currently have 4 active small faith communities, each with a unique focus and style.   

·        STEWARDSHIP MINISTRY:   We are called to practice “Stewardship as a Way of Life” by remembering that all that we are and all that we have comes to us a gift from God.  Good stewards make a return of the first portion of their time, treasure, and prayer back to Lord. This ministry of taking on the organizing, scheduling, and legwork to insure that our parish carries out all three phases of our Total Stewardship Program each year has been assumed by one of our active Small Faith Communities.   

·        VOCATIONS MINISTRY:  In this day and age, when the numbers of priestly vocations has drastically diminished and the numbers of Catholics continue to drastically increase, the business of promoting and encouraging vocations to the priesthood is clearly everybody’s business.  Every parish needs a ministry of those committed to making special efforts to pray for vocations frequently, to educate young adults and parents about the need for vocations, and to identify and encourage prospective candidates for a vocation to the priesthood from within our own families and community.  If our future priests and religious are not among our own children now, where are they?   

·        EVANGELIZATION MINISTRY:  There are many people in every Christian community who are unchurched or fallen away from the practice of their faith.  Catholic evangelization efforts have been on the rise everywhere, through which age-old “myths” about “Catholics” are being dispelled and we are reaching out to people with the “good news” of the Christian faith as lived out and experienced in the Catholic religious tradition.  This is a ministry of being proud of our religious heritage and letting people know that we are here, and inviting them to come back and join us.   

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY MINISTRIES provide direct service to helping people survive their immediate crises and enable a consolidated means for our parish family to administer the corporal works of mercy as best we can.  For more information on becoming involved in any of the following ministries, please call the Church office at 225-473-3176. 

·        BEREAVEMENT MINISTRY:  Most of our parishioners are probably participating in this ministry on an individual basis already, for our community is renowned for its compassion when anyone suffers the loss of a loved one through death.  We are perhaps most active in this ministry by preparing and delivering food dishes to the homes of the bereaved when a death in the family occurs.  We could become more active in an organized way by having volunteers who are willing to help the bereaved with the sometimes difficult task of making appropriate liturgical arrangements for the funeral Mass, such as selecting music, scripture readings, procuring lectors and Extraordinary Ministers.   

·        CARE OF THE HOMEBOUND:  Volunteers keep tabs on our homebound parishioners to make sure that their spiritual and sacramental needs are met.  Occasionally, such needs as grocery trips and transportation to church on the weekends also arise.  Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist are called upon to bring Holy Communion to the homebound each week.  This ministry assists the priest in getting around to visit the homebound with Holy Communion, and the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of the Sick and the Sacrament of Reconciliation once a month.   

·        JAIL MINISTRY:  A Communion Service is conducted every Sunday afternoon and Mass is provided once a month at Ascension Parish Jail.  Rosaries and religious and catechetical reading materials need to be solicited and collected for distribution to the prisoners, as well as having supplies for the Communion Services and Masses packed each week to assist the priest in getting there for Mass or the Extraordinary Minister in getting there for the Communion Service.  Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist are called upon to conduct the Sunday afternoon Communion Service when Mass is not provided.   

·        ANGOLA PRISON OUTREACH MINISTRY:  A number of Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist from our parish assist on a monthly basis in the distribution of Holy Communion to prisoners at Angola State Penitentiary under the supervision of the Catholic Chaplain there.   

·        EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE MINISTRY:  Volunteers assist with a screening and interviewing process for the needy in our community and transients who apply for assistance with utilities, rent, food, physician visits and prescriptions, clothing, and household items.  This assistance is funded with donations to the poor box in the rear of church and receipts from clothing sold in our “Daughters of Charity Center Thrift Shop and is subsidized with church support funds.   

·        DAUGHTERS OF CHARITY CENTER THRIFT SHOP MINISTRY:  Located in the former Chapel of the “newer” convent building, second-hand clothing in good condition that is donated is laundered, sorted by size and condition, shelved and hung on racks, for inspection and purchase by visitors on Tuesday mornings when the Thrift Shop is open.  Clothing that cannot be re-sold for pennies on the dollar is packed and carried periodically to the St. Vincent de Paul Center in Baton Rouge.  Household items such as pots, pans, dishes, utensils, towels, spreads, sheets, pillowcases, are also donated for re-sale.  Receipts from sales are used to fund emergency assistance needs.   

·        THANKSGIVING FOOD BASKETS:  Non perishable food items and monetary contributions are solicited annually, and are used to assemble and deliver food baskets for Thanksgiving to needy families in our community.  Volunteers collect, store, and sort the donated food items, purchase perishable items for the baskets, assemble, and deliver the baskets in time for Thanksgiving.   

·        CHRISTMAS “GIVING TREE”:  In conjunction with Donaldsonville Elementary School, a Christmas tree is placed in the church foyer early in Advent bearing paper ornaments describing a needy child in the community for whom a Christmas gift is needed.  Volunteers make the paper ornaments, hang them on the tree, for parishioners to take after Sunday Mass.  When gifts are brought back to church and placed under the tree, they are collected, stored, sorted, and ultimately delivered to the children for Christmas.   

·        CHRISTMAS FRUIT BASKETS FOR SHUT-INS:  This ministry solicits donations of fresh fruit and monetary contributions  near Christmas so that fresh fruit baskets can be prepared and assembled and delivered to needy shut in families at Christmas.   

·        EASTER “CARE PACKAGE” FOR SHUT INS: This ministry prepares a gift “care package”, usually an assortment of religious and devotional items with an Easter message, for delivery to the households in our parish with shut-in parishioners for Easter each year.   

·        HOSPITAL MINISTRY: This ministry visits and monitors patients at Prevost Memorial Hospital and contacts Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist to insure that they are brought Holy Communion while hospitalized, and if requested, receive the Sacrament of the Sick and the Sacrament of Reconciliation from a priest.   

·        NURSING HOME MINISTRY:  Mass is celebrated every Friday morning at 9:45 A.M. at the D’Ville House Nursing Center. This ministry sets up for the Mass every Friday, and ensures that liturgical supplies and vestments are on hand. Volunteers lead the recitation of the Rosary before or after Mass, and accompany the priest with Holy Communion to the individual rooms of residents who could not attend Mass.  During  Lent, the Stations of the Cross are led weekly for the residents, and once a year, a communal celebration of Sacrament of the Sick is celebrated.  This ministry also solicits donations of prizes to be awarded for the weekly Bingo which is conducted for the residents.   

·        RESPECT LIFE MINISTRY:  This ministry plans, promotes implements prayer, activities, and events which foster and advocate in our local community respect and dignity of human life at all stags.  It especially promotes the protection of the rights of the unborn, and all those who cannot speak out for themselves to protect their own rights. 

 

·          MARRIAGE & FAMILY COUNSELING ASSESSMENT & REFERRAL:  This ministry by our professional pastoral staff confidentially direct couples and families whose marriages and homes are troubled, to licensed marriage and family counselors whose expertise and training can help them.. This ministry also offers confidential assistance for this counseling is needed, so that no situations or circumstances which require help are neglected for lack of funds.  A licensed psychotherapist contracted with Catholic Community Services in Baton Rouge is at the church office by appointment only on weekday evenings for convenient and professional personal, family, and marriage counseling services.

 

A Eucharistic Community Since 1772

 

 

 

716 Mississippi Street PO Box 508 Donaldsonville, Louisiana 70346

225.473.3176 Fax 225.473.3256

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