We are pleased that you wish to become an Altar Server. This is an important ministry which enhances the celebration of Mass. Altar Serving is one of the ways our young people can begin to live out their Baptism promises by serving others and witnessing to their faith in Jesus Christ. By serving at the Altar and assisting the priest, Altar Servers have the opportunity to celebrate the Mass with more active participation. In our parish, any boy or girl who has received their Holy Communion can become an Altar Server. The Ministry of Altar Serving happens on a rotating basis. Each server is provided with a schedule and proper training. Scheduling is flexible. We have two masses on weekdays and three on Sundays.
The Altar Servers meet every Thursdays in the evening at 6 pm
EXTRA ORDINARY MINISTERS OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST
In every celebration of the Eucharist, there should be a sufficient number of ministers of Holy Communion so that it may be distributed in a reverent and orderly manner. Bishops, priests and deacons distribute Holy Communion in virtue of their office as ordinary ministers of the Body and Blood of the Lord. When the size of the congregation is large or If the ordinary ministers of Holy Communion are not present, "the priest may call upon extraordinary ministers to assist him, i.e., duly instituted acolytes who have been deputed for this purpose. In case of necessity, the priest may also depute suitable faithful for this single occasion (GIRM 162)."
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion should receive sufficient spiritual, theological, and practical preparation to fulfil their role with knowledge and reverence. In all matters they should follow the guidance of the diocesan bishop.
All ministers of Holy Communion should show the greatest reverence for the Most Holy Eucharist by their demeanour, their attire, and the manner in which they handle the consecrated bread or wine. All ministers of Holy Communion are also called upon to take Holy Communion to the sick and Home bound, who are unable to attend regular liturgy. This ministry provides the sick and home bound a sense of community and belonging.
The Ministers of the Word (or Lectors) serve the liturgical assembly by proclaiming Sacred Scripture during the Liturgy of the Word. The competent exercise of this role enables the Church to hear the Word of God more clearly and receive it more readily and also leads the Prayer of the Faithful.
The Appointment of the Lectors are done once a month and on Sundays and other Holy Days, the community appointed for that month selects the lectors form its community to proclaim the Word of God.
THE LEGION OF MARY
The object of the Legion of Mary is the glory of God through the holiness of its members developed by prayer and active co-operation with Mary and the Church work. The unit of the Legion of Mary is called a presidium, which holds a weekly meeting, where prayer is intermingled with reports and discussion. Persons who wish to join the Legion must apply for membership in a Presidium.
The Legion sees as its priority the spiritual and social welfare of each individual. The members participate in the life of the parish through visitation of families, the sick, both in their homes and in hospitals and through collaboration in every apostolic and missionary undertaking sponsored by the parish. Every legionary is required to carry out a weekly apostolic work in the spirit of faith and in union with Mary.
We have one Presidiums in our parish in English which meets every Saturday after the evening.
THE PARISH PRAYER GROUP [ redo it ]
Come join us and Pries the Lord ever TUESDAY after the evening Mass.
SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL
The Parish Youth Council (PYC) has its main objective to animate Youth Ministry in the parish and nurture the charisms of the various youth related organizations and coordinates with the Neighbourhood Youth Groups (NYG) and the Ecclesial Youth Movements (EYM) in our parish. The PYC strives to promote the all round growth and development of ALL youth in our parish in accordance with the vision statement of our Parish.
The PYC will coordinate with the NYGs and promote the all-round growth and development of all Youth of the Parish in accordance with the aims of the Diocesan Youth Centre of "Fellowship, Formation and Service"
MAIN FEATURES OF THE PYC
It is a representative body, youth from the NYGs, EYMs, and PYGs are represented as members to the PYC.
It represents the interests of the entire parish. The agenda of the PYC is the agenda of every youth of the parish. All members of the PYC are allowed to express themselves and decision to be arrived by the PYC carefully keeping in mind the interests of the youth and the vision set by the archdiocese.
Continuity in Youth Ministry, irrespective of transfer/change of members on the PYC, the youth ministry of the parish should enjoy continuity, by building on the past and looking ahead to the future.
Keeping in mind the vision statement of our Parish is to build communities of love and service, we aim to build the confidence levels among the youth, giving them a definitive identity and orientation. We hope to help the youth to grow in maturity, responsibility, social concerns and create in them a sense of belonging to a community called a church, in which they chose to be involved because they see themselves as agents of Change.
It is a representative body, youth from the NYGs, EYMs, and PYGs are represented as members to the PYC.
The NYGs are grouped according to the communities we have in the parish so in all we have 16 NYG’s which function independently. Each of these NYG’s have a lay person looking after them.
Each NYG has its representatives in the PYC (NYG Leader & Animator)
Each NYG is animated by a NYA ( Neighbourhood Youth Animator/ Community youth animators ) jointly with the PYA ( Parish/ Community Youth Animator ) assigned for the respective section
NYG Meetings: Monthly in the respective NYG areas ( communities )
PYAT: ( Parish Youth Animating Team ) Meets once a month in Fr Lincoln’s Room.
Development Cell (Caring Cell), as the name suggests focuses on Sensitivity and Caring for the Marginalised of the Parish. Whilst the cell was established at St. Michael’s many years ago and as far as I can recall, it was raised to greater heights under the leadership of Our Late Rev. Fr. Hugh Fonseca and Late Rev. Fr. Salvador Rodrigues, who time and again drove this message that we must strive to see that every family in the parish must have food to eat, the children should be educated, and that we must strive to create employment to help build their self esteem. These parameters make for a difficult challenge for the volunteers who strive to do their best but as has been evident, it has not been impossible.
This team of 10 volunteers go out to identify such families of the communities by working along with the Parish councillors and the coordinators. The team then sets out to investigate and identify what steps to be taken to meet the need of these families to ensure they have the basic standard of living and they work towards the same, which could translate to providing monthly rations, helping seek employment, providing monetary aid for medical and tution fees or even a combination of two or more of these. The committee meets on the 3rd Friday of every month to evaluate and check if there is any room for improvement and if the procedures are being followed as per the criteria laid down.
It is pertinent to mention we have a Canteen every Wednesday; this idea was strongly driven by Fr. Hugh who felt the devotees who visit the shrine from far and wide in the early hours and through the day should enjoy a snack and coffee or tea at an affordable rate. This could be prepared by our very own families who have basic talent and skills and would like to put their culinary skills to use and make a few bucks more. It also serves as an avenue for employment generation as well as helps to build their self esteem. We have some paid attendants from among these marginalised families involved in foodservice and others as cashiers selling coupons.
It would be incomplete if we didn’t mention Fr. Michael D’cunha who with an immense background of Catering helped to put things in right perspective. The hot case, the queue managers, the benches, the honing of skills, power saving lamps etc! The initial path breaking ideas, the vision of Fr. Hugh , the immense clarity of Fr. Salu, and the catering expertise and meticulous planning of Fr. Michael have all helped set benchmarks for service, improve quality control evident by the increase in demand and sales and the sharing of ideas & know how passed on to us have helped us to handle the canteen meticulously till date in their absence. We thank all of them immensely for helping us to take the challenges of the canteen which are tremendous and sometimes even very difficult to handle without any real leader at the moment.
It is the smile that we see on the face of those who receive rations, those who are employed and the devotees who enjoy the snack that helps us strive to continue this work.
EVERGREEN SENIOR CITIZENS CLUB
of St. Michael’s Parish
The Evergreen Senior Citizens Club of St.Michael’s was started in 1998 by the then Parish Priest Fr. Salvador (Salu) Rodrigues, with the idea of giving our senior citizens time off from their individual activities, to get together for some fun and games and generally enjoy themselves. Soon after, Fr. Joe D’Abreo was appointed our Spiritual Director and he put the club on a firm footing, with a Constitution and an elected Managing Committee to run the club. This committee meets regularly every month to discuss and plan activities for the members.
The aim of the Club is to bring together the senior citizens of our parish, under one banner, to channelize their talents to promote spiritual, cultural, social and recreational activities.
Fr. Bento Cardoz is currently our Spiritual Director.
The club has two types of membership – Ordinary and Associate. Ordinary Members are our parishioners who are aged 60 years and above. Associate Members are those of our parishioners between 50–60 years, and Catholics from any other parish who are 50 years and above. To date we have over 800 members on our rolls, some of whom are no more.
A Thanksgiving Mass followed by an AGM and Social are held at the beginning of every year. A special Mass is also offered every year for the souls of our deceased members
During each year we have 2-3 get-togethers, always on a Sunday morning, where for a modest contribution we provide our members with tea, cake, snacks and lunch, a few games, community singing and dancing. Here, they can renew old acquaintances and make new friends.
We also have 2 picnics each year. All our picnics have been great successes, and those who have attended are always asking for more.
Our most popular activity “Housie” is held every Friday from 5.30pm to 6.45pm throughout the year, with the additional attraction of a Snowball. Sessions are well attended by members from far and near.
Another popular activity of the club is line dancing, which is a holistic form of exercise for the elderly. It combines the aesthetic beauty of the dance with a mild physical activity for both body and mind. It is easy, enjoyable, and you don’t need a partner! Ideal for seniors.
The Family Cell, St. Michael’s Parish
The Family Cell was started in 2003 and consists of 18 members, each member represents a Small Christian Community/Cell/Association. The Family Cell meets once in two months.
The objective of the Family Cell is to enrich marriages, since the family is the basic unit of society. In order to accomplish this, we have arranged for Resource Personnel to speak on various issues concerning marriage. Mr. Melwyn Sequeira and Mr. Reuben Fronteiro spoke eloquently on "Gender Differences". Rev. Fr. Patrick D'Mello spoke effectively on "Conflicts in Marriages". Although attendance at these sessions has been mediocre, attempts are being made to encourage parishioners to attend.
To reach out to all parishioners, the Family Cell had organised an evening for "Empty Nesters" – those couples whose children no longer lived with them. Also included were widows, widowers, spinsters and bachelors. This event highlighted the fact that life can be fulfilling in spite of circumstances. The programme was appreciated by all who attended it.
In February 2015, there was a questionnaire on "Relatio Synodi" sent by Snehalaya Family Center which was discussed at the Parish Council. The collated answers were forwarded to the Center at Our Lady of Victories Church.
Special Masses were organised by the Family Cell for people who had been married for 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years and above. The entire liturgy, homilies and prayers were centered around the importance of marriage and the sanctity of the Sacrament. Parishioners enjoyed these events, and efforts are being made to revive this in the future.
World Marriage Day on 14th February is celebrated jointly with Our Lady of Victories Church. A special Mass is held at which all married couples renew their marriage vows and receive special blessings. The homily is focused on enriching marriages. There follows an evening of fellowship with music, dancing and general camaraderie. We are happy to say that this function has been a great success.
This year a seminar on Marriage and Family is scheduled for May 2016. Details are awaited.
The Civic and Political Cell
St. Michael’s Church, Mahim
The Civic and Political Cell by its very name identifies the areas given below which it needs to focus on.
Today there is a strong and growing trend to create a sustainable environment. The Catholic Church too has listed “pollution” as one of the modern sins. In this context we need to generate awareness and initiatives in the following areas :
- Mumbai’s capacity to absorb tonnes of garbage being dumped onto its designated dump sites is rapidly depleting. Consequently each of us needs to exercise our responsibility to segregate our own garbage into ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ garbage. There are many positive outcomes which can be availed of through this initiative. If we do it together then we can truly make an impact as responsible citizens and exemplary Catholics.
- Besides being responsible for one’s own garbage as explained above one needs to make others responsible for not unnecessarily throwing garbage anywhere on the road except in the designated dumps provided by the Muncipal Corporation.
- One needs to make the people in one’s neighbourhood conscious of cleanliness and public health behavior. Walls should not be used for urinating. And public lavatories need to be used for defacating. If there is a deficiency in the number of public toilets available then this issue needs to be taken up and an action plan implemented to make them available.
- For the civic good of the neigbourhood, one needs good footpaths, roads, trees, adequate lighting on roads and public spaces for relaxation. For all of these we need to work closely with people of other faiths in the neighbourhood and address these problems through the ALMs (Advanced Locality Management) and the respective Ward Officers.
- Civic life of the neighbourhood would also include focusing on the safety of the citizens especially the women and senior citizens. We would need to work with the Police in the local police station to ensure that people feel safe through regular patrolling and immediate action on complaints. The Mohalla Committees are already in existence. We need to join them and show our involvement. Dignity Foundation too looks at some of the needs of the senior citizens.
- In the neigbourhood there are always attempts to scuttle the law through putting up illegal structures like shops or residences or like druggies and alcoholics just sleeping on footpaths and creating a public nuisance. We need to take up these issues through ALMs with the police and/or the ward officer.
- We need to make people alert about their rights and responsibilities as citizens. They need to know about the RTI act, the Nagaraj Bill and the 74th amendment as well as their rights whenever occasions arise of their arrest or otherwise.
- We need to make people alert also about how companies delude them by selling spurious goods or how ponzi schemes operate so that their money is wisely invested.
- There are issues of corruption in every field of life. We need to stand out as exemplary citizens and try our best to wipe this corruption out.
- Political candidates need to fight for the common good. Today we see most of them wanting a seat for their own personal interest. We need to do an objective study of each candidate and elect the candidate who will protect the common good.
- Political parties sometimes in order to gain mileage begin unnecessary communal conflicts. We need to be extremely aware and make others aware too about these deceitful initiatives and quell them at the very start.
As a strategy the Civic and Political Cell aims to refocus the Small Christian Communities into becoming Human Communities and take up the above issues as and when required.
The Civic and Political Cell has attempted to form ALMs in each Small Christian Community. This will enable the task being made easier.
Out of the 16 Small Christian Communities we have 12 Communities represented. Efforts are being made to include the other 4 Communities.
We meet every 3rd Friday of the Month. We have not met during Lent. We intend to meet this month.
A very important area which we would be focusing on is the election of our Corporator which will be coming up next year.