About Volunteering at St. Mary’s
- Altar Servers
Altar Servers: For hundreds of years, young people have been helping to serve Mass by assisting the priest with vestments, lighting candles, ringing bells, holding the Sacramentaries, and saying prayers.
Greeting those arriving for Mass is a ministry that is easy and enjoyable. It’s a wonderful way to become familiar with fellow parishioners and to welcome them into our beautiful church. It can be done as a family or individually.
- Bell Ringers
- Liturgy Committee
- Children's Liturgy (Age 5+)
Children (aged 5+) in Kindergarten to Grade Two are invited to participate in our activities during the Sunday Mass (October-May). The Liturgy of the Word is celebrated using age-adapted readings bringing the Word of God closer to the children's level of understanding. No registration is required.
- Music Ministry
Music ministry is a vital part of our weekly celebration of the Eucharist and the sacraments. New members are always welcome in our choir or as pianists or instrumentalists. We have a Youth Choir, too!
- Children's Sunday Circle (Ages 3-5)
Sunday Circle is a lectionary-based program for 3 to 5 year olds offered during the Sunday morning Mass. The program involves story telling, singing songs and a craft activity. Parents bring their children before Mass begins and the children return to the main assembly during the preparation of the gifts.
The Powerpoint Coordinator is responsible for creating the Powerpoint slideshows for our weekend Masses and other special Masses. They also recruit, train, and schedule Powerpoint Operators and Image Researchers.
- Church Decorating
The decorating committee plans, prepares, and decorates St. Mary's liturgical space for each season of the church year.
- Prayer Chain
The Prayer Chain is a simple devotion that demands little of its members' time but produces great spiritual rewards. When people find themselves in crisis situations or are concerned for loved ones, friends, acquaintances and others, they can request help through St. Mary's Prayer Chain.
- Eucharistic Ministers
Ministers of the Eucharist assist the priest (and deacon) in serving the consecrated bread and wine (Christ's Body and Blood) to the congregation at every Mass. To participate in this liturgical ministry you must have received the Sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation, Eucharist, and Confirmation in the Catholic Church. If you are married, you must have been married in the Catholic Church. Training is provided. Ministers are appointed for terms of 3 years.
The Readers' Ministry is critical to St Mary's parish to assist in the celebration of the Mass and at other events such as Reconciliation services. For the Mass, readers commit to bringing the First and Second readings and Prayers of the Faithful to the congregation.
- Funeral Mass Assistance Team
a) Funeral Mass Coordinator arranges for Adult Altar Servers, Greeters, PowerPoint operators and the Reception/Lunch at the church.
- Sacristy Team
The Sacristy Ministry sets up all the sacred articles that are used during Mass. Training is provided.
- Gift Bearers
Ushers help to ensure that all Masses go smoothly. Our ushers know St. Marys' will be judged by how they act and respond to the needs of parishioners. They also participate fully in the liturgy and are seen as leaders in our church community. Ushers watch for safety issues such as First Aid, Fire, or other emergencies. Some Ushers also volunteer to lock up the Church after the weekend Masses. For more details, click here to read the "Guidelines for Ushers."
- Bulletin, Weekly
The Bulletin Manager works with the Parish Office/administration to produce relevant parish news for the week. She/he is also part of the Social Media Team (Facebook, Flocknote, website) in developing an electronic copy of the Bulletin for distribution to parishioners each week. Typing and computer skills are an asset.
- Landscape Maintenance (Year-Round)
St. Mary's Landscape maintenance is a year-round endeavour. In the winter, it's shovelling the sidewalks and church entrance ways of snow. In the spring and summer, it's garden maintenance, and in the Fall, it's outdoor cleanup! Volunteers are required for these jobs and are generally coordinated and scheduled through the Parish Office.
Coordinator: Parish Office Phone: (403) 932-2944
- Collection Counters
Collection Counters meet once a week to do a count of all money collected from various sources on the weekend as well as miscellaneous items from the preceding week. We count, balance, and ready the bank deposit. Previous experience in these tasks is an asset but not necessary as we train all volunteers. We always welcome new volunteers.
- Office Assistance
Office volunteers are regularly needed to help out with clerical duties at the church. These may include:
- Connections Gift Shop
Located in the Gathering Area, our hospitality and gift shop, known as CONNECTIONS is also a centre for communication and information. One volunteer manages the shop for each weekend Mass. All new volunteers receive an orientation. Our many services include assistance for new parishioners, religious gift items for sale, Mass cards for parishioners, and a Lending Library for special request DVDs.
Coordinator: Rosa Iannantuoni
- Supply Pickup
Supply Pick-up volunteers assist the parish by picking up supplies such as groceries for Divine Grounds, the publications used by various ministries, items for the Office, and so on, either from Cochrane or from Calgary on a regular or occasional basis.
- Facebook/Social Media
The Facebook Manager is responsible for regular posting, reading, and updating the St. Mary's parish Facebook page.
- Transportation to Mass
The Transportation Ministry assists parishioners who are unable to transport themselves to Church. These volunteers pick up and return these parishioners to their homes. Volunteers specify which week-end or daily Mass they wish to attend so that transportation can be coordinated.
- Finance Council
The Finance Council is responsible for overseeing the financial administration needs of the Parish, including the preparation / monitoring of the annual budget for operating and capital expenditures. This involves all past, present and future spending and provides direction for fundraising activities and stewardship into the future. The council maintains an ongoing dialogue with parishioners, informing them on our financial status while embracing the views and interests of the whole Parish. New members are appointed by the Pastor in consultation with the Council.
- Water Valley Cemetery Ministry
The Water Valley Cemetery Coordinator assists those St. Mary's parishioners wishing to have a loved one buried at Water Valley Cemetery north of Cochrane. At least a week's notice for making these arrangements is appreciated.
- Flocknote/Social Media
- Website/Social Media
The Parish Website is a collaborative effort. The webmaster works with Parish Administration and the Ministry contacts to keep St. Mary's website pages current. Internet/web and computer competency are assets. Duties include weekly site management, updating and coordination, content maintenance, and web publishing.
- Grocery Card Fundraising Team
The Grocery Card Fundraiser has been very successful over the past several years. Its main purpose is to help pay down our mortgage. The "Grocery Cards" table is situated in the Gathering area and is manned by volunteer "sellers" after weekend Masses. A schedule for volunteer sellers is sent out 2-3 times per year.
- Cochrane Catholic Schools Liaison
The three Catholic schools in Cochrane—Holy Spirit Elementary School, St. Timothy Junior-Senior High School, and École Notre-Dame des Vallées (French immersion school)—retain close ties with St. Mary's parish. Fr. Dennis visits them regularly and the students and their parents rely on our church community for assistance with sacramental preparation and initiation. St. Mary's provides teams of volunteers to aid in the faith formation of students as they prepare for the sacraments of Holy Eucharist, Reconciliation, and Confirmation. Volunteer adults who wish to assist on these sacramental teams may contact the Parish Office to indicate their interest in helping.
Coordinator: Parish Office Phone: (403) 932-2944
- Interchurch Representatives
Interfaith volunteers from St. Mary's represent our parish in Diocesan and local ecumenical initiatives.
- Development & Peace
Development and Peace is the official international development organization of the Catholic Church in Canada and is the Canadian member of Caritas Internationalis. The organization is a community, diocesan, and national outreach aimed at social justice for those in need. To read how the Development and Peace outreach operates, click here.
- Pastoral Care Team
The Pastoral Care Team of volunteers arranges the spiritual support needed by St. Mary's parishioners or their loved ones. Prayer service, administration of the Eucharist, and home visits are offered. Regular visits to Bethany Care Centre and Big Hill Lodge in Cochrane are part of our mandate, too.
- Feed the Hungry
Feed the Hungry volunteers at St. Mary's are assigned to help serve a meal at St. Mary's Cathedral in Calgary each year at Easter and/or Thanksgiving.
- St. Timothy's School Breakfast
The St. Timothy's School Breakfast volunteers cook and/or serve breakfast to students who come to school without breakfast or lunch.
- Food Drive
Food Drive volunteers at St. Mary's Parish help with food collections in Cochrane in Spring and Fall in affiliation with the Cochrane Activettes' Food Drive.
- RCIA Team
The volunteer team for RCIA for Adults, Youth, and Children journey with the adults and children who are on their way to joining the Catholic faith. RCIA is also meant for those who are baptized Catholic, but have not celebrated the sacraments of First Eucharist or Confirmation. We accompany each person on their journey, sharing the Catholic faith and helping them with their questions.
To join the RCIA team as a volunteer, you must have been an active parishioner for at least two years and be committed to passing on the Catholic faith authentically.
- Helping Hands
Helping Hands volunteers at St. Mary's are organized in partnership with Cochrane Family and Community Support Services. They assist with community needs/requests such as: lawn care for seniors, driving those without transportation, respite care for parents with young children, moving help, home maintenance and cleaning, educational and language assistance, and many more activities. This ministry also works with in conjunction with the Cochrane Activettes' Food Bank.
- Visits to the Sick