“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” 1 Peter 4:10
We are all blessed with unique interests and talents, and the Holy Spirit calls us to share them in different ways. For those who want to participate but have limited time to dedicate, our parish and school run an assortment of clothing and food drives, as well as almsgiving initiatives, throughout the year. If you're looking for something more hands-on, consider joining one of our groups that serves meals at My Brother's Table in Lynn, providing pastoral care visits through our Pastoral Visitation Ministry, or participating in our Justice for Jesus social justice ministry. If circumstances require you to stick close to home, you might be interested in our Ministry of Consolation's work of sending cards and notes to those who are bereaved, our Ministry to College Students that sends practical and spiritual care packages, or even starting a prayer line group. Of course, we are always looking for people to participate in liturgical roles such as lector, Eucharistic Minister, sacristan, usher, and greeter. If behind-the-scenes work fits you better, however, we welcome those interested in becoming offertory counters or caring for altar linens.
Our parish ministries continue to evolve to meet the needs of our faith community, and we welcome new ideas and initiatives. To our volunteers, we thank you for all the ways you serve Christ and his Church. For more information about any of these ministries or if you have an idea for a new ministry you would like to start, please contact Kate McGrath, Pastoral Associate.
Liturgy and Worship
Altar Server - Youth and Adult
Youth Altar Servers are boys and girls, in Grade 4 and above, who assist the priest at Mass.
Adult Altar Servers are men and women who assist at Mass or Funeral Masses to enhance the worship of our faith community.
Our Baptism Ministry is primarily a ministry of welcome and accompaniment, made up of volunteers from Ave Maria Parish. As families prepare to have their child baptized, we accompany them throughout the Baptism Preparation and Baptism celebration itself, and hopefully well beyond.
Volunteer opportunities are available for all interested individuals, couples, or families in the parish. This is a great ministry if you have interest in welcoming our new families and their child(ren) into Ave Maria Parish through their first Sacrament of Baptism. If you would like more information about serving on our Baptism Ministry Team, please contact Kate McGrath, Pastoral Associate, via email or at 781-598-4313 x224. Current Baptism Ministry volunteers are also available to discuss this ministry and other ways we assist the newly baptized and their families.
CLOW offers young children an opportunity to experience the Word in a way that engages them at their level. Volunteers of this ministry will teach them the Gospel in a way that is meaningful to them and support it with activities or worksheets. Children return to Mass after the General Intercessions. We also currently offer weekly Virtual CLOWs that are available for viewing on our CLOW webpage and parish YouTube Channel.
Extraordinary Ministers of Communion serve the Body and Blood of Christ at Mass.
These volunteers work with our regular florist to beautify our altar and church with flowers, plants, and seasonal decorations.
Greeters warmly welcome parishioners as they enter the church for Mass.
Holy Water Font Care
Altar Linen Care
Although these behind-the-scenes ministries are often the most unsung, they are critical to the care of a House of God.
Lectors are readers who proclaim the Scriptures at Mass and other services. Proclaiming scripture out loud brings sacred stories of the past to life today and continues our rich Catholic tradition of keeping the faith alive by gathering together, sharing stories, and praising God. Read a U.S Catholic article by Jessie Bazan entitled, "To hear God anew, read scripture aloud."
Our parish has THREE choirs to “sing praises to God” (Psalm 47:6):
- Holy Spirit Ensemble — our parish-wide, multi-generational, voice-and-instrument assemblage.
- Angels in the Morning - our children’s choir welcoming children in Grades 1-8 from SMG Church, OLA Church, and OLA School.
- Heavenly Praise - our OLA School Choir for students in Grades 1-8.
For more information about our choirs or our Music Ministry in general, please contact Gina Kolenda, Director of Liturgical Music.
These volunteers count the funds collected at Mass each week on a rotating schedule. It may not sound glamorous, but it's what keeps our parishes running.
Virtual: Videos for praying the Rosary are available on this website’s Devotions page and our parish YouTube channel.
In person/Zoom: Our Rosary Group meets at 8:30am every Wednesday at OLA. If you would like to join via Zoom, contact Piri Collard.
Zoom: Corinna Tavano is also leading live Zoom rosary prayer groups on Tuesday mornings at 8am. Email Corinna and use the word ROSARY (all caps) in the subject line.
Sacristan duties include preparing the altar for Mass and cleaning the vessels after Mass.
Our parish has formed a very capable Safety Committee to examine and implement practical measures to secure our properties and protect our parish family, while still being open, welcoming spaces. With the invaluable input and support of the Lynnfield Police Department, the committee has been working hard to make our churches more secure places of worship. For more information, please contact [email protected].
Ushers assist people to their seats if necessary, reach out to and instruct bearers of the gifts, take up the collection, and generally direct the flow in the church.
Our wedding coordinators help ensure that our brides and grooms are able to focus on the beautiful sacrament they are receiving by taking care of the details of the rehearsal and wedding ceremony.
Education and Faith Formation
Without the dedication and support of parents of children in the Faith Formation and Youth Ministry Programs, as well as other adult parishioners, we could not provide for the faith formation needs of the parish community. We encourage your participation and offer a variety of opportunities to model your faith to the next generation. Click here for the Top 10 Reasons to Become a Catechist. For more information on volunteering, please contact Jamie Bossi or Robyn Yannone.
At St. Maria Goretti and Our Lady of the Assumption, we offer varied opportunities and venues to learn more about and grow in your faith as a Catholic Christian. Wherever you are in your faith journey, we want to walk alongside you. For more information or information on RCIA or Adult Confirmation, please contact Kate McGrath.
Our Pastoral Plan has set the promotion of an "ongoing culture of vocations to the diocesan priesthood" as one of our goals. Over the years, we have implemented a Vocations Chalice Program and a Vocations Prayer Program, we have offered a Vocations Panel Discussion, and we continue to schedule vocations presentations to our Faith Formation students and support seminarians in formation. We seek new volunteers to this committee. For more information, please contact our pastor, Father Paul Ritt, via email or at 781-598-4313 x201.
Outreach and Service
Nothing helps us feel more welcome, nothing helps soothe the soul, nothing helps show we care more than... food. It nourishes us beyond our stomachs; it feeds our spirit as well. If you are a baker or casserole maker, this is the ministry for you! Through the delivery of homemade muffins or a simple lasagna, we want to reach out to new parishioners, a grieving family, or a family that has welcomed home a new baby. To find out more, please contact Kate McGrath via email or at 781-598-4313 x224.
This new ministry has been established to embrace our commitment to the holistic health of our parishioners. We believe that physical health care and spiritual care go hand-in-hand. Currently, our volunteers are putting together a packet of health and wellness resources and are reaching out to some of our parishioners for check-ins and prayer. We continue to look for more registered nurses to join this ministry. Please contact Kate McGrath for more information.
Here's an article from The Pilot on the need and benefits of Faith Community Nursing.
Focusing on the Corporal Works of Mercy, this Catholic social justice group's mission is to follow Jesus as doers of the Word, to realize his vision of justice for the poor and marginalized in society. Although sometimes this work manifests itself in asking people to “give” tangible items such as clothing or alms, what we’re truly seeking to “give” is justice for Jesus and to focus on following His example. This means that nobody will ask you to do anything; members only need respond as they feel called by Christ. For more information, contact Linda Beaver.
The Knights of Columbus, composed of men who put their faith into action through the principles of Charity, Unity, Fraternity, and Patriotism, is one of the oldest Catholic fraternal societies and an integral part of our faith community. Contact Ken Kasprzak regarding activities and membership. For general information about who they are and what they do, visit koc.org.
Everyone could use a little assistance once in a while — a caring gesture, a helping hand, a comforting word, a warm smile -- and everyone wants to feel connected and remembered. As your faith community, your neighbors, your brothers and sisters in Christ, we want to be there for you! Volunteers make phone calls, send "thinking of you" cards, drop off wellness care bags, make muffins and cookies, and find ways to reach out and care for our neighbors. Read this Catholic Mom article about how you can be someone's angel today. Contact Kate McGrath, Pastoral Associate, via email or at 781-598-4313 x224.
Ministry to College Students
Our Ministry to College Students periodically sends out care kits to college students — filled with practical and spiritual provisions — to let them know they are in our prayers and to keep them connected to their faith home. We are hoping to grow this ministry with new ways to give our young adults activities and resources to connect with each other and other Catholic young adult groups. To learn more about ways you can help, contact Kate McGrath via email or at 781-598-4313 x224.
The Ministry of Consolation provides bereavement and spiritual support to parishioners who have experienced the death of a family member or friend. Volunteers can send notes and cards to bereaved parishioners from the comfort of their own home. Please contact Maria Gagnon.
The mission of this ministry is to improve access for people with disabilities to the sacramental, liturgical, catechetical, and social areas of Church life in order to increase their active participation in parish worship, ministries, and activities. This may involve education on disability issues and awareness, and providing resources of programs and services available to persons with disabilities. For more information, contact Kate McGrath via email or at 781-598-4313 x224.
Parishioners from both SMG and OLA volunteer their time at My Brother's Table in Lynn, whose mission is to nourish the body, mind, and spirit “through hospitality, free meals, and unconditional love.” Four times a year, St. Maria Goretti volunteers prepare and serve a meal. Service dates for 2021 are: March 22, June 22, September 14, and December 14. If you are interested in helping out for a single shift or a full day, please contact Denis Kelley via email or at 508-641-0238. In conjunction with the Lynnfield St. Vincent de Paul, OLA volunteers serve supper on the last Thursday of each month. For more information, contact June Robinson at 781-513-6695.
Pastoral Visitation Ministry
This ministry visits those who are elderly, sick, or homebound for any reason to bring the Eucharist, perform the Anointing of the Sick, or just check in on our neighbors. All volunteers are trained. Family members may be trained specifically to bring Communion to a loved one who is homebound and unable to attend Mass on a weekly basis. If you would like to volunteer or if you know of anyone who may benefit from a pastoral care visit, please contact Kate McGrath, Pastoral Associate.
Click here to learn know more about the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.
Volunteers of the Prayer Shawl Ministry knit and crochet blankets and shawls that are saturated with blessings and prayers for healing, peace, comfort, hope, and love. The group meets in the parish Business Office dining room on the first and third Thursday of the month. The blankets/shawls -- beautiful tokens of care for a new baby, a student heading off to college, or someone who is ill -- are available free of charge at the office for anyone in need of a healing “hug from God”, but donations to cover the cost of yarn are always welcome. For more information, please contact Carol Farina. Here's the meeting schedule for 2022-2023. Read a U.S. Catholic article by Marianne Antczak entitled, "The Spirituality of Knitting."
Saint Vincent de Paul Society
The Saint Vincent de Paul Society helps families in need with emergency support such as food or home heating. Additionally, the group supports a number of local charities, including the Greater Lynn Food Bank, My Brother's Table, Haven from Hunger, and Catholic Charities. Donation boxes are located in both OLA and SMG churches. The Lynnfield Conference meets once a month at Our Lady of Assumption Church. For more information, please contact June Robinson.
This new ministry's mission is to extend a welcoming spirit of connection to the parish community. Through the pandemic months, we learned how much we missed seeing each other’s smiles, greeting each other with handshakes and hugs, and offering a supportive pat on the back. Here’s the opportunity to offer that warmth. Please contact Kate McGrath via email or at 781-598-4313 x224.
Hospitality and Community Building
This ministry fosters community, welcomes individuals, and provides a space for the Holy Spirit to work among the people of St. Maria Goretti and Our Lady of the Assumption through fellowship and refreshment. It’s an excellent way for newcomers to meet members of the parish. For SMG, contact Donna Hegan, Pastoral Associate. For OLA, contact Angela Siraco.
This ministry encourages our church family and broader community to gather, socialize, and build strong connections through a variety of parish events.
Parish Pastoral Council
Consisting of representatives from both St. Maria Goretti and Our Lady of Assumption churches, Pastoral Council volunteers serve as a steering committee for the spiritual health and well-being of the parish. The council meets the second Monday of every month from September through June, at 7:00pm. Click here for recent meeting minutes.
This ministry is charged with sharing the parish’s good works and highlighting opportunities to grow in faith through photography, social media, and print and electronic communication. Volunteer photographers and videographers are always welcome to cover parish events. As we expand our audio-visual capabilities, we will be looking for volunteers to manage the camera and projector during liturgies. Check out a couple of interesting pieces... an article from the Catholic Currier: "What Role Can Social Media Play in Evangelization" and a YouTube video from the Diocese of Phoenix on "The Importance of Media in Evangelization." For more information, contact Marie Lagman, Director of Media Ministry.
Parish Finance Council
The Finance Council advises the Pastor on the financial matters of the parish and school. It is responsible for monitoring all income and expenses, and approving the annual budgets. For more information, contact [email protected].