What is Ministry?

“The ecclesiology of communion requires the bishop to involve all Christians in the one mission of the Church. In fact, all Christians, individually and collectively, have the right and duty to cooperate in the mission which Christ entrusted to his Church, each according to his own or her own particular vocation and gifts received from the Holy Spirit.”
Directory on the Pastoral Ministry of Bishops (2004) n59

The Mandate of the Bishops Commission for Church Ministry tells us that in fulfilling this responsibility, lay Catholics are encouraged to assist priests and deacons in fulfilling the mission of the Church. The ministry of the ordained is inseparable from building up the community of the Church in its faith in Jesus Christ so that each member of the Church might become more committed to living as a disciple.

Just as Ordination enables a priest and deacon to fulfil their particular vocation, so too does baptism enable all Christians to fulfil their vocation to make the Kingdom present in the world. The development of ministries for the non-ordained is a source of joy since it enables the Church to grow as a community of co-responsible members in which the contribution of all is encouraged and valued.

In the Ipswich Catholic Community, our ministries respond to this in three ways; through formation, through mission, and through liturgical celebration. Ministries that are available in our Community are outlined below. To assist you in identifying what might be right for you, please select one of the following buttons.

Formation Ministries

Faith formation is an important part in ‘being Catholic’. Many of us have felt that once we receive the sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist), there is nothing left more to do apart from attend weekly Mass to receive the Eucharist, and occasionally frequent reconciliation. While the receiving of these sacraments does help us begin our journey as Christians, it is just the beginning. The sacraments allow us to enter into a life with Christ, give us grace along ‘the way, and help ensure we develop a faith built on truth. However, formation extends beyond the sacraments and ensures that are overflowing in grace.

Sacraments of Initiation

Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults

Baptism is the first of three Sacraments of Initiation in the Catholic Church, the other two being Confirmation and Eucharist. Through Baptism we are incorporated into the body of Christ.

Confirmation is the second of the three sacraments of initiation. Confirmation completes Baptism, by which in the laying on of hands and the anointing with Chrism Oil, which first happened at Baptism, we are confirmed with the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

Holy Eucharist is the sacrament that completes the process of initiation and is when one can fully participate in the Eucharist by receiving Holy Communion. Eucharist is unique among the sacraments as it is at the heart of our faith.

Reconciliation is one of two sacraments of healing (the other being the Anointing of the Sick). Penance is a sacrament of forgiveness and celebrates God’s love and mercy towards us.

Catholicism – Journey with Bishop Robert Barron to more than 50 locations throughout 16 countries. Be illuminated by the spiritual and artistic treasures of this global culture that claims more than one billion of the earth’s people. Learn what Catholics believe and why. Discover the full meaning of the faith.

Catholicism: The New Evangelisation – Throughout history the call of Christ has sent people to the corners of the earth with a message of great joy, a message that has built civilizations, inspired cultures, and even sent some to prisons and to their graves. We have the same call – that’s the New Evangelization. This series explores the Church’s mission and the challenges of contemporary culture.

Catholicism: The Pivotal Players – Bishop Robert Barron is on a new journey to unlock the truth behind the Catholic Church’s most influential people. This series illumines a handful of saints, artists, mystics, and scholars who not only shaped the life of the Church but changed the course of civilization.

Catholicism: Topical Studies – Bishop Robert Barronshares a number of topic programs, some of which are listed below; Mystery of God, Conversion, Eucharist, Seven Deadly Sins / Seven Deadly Virtues, Untold Blessing, Priest Prophet and King. These standalone programs are suitable for small and large groups of people.

Missionary Ministries

As Catholic’s, we are called to be a missionary Church. This means going out into the world and helping others. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that being Catholic means just attending Mass each week. There is some much more required of true disciples of Jesus. Our missionary ministries help us to start to look more outward into our Community and surrounding suburbs.

Hands of Love focusses on helping others in need to allow them to be brothers and sisters in Christ. Some of the ways we can assist those is need are outlined below:

  • Volunteer at a charity
  • Tutor children
  • Assist women who face a difficult or unplanned pregnancy
  • Participate in a community clean-up program
  • Donate to food pantries and clothing closets
  • Donate to a community development program
  • Participate in an immersion program

Feet of Charity focusses on setting foundations that are maintainable and for the good of the community. Some of the wats we can uphold Church social teaching are outlined below:

  • Work to improve the education system
  • Extend legal protection to unborn children
  • Support environmental protection laws
  • Promote peace
  • Advocate for international assistance to refugees
  • Online petitions to uphold Church social teaching

Food Pantry – At regular times of the year we ask our community to donate food items for the needy. It is important that we are here for those in need, and donating an item of food each week is a great way to build up a food pantry so we can help when called upon.

Rosies provides unconditional acceptance and friendship to people who are marginalised within our community – especially those who are homeless, at risk, or simply lonely. Rosies is a volunteer-based not for profit organisation that commenced in Queensland in 1987 as a youth mission.

Mini-Vinnies is a group of young people in primary school who get together to help those in need within their school and local community. If you’re at primary school, you can participate in this program. Mini Vinnies will introduce you to social justice issues, to the St Vincent de Paul Society and to living faith through action.

Catholic Women’s League addresses social justice and ethical questions is one of the primary tasks of CWLA. We seek to influence legislative and administrative bodies at all levels in order to preserve the dignity of the human person. We strive to be a voice for the voiceless.

Vinnies members and volunteers reach out to the most vulnerable in our community through our Conferences, Special Works and Vinnies shops. Members and volunteers assist people in need and do not discriminate against cultural, religious or political beliefs.

Liturgical Ministries

Our liturgical ministries are the most common ministries where people help out. Most of these ministries involve the co-ordination of weekend liturgies each week, however also extend to other liturgical celebrations we have in the Ipswich Catholic Community.

Altar Serving – This is an opportunity to assist the priest who presides at Mass, become involved in the parish, and become an integral part of the celebration of liturgy. Training and mentoring are provided.

Sacristan – This ministry works “behind the scenes” to maintain the sanctuary including the fixtures, candleholders, the holy water fonts in the church as well other parts of our church buildings. Additionally, they clean altar linens, albs, and altar server robes. Training is provided.

Children’s Liturgy Assistant – This ministry is a continuation of the Mass for children aged 4 and up and is celebrated in one of our Mass Centres throughout the school year. All children are welcome. Adult leaders create an atmosphere that allows God’s Word to take root and live in the hearts of the children. Using the Sunday readings and materials provided, the leaders present an interactive homily at every Mass.

Leader – Prepare the parish community in celebration of the Mass through reflective introductions, prayers of the faithful, general intercessions and petitions, and Community notices.

Lector – Engage the parish community in thoughtful reflection on the Word of God through proclamation of the scriptures. Special liturgical proclamation teams may be selected to proclaim the Passion on Palm Sunday, Easter Vigil and other special Liturgies.

Computer Operator – This ministry creatively supports liturgy and all ministry events in the Ipswich Catholic Community through use of media and technology as an outreach tool at our liturgical celebrations. Managing the slides throughout Mass and recording the homily are important part of using technology as an outreach tool.

Communion Minister – Holy Communion increases our union with Christ. Just as bodily food sustains our physical life, so Holy Communion nourishes our spiritual life. Our communion ministers assist in distributing communion at Mass.

Hospitality Minister – The Church is to be a sign of God’s Kingdom in the world. Ministers of Hospitality offer a warm and friendly greeting to welcome the community as they arrive for Mass, assist with seating and serve tea and coffee when required.

Musician – Through this ministry, choir members and instrumentalists musically enhance the Liturgy. Adult Choir, Cantors, Instrumentalists, Youth and Young Adult Choir, and Singing Angels are all part of the music ministry.

Liturgical Coordinator – This ministry ensures everyone has arrived and prepared to celebrate our liturgies. As a contact person for Masses, this ministry also assists in connecting people to other ministries and programs within our Community.

Collector – Our collectors are responsible for taking up the financial offerings made at our Masses. This is an important ministry as it gives every parishioner the opportunity to give what they can to help the wider community.

Presentation of the Gifts – This ministry helps prepare the table of the Lord by bringing forth the gifts of bread and wine to help the community celebrate the Mass.