Service Groups

The organizations and groups in this section are a group of dedicated individuals who believe in supporting the community through active service.  Of course, that doesn’t mean they don’t spend time having fun and holding events just to build fellowship and enjoy each other’s company.  If you have a talent to share, or just two willing hands, these groups will keep you busy as you help to build a stronger community.

Christian Formation Committee

The Christian Formation Committee seeks to renew and revitalize the life and vigor of our Parish. Our Mission is to help create a deeper understanding and excitement for our Catholic faith as we seek to provide ways for our parishioners to grow spiritually, intellectually, and as a community. We desire to teach and inspire the faithful members in our parish but also to reach out to those who have fallen away.

Our Mission will be accomplished through the model of apologetics and the New Evangelization. We seek to provide vibrant, relevant adult education, inspirational speakers, parish missions, and life-changing retreats, among other things. Our goal is to set St. Mary’s Church on fire one parishioner at a time and to make our Catholic faith become a living faith!

If you have a passion for evangelization and would like to consider joining this committee, please contact Bryan Mercier: 203-952-9394 /CatholicBryan@yahoo.com.

Greeter Ministry

The Greeter Ministry at St. Mary Church was re-introduced in early September 2007 after a period of inactivity. The Greeter Ministry Committee recognizes its duty to welcome the congregation through the gift of hospitality which is shared with fellow parishioners as they come to worship at Saint Mary Church. Parishioners are warmly welcomed to our community celebration with fellowship, openness, genuine care and concern. This ministry of hospitality, by its actions and examples, reflects a sense of dedication and purpose as we prepare to worship together in joyous celebration of the mystery of our redemption. The participants of the Greeter Ministry help foster a true sense of belonging and comfort to all fellow believers as they come to the communal feast.

Call for Greeters

There is an ongoing need for additional Greeter volunteers for this most rewarding ministry. We know that many parishioners attend the same Mass every weekend. Wouldn’t it be nice to share your gift of hospitality by being Jesus’ voice and smile as your fellow parishioners come to worship at St. Mary Church?

smc_greeter_1There is a need for additional volunteers, especially for the 7:00 AM, 11:30 AM and 4:30 PM Sunday Masses, but even for the other weekend Masses too. If any parishioner would like to find out more information about the Greeter Ministry Program, please feel free to contact Neil Bradley (203-878-4970) or email atnrbradley@optonline.net.

Profile Form

If you have an interest in becoming a Greeter, please fill out the St. Mary Church Greeter Profile and return it to Neil Bradley or just drop it in the collection basket when you are at Mass.

Schedule

The Greeter schedule is published every other month and are posted on the bulletin board in the Ushers’ room at the rear of the church. Here is a list of substitutes who have offered to fill in on short notice when necessary.

John Rigely Food Pantry

The John Rigely Food Pantry at St. Mary Church continues to follow the mission of its founder Deacon John Rigely – to serve people in need. Approximately forty families a month receive a variety of groceries and fresh foods. Located in the church hall, the pantry is open Saturday mornings at 9:00 AM. It is through the generous support of the Saint Mary parishioners and school that pantry shelves are kept stocked to serve so many in the community.

Volunteering

Our volunteers manage inventory, pack and distribute food weekly, and assist at the five food collections a year.  If interested in volunteering, please contact Janine Tighe at jmtighe@aol.com

Those in Need

For further information about the pantry, to make an appointment for food pick up, or if you know someone in need of the pantry’s services, please call Barbara Sommers at 203-906-3848.

 

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John Rigely Shelter Program

The Shelter Program here at St. Mary Church helps these people in need quietly and confidentially. It is a program that is part of the John Rigely Food Pantry Program. While you, our very generous parishioners, give food to the pantry for those in need of groceries, monetary donations are also needed to build up the Shelter account

• What would you do if you suddenly lost your job?

• What would you do if you were faced with a devastating illness that prevented you from working?

• How would you support your family?

• Who would pay the bills?

These are some of the questions people from our own parish and the Milford community face every day. The people I speak of are our neighbors, our friends or could even be the person sitting across the aisle in church on Sunday morning. They are proud and private people who do not want to ask for help.

This past year, the Shelter Program has:

• Helped 19 families pay their monthly rent or mortgage

• Put 26 people up at Howard Johnsons who had no place to sleep

• Assisted 14 individuals with their utility bills.

• Helped 1 person purchase medication to treat their affliction with cancer

• Purchased 9 gas cards so families could take their sick children for treatments

All this was made possible through the kind hearts of our Saint Mary families. If you know of someone in our parish or community who may need assistance from the Shelter Program, please encourage them to call the rectory. Please think about donating at the next John Rigely food drive!

All applicants are required to:

  • Be a Milford Resident
  • Demonstrate Need
  • Meet with Milford Human Services prior to first appointment
Kid’s Closet

The Kids’ Closet is located at the Margaret Egan Center, Rm. 107, 35 Matthew St. Hours of operation are Wednesday mornings (9:30-11:30) and Thursday evenings (6:30-8:30). Milford residents need no appointments and donations are gladly accepted during those hours. Non-Milford residents should call 203-713-6297 for more information and to schedule an appointment. Requests for same-day appointments cannot be granted due to heavy volume of shoppers.

The St. Mary Kids’ Closet is available for families in need to provide “almost new” clothing, toys, books and baby gear for their children. Everything in the Closet is donated by local families and all monetary donations are used to buy food, diapers and formula for families in need. Anyone who wishes to “shop” the Closet free of charge can do so — Milford residents with valid ID do not need an appointment; all others must call 203-713-6297 at least one week prior to visiting the Closet. Some families are referred to us by Birthright, Bridges, the food pantry, United Way, Salvation Army and other sources, but many come to the Closet on their own. All are welcome — please bring a valid photo ID.

We are always looking for volunteers to organize donations, deliver supplies to families without transportation or to provide support to families in need. If you have some time and would like to help the youngest members of our community, please contact us to get involved.

Questions? Kathlene Gerrity at kmskd@yahoo.com.

Knights of Columbus

Welcome to Knights of Columbus Santa Maria Council #14546, the council serving St. Mary Church.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE – JOIN THE KNIGHTS.

WHO ARE WE?

Father Michael J. McGiveny founded the Knights of Columbus in New Haven in 1882. It’s been called the “strong right arm of the Church” and has been praised by popes, presidents, and other world leaders. Members of the Knights have included Babe Ruth, Ron Guidry, John Kennedy, Jeb Bush, and Vince Lombardi. Father Chacko Kumplam, Deacons John Hoffman and Robert Magnuson are Knights, as was Father Cronin. Father Donahue is a member of our council as well as its Chaplain.

The Knights of Columbus Santa Maria Council at St Mary Church is an very active and growing group of nearly 100 Catholic men involved in a host of activities in support of our families, community, parish, and Catholic faith. In 2013, the council celebrated its fifth anniversary. We meet on the third Wednesday of each month, starting promptly at 7:00 PM, in Father Cronin Hall. The business portion of the meeting lasts about 45 minutes and is followed by refreshments and fellowship.

WHAT DO MEMBERS DO?

Father Cronin Memorial Tuition Financial Assistance Program for students at St Mary School (funded in part by our Oyster Festival Parking Fundraiser)
Volunteer at the St Mary Home School Association carnival
Support the Special Olympics, the Kennedy Center, and like organizations through our Tootsie Roll Drive
Ladies’ Knight Out (a popular annual dinner at which our Knights act as servers)
Candlelight Vigil (another annual event that’s popular with our parishioners)
Assist St Mary School in preparing for Parents Night
Volunteer at Kids Closet
Volunteer at parish food drives
Financial support for newly installed 10 Commandments monument at St Mary Church (Project Moses)
Recycle inkjet cartridges and old cell phones
Provide financial assistance for St Mary School student uniforms
Provide financial support for St Mary School Easter Egg Hunt
Basketball Free Throw Competition for boys and girls ages 9-14
Christmas Party for council families with gifts for the kids and pictures with Santa
Communion Breakfast to provide financial assistance to seminarians And more.

HOW DO YOU BECOME A MEMBER?

To apply for membership, you must be a practicing male Catholic at least 18 years of age. After you submit an application, you will be contacted by a member of our Admissions Committee who will guide you through the admission process

Consider joining a great group of Catholic men. You’ll find that Santa Maria Council offers many opportunities for you to make membership in the Knights a rewarding and fulfilling experience. We’re large enough to be well established, but small enough so that members get to know each other. As a Knight, you can strengthen and become more knowledgeable about your Catholic faith.

If you’d like an application or have any questions, contact Membership Director Christopher at cjcounihan@optonline.net.

COUNCIL OFFICERS FOR THE 2014-2015 FRATERNAL YEAR

Grand Knight: Adam Baranowsky
Deputy Grand Knight: Gordon Parmelee
Chancellor: Adam Baranowski
Treasurer: Joe Colucci
Recorder: Duane Bottino
Warden: Jerry Mariano
Advocate: Robert Lessard PGK
Inside Guard: David Hewston
Outside Guard: Jim Attardo
One Year Trustee: Thomas Beirne PGK
Two Year Trustee: Joseph Settanni PGK
Three Year Trustee: Manuel Andrade
Chaplain: Father Aidan Donahue
Financial Secretary: Pat Eisenman

Nursing Ministry

The Nursing Ministry at St. Mary is operated under the auspices of St. Raphael’s Hospital and relies completely on volunteer nurses in our community to provide services. Each month this Ministry provides free blood pressure checks after Mass and facilitates a Parkinson’s Disease Support Group.

For more information, please call rectory office during regular business hours.

Twinning Ministry

Ministry Overview

The Haiti Twinning Ministry is a unique program that was launched in spring of 2007 and linked St. Mary with Ste. Therese Parish located in Marbial, a mountainous region in South Haiti.

St. Mary of Milford is a member of the Parish Twinning Program of the Americas (PTPA), which consists of over 350 “twin parishes” between U.S. and Haitian parishes as well as those in Central America, Cuba, Mexico, and Canada.

Haiti is the third poorest country in the world and the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

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About Ste. Therese Parish
clip_image002Ste. Therese, located in the remote mountainous jungles of southeast Haiti, has approximately 60,000 parishioners spread across an area roughly the size of the territory between Hartford and Milford. The parish is located about 15 miles from Jacmel – the nearest city. The poor state of roads or the lack there of, however, makes this parish a remote location, which takes over six hours to reach from Port au Prince, about 30 miles away. The parish has a primary church, ten satellite chapels and a K-12 school.

Clean Water
One in every eight children in Haiti dies from diseases due to contaminated water.  The Twinning Committee has been working with Gift of Water a well established, not for profit water purification program that has been working primarily in Haiti for over 15 years. clip_image004

The Twinning Committee has been working since 2011 with Gift of Water, a well-established, not-for-profit water purification program that has been working primarily in Haiti for over 15 years. With your financial support, the St. Mary Twinning Committee has already provided 650 water filtration systems to Ste. Therese Parish serving approximately 6,500 residents of Marbial.

Each filtration system is very simple and only costs $40 to operate for a year. Water is collected in a five-gallon bucket and poured through a carbon filtering system that includes two chlorine tablets. It comes out clear of impurities into another bucket with a spigot.
To make a donation to clean water, click here.

A Twinning Committee member in Marbial for the March 2013 Medical Mission inspected the water systems at residents’ homes to ensure proper usage of the systems and to recommend corrective actions. Twinning Committee members will continue to work with Gift of Water and to better support the clean water initiative in Haiti.

Medical Missions

Medical missions generally take place annually each spring. The team typically includes three to four physicians, 2-3 advanced practice registered nurses and several resisted nurses to provide ambulatory care of the community. Our surgical team, led by Dr. Richard Garvey, senior attending surgeon a Bridgeport Hospital, are able to perform 20+ surgeries at a hospital in Jacmel (10 miles south of Marbial) during the week. The other members of the team, led by Dr. Meredith Williams remain in Marbial and are focused on primary and preventative health.

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Would you like to support our Medical Missions? To make a donation click here.
Education
Ste. Therese Parish has a K-12 school in Marbial as well schools in two of its 12 satellite parishes. The parish also operates a “Free School” attended by children whose families are too poor to allow them to attend the regular schools as they must work in the fields.

Through generous contributions, the St. Mary Twinning Committee has been able to provide a year of education to over 850 students. A donation of $35 pays for one student’s education for a year.
Want to help a child learn? To make a donation to help a send a child in Marbial to school for a year, click here.

International Sea Container Shipment

Annual Shipment provides the opportunity to send bulk goods to St. Therese Parish

Volunteer Opportunities

We are always seeking new committee members to bring new skills and ideas, help out at events and reach our fundraising goals. Please contact the rectory at 203-878-3571.

Media Coverage

Coming Soon.....

Parish Council

Rev. Aiden N. Donahue 203-878-3571
Rev. Chacko Kumplam 203-878-3571
Deacon Richard Sennett
Deacon Robert Magnuson
Deacon John Hoffmann
Bob Lessard
Bob Blake
Diane Candido
Janice Frank
John DeFeo
Frank Lacerenza
Susan Marra
Robert Lynch
Jay Mraz
Bryan Mercier
Anthony Candido
Martha DeFeo
Christine Paine
Joe Debs
Kim Colucci
Lydia Lucas
Patrice Dunn

Ladies’ Guild

The Executive Board consists of a President, First and Second Vice Presidents, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Treasurer and Nominating Committee Chairperson. Officers are elected for a term of one year. No member of the Executive Board may serve in the same office for more than two consecutive years, with the exception of the Treasurer, who may serve for three years. No member may hold more than one office at a time.Founded more than fifty years ago, the Ladies’ Guild has a threefold purpose: spiritual, social and charitable. Executive Board meetings are held on the first Tuesday of every month and general meetings are held on the second Tuesday of the month. No meetings are held in January, February, July and August.

The affairs of the Guild are conducted by the Board of Directors acting with the Guild’s spiritual advisor. The Board of Directors consists of the elected officers of the Guild, Chairpersons of Standing Committees and the immediate Past President.

The Guild sponsors an annual program of Recollection and/or Communion Breakfast. Monthly general meetings include speakers on religion or topics of general interest to the Guild members.

Each year the Guild has several fundraisers, such as Plant and Bake Sales, and its primary fundraiser, the auction held in November. Monies raised from these events are used to help the church and school in their respective missions, to support community organizations, and to fund grants and scholarships to youngsters of the parish.

Participation

All women in the parish are cordially invited to become members; non-parishioners may also join. Dues are $5.00 per year. For more information, contact current President Tamira Wilson and Mary Ann Weaver 203-874-1052.

 

Loaves and Fishes Dinners

The St. Mary parish has a longstanding commitment to provide hot meals to the area homeless, and those just down on their luck. In the past the group was called the Beth-El Shelter Dinner Group but it’s not exclusive to residents of the Shelter, so the group has been renamed “The Loaves & Fishes Dinner” group. The group provides a dinner once a month, usually the third Thursday of the month, from 6:30 – 7:30 PM (doors open around 5:30 PM). Occasionally, the date has to be changed because of conflict with Holy Day Masses. Notice of such changes are given in advance via the bulletin, the website and the rectory. No one is turned away. Three couples have volunteered to organize the efforts, but they are helped by many others who prepare, set-up, serve and clean-up for the dinner.

Participation

We can always use more people to help prepare meals (done in their homes) which are then brought to the Church Hall where they can help serve and eat with our group. For more information, please contact: Mary Seyfried (203-876-0278) or Carol Gissel (203-877-8726).