Ministries

Adoration Chapel

St. Joseph’s Perpetual Adoration Chapel is a place of peaceful silence, spiritual refuge and of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. The Chapel is visited hourly during the week by committed adorers from St. Joseph’s and surrounding parishes. Consider making a visit to the Adoration Chapel. Come into Christ’s Presence and experience coming before Divine Power, glory and majesty. Experience God in a most profound way!
 
Please consider joining fellow parishioners who have made a commitment to spend one regularly scheduled hour each week adoring our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, or to be included on the substitute list.  It is the commitment of these parishioners that help make Perpetual Adoration possible for our community. Please call John and Peggy to sign up or for additional information.

Adoration Chapel: John/Peggy 732-581-9463; Ann 732-473-9727; or Deacon Romy 732-240-4387


Adult Faith Formation

Adult Faith Formation is defined as a process “by which people consciously grow in the life of Christ through experience, reflection, prayer and study… through developing in adults a better understanding of and participation in the full sacramental life of the Church”… in other words engaging in lifelong learning about and living of our Catholic faith. Using the U.S. bishops’ document, Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us: A PastoralPlan for Adult Faith Formation, we are committed to this process to provide opportunities for adult faith growth. Many adult faith formation programs already exist in our parish: parent sacramental preparation, Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, Parish Book Club, Prayer groups and library resources are only a few.  Keep watch on this site and the bulletin for upcoming events.


Altar Servers

This ministry of assistance at the Holy Altar of the Lord is open to young men and women ages 10-18 (grades 5-12). Altar Servers must obtain parental permission, and agree to comply with a dress code when serving. Altar servers are assigned to assist the clergy at Sunday, Holyday, wedding and funeral liturgies. Responsibilities include:

  • Carrying the incense container (thurifer)
  • Lighting the altar candles
  • Extinguishing the altar candles
  • Bearing the cross in entrance procession
  • Bearing the candles in entrance procession
  • Assisting with holy water, water, wine and offertory gifts at Mass

Occasionally, Altar Servers will have the opportunity to serve the Bishop as miter or staff-bearer. Serving at the altar is a big responsibility. The clergy count on your showing up when scheduled. They count on your mature attitude while serving. They expect you to be dressed neatly and to arrive early. They appreciate a reverent attitude in all that you do.


Bereavement Support Group

This group meets with Deacon Michael Taylor.


Book Club

Book Club: Mary, 732-341-4332 Meets 2nd Tuesday, 7:00 PM, September - June, 16 Lafayette Ave.


Caregivers

Caregiver Volunteers of Central Jersey (CVCJ) a non-profit interfaith coalition of sixty congregations serving seniors in Ocean County since 1993. CVCJ is committed to enabling the frail and elderly to remain living independently in their home.  The service is FREE and there is no income eligibility.   Volunteers provide transportation to medical appointments,  grocery shopping (they shop for you); make reassuring phone calls, friendly and pet visits; and respite care for families caring for loved ones with chronic illness, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. St. Joseph’s was the impetus behind the establishment of the ministry as CVCJ evolved from our Project HEAL.  Our parishioner volunteers have given countless hours of their time to help others and can use your support for a few minutes or few hours a month.


Century Club

Founded over 45 years ago, St Joseph’s Century Club provides scholarships for students from St. Joseph’s Grade School who attend Monsignor Donovan High school. Presently, 24 students receive awards based on academic achievement and financial need. Since its inception, the Century Club has raised over $977,000 that has benefitted more than 296 students. Many Century Club scholars now serve as active parish members, and some minister in our school. The generosity of the Century Club members has also supported an endowment for the scholarship program. The annual Gala and commemorative journal provide funds to assist deserving students.

The sustained efforts of many dedicated individuals underscore the importance of Catholic education.


Dominican Laity

The Dominican Laity Chapter, St. Catherine of Siena offers a life of study, prayer and friendship in the Dominican tradition to women and men, married or single.


Endowment Committee for Catholic Education

The St. Joseph’s Endowment Committee for Catholic Education assists the Pastor of St. Joseph’s Church in developing strategies and organizing events to provide for the long-term financial security for the Catholic education at St. Joseph’s Grade School and Monsignor Donovan High School, in accordance with stated guidelines from the Diocese of Trenton.

A major fundraising special event, a fall reception, is the primary source of funding for the St. Joseph’s Endowment Fund, although the Fund was the beneficiary of a rather large bequest in 2003 from the Raymond F. Krenz Estate. The Endowment Committee hopes that the Fund will ultimately provide St. Joseph’s with a sound financial foundation for the future of Catholic education at St. Joseph’s, and that this fund will have special significance for potential lending and granting institutions and foundations.

The committee is comprised of parishioners, schools’ parents and alumni, and friends of St. Joseph’s. Dr. Paul DeMartino currently serves as the chairman.


Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion: call Celine Fowler, 732-349-0018 ext. 2223


Greeters

Greeters are active each weekend at liturgies welcoming parishioners and guests to our church. Members are in the gathering space and at the church entrances to make sure anyone who comes to our church to worship is welcomed with a warm smile and greeting. Greeters also serve at special events and along with the ushers assist in handling emergency situations. Ministers serve a minimum of one Sunday a month. All parishioners, high school age and older, are welcome to volunteer and training is provided for all.


Hispanic Prayer Group

Hispanic Prayer Group: 7:30pm Friday @ 16 Lafayette Avenue


Interfaith Hospitality Network

Interfaith Hospitality Network of Ocean County provides shelter, meals and assistance to homeless families. The program mobilizes existing community resources, churches and synagogues for overnight lodging, congregations for volunteers, social service agencies for referrals and a parish house that serves as the Day Center or “home” during the daytime for guests in the program. Our twelve host congregations furnish overnight lodging and meals for three to five families for one week, every three months on a rotating schedule. Since the official opening of the Network on May 18, 1997, St. Joseph’s has served as host site. Our parish volunteers have provided lodging, meals and companionship to over 126 homeless families. In this unique way to live the Gospel message, the volunteers feel that the rewards of their involvement far exceed their efforts. To volunteer, call Kevin Downing.


Knights of Columbus

St. Joseph’s Council #4969 is a fraternal, family oriented organization for Catholic men. The Knights support the church and its priests. In the spirit of community involvement, they raise funds for various charities, including the mentally challenged.


Lay Dominicans

Lay Dominicans: Kelly, 732-914-0041


Ministry of Consolation

Ministry of Consolation is a group that meets with families who have lost a loved one and helps them to plan the Funeral Liturgy. The family is able to pick out readings and hymns as well as bringing up the offertory gifts. If you are interested in helping with this ministry please call the Pastoral Care Office.


Music Ministry

Music Ministry - Adult Choir
The adult choir of St. Joseph’s Church, comprised of approximately 35 members ranging in age from young adult through senior citizens. Its functions are to assist and encourage the congregational singing, enhance the singing with occasional elaborations and to sometimes sing choral works which enlist and challenge its competence. Members sing weekly at the Sunday 10:30 AM Mass and other specially scheduled events throughout the liturgical or church calendar year. Rehearsals are held September to May/June every Thursday at 7:30 PM in the church. New members are welcome. Questions and interest may be directed to 732-349-0018, x2306 or email gcorrao@stjosephtomsriver.org.  (Liturgical Music Office)

Music Ministry - Cantors
Cantors lead the congregation in songs and proclaim the Psalm at Sunday liturgies and special parish celebrations. Volunteers are needed and anyone interested may call 732-349-0018, ext. 2306. (Liturgical Music Office)

Music Ministry - St. Joseph’s Parish Children’s Choir
The Youth Choir is open to all children, of any school, grades 2 through 6 who are members of the St. Joseph’s Parish. The choir rehearses on Thursday afternoons at 4:30 PM in the church and sings at the 9:00 AM Sunday Mass as scheduled from September through May/June. Call 732-349-0018, ext. 2306.

Music Ministry - Teen Music Ministry
Led by Deacon Gerry Luongo, our teens, grades 7 - 12 sing and play at the Sunday 5:00 PM liturgy. The music is varied in style using Contemporary, Contemporary Christian, Praise, Traditional Hymns and Chant. Non-traditional instruments are used. Contacts: Deacon Gerry Luongo 732-473-9727, email: gluongo@luongoeng.com or Catherine Werner 732-349-0018, x2229, email: cwerner@stjosephtomsriver.org.

Music Ministry - Hymn Selection Committee
Interested members of the Music Ministry Team and members of the parish meet once quarterly during the school year to plan, pick and discuss the hymns we sing on Sundays and other parish celebrations. If interested call 732-349-0018, ext. 2306.


Pastoral Care Ministry

Pastoral Care addresses the deep spiritual concerns of people. Over 250 Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist are involved in bringing Communion to the sick in local health care facilities and to the Home bound as well as serving our parishioners in Church. We also have those who minister to the Ocean County Jail. Pastoral Care Ministry offers help to those who are grieving the death of a loved one through bereavement support groups.  If you are interested in any of these ministries please contact Mary at 732-349-0018 ext. 2223 or mglock@stjosephtomsriver.org.


Prayer Group - Flame of Love

Established over 35 years ago, the Flame of Love Prayer Group meets every Monday evening at 7:30 PM in Room G of the church. We praise the Lord through song, shared prayer, scripture, silence and personal sharing. During the year we are participants and sponsors of a healing Mass, Life in the Spirit Seminars, and host an evening of Interfaith. We support Catholic education at St. Joseph’s by giving scholarships yearly. Many members are active Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, Readers and Pastoral Care Volunteers at Community Medical Center, Adult Choir, Rosary and Holy Name Societies. Join us in experiencing the Holy Spirit and leave with the Peace of Christ. For more information, consult our weekly church bulletin or call Richard and Doris at 732-349-6860.


PRAYER GROUP - LIGHT OF LIFE

Established 1974

Jesus spoke to them again, saying:  “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of Life.
John 8:12

Mission Statement

To give praise and thanksgiving to God
To love each other and share our lives
To grow in the power of the Holy Spirit through the development and use of the gifts (charisms) of the Holy Spirit, as evidenced by our growth in the fruits of the Holy Spirit
To witness to what God has done in our lives
To renew and refresh those working in ministry, enabling them to minister more effectively.
To help others come to accept Jesus Christ both as Savior and Lord of their lives
To support each other in living out our faith as Catholic Christians
To commit ourselves to intercessory prayer for each other, our parish and our priests
To share God’s Word in Scripture and its significance in our lives


Prayer Shawl Ministry

Our Prayer Shawl Ministry is made up of a group who knit or crochets shawls and lap robes for our homebound parishioners and those who need comfort.  Shawls are given to families who are grieving the loss of a loved one as well.


Pre-Cana

Pre-Cana is an opportunity for engaged couples to meet with married couples in a sharing experience, to examine their desires, ambitions, and goals and discuss their attitudes about family, children, faith and money. The team is made up of priests, deacons and married couples. Both the engaged and the married share a feeling of renewed commitment to each other. For information call the parish office at 732-349-0018 ext. 2202


Prison Ministry

This group serves by visiting the Ocean County Jail.


R.C.I.A. (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults)

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) is a process for adults (actually all over the age of 7) who wish to become Catholic.  This includes those who have never been baptized, as well as those baptized in another faith.  Through prayer, faith sharing and catechesis, interested individuals are given the tools they need to make an informed decision before being initiated into the faith by the reception of the sacraments at the Easter Vigil.  If you or someone you know, would like more information about this process, please contact us!


Readers Ministry

Readers are a group of men and women dedicated to the Ministry of the Word. The readers’ function is genuinely liturgical. The sound of a voice affects the meaning the congregation hears. The timbre, density and pitch of a voice always makes a difference. Those who proclaim the word of God in the Assembly are an integral part of the liturgy. For more information, contact Deacon Tom at ext. 2255 or email him at tgenovese@stjosephtomsriver.org.


Readers Ministry - Junior Program

The Junior Reader Program was formulated in 1987 to prepare young parishioners to proclaim the Word of the Lord. Sixth grade through high school students prepare to proclaim the second reading at 9:00 AM, 12:00 noon and 5:00 PM Sunday Masses. Practice is held on the Monday before the first Sunday of the month from 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM in the church. Detailed instruction is given. The Mass is studied and pronunciation and presentation are equally stressed. A three-month preparation period is recommended before reading at Mass. Contact Mrs. M. Halloran at 732-349-0018 ext. 2204 or Mrs. P. Helm at 732-341-9459.


Religious Education Program

St Joseph’s Parish, a faith sharing community, provides a Faith Formation Program for children (grades K through 8) who attend public school. This program offers our children the opportunity to share in our Catholic heritage, rich in scripture, liturgy, doctrine and tradition. Our Faith Formation Program includes:

  1. Sacramental preparation programs for Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation, involving parents and children
  2. Summer Intensive Program grades 1 - 8
  3. Diocese of Trenton Safe Environment Program for parents and children.

Children and parents are encouraged to participate in all parish activities. The focus of the program is to guide our children in forming a deeper relationship with God and the community through the Scriptures and the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist.

We also seek professional educators for our summer program.  For additional information, call the Religious Education Office at 732-349-0018, x2225.


Respect Life Committee

The function of the Respect Life Committee is to make our pastor and parishioners aware of new events and information that comes from the Diocesan Respect Life Office. Our Challenge is to gain the attention of our fellow parishioners and to educate and motivate them to become more actively involved in safeguarding God’s precious gifts of human life, from conception through natural death. We accomplish this through many activities such as: a monthly devotional holy hour, intercessory prayers for all life issues, a life chain, a national night of prayer for life, a respect life raffle and the March for Life. Meetings are held the second Thursday of every month.


Rosary Altar Society

Established in the 1930s and formally chartered in 1949, the primary purpose of the Rosary Altar Society is to praise and honor our Blessed Mother and secure her patronage by reciting the rosary. The women of the Rosary Altar Society honor Mary by cleaning and decorating the church, visiting residents of a local nursing home, sponsor an annual Communion Brunch and make rosaries and Baptismal bibs. They also provide financial support to various parish projects by sponsoring three major fundraisers throughout the year: the Super Summer Raffle in September, and arts and crafts show in November and the Palm Cross sale in March. Members volunteer their time and talents to make these fundraisers a success every year.


Separated and Divorced Support Group

This is a self-help group providing a place where people in all stages of separation and divorce can meet and share their experiences and feelings. They meet twice a year for six weeks at 16 Lafayette. Deacon Michael Taylor is the moderator.


Social Concerns

The Social Concerns Ministry is a ministry that has two separate agendas. One is service to those in need and the other is social justice, trying to make change in the government and legislature.

There is a core group that meets the first Wednesday of the month at 4:00pm for ten months at the Parish Center. Volunteers who are interested in leadership roles usually attend these meetings. We have over 350 volunteers on a call list who participate in the many projects that are run throughout the year.

There are two projects that run throughout the year - the food pantry that is open 30 hours a week and the Sunday Supper that is held the last Sunday of the month September through June. We have two clothing drives along with household items drives, Back to School drive, and Memorial Day Collections for our service men and women. During the months of November and December, the Thanksgiving food baskets and Christmas food baskets, along with the Giving Tree, take many hours of work and many volunteers.

Food collections take place on the First Sunday of each month. The parish van will be in front of Church to accept donations. Other donations may be brought to the Food Pantry 10:00 a.m. - 12 noon.

Social Justice Activities are met by supporting the Clergy and People for Workforce Housing and the House of Hope. Other organizations are Catholic Charities and Providence House, S.T.E.P.S. (Solutions to End Poverty Soon), the Ant-Poverty Network, Interfaith Hospitality and Help, a group of concerned citizens trying to find a way to end homelessness.

The Social Concerns Ministry encompasses the entire Parish. Both adults and students from our schools, Religious Education program, and Youth Ministry volunteer their time and talents in all of our programs.

The Social Concerns Ministry is the church, the people that make up our Parish. They support this ministry physically, creatively, and financially. If you would like to get involved, call Rosemary at the Social Concerns Office.


St. Joseph’s Carpenter Shop

Our gift shop is located within the church building. All religious items are available: books, statues, cards, rosaries, Bibles, medals, videos, cassette tapes, children’s books, framed prints, plaques, and Fontanini items. New merchandise is always being received and special orders are accepted. Visa and MasterCard are accepted.


St. Joseph’s Cemetery and Mausoleums

The thirty-four acres comprising the St. Joseph’s Cemetery and Mausoleums borders along Hooper Avenue and Cedar Grove Road where they have been serving the needs of our Catholic families since 1912. We are a full service cemetery offering in-ground, mausoleum, columbarium and ground cremation areas and a Garden of Holy Innocents for all Catholic families. Our two mausoleums, the St. Joseph and Risen Christ Chapel offer comfort and peace for committal services, prayer, visitation and special liturgical services held throughout the year. The Risen Christ Chapel is a bi-level building which offers two meditation rooms with glass front cabinets for cremation, crypts and niches for above ground burial and a beautiful garden grotto for silent prayer and reflection.

We invite all families and friends who are experiencing the loss of a loved one to find comfort and knowledge that the Church is ever present to them within our beautiful grounds. The trained staff supports and comforts those on their journey from grief to healing by listening, understanding and by welcoming them to the Remembrance Services, held throughout the year. Loved ones do not have to be buried in St. Joseph’s Cemetery for family and friends to attend.


St. Vincent de Paul Society

Inspired by Gospel values, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a Catholic lay organization leads men and women to join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person services to those who are needy and suffering in the tradition of its founder, Blessed Frederic Ozanam, and patron, St. Vincent de Paul. As a reflection of the whole family of God, members who are known as Vincentians are drawn from every ethnic and cultural background, age group, and economic level. Vincentians are united in an international society of charity by their spirit of poverty, humility and sharing. Organized locally, Vincentians witness God’s love by embracing all works of charity and justice. The Society collaborates with other people of good will in relieving need and addressing its causes, making no distinction in those served because, in them Vincentians see the face of Christ.


Totus Tuus: Women’s Faith Sharing Group

Totus Tuus (Totally Yours) is a Catholic Women’s Faith Sharing Group.  The group meets on the first Thursday of the month for prayer, study, discussion, and fellowship.  All women are welcome. For more information, or to be added to our email list,  please contact Carrie at carriecolonno@aol.com.

The main focus of study/discussion for our group, for this year, will be “The Rich Gift of Love”, a series offered by Sr. Jane Dominic Laurel. O.P. as she discusses the nature of love, marriage, and family according to Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body.  There will be plenty of time, each meeting, for prayer, group discussion, and fellowship!


Usher Ministry

Usher Ministry is an opportunity to serve God and our faith community. If you are interested in volunteering, call the Parish Office and leave your name and telephone number.


Veritas Men’s Faith Sharing Group

1. Vision
Veritas will inspire the men of St. Joseph’s Parish to grow in spirituality, faith, and leadership through fellowship, prayer, and faith formation.

2. Purpose: 
Veritas with our members enthusiasm, call to service and commitment to faith will encourage and inspire the men of St. Joseph’s Parish in order that we have; a greater love and understanding of the Catholic Church, renewed faith, increased sacramental life, strong relationships with each other, in a Christ centered environment.

3. Values:
The values we operate by are: Humility, Obedience, Integrity, Accountability, Sacrifice and Openness.

4. Key Responsibility areas: 
a. Improve the Spirituality of the men of St. Joseph’s Parish through a renewed focus on prayer
b. Faith formation with the Catechesis
c. Structured fellowship with thought provoking topics
d. Bring in new members to S.J. Parish and Veritas Men’s group to share, discuss, learn interesting Catholic topics and to support and guide all men to know each other through the Gospel.

5. Meeting Schedule and Structure: 
Open Meeting schedule
Praise and Worship – 10 min
Presentation – 15-30 min
Small Group Discussion – 15 min
Lectio Divina – 15 min
Evening Vespers – 15 min
Fellowship - 30 min

6. Sponsorship:
The core team is composed of five men in good standing from the Parish.  The members are Dave Greiner, Ray Zuhowski, Mark Salerno, Paul Fink and Joe Tabone.  We are sponsored by Fr. Scott Shaffer and Deacon Gerry Luongo.

Call Mark Salerno @908-330-0565, Paul Fink 732-581-2102,Dave Greiner @ 609-313-8152, Ray Zuhowski @ 732-814-1089, Joe Tabone 732-232-9432.


Youth Ministry

Youth Ministry is very active in St. Joseph’s Parish. Our goal is to include our young people in every aspect of parish life and to make them comfortable in their parish home. All activities are open to all youths in grades 7 through 12, regardless of which school they attend, where they live, or where they worship. In addition to our two youth groups, our young people are involved in various liturgical ministries such as junior readers, the Teen Music Ministry, and the hospitality and usher ministries. Additional events, such as retreats, lock-ins, service projects, social events, mission trips, beach parties and inter-parish Diocesan functions are coordinated through this ministry. Youth Ministry is based on the principle of: to youth, with youth, by youth, for youth, addressing the social, spiritual and service needs of our young people.

C.Y.G.N.U.S.
(Catholic Youth Growing Nurturing Understanding & Serving)
CYGNUS is the parish youth group for all teens in grades 9 to 12, and their friends. CYGNUS stands for Catholic Youth Growing, Nurturing, Understanding, and Serving. It offers its members a wide variety of social, spiritual and service activities so the teens may gather to share their faith, and build closer relationships with Christ and one another. CYGNUS meets year round most Sunday nights each month at the Youth House, 409 Lexington Avenue from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM, and its members come from all the local high schools. See the bulletin for the latest schedule or call Catherine at ext. 2229 to join the mailing list.

Junior C.Y.G.N.U.S.
Junior CYGNUS is where parish teens in grades 7 & 8 gather for social, spiritual and service activities in an effort to build community and follow Christ’s teachings. Events take place at various times throughout the year. See the bulletin for the latest schedule or contact Catherine.