Family life Commission
                                                                                     Family Ministry










Ministry Purpose/Objective
St. Bart’s Family Ministry is one of the ministries under the umbrella of the Parish Family Life Commission. It is established to minister to the needs of all Couples, Parents, Single and Married Adults and the Divorced and Separated, helping each group and each individual in their journey towards a mature, happy and fulfilled Christian life. Above all, the ministry is to purposely help the Commission itself to support and promote programs and values that contribute towards a healthy family, no matter the family composition.

 Long Term Responsibilities
 Ministry to Couples











Catholicfamily.org.sg

Ministry Focus
Minister to the needs of couples in whatever stages they are in their marital life, from young couples to empty nesters, helping them to live a fruitful and happy married life and to fulfill their God given vocation to married life with love, courage and perseverance.

Long Term Ministry Goals

  • Encourage and empower couples to build their families as the primary context of spiritual formation for their children
  • Every couple experiences martial problems and difficulties that often lead to marriage breakdown, thus, the ministry shall explore proactive/enrichment programs and activities to help couples learn how to navigate common martial problems and thus overcome such marriage pitfalls.
  • Knowing that couples experience predictable developmental crises, preventive efforts can help families bridge the crisis, without becoming stuck and unhealthy. For example, programs can address adjusting to a new marriage, the transition to parenthood, preparing for adolescence, marriage after retirement, and death in the family. These developmental crises are predictable—we might as well help people navigate the transitions.
  • Link couples to our Eucharistic Adoration & Prayer Ministry where we can assist them as they face specific challenges in their marriage and family.


 

1. Ministry to Parents

Ministry Focus
Like many parishes we here at St. Bart’s know how to minister to children and teenagers. Often parishes overlook their parents. Yet, we should definitely be serving them, especially considering that they are the greatest spiritual influence in their children’s life.

Thus, the focus of our ministry to parents is to equip them with parenting resources (spiritual, social, etc) to help them develop their parenting abilities and thereby fulfill their vocation to raise faithful Catholics and responsible citizens.

Long Term Ministry Goals

  • Encourage and empower parents through parenting trainings.
  • Provide support to parents.
  • Maintain a parenting page in parish website where parents can share ideas and report success stories, things that work, and share resources and suggestions with each other.
  • Link parents to our Eucharistic Adoration & Prayer Ministry where we can assist them as they face specific challenges with their children.
  • Connect parents together through activities where they can talk about their kids and brainstorm informally about solutions. Such events help to re-energize them to hang in there and keep doing the hard work of parenting.
  • Keeping them informed on prevalent cultures affecting their children out there in the society
  • Liaise with the leaders and coordinators of Children’s Ministry, EDGE and Life Teen ministries as they strive to partner with the parents of those they minister to, thus maximizing our outreach and efforts for successful faith formation of our children.


 
2. Ministry to Adults

Ministry Focus
To serve the needs of adults within the age range of 40 to 60 years, whether they are single or married. Our married adults will also be the focus of our ministry to Couples. Thus, the focus of the ministry to adults is mostly towards those who are single. But, rather than establish a Singles Ministry to minister to their needs separately, we shall do so within the context of our ministry to adults. It is our hope that their needs be met within this larger context, making it easier for them to participate without feeling singled out or stereotyped.

Who Are Single Adults
Many adults in our world today are single. Some of these have chosen to be single either for religious reasons (they wish to serve the Lord, the Church or their aging parents) or for secular reasons (their career and work make marriage difficult). Others have not specifically chosen to be single, but find themselves so either because they have not yet found a spouse, or they are separated or divorced, or their spouses have died. Whatever the reasons or circumstances the Father loves those who are now living single lives. He wishes to bless their lives and to bring to their lives a deep peace and joy. Being single is a viable lifestyle and God provides grace for living life as a Christian single adult.

Our parish has always encouraged and continues to encourage strong family bonds and hosts many family-friendly activities. However, like in many other parishes, our single adults often feel left out. We shall strive to provide our single members the opportunities to bond and grow in faith.

Research shows that the population of single adults has grown over the years and will continue to grow. They make up a good percentage of each parish. Thus, here at St. Bart’s, as we seek to grow and position our parish for the future we want to make sure that our single adults find a welcoming home and good support as they strive to live out their Christian vocation in their state of life.

Long Term Ministry Goals

  • Work with Faith Formation and Liturgy Commissions to facilitate spiritual growth
  • Equip them with skills for living productive lives
  • Provide support for singles adults and help them know that they are not alone
  • Assist them in their times of difficulty
  • Encourage them to minister to others through involvement in the parish and through service projects to the community, when and where possible.
  • Integrate them into parish programs and encourage them to use their gifts, talents, and abilities.
  • Assist Bereavement ministry to meet the needs of grieving widows and widowers through our expressions of love, compassion, and acceptance. 
  • Offer bible study where issues concerning singles, such as divorce, relationship and loneliness are tackled from a biblical perspective.


3. Ministry to the Divorced and Separated
“I earnestly call upon pastors and the whole community of the faithful to help the divorced and with solicitous care, to make sure that they do not consider themselves as separated from the Church… Let the Church pray for them, encourage them and show herself a merciful mother and thus sustain them in faith and hope.” -Pope John Paul II, On the Family, #84

Nothing – not even divorce or death – can place limits on God’s love.” -USCCB, Follow the Way of Love, pg. 5

Divorce has touched nearly every Catholic family in our country. It’s a painful process that affects every aspect of human existence.

Divorce or separation bring with them traumatic and overwhelming range of emotions that include confusion, pain and hurt. Sadly, as if their negative experiences are not enough, many of those who go through this experience end up feeling rejected by the Church.

                                     If you are separated or divorced, the Church cares about you.

The Church loves her own, no matter who they are and what they have done or not done, because they too are beloved children of our loving and compassionate God. Therefore, as a parish, we strive to care for anyone who comes through our doors, no matter who they are and what they have done or not done.

Ministry Focus
Separation and divorce are difficult and usually grievous losses, yet filled with potential for vibrant new growth and responsiveness to grace.

The focus of our ministry to the divorced and separated is to help bring healing to those who are hurting from the effects of a divorce or separation, including their famiies. We shall strive to bring them healing, so that transformed and free again, they can love themselves, others, and God. 

Long Term Ministry Goals

Create divorce recovery programs that:

  • Foster spiritual and emotional recovery of those who separate or divorce
  • Help to lead to a healthier family relationship
  • Strengthen stronger spiritual life
  • Increase emotional health and self respect
  • Provide tools to deal with the pain of the loss
  • Enhance the ability to begin living again, contributing to the society and the church.


Provide resources for those who come to the ministry for support
Ultimately, separated and divorced people, through their vulnerability, suffering, courage, faithfulness, and patient endurance bear witness to Christ and his redeeming grace in the world.  They are not mere recipients of the Church's compassion; they are, as well, ministers of that compassion.

Things to Know About Divorce and Annulments

  • Divorced/remarried Catholics are not excommunicated.
  • Annulments do not cost thousands of dollars – it’s now free in the Archdiocese of New York.
  • Someone married for a long time can get an annulment.
  • Someone with children can get an annulment.
  • Annulments do not take years to process and do not have to be processed in Rome.
  • The process is now shorter, but the grounds or conditions for annulment remain the same
  • Your “ex” does not need to cooperate in the annulment process.


Things to Know About Divorce and Parish Life

  • Separated/divorced Catholics are welcome at Mass and Church activities.
  • Separated/divorced Catholics can be sponsors at Baptism and Confirmation.
  • Separated/divorced Catholics can receive the sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation.
  • Separated/divorced Catholics can have their children baptized and receive other sacraments.


 Things to Know About Remarried Catholics

  • Catholics who remarried in the Church after receiving an annulment can receive the sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation
  • Catholics in a marriage (initial marriage or remarried) that has not been blessed or solemnized at the altar should not receive the sacrament of Eucharist.


4. Family Support Programs:
Families have varying numbers and degrees of stumbling blocks, ranging from spiritual to economical or material, social to cultural, moral to secular, etc. Through St. Bart’s Family Ministry we shall strive to provide as much support to our families and the families in our neighborhoods with as much support as possible. Below are two areas we shall provide support while we explore other areas.

   a. Adult Literacy Program
One of the beauties and strengths of our great country is our diversity. This same diversity has been one of the beautiful things and strengths of our beloved parish, St. Bart’s. For years English has been the second language for many of our parishioners, especially for parents and continues to be. It is our hope that through this program we shall offer some tangible assistance to those struggling to integrate into our parish community and into the larger American society.

The program shall be open to anyone who needs it and shall be free.

   b. Children’s Tutoring Program

This is another area some of our children need help. Some parents have even requested this help. Thus, through this program we shall strive to provide much needed tutoring to our kids and those in the neighborhood who are struggling in one area of their academic life or another.

 The program shall also be open to children who needs it and shall be free.

 
                                           Family Ministry Team Member Position Description

Composition:
There shall be a minimum of 8 members and a maximum of 10 members on the Team. Efforts should be made to make the team as diverse as possible. There shall be a Coordinator for the Team. The team should include 1 or 2 young couples, single and married parents, 1 or 2 adult singles, 1 adult couple (empty nesters), a divorced or separated member, and 1 or 2 members from the Family Life Commission.

Reports to:         Family Ministry Coordinator 

General Responsibilities of Every Ministry and Committee Member:

Specific Responsibilities of Family Ministry Team Member

  • Helps the ministry to implement its goals and objectives through planned activities 
  • Helps to discern the needs of the parish groups they serve
  • Helps to plan activities and programs that will address such needs
  • Create a welcoming and happy environment for those they serve.
  • Helps to research for resources that will benefit those they serve


Special Activities

  • Attend annual parish Ministry Recollection Day
  • Annual Parish Ministry Appreciation Dinner
  • Help with Annual Stewardship Fair


Meetings

  • As planned by the Ministry


Time Commitment

  • This also depends on the number of events the Ministry decides to offer.


Expected Length of Commitment

  • Minimum of two years. 



General Qualifications Required of Every Ministry and Committee Member:

Specific Qualifications Required

  • Experience and/or interest in working with any of the groups the Ministry serves.  
  • Able to work well with people
  • Dependable – one who goes through with their commitment.


                                            Family Ministry Coordinator Position Description

Reports to:         Report to Commission Chairs

General Responsibilities of Every Ministry and Committee Chairperson and Coordinator:

Specific Responsibilities of Family Ministry Coordinator

  • Provide leadership for the Team Members and for the Ministry itself
  • Delegate Team members to various assignments. 
  • Helps the ministry to implement its goals and objectives through planned activities 
  • Helps to discern the needs of the parish groups they serve
  • Helps to plan activities and programs that will address such needs
  • Create a welcoming and happy environment for those they serve.
  • Helps to research for resources that will benefit those they serve


Special Activities
Host an orientation for new Team members
Attend Annual parish Leadership training
Attend annual parish Ministry Recollection Day
Annual Parish Ministry Appreciation Dinner
Help with Annual Stewardship Fair

Time of Commitment

  • Time for meetings
  • Time dedicated to follow up on proposed activities
  • Time dedicated to actual activities and programs

                Delegate other members to certain activities.

Expected Length of Commitment
A term of 3 years, renewable.

General Qualifications Required of Every Ministry and Committee Chairperson and Coordinator:

Specific Qualifications Required
Ability to lead
Ability to delegate
Ability to work with team members



Click here for Seniors Ministry


The Church of 
St. Bartholomew
  Yonkers
A Catholic Community
In the Archdiocese of
New York