At Saint Cecilia we feel it’s important to be connected to our broader community. The below ministries are devoted to just that.
Advent Giving Tree
The annual Advent Giving Tree invites parishioners to celebrate the season of Advent by providing Christmas gifts to men, women, and children in need. The Advent Giving Tree, adorned with gift tags describing the individual gifts hoped for, is placed in the narthex on the First Sunday of Advent. Help is needed to prepare tags, assemble and decorate the tree, and sort gifts as they arrive. Drivers are also often needed to deliver the gifts.
The Beyond Boston Ministry was begun with an eye toward the global community. God’s love transcends nations, cultures, religions, and peoples. By recognizing the dignity and worth of all, we join our international partners through friendship and cooperative efforts to begin the important, vital work of long-term caring for humanity, the environment, and sharing resources.
Friends of Kakamega—Friends of Kakamega assists Kenyan students and their families as they rise above poverty. Using a multifaceted approach centered around education, Friends of Kakamega works at the grassroots level with families and communities in Western Kenya to reduce barriers to education, the work force, and prosperity.
Health Equity International—Health Equity International is dedicated to providing essential health services to the people of southern Haiti, especially the most vulnerable. They are committed to building a comprehensive, efficient, and resilient health system that provides high quality care. They believe that ensuring access to life-saving and life-changing health services is a critical component to building strong and productive communities. Father John also serves on the board of directors.
Red Cloud Indian School—The mission of Red Cloud Indian School, a Catholic institution administered by the Jesuits and the Lakota people, is to develop and grow through an education of the mind and spirit that promotes Lakota and Catholic values.
Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation—The Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation works to improve the quality of life of the Sherpa people of Nepal in the areas of health care, education, and the environment.
Saint Cecilia CARES
In the winter of 2013 the Parish Pastoral Council resolved to make expanded pastoral care one of the three cornerstones of the strategic plan. This goal was tied to the awareness of the growing number of isolated, aging, and homebound members of the parish in need of consistent pastoral support and compassionate advocacy.
Saint Cecilia CARES is a visitation program with ministers who visit the homes of isolated members of our parish and the surrounding community. CARES ministers begin with a six-week training session to build their skills in providing pastoral care. Through the gift of compassionate listening, they provide pastoral presence, emotional support, and Holy Communion if requested. Participants are matched with someone in need for a one-hour visit on a consistent basis (weekly or bi-weekly). In addition, there are monthly support group meetings for sharing and support.
If you are feeling a call to this ministry, or know of anyone who might benefit from it, contact the parish 617-536-4548.
Hunger and Homelessness Ministry
Over the past decade, Saint Cecilia Parish has developed a significant relationship with several Boston-based nonprofit agencies that focus on housing and homelessness as well as hunger relief and food insecurity. Parishioners assist these agencies by volunteering at their facilities and, in some cases, interacting with their clients. Our food rescue programs with Catholic Charities and Pine Street Inn require volunteer drivers with access to cars. Our five or six volunteer opportunities each month are designed to meet the busy lifestyles of parishioners and are usually scheduled for weekends and generally involve a commitment of only two to four hours. Saint Cecilia parishioners also participate in a variety of fundraisers and drives that support our nonprofit partners. Being a part of our homelessness and hunger ministries is a great way for parishioners to get to know one another better and to build community.
Social and Racial Justice Ministry
This parish ministry is a non-partisan but politically and socially engaged Catholic advocacy group for social and racial justice. The work of this ministry is grounded in the Gospel message that we are all one in Christ Jesus, and emphasis is placed on Catholic Social Teaching, particularly the call to protect the dignity of the most vulnerable. Members seek to connect with and amplify existing groups across the Boston ecumenical community, while also infusing social and racial justice into the whole of our parish.