We have numerous active ministries at Saint Cecilia. Are you looking to get involved? We have a place for you!
Explore our Parish Ministries
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.
Our parish altar servers are children (grade 3 and above) and adults who assist the celebrant in the Sunday celebration of the liturgy, as well as on holy days. Altar servers carry the processional cross and candles, they hold the Missal for the celebrant, they prepare the altar for the Liturgy of the Eucharist, and they help receive the gifts of bread and wine. Altar servers must be able to take direction, they should be able to anticipate what needs to happen during the liturgy, and they need to be able to act in a dignified manner.
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.
In the winter of 2013, the Parish Pastoral Council resolved to make expanded pastoral care one of the three cornerstones of their 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 at 617-536-4548.
Do you enjoy spending time with babies and toddlers? The Young Families Ministry is always looking for volunteers to help with childcare during their monthly parent meetings following the 9:30 liturgy.
Coffee Hour Hospitality
Following the 9:30 and 11:15 Sunday liturgies, our Parish Hall is a lively gathering place where members of the community meet to spend time socializing over a cup of Equal Exchange coffee and a freshly baked pastry. In addition to performing the set-up and clean-up for the Coffee Hour, members of our hospitality crew are also the hosts—welcoming people, serving people, and creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion assist with the distribution of the Lord’s Body and Blood at Mass.
Our parish greeters are the first face of the parish, extending a warm welcome to parishioners and visitors. Greeters distribute music programs and bulletins, they answer questions, they invite people to bring forward our gifts of bread and wine during the Eucharistic Liturgy, and they invite parishioners to help with the offertory collection.
Hunger and Homelessness
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.
Lectors are entrusted with the ministry of proclaiming the Sacred Scriptures to those assembled at the Sunday Eucharist. Lectors also raise the community’s prayer to God by leading the Prayer of the Faithful. Individuals interested in this ministry must possess the ability to proclaim the sacred texts intelligibly and comfortably. They must also have the desire to share the Word with others and to grow in their understanding of the Scriptures.
Saint Cecilia Marriage Ministry provides opportunities for spiritual growth, relationship support, and fellowship for parishioners who are married, in a committed partnership, or engaged. The Marriage Ministry serves all couples and is not restricted to those who are preparing for, or who are married in the Catholic Church. Our Marriage Preparation Program relies upon married couples within the parish to share their experiences and wisdom with couples who are preparing for marriage. Our Book Club explores the meaning of relationship in the context of committed love between two people. Throughout the year, the Marriage Ministry will also host several spiritual, social, and service events to help strengthen our faith and deepen relationships.
At Saint Cecilia, we’re passionate about music. Dedicated to the patroness of sacred music and neighbor to two world-renowned colleges of music, we are committed to the choral support of the Church at prayer. Under the direction of our Director of Music, our three parish choirs perform from a rich heritage of sacred music spanning fifteen centuries. On any given Sunday you will hear music that reflects the diversity of our tradition—from Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony to choral music of the twenty-first century. The parish choirs and instrumental ensembles support the liturgical assembly in song at our 9:30, 11:15, and 6:00 p.m. Sunday liturgies as well as on major solemnities during the year. The choirs are open to new singers and instrumentalists at any time.
Prison and After Ministry
Every Monday night a group of parishioners gathers and welcomes anywhere from fifteen to thirty men, many of whom reside in local halfway houses. These Monday nights are designed to provide a safe space where men reentering the community from prison or jail feel welcomed and loved. From 6:00 to 7:00 there are two or three support groups that allow the men a chance to share with others what is going on in their lives. Parishioners facilitate these groups and participate in them. At 7:00 everyone shares a meal together. Our guests depart at 8:00 and the volunteer parishioners stay to clean up and have a brief meeting. This is a wonderful way to make a difference in the lives of men who often need to hear about their inherent goodness and dignity.
At Saint Cecilia, the LGBTQ+ community is not just welcomed, but the unique gifts of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender sisters and brothers are celebrated, reverenced, and relied upon. Saint Cecilia Parish welcomes LGBTQ+ Catholics to worship God, to fully participate in shaping the life of this community, and to speak openly in an environment that is safe, loving, and supportive. The Saint Cecilia Rainbow Ministry desires to help LGBTQ+ Catholics in their search for deeper relationship with God and reconciliation with the Church. In the past, this group has organized a Lenten speaker series, volunteer opportunities, and social events.
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.
At Saint Cecilia we have a number of annual events that require many helping hands. Under the direction of our Director of Facilities and Events, those who volunteer to assist with special events help plan and host the gala reception following our annual Christmas concert, the reception to welcome our newly initiated following the Great Vigil of Easter, and our annual outdoor Summerfest party. In addition to these annual events, there are sometimes additional events that require help. If you like parties and enjoy working with others, this might be the perfect ministry for you.
Wisdom and Mature Spirituality Group
The Wisdom and Mature Spirituality Group is a community of energized adults journeying in the second half of life and looking to build a deeper relationship with the Christian faith through fellowship, trust, sharing, and prayer. This group meets on a weekly basis and focuses on the rediscovery of the foundations of Christian belief and practice while attempting to cultivate a spirit of contemplation in order to be instruments of compassionate action in the world. New members are always welcome.
Young Adult Ministry
Saint Cecilia’s Young Adult Ministry is for parishioners between the ages of 20 and 40 who are looking to explore their faith while meeting new people and building community. Group events fall into three areas: Christian service, spirituality, and fellowship. Past events have included volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and Haley House; hosting a women’s clothing drive for Dress for Success; making Valentine’s Day cards for senior citizens; volunteering at Cradles to Crayons; providing dinner for the Monday Night Saint Cecilia Prison and After Ministry; and volunteering at a local soup kitchen. Past spiritual events have included attendance at parish Vespers followed by fellowship at a local pub; Theology on Tapas nights; and a weekend retreat. Past social and fellowship events have included wine and cheese nights; picnics in the Public Garden; bowling nights at Kings; attending Boston Red Sox games; monthly happy hours at a neighborhood watering hole; a camping trip; a formal at The Westin Copley Place; and apple picking, wine tasting, and Mass at Nashoba Valley Orchard and Winery. This lively ministry is always planning fun and exciting activities for the young adults of the parish and is happy to welcome new members.
Young Families Ministry
Our Young Families Ministry was created to provide opportunities for fellowship and mutual support for our families with infants and children younger than four years of age as well as to expectant couples. This group meets monthly on Sunday mornings to discuss the ups and downs of life with babies and young children. There are also opportunities for parishioners who might like to provide a meal for parents who are welcoming a child into their family.