Members are men and women who have time during the day to provide the weekly upkeep of the Church from the Communion Rail to the High Altar. This includes ensuring that the oil lamps on the altars are adequately filled, keeping the votive candle cups filled, keeping the holy water bowls cleaned and filled and dusting of the altars (no vacuuming or mopping). Duties rotate once every six to eight weeks.
Altar servers are boys or girls who are at least ten years of age who are baptized and have received their First Communion. Servers carry the cross, the processional candles, hold the Missal for the priest celebrant when he is not at the altar, and assist the priest celebrant and deacon at the altar as necessary. Servers function at the Basilica Sunday Masses of 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. as well as special liturgical functions at Christmas, Holy Week, Easter Vigil, funerals, marriages (upon request) and Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee liturgies held at the Basilica. Servers are encouraged to continue this ministry through their high school years as service to the Basilica.
Members are parishioners who are available during the day to assist at the funeral Mass as hospitality ministers for those attending the funeral Mass. Some members assist in seating, making sure the bereavement book is signed, and tending to the needs of the mourners above and beyond what a Funeral Home provides. Other members of the Guild are readers, sacristans, adult servers, and music support in the form of a funeral choir. The Bereavement Guild assists the Rector and the Deacon in exercising the Catholic corporal work of mercy to bury the dead. There is no set schedule: when a funeral arises, the calls are made by the Guild Chair to enlist assistance.
The St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Book Club provides a casual environment to share your love of reading while deepening your understanding of our glorious faith. The book club meets once a month on a Saturday, in the Parish Center, 9:00 - 10:30. All men and women of the parish are invited and encouraged to bring a friend. Book selection is pre-determined and provided at the beginning of each calendar year.
Ministry of the Choir is one means by which joy is expressed through singing and we are reminded of the saying, "one who sings prays twice." The members of the choir at St. Michael seek to celebrate the liturgy in a manner that promotes participation by all with joy and reverence. The choir practices on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 P.M. and sings at the 11:00 Mass on Sundays. During the 9:00 a.m. Mass on Sundays the organist is accompanied by a Cantor who is usually a member of the Choir.
Coffee hosts furnish baked goods or other goodies after one Mass approximately once per quarter. Hosts set up the Parish Center before the Mass and prepare coffee, etc., serve the refreshments after the Mass, and then clean up. Two families usually host together. Coffee and refreshments are served after each Sunday Basilica Mass and is a way of encouraging parishioners to get to know one another in an informal manner.
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are baptized and confirmed Catholic men and women who sincerely try to live the Gospel message in their communal and individual lives. If married the Catholic party must be married by a Catholic priest or deacon. Candidates for this specific ministry are properly trained in the parish and receive a mandate from the Bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee to function in this ministry at the Basilica parish. Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion serve at both Basilica Sunday Masses based upon the need at each Mass.
Greeters are the first face of Christ and His Church to visitor and old friend alike. Warm, welcoming persons are needed. A deft approach to personal interaction, always putting others first, helps every person who enters our doors to feel the love of Christ from the first moment they are with of our community. Gregariousness welcome not necessary – just a generous heart.
Ministry of the Heart is responsible for maintaining the prayer request list, sending greetings to new parishioners, and sending sympathy cards as needed. This is an ideal ministry for someone who may be homebound. There are no scheduled meetings.
Knights of Columbus is a national fraternal and beneficent society of Catholic men. Membership is limited to "practical" Catholic men aged 18 or older and consists of four different degrees, each exemplifying a different principle of the Order. Basilica Council #8589 meets on the first (closed/business) and third (open/social) Wednesdays of each month at 7:00 P.M. in the Parish Center.
Lectors are men and women who have been baptized and confirmed and at least the age of 16 who possess the skills necessary for an effective proclamation of the Word. The requirements are a desire to proclaim God’s Word at Mass and possess a strong, but pleasant public speaking voice. Lectors function at the Sunday Basilica Masses, funeral Masses, and other liturgical services at the Basilica as required.
Needlework Group meets weekly on Tuesdays from 10:00 a.m. – noon in the Parish Center. Anyone wishing to work on their projects while visiting with other parishioners is most welcome. The group also does knitted and crocheted items for charitable donations. Yarn, some needles and lots of coaching are available. Beginners are most welcome! (The group does not meet in the Summer months.)
Offertory Counters are men or women who possess strong attention to detail, have appropriate math skills, and can operate an adding machine. Counters operate as three-man teams. Time commitment is one Monday morning per month. Diocesan background checks are required.
Palafox Market Guardians are on duty once every seven weeks on Saturdays from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm in teams of three. The purpose is simply to allow the doors of the Basilica to be open during the popular Palafox Open Air Market. Duties are limited to greeting anyone who might like to look around or say a silent prayer. It can also be a time for quiet prayer and spiritual reading for you. And, in addition to fulfilling a parish need, it's a wonderful opportunity for the guardians to come downtown a little early and take advantage of all the fresh produce, live plants and baked goods for sale across the street!
Sacristan duties are performed under the general direction of Deacon Wulf. In general, the sacristan undertakes the overall preparation for Mass such as opening the Church, arranging the books needed for the celebration, setting up the sacred vessels, overseeing details of the Mass as outlined by the Rector. The sacristans serve as a coordinator of the Mass for the priest-celebrant. Sacristans may be men or women who are 16 or older and fully initiated in the Catholic Church. The Sacristan also assists the ushers with the offertory.
Our Lady's Sodality is an organization whose purpose is to unite and organize the women of the Parish in goals, direction, and action which support the physical, financial, and spiritual needs of the Parish. The Sodality meets on the second Monday of each month at 4:30 P.M. in the Parish Center for social time with a business meeting beginning at 5:00 P.M. (No meetings in June, July and August.)
St. Vincent de Paul is an international Catholic voluntary organization dedicated to sanctification of its members through serving the poor and disadvantaged. Meetings are held on the third Sunday of each month in the Parish Center at 10:00 A.M. (between the two Masses).
Tour Guides enjoy sharing the history of St. Michael's Basilica and of the Catholic Church in West Florida with our diverse guests. Volunteers receive written material and rehearse with tour mentors. Tour guides must possess strong communication and listening skills in both individual and group interactions. Experienced public speakers, classroom teachers, and others with good communication skills are an asset to this ministry. Tour schedules will vary with both scheduled tours and with groups by appointment.
Ushers should ensure that worshipers enter into the sanctuary quietly and respectfully without disturbing silent prayer. Ushers are responsible for taking up the collection at the offertory and maintaining safeguards. Ushers also distribute weekly bulletins as the congregation files out. After Mass, ushers tidy up the church, collecting any papers or objects left behind in the pews.
Women's Study Group is a diocesan study group program for women that meets in the Parish Center on Wednesday mornings from 10:00-11:45 AM. Participants can expect coffee, Catholic Fellowship and a loving, welcoming environment. All women of the parish are invited to attend and bring a friend. For the Fall Semester, 2015, the group is studying The Women of the Gospels by Mary Ann Getty-Sullivan, The Word Among Us Press. Subjects include Elizabeth, Anna, Mary of Bethany, the Mother of the Sons of Zebedee, the Samaritan Woman & the Women who Followed Jesus from Galilee. The material is not cumulative, and all newcomers are welcome to join at any time." The WSG at St. Michael is one of thirteen groups in the Diocese that follow the same format but use different materials and books. All the groups come together in the Spring for a Mass and Luncheon and for an annual overnight retreat. (The WSG does not meet in the Summer.)