Boys and girls who are altar servers at St. Agnes assist the priest in the celebration of Mass and other ceremonies connected with the Sacred Liturgy of the Church. Servers from both St. Agnes School and the St. Agnes Christian Formation Program are trained to prepare the sanctuary and altar for Mass or other ceremonies. They assist at these ceremonies and also help the priest with "clean-up" duties in the sanctuary and the sacristy. Altar servers give glory to God by their presence in the sanctuary, and they offer inspiration to the faithful by their participation in the liturgy.
The altar society was started over 60 years ago. Its original purpose was to pray for vocations and launder and mend liturgical garments worn by the priests and servers. When these items needed to be replaced and money was not available, the altar society took on the responsibility of refurbishing them. This was accomplished through fund raisers ranging from hat sales and talent shows to rummage sales. The list of needs grew and included everything from hosts, wine and Altar cloths to vestments. Mothers of the Altar boys were recruited.
In early 1960, the society opened a gift shop and began catering funerals. These were the only means of financial support for the society until the parish financial structure was changed, and these are now part of the general parish budget.
Although the society no longer pays for the altar supplies, it continues to provide many services, some of which are "behind the scenes," and may be taken for granted. These services include:
- Catering for funerals (volunteers are often needed to make cakes, etc.)
- Laundering the altar cloths and purificators (used at Mass to wipe wine cups)
- Sewing and embroidering Baptismal gowns used at Baptism
- Servicing the vigil light stands
Contrary to popular opinion, the Altar Society is not an "older ladies" organization and is always looking for new members, both men and women.
The celebration of the Eucharist is the central focus of life here at St. Agnes. With the complete initiation into the Church through Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation, parishioners are eligible to become Eucharistic ministers. It is an honor and rewarding, spiritual experience to be able to offer the body and blood of Christ to one's fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord.
On a practical basis we are always in need of more Eucharistic ministers. If you are willing to serve in this most special ministry you are welcome to join others who serve the people of St. Agnes. Your task would be to distribute the sacred bread and wine at weekend and holiday liturgies. A training session is provided to help ministers feel comfortable in their service. Ministers are scheduled according to their Mass choices and in conjunction with the schedules of the other family members who serve as lectors, altar servers, ministers of hospitality, etc. Ministers serve approximately once every 3 to 4 weeks. Personal vacations and commitments are taken into consideration when each new schedule is written, usually 3 times a year.
We invite you to prayerfully reflect on the value of the Eucharist in your life.
The Food Pantry at St. Agnes has been operating successfully for over thirty years to help people in emergency food circumstances as a result of illness, unemployment, divorce or other unfortunate situations. It offers short-term emergency assistance. Money and food supplies for the Food Pantry are supplied by faithful St. Agnes parishioners who bring contributions to Mass on Sunday, area businesses, Boy Scouts, Butler postal carriers, St. Agnes School children, Butler Fire Department, "Souper" Bowl of Caring, St. Agnes Holly Fair, Food for the Hungry, Inc. (bread supplies), Bulter Library, Butler Police Department, Girl Scouts and Metro Market. Their gifts are deeply appreciated and contributions to the Food Pantry are always welcome. The Food Pantry is open on Mondays from Noon - 2:00 and 5:00 - 6:30 PM.
A special group, Grief Ministry, meets monthly to offer comfort, support and prayers for sorrowing families. Many in this ministry have attended workshops and liturgies to help them understand the grieving process. They are good listeners who offer one-on-one support and mutual comfort. Members of the Grief Ministry help the newly bereaved by notifying parishioners of the death, funeral services and liturgy. They post notices of special retreats and seminars, offer names of books that can help, and list support groups in the area. During the year, they plan special liturgies, and in December, have a Mass and breakfast for all who have suffered a loss during the year.
Ministers of Hospitality
Men and women who usher at St. Agnes greet, attend, seat and care for people attending services. Their duties for worship include the distribution of prayer and song materials, the reservation of pews for groups, management of the table with hosts and wine, collection of donations, distributions of items needed for services, occational selection of gift bearers (wine and hosts), distribution of bulletins, and the preparation of the church before and after liturgies. They are concerned about the welfare of all parishioners and help them feel comfortable.
Ministers of the Word
Lectors accept the privileged role of proclaiming God’s word to His people. They prepare readings prayerfully and practice public speaking to encourage the congregation to listen, understand and reflect the joy and hope of God’s Word. Lectors read at Sunday and holy day liturgies. Parishioners interested in this ministry are always welcome.
St. Vincent de Paul Society
Inspired by Gospel values, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a Catholic lay organization, leads women and men to join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to the needy and suffering in the tradition of its founder, Blessed Frederick Ozanam, and its patron, St. Vincent de Paul.
The St. Vincent de Paul Society at St. Agnes was organized in 1957 to help provide comfort to individuals and families in the Butler and surrounding area.
With compassion and discretion, St. Vincent de Paul members offer immediate help to people in need. On a person-to-person basis, Society members from St. Agnes help the needy with emergency assistance for:
- furniture and household items
- information and direction about governmental agencies that can also assist
While the services we provide are important, what stands alone is our outreach of friendship through person-to-person contact. During a crisis, many simply need to know that someone cares. We care.
If you are in need, please contact us at (414) 339-2044.
The St. Vincent de Paul Society at St. Agnes was organized on February 8, 1956, to help provide comfort to individuals and families. We serve the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the community.
With compassion and discretion, St. Vincent de Paul members offer immediate help to people in need. We provide food, clothing, furniture, appliances, transportation; help with budgeting, rent, utility and medical payments; offer counseling; give information and direction about governmental agencies; and visit the sick in homes, hospitals and nursing homes.
In addition, we coordinate the SHARE food program, where food is provided for a nominal fee and two hours of community service. We also help with the Waukesha Surplus Commodities Program and staff the AGAPE Food Program.
Vincentians provide additional help with clothing, furniture, and appliances for the needy at St. Michael and St. Thomas Parishes, but the needy at St. Agnes come first.