Parish Pastoral Council
The Parish Pastoral Council is a leadership group that serves as a consultative body to the Pastor.  The council’s purpose is to fulfill the parish mission by helping to coordinate all aspects of parish life, including worship, service, education, formation, evangelization and stewardship. In cooperation with the Pastor, the council strives to develop a unified vision among parishioners and to provide direction for the appropriate action necessary to attain this vision with the spiritual growth of parishioners always a primary interest.  
The Parish Pastoral Council is comprised of seven to nine members selected from the Parish at large plus the Parish Staff.  Meetings are held five times during the year usually on the third Wednesday of the month at 7:00 p.m. in the parish office.

Pillar I:  Prayer & Worship

Liturgy Committee
The Liturgy Committee is responsible for planning prayer services, para liturgies, and liturgical celebrations throughout the year.  It is also responsible for the decorations in the church and at the altar.  In addition, it prepares the schedules for the servers, Eucharistic ministers, lectors, cantors, organists and greeters.
Time required:  Members of this committee attend a two-hour meeting the second Saturday of the month.

Sacristans make all the preparations necessary before each Sunday Mass, freeing the pastor to greet the people as they arrive.
Time required:  about twenty minutes before Mass once every three weeks.

Friendly faces are necessary to create a welcoming atmosphere for those entering our church.  Greeters view themselves as hosts and hostesses for the Lord’s House and the Lord’s Meal.
Time Required:  About 20 minutes before Mass.

Conscientious servers assist at Liturgies.  Duties include leading the procession before Mass, assisting the priest during Mass, and putting things back in order after Mass.  Boys and girls in fourth grade through young adulthood may be servers after attending a training session.  If unable to serve at your assigned Mass, you must find a replacement.
Time required:  Training session plus fifteen minutes before and after the Mass at which you serve.

Ushers seat worshipers as needed, collect offerings, distribute Sunday Bulletins, care for any need that might occur, and straighten pews after Mass.
Time required:  About twenty minutes before and after Mass.  Training provided.

Lector (Reader)
In order to Proclaim the Good News, it is necessary to prepare and try to better understand the meaning of the Scripture to be read.  Lectors are scheduled on a rotating basis, usually once every four to five weeks.  To ensure the best presentation, additional materials are given to lectors and they are expected to prepare before they read Scripture passages at Mass.  If unable to serve at your assigned Mass, you must find a replacement.
Time required:  varies according to individual needs.

Bread Baker
Saint Gabriel uses home baked communion bread made in accordance with Church directives (water and wheat flour only), which more closely resembles a true loaf than the traditional wafer.  Families in the parish prepare it.
Time required:  Two hours per month

Gift Bearer
Families and/or individuals are needed to assist in bringing up the gifts at the Offertory at all Masses.  You may want to sign up if the Mass is for a deceased family member or any special occasion.
Time required:  Ten minutes before Mass on the Sunday or Holy Day.
Contact:  Sign the book in the back of church or check with the usher before Mass.

Music Ministry
Our Music Ministry enhances and supports congregational singing during liturgies.  Singing is a form of prayer.

Cantor (Song Leader)
Cantors are the first to greet the assembly before Mass begins.  The cantor leads the congregation in singing, reads petitions, and provides leadership during the sung parts of the Liturgy. 
Time required:  Cantors are scheduled on a rotating basis and practice as needed

Organist and Pianist accompany the congregation for singing.
Time required:  Piano/Organists are scheduled on a rotating basis and practice as needed

Instrumentalists are encouraged to share their musical talents at Mass or other events.  There are many times throughout the year that instruments are needed to complement the musical portions of the Mass.  Occasionally, a Folk Mass is scheduled and will feature guitar and other instrumental music.
Time required:  Instrumentalists are scheduled on a rotating basis and practice as needed.

Adult Choir
Those persons who enjoy singing, are committed to serving God in a musical way, and are willing to attend regular rehearsals are encouraged to become part of the Saint Gabriel Choir.  The choir sings about one or two Masses each month during the school year. 
Time required:  one hour weekly for choir practice, Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.

Eucharistic Minister – Mass
 A Eucharistic Minister is a reverent person chosen by the Pastor to help in the distribution of the Eucharist at Masses.  Duties include arriving ten minutes before Mass to confirm your presence and the responsibility of finding a replacement in the event you are unable to attend your assigned Mass.
Time required:  Training is required.  You will be asked to serve at one Mass approximately every three weeks.  In addition, Holydays are scheduled.

Church Decorating
We prepare the church altar, ambo and the entire church with appropriate decorations; flowers, plants etc. for the Church seasons.   We adorn the altar in a beautiful array of what Jesus’ presence means to our church community.
Time Required:  Depends on season & personal interest

Marian Prayer Group
    Our Blessed Mother’s family prayer group meets for the 7:30 a.m. Mass each Saturday and after Mass for the Rosary and other prayers.  There are other opportunities throughout the month to attend healing services (physical, mental, or spiritual) and other Spirit-filled outings that are listed in the monthly newsletter.  Everyone is welcome.

Saint Anne Altar and Rosary Society
Saint Anne Altar and Rosary Society is a group of women who sponsors care for the altar area and sacristy.  Funds are raised to pay for altar bread and wine.  Two annual meetings include the feast of Saint Anne in July and a December Christmas gathering.  Donations are collected during Advent and Lent for holiday flowers.
Yearly dues are $3.00.
Time required:  As needed

Pillar II:  Preaching & Teaching the Word

Religious Education Kindergarten – Sixth Grade
Classes are held on Sunday mornings from 9:00 to 10:15 a.m. the months of August to May for parish youth who attend public schools or are home-schooled.  Trained volunteer catechists share their faith by teaching the students catechism and Church doctrine in the classroom setting with textbook materials, church tours and group activities.  The children also go to church to recite the Rosary, Stations of the Cross, and the Divine Mercy Chaplet and lead the assembly at two Sunday Masses during the year. 

Sacramental Preparation Sessions for Parents are held on a scheduled basis for families with a youth preparing for First Eucharist or First Reconciliation.  Notices of meetings are in the bulletin.

Children’s Liturgy of the Word
Liturgy of the Word for Children is designed for 3-5 year old children.  The purpose is to explain the Sunday Mass to this age group in a manner they can understand.  Our liturgy provides them with knowledge for later use and a love for God.  It is held during the 10:30 a.m. Sunday Mass.  These sessions run from October to May.  Volunteers are needed to plan the sessions, prepare craft materials and participate with the youth on Sundays.
Time required:  one hour per week or month

Vacation Bible School
Children’s Vacation Bible School may be held during the summer for youth three years old through sixth grade.  The children learn bible stories and scripture through hands on activities.  Many adult and youth volunteers are needed each year to help with the variety of sponsored activities.  Specific tasks depend upon the theme for the year.
Time required:  no more than 10 hours

Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA)
A Pre-catechumenate (Inquiry) Class is held twice a month throughout the year.  Those who are interested in the Catholic Faith may join at any time.  Those who have grown in faith may become Catechumens on the last Sunday in November and plan to join the Catholic Church at Easter time.


School Commission
The Saint Gabriel School Commission exists to promote the teachings of Jesus Christ and to serve the Catholic Community of Fayette County through the catechetical message of word, worship, community, and service.

The Commission consists of the pastor, school principal, nine parishioners, and a representative from the PTSG (Parents and Teachers of Saint Gabriel School).  Parishioners may become members of the Commission through a discernment process, which is held each spring.  Terms are for a 3-year period.  The Archdiocesan Education Commission and the Archdiocesan Office of Catholic Education support the Commission.

The roles of the School Commission include:
1.  Forming a mission statement, goals and objectives for the education ministry               at Saint Gabriel Parish
2.  Budgeting for parish educational programs
3.  Employment of a school administrator
4.  Setting education policies in accordance with Archdiocesan policies.

The Commission meets the first Tuesday of each month August through June.  The exact time and location are published in the parish bulletin and school newsletter.  The meetings are open and guests are welcome to attend.  A person or delegation wishing to address the Commission may do so by contacting the Commission President or school principal at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.  Comments addressed to the Commission by a delegation will be limited to 10 minutes per meeting.

Saint Gabriel School was founded in 1854.  Its purpose is to provide a Catholic education for students in the Connersville area.  At that time a tradition of excellence was begun that continues today.
    The present school, which is state accredited, consists of classes for preschool through grade 6.  Before school care is provided. 
    The school is housed in the 1957 building and the new addition, which was built in 2001 - 2002.  Grades preschool – fourth grade and before care are located in the 1957 building, and grades five and six plus the school office are in the 2001 addition.
Students use the “old building” for art, gym class, and lunch.   The schoolrooms are shared with evening and weekend parish programs.

Saint Gabriel Catholic School is committed to “education founded in faith” for preschool through sixth grade.  Our Roman Catholic faith is taught, practiced, and celebrated.  We are committed to meeting and exceeding Archdiocesan standards, which include state standards and national standards for academic excellence.  Our purpose is to emphasize the spiritual dimension of development and high academic achievement within the context of a loving Christian community.

PHILOSOPHY:  Our mission is supported by three basic philosophies:
Parents are the primary educators of their children.  Parents have the right to choose the place and type of education they want their children to receive.   They have the responsibility to be actively involved in their children’s education and school community.
Roman Catholic Christian values, parental involvement and a comprehensive academic curriculum are the essential components of a solid educational foundation.  This triangular foundation ensures the growth and development of children into successful, productive, responsible citizens.
Stewardship and service are natural products of a faith-filled life and make it possible for institutions like St. Gabriel School to perpetuate and continue to produce moral, responsible adults.  St. Gabriel students develop into citizens who are ready to contribute to society and meet the challenges of the future.

FACULTY:  All classroom teachers are certified elementary school teachers licensed by the State Department of Education.  The majority of the teachers and staff members are Catholic.  Only Catholic teachers/catechists teach religion classes.  The school principal is a practicing Catholic, licensed and experienced in school administration and teaching.

Preschool classes are held for three and four year old and four and five year old students.  The four and five year old classes are Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  The three and four year old classes are Tuesday and Thursday.  Classroom activities follow the Archdiocesan Early Childhood Guidelines.

Parents and Teachers of Saint Gabriel School (PTSG)
PTSG is a very active parent/teacher organization.  It exists in order to facilitate better communication between parents and teachers and to provide educational opportunities for the students.  Parents and patrons of Saint Gabriel School are invited to become active members of the PTSG.  Meetings are usually held the second Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. (Sept. – May).

Youth Ministry

Youth Ministry is our parish community’s response to the needs of our young people and invites them to participate in the life, mission, and work of our community.  Youth Ministry is about becoming Church to, by, for and with young people and their families.  Youth Ministry focuses on these eight components:  Advocacy, Catechesis, Community Life, Evangelization, Pastoral Care, Justice and Service, Leadership Development, and Spirituality.  Some planned annual events include retreats, a summer mission trip and a youth rally.  Events are planned for both middle and high school youth.

Catechesis or religious education groups for youth in grades seven to eleven meet on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 to 8:15 p.m.  Trained volunteer catechists share their faith with the young people.

Sacramental Preparation for Confirmation in offered to juniors and seniors in the parish.  This is a program that offers young people the opportunity to explore their faith and their commitment to the Church community in a deeper way.  Young people participate in formal classes, do community service work, and attend an overnight retreat experience.

Youth Masses are offered once a month and young people are given the opportunity to lead the community in our celebration.  Young people are lectors, cantors, ushers, greeters and gift bearers as well as servers.

The Parish Youth Group is for all youth in grades seven through twelve who enjoy gathering for social activities. They also participate in Deanery and Archdiocesan events.  Activities vary and are based on the time and the season.

Adult Ministry

Adult Catechetical Team (ACT)
The Adult Catechetical Team strives to offer opportunities for adults of our parish to strengthen their knowledge of our faith and enrich their spirituality.  We realize that our faith formation should not end at confirmation.  There is a need and desire in our parish for more adult education opportunities.  Our goal is to provide faith formation opportunities for our parishioners through various programs, speakers and events.  ACT consists of parishioners interested in helping form classes for adults and informing our parish of speakers and programs of interest in our area.

Jail Ministry
Every Tuesday morning Fr. Stan and two men of the parish go to the Fayette County Jail for a Service of the Word based on the previous Sunday Lectionary readings.  It’s a simple format, but well-received by the six to eight men in attendance

Marriage Preparation Sponsor Couple
A Sponsor Couple is a married couple who meet with an engaged couple to discuss pertinent issues facing Christian marriages today.  This is part of the marriage preparation.  The sponsor couple should be in a loving marriage and be ready to discuss the ups and downs of their marriage and be good listeners.
Time required:  The sponsor couple meets with the engaged couple 4 to 6 times before marriage. 

Pillar III:  Service in the Name of Christ

Bereavement Ministries

Funeral Choir
Funeral choir supports the cantor at Funeral Masses.
Time required:  varies

Funeral Dinner
A committee of parishioners that organizes, prepares, and serves a meal following the funeral for the family and friends of a deceased member or former member of Saint Gabriel Parish.  Currently there are seven committees.  As a member of one of the committees, you are called to prepare a dish, and if you are able, help serve the meal.  Meals are usually served at the K of C Hall, but occasionally other arrangements are made.
Time required:  five hours to twenty-four hours per a year.

Family Follow-up
This committee keeps in contact with parishioners who have lost a friend or family member.  They offer a helping hand to those who are grieving the loss of a family member.  They communicate through notes and phone calls and follow up during the year of the death.  This committee sponsors the All Souls Day Mass each November.
Time required:  Varies according to need.  No meetings.

 Bereavement Support Group
Tammie Angeles and Chris Wells are beginning this ministry.  They wish to welcome people who have lost a loved one or are experiencing some difficulty in life to come together for prayer, sharing and healing.

Blood Draw
Saint Gabriel took the lead many years ago by joining the CIRBC (Central Indiana Regional Blood Center) and hosting the first large scale blood drive in April 1974.    That lead to the Fayette County plan to host 6 drives each year to collect 1,300 units of blood annually.

Since that time, the need for blood and blood products has increased tremendously.  Today, Saint Gabriel still participates with the Indiana Blood Center and hosts one of the major county drives each year.   

It takes many hands to conduct a blood drive today.  First there are the many donors and the calling committee to insure that donors are spaced evenly throughout the day.    Then there are the cookie bakers and the crews that cook and feed the blood drive workers.   Did you know that we do this so that they can eat in shifts to keep the donor line moving smoothly?   There are the greeters and those who donate the juice and cups and hand out the cookies.   There are those who help set-up and put back after the drive.   Behind the scenes are those who coordinate, promote and advertise the blood drives.

Giving Tree & Toys for Youth (Christmas in July)
The Giving Tree is the parish’s way of sharing with those less fortunate at Christmas time.  After Thanksgiving, gift tags are put on a tree in Church indicating individual family needs, for example “Boy, 12, size 14 jeans.”  Parishioners select a tag and purchase and wrap the item(s) requested.  Committee members help identify needy individuals and coordinate this outreach. There is only one meeting in October to make a timeline for the give away.  Toys for Youth tags are placed on a tree in July.  Parishioners are asked to purchase a toy and wrap and tag the toy.
Time required:  There is little time required for this ministry

The Pro-Life Committee’s general purpose is to make parishioners more aware of pro-life issues and needs, including euthanasia, abortion, AIDS, cloning, the elderly and handicapped, etc.  Our goal is to educate the parish about these issues and to emphasize our Christian responsibility to protect God’s gift of life.  The Pro-Life Committee receives its information from several sources including the Archdiocesan Pro-Life Office, radio, television, Internet, newspapers, etc.  The committee is involved in planning Masses for Respect Life Sunday, for the January 22nd anniversary of Roe vs. Wade decision to legalize abortion and other appropriate occasions during the year.  This committee meets the fourth Wednesday of every month.
Time required:  varies

St Vincent de Paul
We help the needy by paying for prescriptions, gas vouchers and overnight lodging for transients.   We also furnish food vouchers and prepare the food baskets at Christmas time.  There are many deserving needy people in our community.  We serve God by helping those less fortunate than ourselves.
Time required:  varies   No meetings, just volunteer work preparing food baskets.

 Outreach Ministry
Fr. Stan and Fran Holmes are praying to know God’s will in this new ministry.   What is envisioned is members of the parish going out two-by-two to visit needy folks in the community.

Thanksgiving Dinner for Senior Citizens
This is an annual event on the Tuesday of Thanksgiving week.  Many volunteers are needed to prepare and serve this dinner, which is held at the K of C Hall from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. Approximately 250 dinners are delivered to individual homes as well.
Time required:  varies   No meetings, just volunteer work; preparing, serving and delivering meals.

Communion to the Homebound, Nursing Home and Hospital
These Eucharistic Ministers take Communion to persons in the local hospital and nursing homes and to those who are homebound.  Training is provided.
Time Required:  Varies according to need

Community Sharing Foundation
The Foundation is an effort within Fayette County to help meet the needs of the hungry through a food pantry.  Drop off boxes for non–perishable food items are located in the church for parishioners to share with those less fortunate.  The Foundation meets on the third Monday of every month at 7:00 p.m. at the Fayette County Library.  Donations can be sent to the Community Sharing Foundation at Community Sharing Foundation, 120 West 3rd Street, Connersville, IN 47331.
Time required:  as much as 2 hours every week and meetings.

Hope Pregnancy Care Center
Hope Pregnancy Care Center witnesses to the sacred value of all life and responds accordingly to the woman seeking answers.
Contact:  Hope Pregnancy Care Center    825-1244

Pillar IV:  Community Building

Welcoming of New Parishioners
This committee extends a warm welcome to all new parishioners with a visit and sharing of a packet of church and Chamber of Commerce brochures.  When available the new parishioner receives our current pictorial directory.   The primary responsibility of this committee is to make the new parishioners feel important and make them feel welcomed.
Time required:  2-3 hours a year

Golden Gabriels
This group of senior citizens (55+) in the parish meets on the third Wednesday (except in November, it is the last Wednesday of the month) at noon to share a meal and fun.   It is a way for seniors to get better acquainted with each other. The group eats at a local restaurant during the winter months and out of town restaurants in the summer months.  There are no dues, just a fun time!

Gabriel’s Horn
Gabriel’s Horn is a quarterly newsletter sent to all parishioners and interested persons notifying them of parish life and special activities.
Time required: Varies

Daughters of Isabella
The Daughters of Isabella at Saint Gabriel raise funds for Saint Elizabeth’s Home in Indianapolis, a $500 Scholarship, as well as the local church needs and those of the Connersville community.  It is a circle of Catholic women meeting monthly who share membership with State, National, and International Circles. 
Time required:  Meetings are the fourth Monday each month

Knights of Columbus
The Knights of Columbus, K of C, is a group of men actively involved in many spiritual, social, charitable and community programs.  Lenten Breakfasts, Casino Nights, Saint Patrick’s Day Celebration, Italian Night, and Chicken dinners are some of the fundraisers the K of C sponsors during the year.  Proceeds help Saint Gabriel School, the parish, and the community.  The Hall is located at 921 Central Avenue and is open at various times for social and dining events.  Council meetings are the first and third Mondays of each month.
Time required: As much or as little as one wants.
Contact:  K of C Hall        825-4621   

Knights of Columbus Auxiliary
The Knights of Columbus Auxiliary consists of spouses, mothers, daughters etc. of members of the K of C.  This, like the K of C, is a spiritual, social and charitable organization.  This auxiliary assists the K of C, provides scholarships and makes a basket for the Fall Festival.  They meet on the second Tuesday of every month.
Time required: As much or as little as one wants.

Fourth Degree
A group of men within the K of C that has received this highest honor.  This is a patriotic degree.  Third degree members within the K of C who are members at least one year are eligible.  Fourth Degree men serve willingly in full dress at liturgical celebrations, parades, and funerals as Honor Guard.

The Foundation:  Administration /Stewardship

Stewardship Commission
The Stewardship Commission promotes and implements a comprehensive program of stewardship that cares for the human, material and financial resources of the parish.  It is responsible to the Pastor and Parish Pastoral Council and helps to achieve Parish goals and objectives in the area of Stewardship.
Time Required:  at least five meetings a year, as needed.

Finance & Planned Giving Committee
The Pastor appoints members of the Finance Committee.  Duties and responsibilities of this committee include assisting and advising the Pastor concerning the administration of the parish as it pertains to financial matters.  They help committees and groups prepare their budgets and they oversee the preparation of the parish budget.  They oversee the preparation of the annual report for the parish and the archdiocese.  The committee members are skilled in financial and business matters. 
Time required:  Meetings are held every other month on the second Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. or as needed.

Property and Facilities Committee
This committee is responsible for the maintenance, upkeep, and repairs of all parish buildings and grounds.  It is charged with the task of evaluating current needs with regard to parish properties, planning for future development and proper care and maintenance of all parish buildings and grounds.  This is a working committee.
Time required: Meeting held last Wednesday of the month or as needed.

Church Cleaning
Volunteers clean the church on a rotating basis.  We currently have five committees in charge of cleaning the church. 
Time required:  Approximately two hours every five weeks


Auction & Flea Market
This committee is responsible for the annual spring Auction and Flea Market.  Parishioners donate used, collectible, or handmade items for our auction and/or flea market.
Time required:  Varies

Chicken at the Fair
During the Fayette County Free Fair we serve our Fried Chicken on Tuesday evening to all in our community.
Time required:  Varies

Fall Festival
The Fall Festival is a time of fun and games along with our Famous Fried Chicken Dinner.  We also have a country store where people can buy homemade goodies and crafts.
Time required:  Varies

The Winterfest is the kick off for Catholic Schools’ Week.  It is another opportunity for parishioners and our guests to have fun and play games while enjoying the Kunkel’s famous chili.
Time required:  varies