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December 2: Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament

Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament is a very old devotion in our Church that highlights the fundamental mystery of the Holy Eucharist – that our Lord is truly present, body and blood, soul and divinity in the Blessed Sacrament.

Exposition begins as the priest places the Blessed Sacrament in a monstrance on the altar for adoration. At this time, a hymn of praise (such as O Salutaris Hostia) is sung as the priest incenses the Blessed Sacrament. During the period of adoration, the faithful may pray in quiet and foster a deeper spiritual communion with the Lord. The adoration period may also include prayers, such as a novena or Liturgy of the Hours, and Scripture readings accompanied by a homily to increase the understanding of the Eucharistic mystery.  At the end of the adoration, the priest again incenses the Blessed Sacrament as a hymn of praise (such as Tantum Ergo) is sung, and then blesses the congregation with the Blessed Sacrament, making the sign of the cross.  After the blessing, the priest reposes the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle.

If you are interested in participating in this time-honored ritual, please join us in the church the first Friday of every month. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament begins at 8:30am and the Benediction & Reposition is 10:00am-10:15am.

Altar Servers

The altar server ministry provides a real opportunity for the young people of our parish to provide an important service for our Church community. Altar servers assist our priests and deacons at the altar during liturgy when they celebrate Mass. Altar servers can also assist at weddings and funerals if they wish.

Boys and girls in 4th through 8th grade and high school are eligible. They can sign up to serve in pairs with their siblings or friends if they wish. Each altar server will go through one 45 minute orientation session with Father Chris and another member of the altar server ministry. Altar servers are scheduled on a regular and rotating basis with accommodations for individual or family conflicts.

New altar servers are always welcome!

Contact: Ken Laughinghouse, altarservers@nativitychurchnj.org

Franciscan Earth Care Ministry

The Franciscan Earth Care Ministry encourages us to always be good stewards of God’s creations by caring for and protecting the environment, our home, and all living things to ensure that our children will inherit a safe and sustainable Earth.

Our ministry works to foster environmental awareness and sensitivity, promote sustainable practices, and inspire thoughtful action and community service efforts. It was inspired by the many works of St Francis, the patron saint of ecology and of animals, whose devotion to God was expressed through his love for all of God’s creation.

The Franciscan Earth Care Ministry meets the second Thursday of each month at 8:30am in the Parish Library. Please join us. All are welcome!

Contact: Kathleen Hendrick, kmhendrick78@gmail.com or 732-567-3247

Basic Needs

The mission of the Basic Needs Committee is to do as Jesus did; to reach out and serve our brothers and sisters in need. Through this committee, our parish community is asked to help provide for the needs of those in our region and globally who are less fortunate. Our outreach efforts are described below.

Contact: Amanda Stevens, 732-741-1714 x44

Year Round

Food Pantry
Chair: Jo Heath
Parishioners are invited to donate non-perishable food items, such as canned and dried goods and place them in the boxes at all entrances of the Church for distribution to local individuals and families in need.

If you would like to volunteer in our food pantry, click here.

Lunch Break
Chairs: Bill and Linda Gesell, Mary Haynes, Kathy Ramirez
On the Thursday before the third Friday of each month, parish volunteers gather in the parish hall kitchen at 8:30am to prepare a meal to be served at Lunch Break in Red Bank. On the third Friday of each month, parish volunteers serve the clients at Lunch Break at 5:30pm.

Meals for The Center in Asbury Park
Chair: Mary Beth Bull
Parishioners are invited to take single serve containers from the church office pantry, fill them with a nutritious meal, and return to the freezer in the church office pantry. A volunteer will transport them to The Center in Asbury Park.

Supporting Our Troops
Chair: Bill Gesell
We support our troops by sending care packages to those deployed overseas. Parishioners are invited to support our troops by donating snacks, toiletries, comic books, etc., to the boxes located at the Church entrances. Financial assistance is also welcomed. We also network with other organizations in Central Jersey to gather items to send and obtain the majority of the financial support needed to cover the cost associated with sending packages. Volunteers gather the donations and pack them up for shipment about every two weeks.

Helping Those in Need
Chairs: Sandra DelMonaco, Raquel Falotico, Bill Gesell
Basic Needs Committee volunteers assist the needy from within Nativity Parish and in Eastern Monmouth County with the essentials of daily living by partnering with other churches, organizations and charities to maximize impact.

Seasonal

School Supplies
Chair: Mary Beth Bull
In late summer, we collect school supplies for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Supplies may be placed in bins located in the church lobby.

Box of Joy
Chair: Annie DiDomenico
In October, we collect shoe boxes filled with toys for distribution over the holidays. We support children in 3rd world countries through Cross Catholic Outreach.

Advent Project
Chairs: Mary Haynes, Jo Heath, Tammy McKenna
Ornaments created by parish teens are offered for sale during the 4 weeks of Advent. Donations received are distributed to a local charity.

This year we will be selling Christmas Ornaments that will benefit Covenant House. We ask that 2 volunteers sign up to sell ornaments. 8th Graders will also be helping. The sale will take place after each Mass at the back of the church and the side door by the sacristy. Instructions and details will be emailed to those who sign up.

If you would like to volunteer to sell ornaments, click here.

Senior Citizen Christmas Gifts
Chair: Kathy Ramirez
During Advent, wrapped Christmas gifts for senior citizens are donated by parishioners and placed under the Christmas Tree located in the Church. Gifts are distributed to local nursing homes.

Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Food Baskets
Chair: Amanda Stevens
During the weeks leading up to these holiday seasons, Basic Needs collects non-perishable items as well as frozen turkeys and hams to create holiday baskets which are distributed to local friends and families in need.

Fifth Sunday Collection/Poor Boxes/Candle Donations
The Basic Needs Committee’s primary source of funds to support our efforts to help individuals in need comes from the Basic Needs collection conducted on the fifth Sunday (approximately four times a year), the three poor boxes located inside of the Church, candle donations, and donations made directly to the Basic Needs Committee.

Eucharistic Ministers

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion accept the responsibility of assisting the presider in distributing communion at Mass. They may also volunteer to bring communion to the home bound of Nativity parish, a local hospital and a local rehab center.

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are scheduled to serve on a regular and rotating basis according to their availability and personal considerations.

Ministry Head Needed
Temporary Contact: Carolyn McCarthy (732) 741-1714 x10 or carolynm@nativitychurchnj.org

Lectors

Lectors fulfill an important liturgical role when they proclaim the Word of God to the community at Mass. They also participate in special liturgies throughout the year.

Men and women who would like to consider this ministry are encouraged to share their talents with the parishioners of Nativity Church. Training is provided for new lectors.

Lectors are scheduled to serve on a regular and rotating basis according to their availability and other personal considerations.

Ministry Head Needed
Temporary Contact: Carolyn McCarthy (732) 741-1714 x10 or carolynm@nativitychurchnj.org

Jeanne’s Blankets

The Jeanne’s Blankets Ministry was created in honor of Jeanne Silvestri, an amazing woman who lived a faith-filled life with kindness and love, who had a unique ability to make everyone she met feel special and cared for.

Jeanne’s Blanket Ministry makes personalized lap-sized fleece blankets for those adults and children who are sick or are going through an extremely difficult time.  These prayer blankets will be made, prayed over, and blessed for healing and blessings upon the recipients. We pray that this ministry will bring all those who receive these blankets comfort, peace and hope, so they will know they are not alone, that God is with them and that there are people who care for them and are praying for God’s Healing hand to bless them.

No skill is necessary, just a prayerful and willing heart!

Please reach out if you are interested in helping make blankets, if you would like to request a blanket, or if you would like to make a donation order to help offset the cost. You may also use this order form.

Contact: Sue Hodgkiss, 732-241-2583 or nativityblankets@gmail.com

Nifty Fifties

The Nifty Fifties is a social group whose members meet at 1pm the second Wednesday of each month in the Parish Hall.  Diverse programs are presented and refreshments are served.  New members are always welcome to meet and socialize with their fellow senior parishioners.  Three luncheons are held every year for Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day and in June.

Contact: Anne Gentile, 732-741-3419