Work of the People

Have you ever connected the word “prayer” with the word “work”? Maybe you've said a prayer at your place of work like, “Please God, help me get through this day!” Other than that situation it doesn't seem like these two words go together. However, it may surprise you to know that the Church connects these two words in the word “Liturgy”. Liturgy is what we do when we come to Mass. It is the form of our community prayer and ritual. But did you know that the word “liturgy”, translated from the Greek, means “the work of the people”? From the earliest days of the Christian Church the community gathered to tell the stories of Jesus, break bread, and give thanks for their life in the resurrected Christ. Everyone participated in and contributed to the prayer celebration. This community prayer was, literally, “the work of the people”!

This tradition continues at St. John with the many liturgical ministers of prayer who you see serving at our weekend liturgies. Their service helps lead us in prayer and song, gathers our offering to God, helps us feel welcome, makes Christ present in the proclamation of the Word, and serves us the Bread of Life.

This parish is blessed as well with many Liturgy & Sacrament ministries that take place outside of our Sunday celebrations. They continue this prayer work by gathering together to practice forms of prayer that have been a part of our Church from the earliest times. Some also take the community blessing and the Eucharist we share to those unable to join in our celebrations. 

You are invited to share your gifts with the praying community. How is God calling you to become a part of this important work of the people of God?

Liturgical Ministers Universal Expectations

A commitment to the ongoing efforts of ministry on behalf of the parishioners of St. John Vianney, by the parishioners of St. John Vianney is no small task. Each ministry performs certain functions within the grand scheme to elevate the interior experience of parishioners. With this commitment there are implied universal expectations when someone takes on the responsibility of ministry. The heads of liturgical ministry have come together to place down in writing these universal expectations regardless of the ministry. By joining any ministry, the congregant agrees to the following standards of decorum and deportment.

Contact Parish Office
925-939-7911 ext 0
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Men and women are needed as altar servers for funerals and other special liturgies. Training is provided. Must be available during the day, Monday through Friday (occasional Saturday).

Contact Sue Banducci
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Wash and iron small linens for Liturgies. Commitment is every 10-12 weeks.

Contact JoAnn Dawe
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Your SJV Parish Family wants you to serve at the Table of the Lord!

To be an altar server, you must be in at least the 4th grade, serve at all assigned liturgies or find a qualified server to take your place, read the altar server handbook, attend one altar server training session.

Contact Mary Kamath
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Josie Wright
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Parish Office, Maryanne Richards
925 939-7911 Ext. 0

Mary Kamath and Josie Wright invite men and women to join the Altar Society. Members serve in groups of four. Time: occasional Friday mornings after morning Mass, 9:00 to 10:00am. We dust the church, wash and polish liturgical vessels.  

Contact Joanna Mechler
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Preparing a prayerful environment for liturgical seasons. All manner of talents are needed, but especially sewing, carpentry and green thumbs.

Contact Charlene Abellana
925-939-7911 ext. 107
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Open to singers interested in spending additional time preparing psalms and other songs for the liturgy. Song leaders are coached in a separate class in addition to attending Wednesday evening choir rehearsals.

Contact Charlene Abellana
925-939-7911 ext. 107
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Youth and Adults: Come help us make a "Joyful Noise Unto the Lord"!

The bell ensemble rehearses once a week and plays September to June. The Handbell Choir may also be part of special liturgies such as Christmas and Easter. Reading music is helpful, but not necessary. Prior experience with handbells is not necessary; you will be taught how to play the bells. Membership is open to anyone middle school age or older.

(Also, see Children's Liturgical Ministries; the children play bells and sing; grades K-Middle School.)

Contact Liz Rogers
925-939-7911 ext.125 
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This is a special Sunday morning opportunity for children to celebrate the Liturgy of the Word during the 9:00am and 11:00am Masses.

The children are invited to gather in the church with a catechist prior to the first reading. They are sent forth by the community with blessing and song to listen and reflect on the Sunday Children's Sunday readings. They return to the assembly before the presentation of the gifts. The Gospel message is shared with the children through ritual, Scripture and interactive reflection.

Contact Charlene Abellana
925-939-7911 ext. 107
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Help make each liturgy an experience of joyful community expression. Instrumentalists of all talent levels are welcome for all Masses.

Contact Rosemary Dauenhauer
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Nancy Jokerst
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You are invited to join us for a richly spiritual time of contemplative prayer each Tuesday morning at 10:00am in the Rectory Parlor.

Contemplative Prayer & Living - A Christian Way of Transformation 

Contact Andy Leven
925-933-9241
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Ron Courtney
925-933-1695
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The goal of the Eucharistic Adoration Ministry is to provide St. John Vianney parishioners the opportunity for personal prayer and worship in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

Contact Peggy Casey
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To assist the celebrant with the distribution of the consecrated bread and wine at each Eucharistic celebration. Eucharistic Ministers also help clean the vessels after the liturgy and reset for the next Mass. Training is provided.

You may also volunteer to serve as a Lead Eucharistic Minister. Lead Eucharistic Ministers arrive about 15 minutes before the liturgy to ensure that enough ministers have “signed in” to serve at the particular Mass and to coordinate the clean-up and resetting for the next mass. Again, training is provided.

Trained EME's please sign up at least one week in advance to serve at Mass.

Contact Joan Alber
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Debbie Mellin
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Proclaim the Word of God at liturgy. If you have a desire to learn more about the Scriptures, you may wish to join the Lectors Ministry. The Lectors gather on Wednesday evenings at 7:30pm in the Parish Office conference room.  This gathering is an opportunity to interact with fellow Lectors in a small group in preparation to proclaim the Scripture for the upcoming weekend Masses. The meaning and context of the assigned Scriptures are discussed from a theological and a historical perspective. Training is provided.

Contact Charlene Abellana
925-939-7911 ext. 107
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Help make each liturgy an experience of real faith, real joy, and devotion. Saturday 5:00pm Choir rehearses at 4:30pm on Saturday. Sunday 11:00am Choirs rehearse Wednesday evenings, 7:30 – 9:00pm.  Instrumentalists are welcome, too!

**Note: 9:00am choir meets at 8:30am on Sundays; the 11:00am choir meets at 10:30am on Sundays.**

Contact Deacon Herb Casey
925-939-7911, ext. 0

This ministry has three branches. they all involve visiting the sick and bringing them the Holy Eucharistic.

  • Hospital Care at John Muir Medical Center
  • Nursing and Care Homes
  • Eucharist for the Homebound

Training will be provided. 

Contact Ron Courtney
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Betty Courtney
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Pray for Peace. Each morning at 8:00am, we meet in front of Our Blessed Mother Mary's statue to pray for peace, our priests and our personal intentions.

Contact Liz Rogers
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Provides growth opportunities for deepening prayer and spiritual life.  New members are welcome.

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As a parish we rely on men and women needed to assist in seating the congregation, take up the tithes and offerings at each weekend Mass and help care for the safety, comfort and security of the sanctuary at the Weekend and Holy Day Masses.

Some adult ushers are also needed to serve as Lead Ushers. The Lead usher coordinates the other ushers during the Mass and will be trained in some basic emergency procedures--for example, what to do if a person becomes ill at Mass.