Social Concerns

St. Matthias has many ministries that reach out to those in need — in our parish and also in the local community and beyond.  Many of these ministries also need volunteers. We invite you to explore these ministries, as a participant, a recipient or a volunteer.  For ministries which do not have a contact listed, please contact Sr. Marie Therese Sherwood, OSF.

Bereavement Ministry

Grieving support sessions are held on Wednesday evenings in the Fall. The purpose of the group is to help people who are mourning the loss of a loved one deal with their grief and sorrow as well as to offer the bereaved the hope that comes from the Gospel.  Due to the pandemic, the group is meeting online.

If you have are grieving the loss of a loved one and would like to join the group, please contact: Sr. Marie Therese Sherwood, OSF.

Day of Service

Parishioners John and Coleen Zdziarski organize a Day of Service approximately 5 times a year on a Saturday morning.  Volunteers usually gather in the Parish Office for shared prayer, and then go in small groups to one of several ministry sites.  Examples of ministry sites include the Ronald McDonald House, the Franklin Township Food Bank, and the Pregnancy Aid Center.

Due to the pandemic, this ministry is currently on hold.  Watch the bulletin and the online Calendar for the new dates.  If you are interested in volunteering, please contact John and Coleen Zdziarski.

Caregivers / Care Support Group

The Caregivers Ministry is specifically for those who are caregivers to elderly or sick family members, we offer opportunities to come together bi-monthly (on a Saturday morning) to pray, share information and to support each other.  During the pandemic, this group is meeting online.

Funeral Team Ministry

Members of the Funeral Team Members meet with grieving families to help with preparations of the funeral mass for their loved one, including choosing appropriate hymns and readings.  The information is sent to celebrants, musicians, sacristans, and other necessary recipients.  The team member attends the Wake and the Mass of Christian Burial.

Giving Tree

For 2020, due to the pandemic, please participate in our contact-less Giving Tree.  The Giving Tree is a project to show Christian love and care for others by providing, collecting, and distributing gifts to those in need at Christmas time. It is coordinated by a small group of volunteers. Parishioners are invited to take one or more gift tags from the Giving Tree, purchase gifts, and return them to the Giving Tree with the tag attached. Thanks to the generosity of our parishioners, hundreds of gifts are delivered to Nursing Homes, shelters, homebound persons, St. Vincent DePaul families and other families who are struggling.  If you are willing to help us sort the gifts and/or deliver them to the organizations, please contact Sr. Marie Therese Sherwood, OSF.  Note: Due to the pandemic, our Giving Tree will be coordinated with gifts being purchased and donated online.  See the bulletin for details.

Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN)

The Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) of Somerset County is part of a national network of homeless shelters providing a community response to homelessness through involvement of volunteers and congregations. In 2005 St. Matthias joined IHN and has been participating every year by housing families and/or providing meals for them.  Due to the pandemic, we are providing meal preparation and deliver only.  If you are interested in helping with this project, contact Sr. Marie Therese Sherwood, OSF.

Lazarus Ministry

Lazarus ministers assist those mourning the loss of a loved one by attending the viewing and through prayerful participation at the Funeral Liturgies held in our parish. Their presence helps to make these liturgies beautiful tributes to those who have completed their earthly journeys. They try to follow up with a “Thinking of You” card and a phone call. Members of the committee wear a small white ribbon with a little cross to identify them as Lazarus Ministers. Compassionate people are needed as volunteers. To volunteer, contact Sr. Marie Therese Sherwood, OSF.

Meal Brigade for Fr. Abraham

Do you like to cook? Would you be willing to prepare an extra dinner meal, every now and then for Fr. Abraham?

At Fr. Abraham’s previous parish, instead of hiring a cook, parishioners set up a meal brigade, signing up to bring dinner for him three times a week — on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. We thought we would try that here at St. Matthias.  If you are willing to volunteer to bring a dinner meal, please sign up at:  www.signupgenius.com

Fr. Abraham has no dietary restrictions nor preferences. Anything you prepare will be greatly appreciated! Questions? Meals should be placed in the Cooler on the Rectory porch. The Rectory — 166 JFK Blvd. — is the house next door to the Parish Office. Thank you!  Contact Phyllis Stone.

Disabilities Ministry

This ministry exists to affirm the rights of persons with disabilities, and to welcome them into all aspects of the life of our parish.  The members work within the parish community to provide awareness and education to overcome both attitudinal and architectural barriers.  Our goal is to create an inclusive parish community whereby the people of our parish will come to recognize the gifts that people with disabilities bring to the church. Contact: Fr. Joe Curry

Prayer Shawl Ministry

Members of the Prayer Shawl Ministry create beautiful shawls beginning with prayers and blessings for the recipient. The shawls are meant to be a reminder of God’s Great Love that desires to bring comfort and enfold the recipient in a warm embrace. Each shawl upon its completion, is passed around for a final blessing by all that are present before it is given as a gift.  The shawls are to be distributed to the sick, homebound, those in nursing homes and at the conclusion of the Bereavement Support group sessions. This ministry is active during the pandemic and is meeting online. Contact Sr. Marie Therese Sherwood, OSF.

Pro-Life Ministry

As Catholics, we are a pro-life people because the Bible teaches that life is a gift of God, and, hence, we have to respect it from womb to tomb. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.” Jeremiah 1:5). “You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works!” (Psalm 139:13)  Our Bishops have stated: “We proclaim that human life is a precious gift from God; that each person who receives this gift has responsibilities toward God, self and others; and that society, through its laws and social institutions, must protect and nurture human life at every stage of its existence.” U.S. Catholic Bishops, Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities, November 2001.  The Catholic Community of St. Matthias happily proclaims this truth in our prayers and in our activities. Our Pro-Life ministry is headed/coordinated by Fran Johnson and Frank McCann.

Sick and Homebound Ministry

Ministry to the sick and the homebound is one of greatest importance here at St. Matthias. It is a ministry based on the peace of Christ in all of its dimensions. Every Sunday a team of ministers brings Eucharist to those who are unable to come to Church. They go to individual homes and to the nursing homes. Mass is offered at each nursing home once a month on Fridays.  Note: In-person visits are currently on hold due to the pandemic, and ministers connect with our homebound by phone.  To volunteer, contact Sr. Marie Therese Sherwood, OSF.

St. Martin de Porres

The St. Martin De Porres Society is committed to serving God, the infirmed, the poor and the less fortunate.  It promotes unity by encouraging dialogue and awareness of Black Catholic cultural differences and contributions to the Catholic Church.  It promotes fellowship and friendship among its members through its community outreach. Contact: Phyllis Stone.

St. Vincent de Paul Society (SVDP)

The Society was established in 1998 to assist those in need not only in our parish, but also in the wider community. The goal is to provide assistance to low-income financially distressed individuals and families in the form of rent, food, utilities and medicine living in Franklin Township. Concerned parishioners are welcome to help us serve those who call our hotline for help.  SVDP is currently meeting online due to the pandemic. For more information, visit the Society of S. Vincent de Paul at St. Matthias.