Ss. Simon and Jude Catholic Church

32500 Palmer Rd. 
Westland, MI 48186

Groups and Organizations

Education

Religious Education for Students

Our classes are held for children in grades 1 through 12. They must attend the program for two (2) consecutive years to be eligible to celebrate the specific sacrament during his/her 2nd year in the program. All of our Religious Education instructors have taken “Protecting All God’s Children,” had background checks, and many are certified catechists or are working toward that status.

 

RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults)

The education available for the adults of our parish is just as vital and on-going as that provided for children and youth. RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) begins in late September and continues through the year, culminating with the Easter Vigil Mass. This class is for all who wish to become Catholic and also for those Catholics who wish to renew and refresh their faith. The class goes beyond the basics and gives an in-depth and thought-provoking history of our Catholic faith. The class is taught by the pastor with a team of three certified RCIA facilitators to assist.

 

Book Discussion

The Education Commission also sponsors an on-going book discussion which has been meeting monthly from September through May for the past 12 years. Every book, whether fiction or non-fiction, always brings us to a point where we discuss how this impacts us as Catholic Christians and what are our responsibilities to act on these topics.

 

Pax Christi

Pax Christi, the Peacekeepers Chapter meets at Ss. Simon the last Friday of the month from 6:30 – 8 p.m. Through prayer and study Pax Christi, a Catholic peace movement, strives to create a world that reflects the Peace of Christ.  Pax Christi Michigan builds peace and justice by articulating the ideal of Christian nonviolence, applying the Gospel of nonviolence to personal life and to the structures of society through PRAYER/STUDY/ACTION.
Parish Pastoral Council
The Parish Pastoral Council serves as a primary consultative body to the parish pastor or administrator, working directly with him in the areas of pastoral planning and financial matters. The Pastoral Council is the primary visioning of the parish body, assisting the pastor in determining the overall mission of the parish.

 

Christian Service Commission

This commission creates and/or promotes programs which strive to address human needs and achieve justice. We are involved in community outreach and have had drives such as coat, blanket, school supplies, military supplies, etc. We have three blood drives yearly and host the luncheon after the Anointing Services. Social Justice is also part of this group. This involves letter writing, voting, etc. for the disadvantaged. We meet the third Thursday of each month (September thru May) at 6:30 p.m. Please join us. Help and new ideas are welcome.

 

Education Commission

The education of our parish is on-going throughout the year. It is coordinated through our Education Commission, which meets the third Thursday of each month (September thru May) at 6:30 p.m. prior to our Pastoral Council Meeting, which is held from 7:45 p.m. until 9 p.m.
During Lent, the Education Commission has presented various faith-provoking topics and movies. These sessions are from four to six weeks. They are on various subjects such as “The Power of Myth,” “Inherit the Wind,” “The Life of St. Maximillian Kobe,” and “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.” The commission also presented a six-week program to enlighten and educate us on the struggles of the LGBT community and their families.

The Education Commission also provides classes for CPR offered by a certified instructor every 3-5 years.

The Education Commission is responsible for the education of all those in the parish, adults, youth, and children, from the basics of our faith, to enlightening and educating on current worlds topics so as individuals we can all make responsible choices as Christian Catholics.

 

Evangelization Commission

Evangelization—being visibly inspired by and actively sharing our faith—is at the heart of why a parish exists and inspires all of its activities. They assist in coordinating efforts at establishing new evangelization initiatives. We develop and implement ideas on how to bring people back to the Church, or to become more involved in our parish. The Evangelization Commission is always looking for new ideas and volunteers to help spread the word of our parish and how to bring people back to Church.

 

Worship Commission

The worship commission plans the various liturgies throughout the year. They are also involved with various prayer services and events like the Stations of the Cross and the World AIDS Day Prayer Service. They work closely with other commissions to educate and help with community service through some of our liturgical events.
Our Worship Commission meets the third Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m., (September thru May). Our meetings are always under 60 minutes and we usually have an assigned candy-bringer. (Our motto is: meetings go better with chocolate!) Ultimately, our goal is to have more fun than any other commission in the church.
Parish Finance Council
The Parish Finance Council serves as a primary consultative body to the parish pastor or administrator, working directly with him in the areas of pastoral planning and financial matters. The Finance Council assists the pastor in the proper administration of the finances and material assets of the parish, especially in regard to any strategic planning brought forth by the Pastoral Council
Service to Our Church Liturgies

Altar Servers

Altar serving is a very special ministry in our parish. Boys and girls in the fourth grade and older can join. Their service is to help our pastor during Mass and other church celebrations. It is very rewarding to them and their parents. They usually serve two or three times a month. Special Holy Days or holidays may see all of them serving together.
We also have a group of dedicated adult altar servers. They help our pastor during the week and at funerals.

We are always in need of new members. Please call the church office for more information.

 

Choir

The Ss. Simon and Jude Choir honors the musical foundation laid down by previous music director, Dr. Alan Knight, who has since retired. The choir is now led by music director, Aidan Rickel. Anyone is able to join the choir. Practice schedules vary, so please contact the parish office for a day and time.  

 

Commentators / Lectors

Commentators are responsible for presenting the Prayers of the Faithful and the weekly announcements to the congregation. This requires about 15 minutes of preparation before Mass. A commentator must read the prayers before Mass. If there are any pronunciation questions, Father Gerry can provide assistance. At the end of Mass the commentator delivers the announcements.
The lector's job is to share the word of the Lord with the faith community. Lectors are provided with a work book and they are pre-assigned Masses. The workbook offers helpful suggestions about voice and intonation. Proper preparation for the readings should begin 3 - 6 days before the assigned Mass. It is recommended that readings be read aloud at home to assure proper voice.

If you are interested in being a Commentator or a Lector and would like more information, please contact Paulette Medvecky at 734-722-1343.

 

Eucharistic Minister

Laity assisting Father by offering communion to our community during mass.

 

Parish Holiday Decorating Team

Volunteers from the parish spend one morning during the Christmas season decorating the worship space. This includes setting up and decorating Christmas trees, hanging wreaths, setting up the manger and wise men, and various other tasks. Lunch is provided after the decorating.

 

World AIDS Day Worship Service Group

For the past two years, Ss. Simon and Jude and the Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit, has organized the annual World AIDS Day Worship Service. This ecumenical celebration remembers those who have been affected by the HIV/AIDS virus directly or indirectly. Panels from the AIDS quilt are reverently displayed.
Service to Our Church

Cleaning Crew

The cleaning crew began as an effort to save money on cleaning services. They clean once a week and it only takes one hour of your time, once a month. There are four groups and each are scheduled once a week, on different days.
If you can volunteer, just one hour of your time once a month, this is the group for you! Even if you cannot commit to once a month, come every other month, or when you can.

 

Funeral Luncheons

Our parish offers funeral lunches for our parishioners. They are run by three very dedicated groups and two special private chefs. We charge $4 per person, special meats are extra. We offer choices of meats, vegetables, and potatoes. Rolls and a fresh salad, pickles and relishes are included, along with coffee, tea, and lemonade. Desserts are furnished by our caring parishioners. Please call the parish office for more information.

 

Garden Club

Helps maintain the gardens around the church and suggest improvements to beautify our surroundings. The group is looking for people who enjoy working outside, willing to weed and water, sometimes plant flowers/bulbs, and those who like to work independently.

 

Semi-Annual Parish Grounds Cleaning Crew

Volunteers from the parish spend one morning during the spring and fall seasons sprucing up the grounds. This includes raking, trimming trees, planting flowers/bulbs, and various other tasks. Lunch is provided after the cleaning.

 

Volunteer Repair / Maintenance

The Ushers’ Club assists as much as possible in the finances and labor for church maintenance/repairs and needs. Other parishioners provide services in their areas of expertise to help defray costs.
Service to Our Community

Norwayne Community Garden

The Ss. Simon and Jude youth group, St. Vincent de Paul Society, and the Ushers support the planting, cultivation, and harvesting of food grown in the Norwayne Community Garden. The garden is designed to provide fresh produce to families in need. Last year over 2,000 pounds of produce was distributed to the poor through the governmental food program operated by the City of Westland and distributed to citizens of the Norwayne Community.

 

Norwayne Community Citizens Council

Parishioners from Ss. Simon and Jude are well represented on the Norwayne Community Citizens Council. This group meets the second Monday of the month and addresses issues of housing, homelessness, education, and community development for the Norwayne community.

 

Red Wagon

The Red Wagon is a literacy program started by one of our church members, Joan Carr, about 12 years ago. She saw a need for keeping up the students’ need for reading in the summer. Some of the children in the neighborhood didn’t have access to books. So she started a “moving library” in red wagons. We have teams of volunteers that go through the neighborhood of Norwayne with the wagons, and sometimes goodies, for boys and girls from infants to high school age. The teams go out four times during the summer weeks. They set up their own schedule for time and day with the coordinator. The program won a State of Michigan Literacy Award. This program has spread to other communities, even to India.
Along with the books, we pass out toothbrushes and paste, bottled water, flavoring for the water and other little items. All these are donated along with books. We take any new or gently used books for the wagons. All these can be dropped off at Ss. Simon and Jude Parish during office hours. For more info, please contact the parish office.

 

St. Vincent de Paul

Within our parish is one of the most active St Vincent de Paul conferences in the metro area.  We have an office staffed with volunteers from our parish, whose mission is to help those with needs such as clothes, rent, food, etc.  This is made possible through the support of our parishioners and other donors.
Organizations and Activities

After Mass Meals

After Mass Meals were initiated over 3 years ago by a group of parishioners. After Mass Meals are once a month from September to May following the Saturday night Mass. They provide a light meal, ranging from soup and salad bar to a chili cook-off, for a nominal fee and promote fellowship and social networking. Occasionally a movie and popcorn are also provided for those interested in partaking.

 

Doughnut Sunday

The last Sunday of every month a different commission, council or organization hosts Doughnut Sunday. Doughnuts, coffee, juice and milk are provided, and the parishioners catch up with friends.

 

Knitting Group

This a community outreach group of people who do needlework (knitting, crocheting). They meet Sunday from 6 – 8 p.m. The group has 25-30 members with an average of 8-15 members each week. They share ideas and work with each other.

 

Mother Cabrini Guild

The Mother Cabrini Guild is a group of ladies that meet monthly the first Thursday of the month, except during July and August. They hold two card/game parties each year (spring and fall), an annual garage sale, and a minimum of two bake sales each year. They provide the desserts for all the ushers’ dinners. They also celebrate four corporate communions per year (including one with the Ushers’ Club) and socialize afterwards over dinner. This group recognizes the fathers on Father’s Day each year and has a drawing for some gift certificates at that weekend’s Mass.

 

Ushers’ Club

By Webster’s definition, an usher is an officer who has charge of the door, court, chamber or hall. One who conducts to a place or a seat.

If you look around at our Masses and services, our ushers are standing by, waiting to seat or assist you as required. We are in the Gathering Area before Masses, to greet you and your family, as you enter our church. We maintain order, take up collections, distribute the weekly bulletin, provide aide with emergencies that may arise and assist our pastor as needed. Our goal is to help unite parishioners in spiritual activities, to perform corporal works of charity and mercy and to assist, as much as possible, in the finances for church maintenance and needs.Our membership is open to all registered parishioners who have reached the age of Confirmation, and can help promote through full discussion and exchange of ideas, the planning of activities, conduct and needs of our church. There are no membership fees or annual dues, all we request is your help at Masses and at our activities, (i.e.: Train Shows, Dinners, Ice Cream Social, etc.) when your schedule permits. We’ll take anytime you have to offer, an hour, two hours, whatever.Our general membership meetings are held on the second Friday of the odd months, (except in July), at 7:00 p.m. in the church hall. That’s only five meetings a year. If you are not available to attend a meeting, we send the minutes to your home so you will always be aware of what’s going on in the club.If you are interested in joining the Ushers’ Club, or need more information, you may call the telephone number listed in the weekly bulletin (Ushers’ Club, President). All are welcome!

 

Youth Group

Our Youth Group is the focal point of youth ministry. The group has been in existence for 24 years with the same youth minister. The group is self-governing and encompasses 6th through 12th graders. This is a service-based Youth Group. Some of the projects are big, such as their involvement and commitment to the Norwayne Community Garden project, which they have been a part of since the onset in 2010. Some of their projects are smaller, like baking cookies for American House residents in Westland and Maple Manor Rehabilitation Center in Wayne, writing Christmas cards to the troops overseas, setting up and taking down tables for various functions in the parish hall, and parish grounds clean-up.
The spiritual education and growth of the youth are enhanced by acting the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday as spiritual service to the parish, as well as acting out the Stations at American House for their residents, and researching and writing a Tenebrae Service held in the evening on Good Friday for the past 20 years. They have also attended two World Youth Days, 2002 Toronto, Canada and 2005 Koln, Germany.
The education of our youth from the younger children to the young adults is done, not just in the classroom, but by joining and working with both the Christian Service and Worship commissions and offering many unique opportunities for spiritual and educational growth.