Education for StudentsOur 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.
(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.
DiscussionThe 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, 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
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.
Service CommissionThis 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.
CommissionThe 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
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
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
CommissionThe 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 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
Service to Our Church Liturgies
ServersAltar 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
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.
ChoirThe 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.
/ LectorsCommentators 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.
MinisterLaity assisting Father by
offering communion to our community during mass.
Holiday Decorating TeamVolunteers 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
AIDS Day Worship Service GroupFor 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.
CrewThe 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.
LuncheonsOur 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
ClubHelps 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.
Parish Grounds Cleaning CrewVolunteers 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.
Repair / MaintenanceThe 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
Community GardenThe 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.
Community Citizens CouncilParishioners 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 WagonThe 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.
de PaulWithin 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
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.
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.
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.
Cabrini GuildThe 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.
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!
GroupOur 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,
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