MINISTRY OF PRESENCE Sharing Our Gifts
Contacts:
Ann Marie MacIsaac – Parish Nurse – amacisaac@aol.com (716)833-0298 Ext. 309
Deacon Paul Emerson pacem148@gmail.com (716)833-0298 Ext. 309

The Ministry of Presence is a multi-faceted inclusive ministry that recognizes the dignity of every human being by serving Christ in all persons. The Ministry of Presence is faith-based and functions to serve the people of St. Joseph University Parish, supporting its health and wellness, under the direction of the Parish Nurse and Clergy.

The Ministry of Presence is comprised of two complementary groups of volunteers: Visitation Team and Wellness Panel. The Visitation Team visits, and may bring Eucharist to parishioners who are homebound, sick or elderly living in assisted care facilities, nursing homes, or hospitals. The Wellness Panel provides expertise in exploring, planning and implementing programs to address the overall wellness in mind,body and spirit of the individual person and our faith community at large.

Guiding Principles
“You are never alone!”
“Now there are varieties of gifts…to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good…”
“Remember… Everyone has storms and difficulties in their lives, and He will never leave you alone.”
The Ministry of Presence is not a one-person ministry. Members of the faith community willing to share their time and talents for the good of the whole are called to this ministry in response to their Baptismal promises.
Wellness awareness should be integrated with personal spirituality. Pastoral presence is our most important resource. God works with us for the well-being and wholeness of others. A whole person strengthens the entire community. Spiritual centeredness, companionship and a sense of belonging, help to motivate people toward the maintenance of wellness.

VISITATION TEAM
Visiting the homebound, the sick, or the elderly is a genuine way for the faith community to stay connected with and be present to its parishioners. Our visits acknowledge we are aware that people are vulnerable and that we care about them. The Visitation Team Functions with volunteers who receive orientation in preparation before assuming their roles as visitor.
When We Visit
Regularly as scheduled, and as needed. (DURING COVID-19 the team will primarily use the phone to communicate.)
Bringing Eucharist
When requested by parishioner or family member.(temporarily suspended due to COVID-19)

WELLNESS PANEL
Included in the Ministry Of Presence is the Wellness Panel which serves the St.Joseph University Parish by supporting the short- and long-term health and wellness of the faith community through outreach and education on the parish website, on social media, in the bulletin, in-person seminars, as well as transitional advice from our Parish Nurse.
Activities
-Monthly Blood Pressure Screenings
– Blood Donation Drive
– Preventative Educational Workshops/Forums. Topics include Aging/Facing Death (Advanced Directives), Diabetes, Arthritis, Dementia,
Organ Donation, Cardiovascular Risks, Intimate Partner Violence, Stress Management, Coping with everyday life experiences,
Addiction, and other major illnesses/circumstances. (This is not an all-inclusive list.)
TRANSITIONAL CARE
To/from hospital, rehabilitation centers, home, and/or long-term care facilities)The health care system is complicated and difficult to traverse. In times of illness, many decisions will need to be made. The Parish Nurse is available to come and visit (or call during COVID-19) with you and those you choose, including your health care providers to help you to best understand the issues you will encounter. The Parish Nurse can act as an advocate throughout the process and help arrange for coordination of care, and most importantly be with you for support.
BULLETIN PRAYER LIST -Faith Community members can request their names be included in the bulletin prayer list and in the Prayers of the Faithful for weekend Masses. Once we receive the request,the Parish Nurse will reach out for permission to include your name in the bulletin.

Funeral Procedures during COVID-19
Our lives have all changed due to the pandemic. However the painful loss of a loved one has not. Because of our belief not only in the immortality of the soul, but also in the resurrection of the body, the Church professes hope in the face of death, and acts with charity in the funeral rites.

If you are a parishioner scheduling a funeral at St. Joe’s, know that we pray for you and will help you with the funeral Mass arrangements. Call the parish at (716)833-0298
Thank you for your patience and understanding of these mandatory state imposed restrictions. -Love, Fr. Jack

Please be aware that due to COVID-19 restrictions the following protocols are in place until further notice.
-Space is limited due to social distancing, there is a limit of 125 people allowed in the church.
-Since numbers are limited, a list of all those attending must be given to the parish before the day of the funeral.
-Everyone attending the funeral will be required to enter through the double glass doors near the parking lot.
-Each person is required to wear a mask and to sanitize their hands when entering the church.
-The Hospitality Ministers will seat you and your guests in the church following the social distancing requirements.
For more information regarding pandemic protocols for the church click on video below.