I’ve been a parishioner of the Cathedral for over 30 years and have been involved in many ministries throughout these years. I thought I was aware of all the activities and work associated with parish life. Recently I’ve been serving in the Office Ministry. With the move of the parish office to the Cathedral’s lower level, this new location required an office receptionist’s position in addition to the Cathedral secretary. I volunteered to serve as receptionist, mostly working two days each week. Wow! Even though I’ve been an active parishioner for many years, working as receptionist certainly opened my eyes to the scope of work our parish community requires and provides.
I knew we were a complex organization meeting numerous needs. However, never did I realize what it really takes to meet the spiritual and community needs of our parish. I learned how vast the number of parishioners and others we serve is. I also learned many of the behind- the-scenes tasks it takes to offer the sacraments, to meet the social service needs of our parishioners, to conduct faith formation opportunities for our families, and to maintain our beautiful Cathedral and other facilities – just to name a few areas. There is so much more to be done before and after any sacrament is celebrated than what we observe occurring in the church.
I want to share what I learned so that you will have a deeper understanding of what it takes to run this parish. The included information chart highlights some of these areas. Hopefully this information will help you grasp the complexities associated with meeting the needs of our parish family as well as those who visit our Cathedral. Also, since the Cathedral is the seat of the Diocese of Sacramento, we meet many of the diocese’s needs, such as Ordinations and the Chrism Mass. All the activities listed on the chart are in addition to the regular Sunday and weekday Masses, Reconciliation times, and other routine liturgical services. Our pastoral and administrative staff are very committed to serving these many needs and, needless to say, are extremely busy handling this workload.
With God’s help and the guidance from the Holy Spirit, as good stewards we all have a responsibility to find a niche where we can offer our services and resources to the Cathedral in grateful response to Our Savior for the gifts He has bestowed upon us. Let’s all find that niche!
Baptisms – Infants or Toddlers
Three hundred and sixty infants/toddlers were baptized over 40 weeks (no Baptisms during Lent). This number includes both English and Spanish Baptisms.
Four (4) Saturdays of every month (excluding the Saturdays of Lent) at 9 a.m., Baptisms are celebrated by Deacon Omar Bardales for English Baptisms and Deacon Edgar Hilbert for Spanish Baptisms, for 10 infants/toddlers at each session.
Two (2) Baptism classes are held each month at 7 p.m. in the church. Parents and Godparents are required to attend one of the classes. Deacon Omar conducts the English class on the first Thursday of the month and Deacon Edgar offers the Spanish class on the second Thursday of the month.
Preparing parents/ Godparents, scheduling Baptism dates, and processing many documents are required. Deacon Omar and his wife, Janet Bardales, handle all the paperwork. Documents required: registration form; child’s birth certificate; Godparent(s) certification form; proof of parents and Godparents attending class.
Preparing official Baptism Certificates and recording Baptisms in the Cathedral’s Registry. This task is handled by the Cathedral Secretary and volunteers.
Over 50 weddings were celebrated at the Cathedral on either a Friday afternoon or on Saturday late morning or afternoon. The celebrant for most of these weddings was Fr. Michael O’Reilly.
Six months of preparation is required by the engaged couple in working with Wedding Coordinator, Titi Kila, to meet all the religious and civil requirements.
Several sessions are required with the Wedding Coordinator to schedule a date and decide on the various aspects of the wedding.
Appointments are required with Cathedral Pastor to discuss the Sacrament of Matrimony and marriage life.
Marriage Preparation Class is required to be completed no later than two months before the wedding date. Deacon Omar Bardales and his wife, Janet, conduct this class.
Numerous forms needed to be provided and/or completed prior to the wedding date. Current Baptism certificates are required. Some of the forms require parents of the bride and groom to come in person to complete them in the presence of the pastor or wedding coordinator.
Wedding rehearsal needs to be held, generally the day/evening before the wedding. All participants in the wedding party need to attend.
Marriage Certificate needs to be prepared and recorded in the Cathedral Official Registry and notification sent to parish where couple were baptized. All civil requirements must be met and recorded with officials.
SOCIAL SERVICE MINISTRIES
Front Door Ministry
137 individuals in need of help were provided a variety of services depending on the individual’s need.
An average of 30 requests (phone calls, personal contacts, and emails) are received each week asking for assistance.
Example of services include assistance with utility or rental issues, information on securing housing, referrals to appropriate community social services, information on medical and mental health services, help with transportation needs.
90 food baskets were distributed at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Turkeys and other food items were donated by the generosity of Cathedral parishioners.
Leading this Ministry is Deacon Edgar Hilbert who devotes numerous hours managing these requests by interviewing individuals and determining how best to meet their needs.
Brown Bag Lunch Ministry (BBL)
A total of 22,363 lunches were served four (4) days each week to those in need.
Total of 22 volunteers, divided into teams, willingly offer their talents each morning to prepare and hand out lunches to the BBL guests. These volunteers include Catholics and non-Catholics, and this year a Jesuit senior student who is completing his Christian Service hours.
BBL volunteers are from the Cathedral and 6 (six) other parishes located in Sacramento, North Highlands, Lincoln, and Davis.
Lunches are donated by Cathedral and other parish individuals and families, Diocesan schools, and community organizations.
Two (2) parishes, Holy Spirit and St. Stephen’s, have been donating lunches on a monthly basis since 2016. In addition, they purchase protein items for their service days.
Holy Spirit Ladies Guild has purchased and donated coffeemakers, coffee, and coffee supplies for the BBL guests since 2020.
BBL Ministry requires good organization in achieving its mission. With the capable leadership of the Ministry Lead, Marilynn Fairgood, and help of the 22 volunteers and the other parishes and organizations, the BBL offers a vital service to those in need.
Eighteen years ago, in 2005, the Cathedral was rededicated after an extensive renovation. Since then, the parishioners and visitors have a beautiful Cathedral in which to serve and praise God. However, the years take their toll and like any building, upkeep and maintenance are required. Recently, the roof needed to be replaced at the cost of $389,000 and the sound system was upgraded, costing over $100,000. There are other major repairs that need attention. A compressor must be replaced in the air conditioning and heating system, Cathedral lighting requires improvement, and several pieces of artwork need attention.
Maintaining our Cathedral requires the constant examination and attention of our Rector, Fr. Michael O’Reilly; Plant Manager, Tom Waddock; and Business Manager, Deacon Gary Brys. Indeed, all of us, the parishioners, have a responsibility to ensure that our beautiful Cathedral remains a special place to worship and come together as a religious community so that many future generations may also have the privilege of praying to God in this spiritual environment.